Found a school - now where to live?(10 Posts)
So the move from London to Kent is taking shape - We have been very lucky and found a school in Tonbridge ( phew!)but now I really need your advice please!Do I live in Tonbridge to avoid the commute or live in Tunbridge Wells( where we want to live!) and just suck it up and do the drive?[hmmm] I would really appreciate any advice as I believe the traffic is quite heavy?
I think you need to ask yourself what will be the worst scenario?
You living away from where your ideal location is
Or you living where your location is and commute being a pain.
For me when we move down (7 years ago almost) for me the commute was worth doing compared to what it would be like to not live where I wanted to live. So we picked school we liked adn do the commute daily (however nto as far as the Tonbridge - TW's is.
I admit there are days where I groan over it but we like the school and love our home.
For me location was all important
for others the long commute might be it.
Thank you Frikadellen - yes,I guess I have some thinking to do!!but probably living where we want to be is the answer...DD and DS can always catch a bus to school when they are a few years older and it's not forever anyway!
As a child I lived in one village and went to school in another, and really disliked the fact I couldn't just pop round the corner to play with friends. It wouldn't just be school runs, but clubs and play dates etc.
We are just along the road from our daughter's school and in the last few weeks I picked up a friends daughter on the way in as their car broke down, and twice a friend did the run for me when my back went. The further out you are, the harder that is.
There are some lovely areas in Tonbridge, you'll get more for your money and you can always whizz into TW for shops etc.
Why are you so keen on TW over Tonbridge?
Tunbridge Wells gets half the trains that Tonbridge does as the line splits and the other half go on to Ashford so commuting is much easier from Tonbridge (you can also go straight through to Victoria on the Redhill line when things are messed up. T/W you would need to change.
Tonbridge high street has seen better days but there is a good sainsburys, biggest monsoon in the area, lovely butchers, good independent bookshop and coffee shops galore as well as a decent sized waitrose. Everything else is either north farm (nr Pembury half way between T and T/W or Tunbridge Wells or Sevenoaks or Bluewater.
Transport wise the traffic heading north from T/W is horrendous you are competing with the school buses coming up to the grammars. Its just as bad heading south as you are competing with the buses for the 2 church schools and T/W boys grammar. What can be less than a 10 minute journey in the evening can take 45 mins most days
Housing is cheaper in Tonbridge - look at the surrounding villages, Leigh is lovely but on the cross line, Bidborough, Penshurst both lovely too as is Weald (That may come under Sevenoaks for secondary catchment, Penshurst and Bidborough come under T/W catchment for secondaries) There is a lot of good stock within walking distance of the station and the top of the high street around the Hilden prep schools is still doable on foot.
We have the Medway, the castle and a river festival with dragonboat racing, a huge park, swimming pool and lots going on for children.
I'm rather biased as you can tell.
I live between TW and Tonbridge so believe I can contribute something. The truth is that TW is more upmarket than Tonbridge (if you don't believe me compare house prices between the two) and the locals do call Tonbridge "Scumbridge". However, I think it is unfair. The commute from Tonbridge to London is vastly superior than TW. There is also a lovely park and Castle in Tonbridge and they even have a Waitrose (something TW does not!). I think that Tonbridge could possibly be a bit friendlier too as I have heard lots of talk about "TW yummy mummies" and the locals being a bit - for want of a better word - "snooty".
We spent a wonderful eighteen years living next to Southborough Common - quick get away to Tonbridge in the car, better trains from there than just the Tunbridge Wells line. And our dd when in Year 6 put her favourite occupation as tree climbing
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I grew up in Tonbridge and went to secondary school in Tunbridge wells, it wasn't a nice commute, especially by bus, my little brother is now in the same situation I was and I gather transport hasn't improved much. Even if you are driving it the traffic can be a nightmare.
Personally I would look at houses in Tonbridge.
I drive from TW to Tonbridge every day for DD's school. Can be a pain some mornings, but if you are on the right side of town it isn't so bad (20 mins each way). Now and then it will be grim, but not unbearable. Also, from that side it is easy to drive to Tonbridge if you have a commute to London, as the trains are better than from TW.
Personally I prefer that to living in Tonbridge as TW has much nicer shops and facilities on hand, but you do get less house for your money...
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