Thinking of Moving to East Sussex/Kent borders OR area between Thanet/Canterbury/De al - 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

emmagray Thu 04-Sep-14 13:19:37

MrsTara - thank you so much for all this info. Apologies - I've only just realised you'd commented as I didn't get one of those emails to tell me! Yes, schools and time to get there (and to towns when they're older) is definitely something we need to consider.
We're visiting Sandwich/Deal and villages like Worth and Woodnesborough next week, so that should help.
Does anyone have experience of thatched roofs? We saw a lovely house but when DH looked into costs of thatching and annual upkeep etc, he's not at all keen. Shame, it's a beautiful place.... (I might start another thread for the thatch question...)

I live in Ramsgate and wrote a bit on the pros and cons of this area in another thread, I will try to find link.

A big consideration is schools - if you are thinking state school the idea of choice is rubbish you pretty much have to go to the closest and a school that is out standing now can fall to dire within 4 years!

Grammar school in Kent creates a lot of problems with (IMHO) more kids losing than winning. If you child passes the Kent test in Thanet (including St Nich and I think, Herne Bay) they will be guaranteed at place at the the 2 Thanet GS. But in most parts of the county a mere pass does not guarantee a place - the child needs a very high pass and possibly to live next door (depending on the school).
What if child does not pass GS - so most of the brightest kids are then missing from the rest of the schools. But still some are outstanding and many are so bad you would never willingly send you child to them.
If it is within budget I know there are quiet a few independent schools in Thanet, Canterbury and Dover that children from Ramsgate attend.

The Steiner school near Canterbury is supposed to be very good.

I know my area and can point out that the West Cliff of Ramsgate is also within the catchment for Sandwich schools.

I can't really comment of villages as I am not a village person, I grew up in a small town and had to go on a huge hour bus rude to go anywhere - it was awful. So think about your children when they are older and could be independent. I suggest making sure your village is near to and easily accessible to big town. Travelling one hour or more to and from school is not good, being within walking distance is ideal.

emmagray Sat 30-Aug-14 00:11:53

Rooners - thanks again for the info. I think we're going to try and visit St Nicholas at Wade soon, and maybe Hoath too.
And curlydolly - thanks for the Battle tip. I've driven through it and wondered whether it might be just a touristy place, but if there are lots of young families then I'm guessing there must be playgroups / swings n parks etc? It is lovely midway point for coast and countryside. Just haven't seen any suitable houses come up there yet..... got plenty of time to keep looking tho!

curlydolly Fri 29-Aug-14 22:07:20

Hi emmagray sorry I am a latecomer. We live in Battle and there are lots of young families here. It's lovely to be near the sea and countryside too. Let me know if there's anything specific you want to know.

Rooners Fri 29-Aug-14 05:54:15

St Nick is lovely Emma, not cheap but probably the nicest village between Cant and Outer Thanet. Go for it.

Rooners Fri 29-Aug-14 05:52:56

No you can actually discount Margate. Especially Cliftonville. It's appalling.

There's a niche bit of Margate that wants to revive its glamour, which to be fair it does have a bit of, but really it's kind of much talk and no trousers at the moment.

It might improve but it's still a really difficult place to live I think. Have looked at a lot of houses there recently. Lovely cheap houses but the atmosphere is not great.

I think the Margate revival is a bit like Tracey Emin's artwork. Take from that what you will smile

emmagray Thu 28-Aug-14 22:36:31

Does anyone know St Nicholas at Wade? Just seen a nice house there & looks like a good primary in the village.....
Thanks smile

smile I might do at that. Not A20 but not too far off it.

petitdonkey Wed 27-Aug-14 17:12:17

Juniper I am on the A20. PM me if you want any opinions on primary schools smile

emmagray Wed 27-Aug-14 15:07:19

Juniper and petit - a whole new area to consider, thanks! I like the fact you say there's a lot going even tho you're rural, plus good links to coast and London etc.
Snapes - another vote for Seddlescomb, will definitely have a look at the village next time we're down East Sussex way.
Hakluyt - we like Margate very much, but prob won't actually live there just cos we need a big garden & outbuildings and those lovely big old edwardian/victorian coastal houses are gorgeous but don't have the outside space - hence why we're looking rural but close-ish to coast
Floral - haven't considered nearer Maidstone, will have a look
And talkinpeace - more good info thanks!
My other half's contract's been extended so looks like we're in London for a few months yet - but better to have more time to look at all these areas. (And maybe more houses come up in Spring anyway, rather than autumn/winter) We'll have to get a campervan and go for a road trip!! smile

I'm not very far from some of them. At least 3 are contenders for primary school next year. There is loads going on isn't there?

petitdonkey Wed 27-Aug-14 14:30:44

Haha!! I live in one of the villages you mentioned so probably not. There's so much going for this area though - I moved here ten years ago and spent the first two either wanting to move back to London or to the Midland. Now I will never leave.

nancy75 Wed 27-Aug-14 14:28:47

I think I might, petit though not actually in anywhere mentioned. What are the chances we live next door to each other?

petitdonkey Wed 27-Aug-14 14:22:23

Juniper - have a feeling you must live in the same area as me!!

petitdonkey Wed 27-Aug-14 14:21:27

I live near Ashford and, although the actual town leaves a lot to be desired, there are many advantages to the area. I can be in central London in just over an hour (train takes 37 mins to St Pan) and at the beach in under 15 (hythe is my nearest). There are loads of parks and open spaces but a lack of decent restaurants!! Village schools are brilliant as are independents. There are several good grammars (folkestone grammar is easier to get a place than Ashford) and some good comps (google Wye Free school)

Have a look at:

Wye
Aldington
Pluckley
Bethersden (near Tenterden but not quite as stuck in the middle)

I guess it depends how much you value getting out - I like where I live as it's rural but I can get to London or on to the M20 very quickly. I would be driven mad by Tenterden even though I go there fairly regualry and really like it as a town.

Snapespotions Wed 27-Aug-14 14:18:41

Sedlescombe is lovely, and the primary school is quite good by all accounts. smile

Hakluyt Wed 27-Aug-14 14:18:28

Shit- is he actually running? I was hoping it was just a rumour!

OP- don't forget the dreaded 11+ either! will you?

If you are still looking Tenterden way have you looked at Hamstreet, Woodchurch or Biddenden? Or back towards the A20 there are Smeeth & Brabourne, Mersham, Aldington, Sellindge? All of these are villages with close links to nearby towns, all have some form of community feel about them.

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

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

Margate is the next Whitstable.

Don't, whatever you do, discount Margate.

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 .

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

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

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!

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