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Sevenoaks - what can you tell me?

(10 Posts)
Doozie Sun 15-May-11 20:12:11

Hello MNers,

I'm looking at Sevenoaks for a potential place to move to and buy a house. Does anyone live there and can tell me about it? What are the best areas, what are the schools like (I've a baby and a toddler); how is the commute into London; is there a decent high street?! Anything you can tell me would be much appreciated.

Thanks very much!

MirandaGoshawk Sun 15-May-11 20:13:21

It used to have seven oaks.

Sorry, that's all I know. smile

LIZS Sun 15-May-11 20:18:29

Been through it a few times. Nice High street (Fat Face, Gap etc), restaurants and so on. Also out of town shopping area near Riverhead and nto too far to Bluewater or Ashford outlet centre. Town quite sprawling. Train to London not too bad and easy for M25.

LadyMacnet Sun 15-May-11 21:43:42

Very very very expensive. You probably already know that the commute is into London Bridge / Waterloo / Charing Cross and is fast about 25 mins I think. There is one state secondary called Knole Academy which is an amalgamation of two single sex high schools which were / are known as Wildernesse and Bradborne. Few want their children to go to these schools but 11+ schools are all in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells and are potentially out of catchment depending on the school and the gender of the child - but not necessarily. I don't know anything about the primary schools. There is also the private Sevenoaks School.

S' oaks like a lot of W Kent is uber middle class and imo very dull. The high street has an ok range of boutiques and clothes stores and coffee places and a Waitrose. Bluewater is about 15 minutes away.

N1MTB Mon 16-May-11 11:53:43

V good commute if you want to live outside London and work in the city or West End. Sevenoaks itself used to be quite boring (although I haven't been there for a good 10 years so I daresay it's more interesting now!) but it's got beautiful countryside around it. Parts of the town are very pretty - nice cricket green for example, I think (if it's still there - it's near a nice pub I used to drink at when under age.....).

If you can face adding to your commute (by 10-15 mins) and want to live just outside it, there are some lovely villages. There a quite a few new build "executive" homes that are very grand and expensive, that are near the station. There are some late Victorian/Edwardian semis and some 1920s/1930s semis (and detached I think) near the station.

I don't think state primary schools are all brilliant but some seem good, especially in the villages near it. The private schools in Sevenoaks are very good.

Secondary school options are good as Lady Macnet says. Grammar schools in Tonbridge are the nearest - as I'm sure you know, they are excellent and some of the best state schools in the country. I went to the girls one on and off for a bit - lots of children from Sevenoaks went to the Tonbridge grammar schools then but I know catchment areas have decreased - worth a call to Kent county council I think though, especially as there are no grammars in Sevenoaks so if a Sevenoaks child passes the 11+, that is their nearest option. And Sevenoaks school itself is fab if you have the money and a very academic child. They just do the International Bac instead of A-levels now (which I think is better for most children but depends on the child). It's very sporty, musical and has great drama facilities (I also went there for a while!). Or Tonbridge School if you have a boy and want a very traditional education (and have pots of cash - it's v v expensive, even for day pupils - even more so than Sevenoaks).

We're in the process of trying to find somewhere to move to aswell at the moment and considered it. But, personally, I'd prefer to go further out, to Tunbridge Wells and have more of a commute than live in Sevenoaks, I think... (Prettier and more lively, I think, better state primary schools, option of the T-Wells and Tonbridge grammars plus good private schools at secondary level if you want/can afford that.) However, we're going to stick to London for now - maybe we'll move out to Kent next time!

Sevenoaks is right on the edge of the M25 too which is fab for airports/general getting to other parts of the country. Wouldn't want to commute on it though.

lechatnoir Mon 16-May-11 13:14:00

I much prefer TWells to Sevoanoaks for both shopping and eating/drinking but it is another 15-20mins further on the train and not that much cheaper. I live near Twells plus have young children one of which has just started school (following some pretty extensive primary school research) so happy to answer any questions if you decide to venture that bit furthe.

Page62 Tue 17-May-11 09:14:19

Hi. We currently rent in sevenoaks (coming up to a year) as we do up a house we bought around 15-20 mins outside sevenoaks in borough green/ightham. sevenoaks is a town really but surrounded by countryside so if you are wanting country, then you have to go a bit further out. the high st is ok and has lots of shops (waitrose, tesco, gap kids, monosoon, jojo maman bebe, marks and spencer - but as you can tell, little of the independent shops which you will find more of in tunbridge wells). Commute is great (25-30 mins) into charing cross, london bridge, or cannon st. DH and I both work in the City so the commute is quite cruicial for us.
Schools wise - our DCs are in private primary - and there is a lot of choice there - sevenoaks prep, granville, walthamstow hall, st michaels in otford etc. I don't really know about the state schools. Secondary schools - as others have mentioned - the grammar schools in tonbridge, there's sevenoaks school (IB), Tonbridge Boys school etc. I haven't really done my work regarding state secondary school options.
Sevenoaks really isn't to our taste - hence bought outside sevenoaks - but that's because we really wanted a "country feel" - ie. for it to be much different to the time we had living in london. hope that helps.

Doozie Tue 17-May-11 19:34:40

Thanks so much for the very comprehensive responses - extremely helpful! I really appreciate it. Will have a look at Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge now too.

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