Kent coastal towns - where to live with family?

(15 Posts)
iiriselisa Fri 28-Oct-16 23:52:15

Hi all,

We have decided to move to Kent coast with our twin babies next year having spent our twenties in London. Not looking to buy straight away, just to rent a 2 bed flat. Our wish list is:

-Affordable as we will be on one salary
-Family friendly and safe, good (non private) schools
-No more than approx an hour's direct train journey into London
-Nice high street, coffee shop and pub culture
-Can be on the peaceful side but not too rural, quiet, boring or depressing, should have things to do

Maybe I'm asking for too much?!

Old discussions about the subjects are exactly that - old - because I keep reading and hearing about redevelopments and soaring prices. Some previously undesirable areas are becoming desirable so I really need to hear your experiences.

Please help! We've been looking at Folkestone where prices seem very reasonable.

Thank you.

OnePlanOnHouzz Sat 29-Oct-16 07:47:48

Sandgate is lovely too ! And Hythe !

kally195 Sat 29-Oct-16 08:00:58

Folkestone is lovely (lived there until a couple of months ago). You need to be careful with school research and catchment areas though. It has a fab Old High Street, lots of lovely restaurants (the majority of which are family friendly) as well as some excellent family friendly pubs/micropubs. You have the beaches, coastal park, Leas, the Warren, the harbour and the harbour arm (and much more).

The drawbacks are that it still faces a lot of the problems you'd expect of a small coastal town that has been economically deprived for a long time. However, it is going through regeneration and has improved immensely since I first lived there in 2004.

We live at the top of Hythe now (Saltwood). Again, fab schools, good High Street and lots to do: the canal, the beach, Brockhill County Park, the RH&D railway, loads of fab old buildings...)

It is a bit sleepier than Folkestone (mostly because it has a high proportion of elderly) but the demographics are shifting, as more and more families with kids move to the area. It is slightly more expensive than Folkestone in terms of property prices.

GazingAtStars Sat 29-Oct-16 08:14:52

Sandgate is an overpriced through road to folkestone masquerading as a village. Folkestone does have some dodgy herberts but it's fairly cheap to live and as a pp said the old high street is really nice. Hythe has a lot of old people and young families but it can be expensive to live there. Saltwood is very nice, also pricey and about 5-10 minute drive from hythe.

If you do go to folkestone, as a general rule the west end is much better than the east end (safer). You could also have a look at hawkinge which has lots of families, a few shops, couple of pubs and is only 10 minutes from middle of folkestone, within easy reach of the m20 and 30 minutes from Canterbury.

iiriselisa Sat 29-Oct-16 16:08:33

Thanks all!

I have left Whitstable and Broadstairs on the list too. Any experience on these?

DEMum101 Sat 29-Oct-16 16:13:23

I don't live on the Kent coast but have looked into moving there before and what always stopped me was the long commute to London. I know there is now a high speed train but that is presumably not accessible from everywhere and also is very expensive. Otherwise, I think you are looking at a minimum of 1.5 hours. Happy to be contradicted by people who actually live on the coast though.

iiriselisa Sat 29-Oct-16 16:26:43

Our situation is that one of us works from home and the other will be a full time parent for the foreseeable future. So we would only be going to London for leisure to begin with. You are right, the commute would be quite long and expensive. I like that the train is only 50 mins from Folkestone though compared with over an hour from the other places we've looked at. If commuting becomes something to worry about in the future I guess we could always move again.

Sickofthetantrums Sat 29-Oct-16 16:35:18

Have you considered Herne Bay? We moved here 6 years ago. It's lovely, much more affordable than Whitstable, but only 5 more minutes by train! easier parking, several good primary schools, the High School has a good reputation too. Close to Whitstable, Canterbury, Margate, lots of cafe culture, lots for children to do, nice pubs, good music scene, fantastic sea front! I don't think any of the coastal towns are bad places, to be fair, as long as you appreciate that many are still quite run down in places.

iiriselisa Sat 29-Oct-16 17:18:16

Yes, I have been recommended Herne Bay before! Thanks, will look into.

MiniMum97 Sat 29-Oct-16 18:34:49

How long does it take to commute from Whitstable or Herne Bay do you know? Was thinking of the same as you but thought commute times were much longer than an hour so ruled it out?

MiniMum97 Sat 29-Oct-16 18:35:06

To London that is of course!

DeathpunchDoris Sat 29-Oct-16 18:37:05

Faversham, Herne Bay,Whitstable are all lovely

iiriselisa Sat 29-Oct-16 18:49:14

They are longer than an hour. The fastest trains from Herne Bay/Whitstable to London St Pancras are 1h 20mins or a few mins less/more. As said we are lucky in that commuting won't be relevant in our situation but might be in the future. From Folkestone it takes less than an hour on the fast train which really isn't bad although is expensive. Slower trains of course cheaper which might do us for just those weekend London visits.

MrsBarlow Sat 29-Oct-16 20:58:58

We relocated to Hythe just over a year ago and love it here! It's great for families, plenty to do, beach is lovely - highly recommend it!

slinkysaluki Mon 31-Oct-16 15:55:20

I lived in Herne Bay fir 12 years and have just moved to semi rural outskirts. Herne bay is great if you have kids. Whitstable is very overpriced now but Herne Bay us getting that way so I'd get in there quick. Westgate is lovely and Birchington although the latter probably has an older population.

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