Thinking of moving to Tunbridge Wells - any advice on areas, schools?

(36 Posts)
midnightexpress Fri 11-Jun-10 21:29:10

Hi - we're thinking of relocating from Scotland to TW, because of work. We are both from the SE but don't really know the TW area. Does anyone have any advice about nice areas, both in TW itself and in surrounding villages? We have two pre-schoolers, one of whom is due to start school in Sept (Aug up here, so he might get a head start!), so primary schools are also a consideration. DP will be commuting into London so we'd like to be within striking distance of a station.


SallyGreenwood79 Wed 01-Jun-16 14:09:41

Just came across this thread so wanted to add my opinion smile

We moved from London to High Brooms just over a year ago. We are on a road off of Powder Mill (by the park). After being here a year, we can confidently say we couldn't be happier that we moved!

We decided to leave London as we wanted to be out of the city and also have good local schools for our children. My daughter is currently at St Mathews which is a great school and literally a minute walk from our home! My husband always gets a seat on the train and as the station is only a 5 minute walk from us, he doesn't need to worry about parking.

We were able to afford a lovely 3 bedroom property on the 'better' side of High Brooms which we couldn't have done so in the center of Tunbridge Wells! All in all, we think it's a great area!! smile

pollypink2014 Sun 31-Aug-14 19:34:08

Hi everyone ive just join god nose were my first message is as it I cant seem 2 find it lol, anyone I am considering moving 2 lakeside Tunbridge wells area but im finding it has mixed views having the same problem with the infants schools also any advice would b great as im one very confused mum right now, thks guy's

pollypink2014 Sun 31-Aug-14 19:27:12

Hi everyone I am considering moving to lakeside Tunbridge wells but from the information I have received on the area seems 2 have mixed views also found the same problem with the school could anyone please help as im one very confused mum

Lu13 Tue 09-Apr-13 02:04:42

I not let rumour put you off applying for Claremont. Around 36 of the 60 places were taken by siblings for this years intake but those lucky enough to secure the remaining places were not as twvillagemummy has already said all living in the playing field. We have two children at school there and it really is fantastic so take a chance on applying smile

Twvillagemummy Sat 06-Apr-13 20:11:09

We live in the village area and love it, the parking is really not that bad and certainly no worse than London where most of us have moved from. The areas friendly, safe, the shopping is spot on and good restaurants a plenty.

Claremont school is very sought after and for good reason. Don't listen to the rumours about sibling places only. Simply not true we got our son in for 2013 intake and we don't have a sibling in the school nor do we live in the playing field.

Katakus Sat 26-Jan-13 20:48:28

High Brooms is nice. Sherwood Estate is not in High Brooms. Make sure you are the on the Upper Gros Rd side of the railway track to avoid Sherwood school, but Sherwood school is being improved. Many High Brooms roads are in St John's school catchment, which is a good school. Commuted for years from High Brooms station and always got a seat. You probably won't get a big house or a drive as mostly Victoria semis or terraced but good if starting a family.

ENWsixer Tue 08-Jan-13 17:14:49

Just a word of warning to anyone thinking of moving to the village area of Tunbridge Wells. The parking is an absolute nightmare. It will become the bane of your lives. You will be forced to park miles away. People move after a while because of it. It really is that bad.
And forget about trying to get your little ones into Claremont. Just forget it. No chance.
Nice area though.
That's it. You've been warned.

RubyMay30 Sat 01-Dec-12 18:43:17

Hi All

We are also one of the many people thinking of bringing the family to TW from London and would love some ideas on schools. We are looking at houses that I think would be st barnubus or St. John's anyone got any feedback on these schools and the catchment areas? Would be v v good to get some ideas as we need to make some decisions v quickly!

Ta x

mummystillme Wed 18-Jul-12 11:19:11

Have you thought about living in Tunbridge Wells and trying the village schools for spare places. I heard there are reception places still available at Fordcombe (west of Tunbridge Wells) for 2012 entry. Best of both worlds that way!

PeaceForAll Fri 06-Jul-12 11:31:28

We moved to Sherwood road from London 4yrs ago and we think its a very good place to live I really dont undertsand why people think the way they do about Sherwood rd. A lot of people said negative things about Sherwood when we made the decision to move here but the fact is that none of them had ever lived in the area so they themselves had no clue of how good sherwood actually is. Sherwood just has a bad name but it worked in our favour as we got good value for our money when we bought the house. I would highly reccomend all area of Tunbridge Wells. Me and my life travel for work to London everyday and we always get seats on the train and free parking outside High Brooms station.

fulltimeworkingmumtoone Wed 27-Jun-12 18:13:30

We have just moved from St Albans to TW and moved to Southborough/St Johns side and am happy with the area so far. Whilst I first wondered about the shabby appearance of some of the shops along the London Rd in Southborough, I've come to realise that those shops are very convenient!

Husband commutes into London from HB, he gets a seat each day on a train around 8am (8.04?) and more often than not gets a seat on a train before 8am (depending on where he stands on the platform!) I commuted for a coupl e of months after we first moved and always had a seat on a train around 7.30ish, and if I didn't have a seat, the school kids all got off at Tonbridge (the next station) and I had a seat for the rest of the journey.

Metalhead Mon 25-Jun-12 16:47:45

We lived in Sherwood for 2 years, and it's really not as bad as everybody makes it out to be! We never had any probelms with noise, anti-social behaviour or anything like that. The Green Way/Oakwod Rise end is definitely the nicer part of Sherwood I'd say.

Admittedly Sherwood Primary has a bad Ofsted report, but all the ugly social housing blocks are being demolished over the next 2-3 years and replaced partly with private properties as well as some new social housing, so that might bring some improvements for the school as well.

Re: trains from High Brooms, I found getting the 8.04am train usually meant getting a seat, and you still get into London bridge just before 9am.

flatpackhamster Mon 25-Jun-12 11:04:34

The Sherwood estate, in High Brooms, is considered to be the bad area.

PanicMode Sun 24-Jun-12 08:57:14

It depends which side of High Brooms Road you are on if you buy on Powder Mill Lane. If, as you look at a map, HBR runs broadly north/south, then on the eastern side, you would be in St Matt's catchment, which isn't great. If you buy on the western side of the road, I think you'd be in St John's catchment, which is a good school.

If you go earlier than peak to London, you'd probably get a seat at HB - it is easier to do so at TW station though!

HousesearchKent Sun 24-Jun-12 02:51:40

We have the same issue. We are both not English (Irish/German) and currently live in Essex. We would like to move to tw or tonbridge. We found a house we liked in High Brooms, but it seems it is not a good area. The estate agent told us that High Brooms would be an upcoming area as more and more people would buy there. We did not feel it was that bad by walking around there (except that it there are not really any shops there), but we constantly read these messages of avoiding High Brooms and now we are worried. We want to set up a family sometime soon and the Ofsted report for the primary school next to the house we like (Powder Mill Lane) is not really great.
We cannot afford buying a house in walking distance to tw train station, so it needs to be High Brooms (we both work in London).
Does anyone know which streets in High Brooms should be avoided? What about the upper part of Powder Mill Lane? Is there a high crime rate?
And is it possible to get a seat in High Brooms when you commute earlier to London than the peak times?
Thanks a lot.

casey1 Mon 04-Jun-12 18:10:25

Hi everyone, we intend to move to tunbridge wells from cork in next 6wks. I have one dd and a dh! My dd is due to start in yr 1 in sept, but obviously we can not apply for schools until we have an address and also have missed all application deadlines so far. Any school I like seems to be so oversubscribed, and my fear is we will get offered unsatisfatory schools. Was going to try to rent near one of my choices and then play the waiting game(for someone to leave if ever) I have heard the good schools have little chance of in yr places coming up. Another idea was to try one of the village schools but really wanted to live in tw itself. My husband needs to be near station for work. Feel quite helpless. All advice welcome. p.s lived in london for 16yrs so familiar with catchment areas etc. DD is baptised but I don't like sound of sharing classes in St Aug. Also have 2 small dogs which is proving tricky with finding hse. Don't mean to sound moaney, any tips?

PanicMode Wed 17-Nov-10 21:28:29

mousedoggy -just out of interest, if you are in St John's, why not use St John's school? We are in St John's and moved DS from St Augustines to St Johns, where DD goes and our others will go in due course; we're very happy with it so far!

St James' -have friends with children there and they seem to be mostly happy with the school.

Claremont - reception teacher for my friend has not been fantastic with a couple of pastoral issues, and they find the 'competitive' parent atmosphere of the playground/school a bit challenging, but generally are happy with it and like the non-religious affiliation of the school.

mousedoggy Wed 17-Nov-10 13:42:37

kickassangel - know this post was back in the summer - but I would be very interested in finding out the 'insider' view of the local primary schools in Tunbridge Wells.
We currently rent in St John's area - but were considering trying to move into either the St James or Claremont catchment (if a house came up between now and next Nov) so that we can get our son into one of those.
That said, I've since heard reports that the reception teacher at Claremont isn't that great - and that they don't really have great sports facilities etc sp maybe we should think about staying put or considering other areas?

gingernutlover Mon 12-Jul-10 08:26:09

ooops that sounded like a right old rant! What I really mean is that IME it is best to come and have a look rather than just make assumptions about schools/areas

gingernutlover Mon 12-Jul-10 08:24:24

I've lived in tunbridge wells for 30 years my dd starts school this sept.

You will have trouble getting a place for reception this september at most schools. We would have got into st johns last year ( as we live about 0.35 miles away) but this year the catchment almost halved apparently! I think a lot of people ended up getting "placed" at schools they didnt even select on their forms, it has been a very very full year for reception places with several schools having extra reception classes allowed. Having said that I was lucky enough to get one of our choices for dd and although it's not one of the schools mentioned on this thread - I am very happy about her going there. Ofsted reports, league tables and how much houses cost in the same road do not guarantee your child a happy education.

Oh and btw, there is nothing wrong with high brooms or southborough, both are really nice places to live (give or take a few roads wink). Where you can move to will really depend on what your budget for a house is. To live within guaranteed catchment of the so called "better" schools, you will pay a huge amount of money.

zerominuszero Sat 10-Jul-10 08:36:54

My main advice is to try to avoid living in the Sherwood area. It starts at High Brooms station at its southerly point and runs up towards Pembury at the North. Although having said that, Pembury itself might be worth looking at. I grew up there and had a reasonable idyllic time - that was in the 80s/90s. Only issue is that it's a drive away from a train station.

If you're on a budget, Southborough is cheaper, walking distance from High Brooms station... though not as nice as TW proper, obviously.

Drusilla Fri 18-Jun-10 12:52:41

I lived just outside TW for 30 years and worked in central TW for 10, but moved away prior to having DS so don't know a lot about schools. However, to echo what Panicmode said re catchment areas etc, I do know a couple of people who live in Langton who couldn't get into the primary there and children got to Rusthall instead (no considered nearly as "nice" as Langton). Don't write off High Brooms, is not as nice as the village in TW, but there are worse palces to live. If you get on the train at HB though, you will never get a seat!

Also, as others said, TW is hugely overcrowded, the traffic is a nightmare and a family sized house within walking distance of station, or in one of the nearby villges with a station such as Frant, is going to cost you a fortune. I go back for visits, but wouldn't live there again for all the tea in China.

PanicMode Fri 18-Jun-10 12:40:46

Nurseries are very hard to get into - so be aware that you may not get your choice of days/hours.

School catchments are shrinking - we live on a "banker" of a road for St John's School and this year 3 children didn't get in - the first time in 15 years apparently. I have a new neighbour who has moved down from London and has had to put her child's name down for the private schools because all of the children who didn't get in were offered Sherwood, which does not have a good reputation.

Claremont - you need to be very close to the school indeed - and beware the measuring points - the EAs will tell you that you are in the catchment, but they measure from the back of the school so check before you buy. St James and Bishops Down added an extra reception class this year - Southborough hasn't and has 3 extra chilren over the legal maximum following parental appeals.

The traffic in TW is terrible so I agree with everyone else who says to buy close to the station/town so that you can walk. We're all very excited that we're getting John Lewis and M&S out of town stores opening in the autumn, but the traffic is DIRE on the estate there.

midnightexpress Mon 14-Jun-10 13:55:01

Oh thanks so much kickassangel! Yes, we're not too bothered about him starting in Sept, so long as we could get him a p/t nursery place (I work freelance, from home). In fact one of the advantages of moving south is that he'd go from being one of the younger children in the year up here to being one of the oldest (as will ds2), because of the way the school year works in Scotland. He'll be 5 in November, so would have to start in Jan I think.

I too miss London - don't want to live there, with children, but it would be good to take advantage of all that it has to offer as they get older, and we still have lots of friends there. The Burrell Collection is fabulous, but it ain't the British Museum.

Will maybe take you up on your offer of help nce we've had a wee look round the area. Thanks again.

kickassangel Mon 14-Jun-10 13:11:15

also, would it really matter if ds didn't get into a school immediately? loads of countries don't start kids til they're older, so you could HE/take him to playgroups/nursery. He doesn't HAVE to go til he's actually 5, so if it's a case of the right house & then waiting for a school place, could be a consideration?

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