Tunbridge Wells or surrounding villages(12 Posts)
I'm looking for some advice about Tunbridge Wells, if anyone knows the area? We're moving there soon from Richmond upon Thames because of the good commute for my husband to Charing Cross and the grammar schools. While I'd like to live in the centre of TW and be in walking distance to station/shops/pubs/schools etc, my husband would like the better house and garden in a surrounding village. But I don't want to be isolated. Here in RuT we live in walking distance to loads of shops/pubs and an easy bus journey to even more and I love it. Does anyone know of any large/vibrant villages around TW with a good primary, a good pub, and an easy bus journey into TW for my husband's train and my sanity??
(Children are 6 and 10.)
Hi Paula, Tunbridge Wells is a great place to live!
There are some lovely villages round about but none I would say have everything you are looking for - specifically the 'easy bus journey' as the traffic is dire in and out of TW in the mornings and evenings. I think Groombridge over the border in East Sussex might fit (am not expert but think there is a bus to TW station) but then it becomes more complicated at secondary school level as you are no longer in Kent. It might be too quiet for you as has a rural feel, but would be lovely at weekends if you are outdoorsy as there is riding, a cycle path, steam railway etc. Langton Green is closer to TW and bigger with great school, but less rural.
The villages with a great primary schools and pubs (Speldhurst, Langton, Groombridge) are not cheaper than central TW. Penshurst and Bidborough are lovely but expensive too and really closer to Tonbridge (which is better for commuting).
Re. catchment areas, if you have girls and want the grammar school, best to stay in town. With boys it doesn't matter too much. We live centrally and both have/do commute. It's a really long schlep to London, even if you can walk to the station. I would hesitate to add a bus journey on especially if five days a week. Good luck with your move!
I echo everything Paula has said. We are in TW and love it - we are actually in St John's so two of my children take less than 2 minutes to walk to their respective secondary schools and my younger two are a ten minute walk to their primary. The traffic in the rush hour is horrendous and I love the fact that I don't need to get in a car to get them to school. Both DH and I have commuted into London - he still does - the service varies between bad and appalling at the moment - so don't count on the journey begin the advertised 50 minutes! But where we are is brilliant as the children's friends are (mostly) within walking distance, the sports centre is close, town is easy to access on foot and by car and we can walk to open fields in ten minutes. I am a country mouse really and if I had the freedom to, would live in the middle of a big field with no-one else around - but for the moment, with children, it's fabulous NOT having to drive them everywhere and have everything on our doorstep. There are lots of London 'expats' so it's a well trodden path too. Good luck!
Sorry to hijack your thread Paula but I am following with interest as we are also currently researching areas that we may move to, we're currently in Australia but my DH is looking at starting a new job soon back in London. We lived in Islington before we left the UK 7 years ago, my family are in the south west but other than that we have no ties and can move anywhere with a reasonable commute for my DH into London city. We do have 2 small children however and would want to balance family life and commute time. Is the commute to London particularly horrendous from TW? Is it easy to get a seat and apart from the snow how reliable does the service tend to be?
Good luck with your move Paula, everything I have read so far does make TW sound like a gorgeous place to live.
TW is lovely. Lived there for years and commuted. There is a better train service, and shorter, to Tonbridge. This is not so picturesque a town but it has the river etc and The Judd School is excellent. There is a station at Hildenborough too but these will be "stopping" trains and no quicker. Sevenoaks has even quicker journeys and we lived there for a while. DH commuted from there (we moved there from TW for the shorter journey as he worked very long hours).
You have a better chance of a seat at Tunbridge Wells than High Brooms (where DH walks to) but it's still v busy at rush hour. For a shorter commute you need to be looking at Tonbridge and Sevenoaks as Fadingmemory has said.
Hello, we live in Langton Green and love it. Moved from London a few years ago. Langton and Speldhurst are lovely villages and I've never felt isolated here. Such a positive change to our lifestyle - large garden, lovely dog walks, great schools, slightly more naive way of life for the children. Our children get together with friends for a camp out or pizza night rather than hanging around the town centre aimlessly (for now at least!).
Two downsides are 1 we use the car MUCH more - every play date, evening activity, proper shopping trip etc and 2 the commute feels long sometimes - there are two buses from the station to Langton but they don't always meet trains. We sometimes drive part way to the station then walk across the common which is a heavenly way to start the day! It's also walkable in 30 mins but uphill home is tough.
Even to cut the commute and be able to walk everywhere, I don't think I'd be as happy in TW town. Parking for residents can be a problem and traffic snarls up easily if there's an incident somewhere.
Thanks Nelling and Panic (I've read lots of your helpful TW posts when searching on the subject Panic). How long is your commute door to door Nelling? Which part of London do you need to get to?
Almost an hour on train to Charing Cross - add on 30mins to walk to station or 10-20mins to get bus instead. Problem with buses are one just goes once per hour and the other one takes a long route and stops further from our house. I find either ok for going to work if I plan ahead but frustrating coming home - always seem to wait around for it no matter which train. Some neighbours cycle - but many drive at least part way or get lifts. Some neighbours use the "executive coach" service straight into the city. I hate coach travel so haven't tried it myself! Best plan is to negotiate some work from home days
Thank you so much for all of your posts... I think I am the winner and TW itself is the better choice! :-)
Glad you've made a decision - it's a great place to be. One thing to think about if you are going to go down the state secondary route - the application date for the Kent Test (11+) is June or July in the summer term of Year 5 - not sure which year your 10 year old is currently in, and if you are wanting them to sit the 11+ in September, you may have to have some tutoring (if you haven't already done so) as most children here start in Y4 (if not before)...!
Just moved to TW from Kingston. I have to say, a great kids café called Pavillion just opened in Langton green, so it would be easy for you to meet local mums there. Where have you moved to in the end? X
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