London to Folkestone, any experience of moving there...

(71 Posts)
AuraofDora Mon 30-Sep-13 13:22:16

that you can share with me?

DH is mad keen, and well, I've only been for an afternoon so don't feel qualified to make a decision.
My main queries are -
the commute, it would only be me still working in London, does this sort of daily travel grind you down? I know the HS train is only an hour but it means being uber organised and leaving work on time all the time to have some family time
the mix of people, is it mixed and is it chilled?
Schools look fine - any horrors to avoid?
and just how did you feel?
I would be sad to go, there is much here I love about London. Also scared that the family will have new life there whilst i trundle to London everyday to pay the bills and just become a weekender
DH feels it has a lot to offer, Creative Quarter, fantastic countryside and seaside, lively town etc and we should get in at the bottom.

Any thoughts, comments - have you done this, do you rate it, or do you yearn to come 'home'?

lookoveryourshouldernow Mon 30-Sep-13 13:54:11

...don't do it - you may think that you are "in at the bottom" - but I have watched Folkestone from afar for many years and it is still at the bottom despite the massive amount of money being thrown at for re-generation....

Get you DH to visit there on a wet and windy day - it may change his mind..

lookoveryourshouldernow Mon 30-Sep-13 13:54:52

apologies about the typos ...

AuraofDora Mon 30-Sep-13 14:48:17

Thanks lookover

We were there at the weekend and read that the seafront has gained permission to be developed into housing and business units.
The Creative Quarter looked really interesting, (we are both trained in photography, though I work in publishing now) Michelin star restaurant, er, no we ate at the chippy opposite! - is it not really happening then?
It seemed a little like a tale of two towns, but as I say it was only an afternoon...

Do you know anything about the schools, esp Harvey Grammar or Pent Valley Tech College?

LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob Mon 30-Sep-13 14:55:51

I worked in Folkestone for years and it was a bit grim.

LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob Mon 30-Sep-13 14:56:51

Have a look at Sandgate, it's a lovely village very near Folkestone so you would get the best of both worlds.

AuraofDora Mon 30-Sep-13 15:05:47

Thanks Lumpy

What made it grim do you think? Bit depressed, not much happening?

Is Sandgate on the HS rail link?

AuraofDora Mon 30-Sep-13 16:42:38

Anyone else?

Artandco Mon 30-Sep-13 16:47:18

Folkestone has always been grim and was even grimer last time I visited. There are nice surrounding villages not far away but then you would have to drive to station.

What about on the line around Rochester? Just outside has lovely areas or in the villages and Its quick to London

Artandco Mon 30-Sep-13 16:47:42

Folkestone has always been grim and was even grimer last time I visited. There are nice surrounding villages not far away but then you would have to drive to station.

What about on the line around Rochester? Just outside has lovely areas or in the villages and Its quick to London

noddyholder Mon 30-Sep-13 16:49:38

I lived there as a teenager and it is grim You can get a cheap house but thats about it

AuraofDora Mon 30-Sep-13 17:09:37

I'm intrigued folks, what is so grim about it? Anyone care to define a bit for me, is it the atmosphere, the people, attitudes?

Is the regeneration a bit of a red herring then?

holstenlips Mon 30-Sep-13 17:12:52

My son just moved out of Folkestone. I found it cold windy and yes grim. Very poor area. Not much going on. Lots of drinking though. The beach is nice and thereare some iinteresting cafes vintage cafes etc gigs but it just is a depressing area imo. No money has beenput into it. Such a shame.

AuraofDora Mon 30-Sep-13 17:34:34

holstenlips, DH says there is a heap of regeneration money via the Saga billionaire guy, does it not filter through? The Creative Quarter looked interesting but a bit empty, that was what worried me.
Where has your son moved to, may I ask?

Artandco Mon 30-Sep-13 18:09:12

Aura - the town has many empty shops/ shops you have no use for. Not much choice of where to shop for food ( ie no nice delis/ butchers/ nicer supermarkets). No nice cafes/ restaurants ( IMO). Little in the way of children's activities ( although nice beach and park on beach), also little childcare apart from nursery ( no late/ early starts or finishes- 9-3/5) as option so if you need to commute may be a problem.

holstenlips Mon 30-Sep-13 18:25:41

My son has moved to Canterbury. Worlds apart.
Believe me im not fussy at all and I actually really wanted to like Folkestone. Its just pretty depressing sadly.

Artandco Mon 30-Sep-13 18:57:22

Canterbury is lovely I agree

happydutchmummy Mon 30-Sep-13 19:17:28

Try spending a week in folkestone, rather than a day!

Canterbury is far far nicer, however think seriously about the commute and price of train tickets.

LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob Mon 30-Sep-13 20:53:28

Folkestone is similar to Dover and Margate. It's run down, lots of empty shops etc. I've worked all over the southeast and this was one of the most depressing towns I worked in. It does have some redeeming features and parts of it are quite lovely but overall it isn't somewhere I would like to live.

Canterbury however is fab, vibrant...arty...friendly and very beautiful.

AuraofDora Mon 30-Sep-13 23:04:07

So it's not the new Brighton then...

It did seem to have potential with regeneration, and it has a theatre, and arty places here and there. We read about many artists in the East End of London shifting down to the South Coast as it's affordable
We are seriously considering places we can afford to live, London is so expensive for so little but I will tell DH that the good ladies of MN give Folkestone the thumbs down..

Will check out Canterbury, thanks.

holstenlips Mon 30-Sep-13 23:06:33

Canterbury pretty pricey. Maybe have a look at Whitstable and bits of Herne Bay are ok.

bringbackopalfruits Mon 30-Sep-13 23:12:51

A friend of mine has moved there and I'm not very impressed whenever I visit. The bought a decent sized house for not much money, but house prices have gone down not up since then. The beach is nice, and the kids play area on the cliffs is lovely, but it just has a really run down depressing air about it. The HS1 train is really good to get back to London, but not cheap.

Honestly, there are much nicer towns where a bit more cash would get you a decent house and a chance of the regeneration actually achieving something.

Artandco Tue 01-Oct-13 07:48:30

Canterbury over Herne bay for sure. You have everything on doorstep. As a guide £500k in canterbury would get you one of the nicest 4 bed houses with garden and parking in town. £300k would get you a 3 bed largish depending on exact location

puddock Tue 01-Oct-13 10:53:49

Is it too late to speak up for Folkestone? I think "the good ladies of MN" have painted a rather bleak and pessimistic picture.
We moved here 3 years ago - could never have afforded to stay in London - and love the beach, the harbour, my DS1's outstanding school, the leas, the coastal park, the creative quarter (look at strange cargo/quarterhouse/creative foundation, it's the triennial again next summer), the cultural mix.
No, the mainstream shops are nothing to write home about (we have a Boots, Next, Debenhams, Superdrug, WHS, Waterstones, Wilkinsons etc in the high street), but that's not really a priority for me, and if I want to do serious shopping I do it at Westfield via HS1, or in Canterbury.
I commute using HS1 and it is a fantastic service which I don't find expensive. All in all, Folkestone has been a great choice for us and I do see evidence of regeneration.
BTW, the HS train stops at Folkestone West. This is where anyone who lives in Sandgate, Cheriton, even Hythe will get the train from.

DanielMcSpaniel Tue 01-Oct-13 11:02:15

Grim. Yes. Folkestone is grim. Even Ashford is better than Folkestone. If you're expecting Little Brighton you will be disappointed.

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