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Whitstable, Broadstairs, Deal, Canterbury, etc - Is our dream possible?

(8 Posts)
bobbyperu1 Sun 30-Dec-12 12:52:39

Hi all, Merry Christmas and HNY!. This is my first ever post on MN. I have read lots of threads about living in the above places but none which answers all of our questions so I'm hoping someone in the know will be able to help us out.
We've been living abroad for quite some time and have a 2yr old and a 5 month old. We'll probably have one more at some point. I am a SAHM at the moment but would like to return to being a fine artist when DCs are at primary school. We have family in London and various parts of Kent. Below is the kind of life we dream about, probably in one of the places above - is it possible?

1. DH wants to give up his corporate job to be around musicians and writers, I want to be around artists (all ages). Also around some people with young children similar ages to ours.
2. Would be nice to be able to make a few good friends to have dinner parties with and go to the pub every now and then - but in order to follow our artistic ambitions we'll be living cheaply so can't spend too much on this.
3. We both have good degrees, have lived in a number of different countries and DH grew up in London. Most of DH's current friends have a slightly scruffy and unconventional side to them (though all very nice!) - he does tend to like quirky people of all kinds, especially those who don't make this part of their trendy image.
4. We are thinking of the above places. But we will need a 3-4 bed house with a garden and we don't want to go above 250k if we can help it.
5. Obviously we would prefer good primary schools.
6. Would be good to be near Canterbury or within striking distance of London as we are a bit scared of 2 things: 1.) We get lonely or bored in a sleepy place in the winter (we think we won't but how well do we really know ourselves??) 2.) The music/art thing doesn't work out or something unexpected happens and DH has to give up the dream and get back to a corporate life-sentence.
7. Although we like places such as Hastings for just us, we're a little hesitant to go for too much 'edginess' with the kids around...perhaps we're getting old.
8. Good, cheap, local, healthy food is important to us!

All in all it's a bit scary as basically we're planning to give up a very secure but boring life in order to follow our passions as we really feel life is short (sounds corny but deaths in the family making us reassess our lives, and the nagging voices just won't go away!)

So all we want is perfection really! Is there anyone out there who has recently done something similar in any of the above places (or somewhere else you might suggest)? How is it going?! Any tips?

Thanks so much in advance!

bobbyperu1 Mon 31-Dec-12 17:33:19

anyone??!! smile

The39Steps Sat 02-Feb-13 20:09:35


Bit late in the day but in answer to your question, you could consider Broadstairs. I don't know about Deal but I suspect you won't get anything within budget in Whitstable or Canterbury.

Broadstairs is on the fast train to London too. Artistically, Margate is where it's all happening round here, it's not far away but if Hastings is a bit too edgy for you, then I suspect Margate will also be. But it's a cycle ride (20 mins) or 5 mins train/10 mins car. There is a thriving art scene in Margate with pop up galleries, loads of studios and lots and lots going on.

I'm not an artist but I work freelance and we moved to Broadstairs a couple of years ago from London. I did think we'd get very bored and feel a bit cut off but actually it doesn't really shut down in winter here at all and there's something very wonderful about the beaches and the town in the bleak midwinter.

Love it and so glad we're here. The light is amazing, the skies are magical and I get to see the sea every single morning when I wake up. Life doesn't get a lot better smile

Knightingale Mon 04-Feb-13 10:52:49

Sorry this is such a late answer to your post.
I wonder if you have thought about faversham. I only moved here a year ago but really love it. I also wanted somewhere where the arts had a strong presence and really think have found it. Takes an hour and ten minutes train to London, whitstable and Canterbury a ten/ fifteen minute drive and my children are settled into lovely schools. I love the town centre too . Just big enough. Have met a wide range of artists and musicians none of whom follow that path as a way of enhancing how trendy they are. Maybe try and look at the creak creative gallery on line... Think that would give you some idea . Anyway hope you find somewhere you love...

sarahmorgan Tue 05-Feb-13 13:42:52

Hi there
yes you can have all in whitstable! we moved from london almost 3 years ago with our daughter who is now 3 and a half.
We are designers,my husband does still commute to london but only a couple of days a week and he has managed to set up his own brand because our mortgage is lower living here. i wanted to be a stay at home mum while my daughter is small and i have got into lots of voluntary things here to do with creativity and kids....and i hope that i can expand on this and make some money out of it as my daughter grows up....its very creative and friendly here, lots of attachment parents, lots of outside free play, lots of similar minded people. Our social life in the winter is mostly dinner at other friends with kids or drinks in the pub, walking on the beach, in the woods, etc. In the summer its just fantastic, the beach life is magical! Its a fantastic place for kids, a town, so all amenities on your doorstep but also a place where you can really let your kids run free.....have a more natural outdoors life!
I think you could get a 3 bed for £250,000 or us you probably won't be right near the beach but its a 10 minute walk to anywhere in whitstable really.
on the train journey my husband was used to squeezed journeys on the overland into central london, but the train from here is fast 1hour 10mins at rush hour and relaxing as he always gets a seat and its lovely scenery for much of it. The only downside is that its very expensive!
On the music front there are a lot of musicians here and a great gig scene and also local community drumming bands and things like that...
i will shut up now, sorry, as you can hear, i love it here!
good luck with your decisions!

LaurenK81 Tue 26-Feb-13 20:50:51

Very late, we moved from London to Canterbury in October and currently renting to find ideal places to buy.
£250k won't stretch very far in Canterbury esp if want the "good" areas and in catchment for the ofsted good primary schools.

Meeting lovely people is very easy (we didn't know anyone at all before moving down) it's a v friendly city!

wannabestressfree Tue 26-Feb-13 21:12:34

Another Broadstairs girl here.......... I live 2 minutes from the beach. I really is a lovely place and commutable if needs be. Let us know what you decided

justonemorecupthen Sat 13-Apr-13 23:36:20

Go Broadstairs go!!

I have lived in loads of different parts of the UK and really do feel very lucky to be where I am now.

Broadstairs is a very pretty seaside town with bagfuls of character, good amenities, an excellent choice of lots of great schools, primary and secondary, superb restaurants. It is the priciest part of Thanet but, IMO, well worth it.

Good luck!

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