To be considering a move to Kent / Chichester but no idea which one? :((46 Posts)
Can anyone please advise?
I'm new to this site, confused to the max and would love some outsiders opinions.
I currently live on the outskirts of sw London.
Obviously, loud, fast paced life with expensive rents and good schools.
Our son is due to start his school nursery this year however for the last month I've felt that it might be better for all of us to just get out now before he starts reception next year.
A slower, friendlier, greener happy childhood is what I'm imagining, little villages where people know each other, smaller schools that aren't all heavily over subscribed.
BUT I don't drive so would need to be able to get to a town and will the children be travelling back to London all over again when it becomes time to find a job etc.
Half of me thinks I'd be hugely benefiting them by making the move now, the other half thinks maybe I'm hindering them.
Has anyone done it?
And does anyone live in either area above that can shed some light?
I should add that while the primary choice is amazing here in kent (I have the choice of two outstanding and two good schools that I know I'll get a place at based on catchment) secondary is still very much grammar. There is a new free school for secondary which is good but every other option is either grammar or secondary modern. The secondary moderns are god awful.
There does seem to be quite a lot for teens here as the uni students are catered for a lot
Oops well hopefully it's been useful to someone other than OP
My DD goes away with the girls for weekends clubbing, London, Cardiff, Bournemouth etc. Brighton is good if they can sort a lift. For young adults it is a bit dead but that is good in a way. She still has her fun but without the temptation to do it every weekend.
For older teen there are a lot of house parties and beach parties in the good weather.
Hi just to let you know, Chichester Boys and Chichester Girls schools have merged to become Chichester High. I agree that the CE Bishop Luffa is a great school, and have applied for my ten year old to go there. I am enjoying living in Chichester and have only been here for a few months. I got here almost by accident, but that is another story. My little one seems to really love it so I may have to stay as I don't want to unsettle her again. My teenaged daugther things it is 'okay', although she didn't want to move, but she is off to university in two years and may start to like it soon.
I think it is very pretty, and after living in East London for 25 years, I am enjoying the clean streets, nice shops and find people really pleasant.
Chichester schools are no longer single sex schools only. Chi boys and girls are now one school. The free school is excellent too or so I have been told. I've never seen an addict, or at least not one you would recognise as one. I've seen a few drunks but no more than anywhere else.
I can't comment on Kent but chichester is lovely. Lots of good shops and restaurants. Plenty going on for kids. It is lovely when teenage kids can spend the day on the beach.
Chichester is full of London escapees so it is fairly liberal. Brighton is close enough for clubbing nights out, otherwise you are stuck with sheikhs in bognor which is a bit of a dive. Plenty of wine bars etc in Chichester though. Also a theatre and an art gallery if you want a bit of culture.
There are loads of open spaces, farmland and woods. Arundel is close by with the castle, lido and Swanbourne lakes. It is a lovely place for kids to grow up.
We moved from London to a village a couple of miles outside of Chichester a few years ago. I miss London, but it is lovely for the children here, our village school is rated outstanding, but ut's about so much more than that, the school is the heart of our village and every child genuinely seems to love going to school each day. We have no idea what we will do for secondary school though, the two better ones are church schools, our village one is still to prove itself, but there are a lot of options. We love living a five minute drive from the sea and Chichester is a lovely town, but it's a long way into London when we want to see friends. I can't say i've noticed any rise in crime and never felt unsafe.
I went to University in Kent, some parts are lovely but others are pretty grim. I fon't agree with grammars so that would be a sticking point for me.
I live a few miles from Chi, having moved down from London. Chi is a god resource, but expensive housing & quite elderly. Public transport not good, and the London train route is a milk run at best - when they are not (endlessly) on strike.
Your difficulty in moving out will be your not driving, although I suppose you could cycle - cycle routes around here pretty good. There are some good schools - my village has an outstanding primary & there are 2 secondary schools nearby 1 is catholic. I think they are both well-regarded.
In your Situation I would focus a lot on schools & have a good think about how you are going to get around. Housing in my area quite affordable, as my village is not a South Downs brick & flint village, but very mixed housing. Good luck!
Chichester is lovely thousand times better than Kent
Would imagine that in the 2 1/2 years since she started this thread the OP has made a decision and doesn't need more suggestions.
I'm dying to know where the OP might live in the outskirts of SW London that could be described as loud and hectic .
Kent is our nearest countryside and whilst I like going there for walks etc I'm not sure I would want to live there, it feels quite cut off. For us, for example, to visit family we would have to go around half of London which would be an absolute bore for everyone, so I think we would end up rather isolated.
Plus, and I daresay this is rather sweeping of me, chunks of Kent I always think of as being BNP/UKIP heartlands, which I really couldn't be doing with.
I live in a village in the Weald and it's fantastic, but I wouldn't recommend it if you don't drive - scanty public transport which is expensive and doesn't link up to the railway. Nothing whatsoever on Sundays or after 7pm. Some buses only run once in one direction once a week.
That said, my village has a lot of parents who don't drive at all and don't seem to be bothered.
Tunbridge Wells is not cheap!!
Anywhere north of Ashford will be the same price rentwise as you are currently paying (assuming you want good primary catchment). Ashford is cheaper because there's a surplus of housing stock built on the back of the Eurostar terminal before they moved services to Ebbsfleet.
I don't particularly like Kent until you get out into the villages / towards the coast. The area from Tenterden down to Romney Marsh is lovely but pricey and you are less well connected if you don't drive.
There are good comprehensives where I am despite grammar system.
I live 5 miles from Chichester, right on the beach. Although the beach is busy during school holidays, it is not known for drunken debauchery.
The schools seem okay, I'm an incomer & have no kids, but my friends children have gone through WSCC school system & are very polite & both now in FE.
The quality of life here is astounding & unsurprisingly it is water sports that predominate ; surfing, paddle boarding, sailing, windsurfing etc.
Chichester Theatre is fabulous, Chi itself is a very low key city, shopping is sufficient & there are some lovely country/estuary pubs to visit that are child friendly. It is easy for kids to get about by bus & every teenager I know who wants to work during school holidays or at weekends is gainfully employed (subject to age, but usually 15+).
I'm an Essex girl, have lived in some beautiful parts of the country - and Islington for a few years. I have lived on the South Coast for 8 years and I think it is s wonderful place to bring up a family.
We moved from South London to a village in Kent (neither of us drive although DH is learning) and we love it. Small village, much cheaper than London, lots of space, choice of outstanding schools. In the summer it's a sick trip to the beach, amazing scenery. I love that we're more in touch with nature - we get to see the baby swans growing up etc. I like village life too but we can just pop into London for a day trip if we want.
Generally I'm ok with trains but it is awkward sometimes when there's a birthday party in the next village and the bus goes once a day so you're forced into a Cab.
I'd choose carefully though, some of the larger towns I don't like so much (Dover, Ashford to name a few) although the surrounding villages around Ashford are lovely.
I have just moved to Chichester and like it very much
Still very confused
Anyone have any further advice?
I can't remember if it's the 60 or 66 but it goes from Midhurst to Bognor via Chichester every 10 minutes . I don't know what time the service finishes though. There are quite a lot of buses in the Chi area, I presume because so many people are older. I think that the communities aren't particularly closed as so many areas have been built up over the last 30 years so lots of people are incomers.
I grew up in Chichester, and now live in Brighton but have family in Kent. Chichester is quite twee, but doesn't feel very small and the choice for schools is an excellent school but is C of E and you have to go to church, or single sex. I didn't really enjoy being a teenager or young adult there and it's not villagey at all.
Have you considered East Sussex? Still commutable and some good schools. Ringmer has quite a good secondary school not too big, with surrounding villages such as Glynde, Halland. There are also nice villages going towards Eastbourne such as Jevington and Alfriston. When we have finished renovating our home in Brighton we would like to go out this way.
I'm sure there are lovely bits of Kent, but I only know Romney Marsh/Ashford which is not particularly villagey but some nice bits.
We moved away from Ashford 4 years ago. Best thing we ever did. The only good thing about Ashford was the boys grammar school (girls was always heavily over-subscribed).
You want little villages where everyone knows each-other (that doesn't describe Ashford or Chichester). If you find one, you will be considered an incomer for at least 40 years. I can't think of anywhere with smaller schools that aren't oversubscribed either.
Also if you can't drive you will be stuck in the village because most have one bus in the morning going out, and one coming back in the evening.
The big issue with choosing between Kent and Sussex is Secondary education.
Kent still has grammar schools. Sussex does not.
Sussex has a lot of very good comprehensive schools. Kent has a lot of good grammar schools and a lot of godawful secondary modern schools (I expect there are some good ones too).
Basically - if you think your DC will definitely sail through the 11+, then it doesn't matter whether you pick Kent or Sussex.
If you are not sure that they will, you are better off with Sussex.
And of course it is impossible to tell right now, isn't it?
Have a look at Maidstone and the surrounding villages . The Catholic secondary school ( St Simon Stock) is quite highly regarded and the Grammars are excellent if you go that way . I would recommend Grove Green ,Bearsted , Weavering on one side of town or Allington on the other side . Faversham is lovely as is Canterbury but I'm not sure how good the schools are if you don't get into the grammar .
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