Thinking of Moving to East Sussex/Kent borders OR area between Thanet/Canterbury/Deal - can anyone help?

(44 Posts)
emmagray Sat 23-Aug-14 22:12:24

Hello - we're planning to move out of East London in the very near future and have started looking at East Sussex / Kent borders. We know Hastings and Rye and like them very much but are looking to live inland, maybe on the edge of a village/ small town, somewhere semi rural but with access to a good primary school (daughter is 17 months old so a future need!), with maybe a village shop / decent pub / good community feel - ie the dream!
Just wondered if there are any mumsnetters out there who know the area or live there?
We've spent one day viewing some houses so far, and driven around some of the villages - Westfield, Beckley, Brede, Peasmarsh, Northiam, Hawkhurst, Icklesham, to name a few. We're also looking a bit west of the A21 - like Battle, Robertsbridge. Any of these places ring a bell?!
We'd like to be at the most 20/30 min drive from the coast - any other suggestions very welcome. Tenterden?
And to put a spanner in the works - we also like the Thanet towns, Broadstairs and Margate, and have also been thinking about looking out there - somewhere between Canterbury and those Thanet coastal towns, down to Sandwich/Deal. This is an area I've never been to, so can only name places off the map whilst looking at Right Move - Wingham, Ash, Preston, Woodnesborough.
I guess I'm slightly worried that these villages might have elderly populations - not that I'm a spring chicken! - but with a little one, I'd like to know that there are other mums out there to get to know.
Sorry - bit of an essay!
Many thanks in advance for any info. smile

EH1903 Sun 24-Aug-14 13:33:11

Sedlescombe, Ninfield, Catsfield & Crowhurst might all be worth a look.

emmagray Sun 24-Aug-14 20:20:18

Thanks EH. I have seen houses come up in these villages, nothing quite right as yet. Do you live in the area / know about things for mums and toddlers? We have so many playgroups and childrens centres and parks near us right now I'm rather spoilt for choice with activities for my daughter - I worry I'll be hunting for things to do in a little village! But then part of me says - but you'll have countryside to run around in, and the coast! And I'm sure there must be stuff going on in Hastings / Rye.
We went on the train to Canterbury today for a research trip & I rather liked it, so the Kent option might be a goer too.
Oh decisions!

mrscynical Mon 25-Aug-14 13:58:42

Thanet towns (not inc. Canterbury) are best avoided - lots of problem families and busy for children's social services.

If you need to keep in contact with family/friends in the East End then the A20/M20 is really handy and much, much quicker than the A21. Perhaps villages around (but not in) Ashford might be worth a look. Tenterden is a pretty town rather than a village but close enough to Hastings/Rye and has good selection of shops.

However, Battle and Robertsbridge are both lovely as well. Cranbrook also worth a look.

PortofinoRevisited Mon 25-Aug-14 14:09:06

Sandwich is very nice. The schools (infant and junior) are good. Big enough to have a decent range of shops/pubs and restaurants. But not busy busy. I used to live in Deal and miss it hugely. It has become quite trendy as a weekend destination and facilities are gradually improving to take this into account. Some lovely houses in the Conservation area, but parking can be tricky there. I really miss Sunday morning breakfast on the pier, or a walk along the seafront to Kingsdown for a pub lunch.

TalkinPeace Mon 25-Aug-14 20:44:39

Canterbury is nice
BUT
you have to be aware of the grinding poverty in much of east Kent (esp the old mining towns)
and the oddities of the grammar schools / your options if your kids do not get in

Used to live in Dover and Deal - could not wait to move away
Used to spend a lot of time around Cranbrook / Hawkhurst - very chocolate box, v competitive schools

emmagray Mon 25-Aug-14 21:47:06

Thanks for all these tips. From trips to Margate etc I can see that it's not all new trendy cafes 'n vintage shops in the Thanet area, but the beaches are lovely, hence the desire to live close enough to visit, but not to live there (if we decide to head for Kent). Also we're after a house with a substantial garden and a lot of properties in the towns along the coast don't have that kind of outside space. Same thing in Hastings. It's why we're looking more inland. I'm definitely keeping an eye out for any houses coming up in Tenterden, Battle and Robertsbridge. (We went yurting nr Robertsbridge and drove through it a couple of times, very pretty). Cranbrook must have a very good school as estate agent blurbs always mention if the house they're selling is in the catchment area. We are seeing some nice houses coming up near to Sandwich and Deal - I feel another research day trip is needed! BTW TalkinPeace, what are the old mining towns in East Kent?

DownstairsMixUp Mon 25-Aug-14 21:51:26

Canterbury is nice but it's very very busy all the time. Heavy traffic going into it at peak times. I only live 7 miles away but the bus journey to work would take me over an hour in the mornings because of the crossings getting into canterbury. Whitstable is really nice and you are still super close to canterbury so have all the same options school wise etc.

TalkinPeace Mon 25-Aug-14 21:51:36

mining towns - Betteshanger, Adisham, Tilmanstone and the like - in behind Deal : avoid!

Depending on schools there are some fab houses south of Deal - Mongeham / St Margarets way - that are in reach of the Canterbury schools
or around Hythe and then access to the Ashford schools

doing the school run on the RHD railway is an East Kent specialty!

enriquetheringbearinglizard Mon 25-Aug-14 21:55:01

What's your budget OP, are you buying or renting and what kind of home are you looking for? It makes a huge difference in Kent and E Sussex, as it does most places to be honest, but you will find it's not cheap.

amyhamster Mon 25-Aug-14 21:56:56

You don't mention work though ?
If you live in / near Canterbury high speed link is about 90 minutes to st pancras
Season ticket about 6k & that's without underground i think
Ashford is quicker to commute in
Grammar school area is massive problem
Most pay to tutor so you have to add the cost of that on

PortofinoRevisited Mon 25-Aug-14 22:38:35

Broad stairs is definitely the nicest of the Thanet towns.

PortofinoRevisited Mon 25-Aug-14 22:42:07

Wingham, Ash, woodnesborough, st. Margaret's Bay, Worth are all places I would happily move to.

PortofinoRevisited Mon 25-Aug-14 22:44:06

My dd was born in Margate - I wouldn't move there though grin

PortofinoRevisited Mon 25-Aug-14 22:46:14

Kingsdown and Walmer (or parts of it) are nice if you want to combine countryside and sea. I always think of places by how nice the pubs are, so I am maybe not the best authority....

Rooners Tue 26-Aug-14 10:55:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DownstairsMixUp Tue 26-Aug-14 11:28:00

Herne Bay is OK as a base. Not far from Canterbury, whitstable or thanet. Hampton end is perfectly fine to live in. Wouldn't live in the town though. Bit rough!

Rooners Tue 26-Aug-14 11:40:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DownstairsMixUp Tue 26-Aug-14 12:09:51

Hi rooners I like it there to! Hb gets a bad rep but can honestly say the only parts I'd not live in are the town and Greenhill!

emmagray Tue 26-Aug-14 23:30:13

Amazing replies - thanks all! It's a bit late & my head is a bit fried so sorry if I miss anyone...
Downstairs - good Canterbury traffic info, ta
TalkinPeace - thanks for the info re mining towns. I looked up the RHD railway, ha ha!
amyhamster - we won't be commuting into London, we're planning to run a business from home (hence need for substantial garden & also looking for outbuildings)
Enrique - we're buying, & looking at Right Move it looks like it'll be doable with our budget
Portofino - agree about Broadstairs! We've seen a possible house in Woodnesborough, so nice to see you mention it. Agree about the pubs too!
Rooners - that helps A LOT! Fab info, really useful. And selling a flat in London, not a house, so it's good to know that HB gets some love!

enriquetheringbearinglizard Wed 27-Aug-14 13:22:34

No probs OP, I was going to keep an eye open and give you some pointers as to the locations of places but I suspect now that you're looking beyond the area I know.

Happy hunting smile

TalkinPeace Wed 27-Aug-14 14:00:18

PS
St Margarets bay has the hiccup that all mobile phone companies think its in France so the roaming charges can be a bit of a PITA wink
so less good for self employed

Floralnomad Wed 27-Aug-14 14:07:48

Have you looked nearer Maidstone at Marden ,Lenham ,Charing areas - quite rural but all seem to have things going on for children .

Hakluyt Wed 27-Aug-14 14:10:43

Margate is the next Whitstable.

Don't, whatever you do, discount Margate.

nancy75 Wed 27-Aug-14 14:14:24

I have just read that Nigel Farage is running to be MP for Thanet in the next elections. He must think he has a good chance of winning a seat in that area - this would probably put me off a little

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