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Moving to Whitstable..

(26 Posts)
ReineDeSaba Mon 04-Mar-13 17:19:17

Should we go for it..pros/cons/personal experiences please.
Apologies in advance if I'm slow to reply but I have a poorly little one.
We have two girls aged 2 and 6 and currently live in London.It's fun but heartbreakingly expensive.DH would commute to London combined with working from home.I would work from home.
We looked at a property in Tankerton and it's a five minute walk to the beach(if I carry my toddler!!)
Has anyone tried it and found it A.Big.Mistake or will it be completely wonderful to enjoy a different pace of life.
Thank you for your thoughts.

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Mon 04-Mar-13 17:34:44

Moved to Kent from London and never looked back. Missed our friends at first (but they are only an hour away) and DH spends quite a lot of time commuting but schools/weekends/space is/are so much better. It's a lovely part of Kent too.
Go for it

ReineDeSaba Mon 04-Mar-13 18:29:32

Thank you Natural Blonde,that's reassuring.We are in W.London and Dh's commute quite a biggie already.He seems fine about any commute.I am a natural born worrier and my brain is overspilling with..'where are the hospitals' 'how about schools' type questions.I feel confident we will see friends more as we will be a 'novelty' place to visit for our London crowd.How long did it take you to feel settled?if that's not too nosey please..

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Mon 04-Mar-13 18:51:03

Well, settled into house immediately, school mums/new friends about a year (but mine are a bit older than yours) the younger your children are the easier I think. Clubs/volunteering helped me.
You're right about your friends though- they'll be up every weekend in the summer grin
I believe there is a minor injuries unit in whitstable and the A&E is Canterbury. Apparently this part of Kent has a fairly low child population so getting into Grammars is (a bit) easier.
I'm a born Londoner but don't even like going back that much now, it seems busy and grubby to me.

shushpenfold Mon 04-Mar-13 18:53:17

I was brought up in Canterbury....great schools there (went to the Girls' grammar) and half of my friends commuted/bused from Herne Bay and Whitstable.

Would go back!

ReineDeSaba Tue 05-Mar-13 04:09:06

Natural Blonde clubs,volunteering very good ideas.I am a born Londoner too but for some reason the sea is calling me.DH said Whitstable reminded him of was very cold and grey that day so interesting analogy!

Shushpenfold I love your name.Thank you for the reassurance re schools.DD1 has been at a lovely school here so your positive experiences are great to hear.

Novia Tue 05-Mar-13 04:19:20

I grew up in Herne Bay, just along the coast and had a very happy childhood growing up by the sea. My family are still in the area.

Whitstable is lovely, but quite expensive. It's the 'cool' area of the region (kind of the equivalent of Shorditch in London!)

Just a couple of practical notes - it is almost impossible to park in town so make sure you're close enough to walk everywhere. The commute into London is fairly long (around 80 mins) and if the trains are broken the bus service is pretty ineffective back into town.

On balance though, it's a wonderful place to bring up children, lots to see and do. Canterbury is 15 mins away for shopping and secondary school. The local community is very friendly and you should find it fairly easy to make friends. I hope you'll be very happy there!

marinaaquamarina Tue 05-Mar-13 07:11:00

My sister lives in the coastal area between Tankerton and Herne Bay near the big Sainsbury but by the sea (Swalecliffe).

It's cheaper than Whitstable house price wise and not so rammed with hipsters smile

I really like it down there. In fact we were down there yesterday and popped into Whitstable for a stroll.

Good luck - my sister's been very happy since she moved. She uses Canterbury for shopping (it's really good) and just loves the whole seaside thing. They commuted back to London at first - gradually going part-time - then work from home and now their lives have changed totally.

ReineDeSaba Tue 05-Mar-13 07:30:06

I'm getting giddy with excitement at all the thumbs up stories.

I can imagine that the move would really change our working lives/routines too.

Have googled Herne Bay and houses considerably cheaper.What might be a good location to buy in/around Herne Bay(we haven't visited there yet so worth a look).Will take a look at Swalecliffe,thank you Marina.

ReineDeSaba Tue 05-Mar-13 07:35:00

Oh no I just realised I lost my huge post to Nova but essentially thank you so much for taking the trouble to respond.All very useful and interesting.
I'm hoping you are in a different time zone to me and not up with a poorly toddler like I was.
The transport situation is good to know.Also very expensive to commute.In theory DH could work from home but he may be scared he'll get dragged into domestic chores ;)

marinaaquamarina Tue 05-Mar-13 09:24:53

For Rightmove searching CT5 is the postcode area that covers Whitstable, Tankerton and Swalecliffe. CT6 is Herne Bay. Canterbury is CT1 - CT4, I think.

Ah! Here's a useful link:

ReineDeSaba Tue 05-Mar-13 09:31:39

Thank you Marina,will get cracking!

marinaaquamarina Tue 05-Mar-13 09:34:08

No problem - if you have any questions about particular streets I can quiz my sister for you

ReineDeSaba Tue 05-Mar-13 09:38:36

Fabulous.If I find something later would you mind if I pmed you Marina?Please feel free to say no of course.

Hairyupperlip Tue 05-Mar-13 17:46:19

Ill buck the trend. I moved to Kent (different part), having lived in London for almost all my life, couldn't hack it - too quiet- moved back to London. I urge you to rent before you buy as only you can ever truly know what will suit you. Good luck x

marinaaquamarina Wed 06-Mar-13 07:37:19

ReineDeSaba - no problem - pm me with any questions - happy hunting!

BabyFaker Wed 06-Mar-13 07:43:10

I have a friend that grew up there. She found it incredibly boring and left for uni in a city as soon as she could. She now lives in London.

ReineDeSaba Wed 06-Mar-13 09:47:32

Thank you Marina,that would be very,very helpful.

Hairyupperlip and BabyFaker it is definitely good to hear the other side of the coin.Although I grew up in London I have lived in various places throughout the UK,as an adult,quite happily including the Shetland Islands which are obviously very remote.Possibly boring for a young adult but we have family in London and the girls have dual citiizenship(DH American)so the possibilities of where they choose to go could be very wide later in life.

The problem with staying in London is moving further and further out of the centre to tick the boxes of space/schools so I already feel quite removed from Central London life..

I do think renting would be a good option as would allow us to sell our London property chain free while give us a clearer picture of what Kent life would really be like.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer my thread.

WizardofOs Wed 06-Mar-13 10:40:40

I lived there for a year while a student. In those days it was not fashionable so things will be different but in term time there were loads of students living there. There were also lots of local youth hanging around the streets on weekend evenings - the window to the arcade was broken regularly.

CharlieMouseWillDoIt Tue 12-Mar-13 09:46:22

Hi there ReineDeSaba,

We're considering moving to this area too. DH grew up in Faversham and we met at university in Canterbury and we've often said we'd go back to that area at some point. We're currently in SE London and, as you say, house prices are ridiculously expensive.

I've noticed that the area within the Borstal Hill/Joy Lane area seems more affordable than Whitstable itself. Can anyone tell me whether this is an OK area, or is it to be avoided? I'm not that bothered about being right in the centre of the fashionable conservation area and getting more space for our money seems a good thing.

seeker Tue 12-Mar-13 09:50:50

Just be very aware of the 11+ issue. I know if you have little ones it may not seem important but it will come round shockingly fast.

seeker Tue 12-Mar-13 10:42:23

And be aware that whitstable is heaving with people in the summer.

seeker Tue 12-Mar-13 10:44:17

Oh, and the 11+ thing is sometimes a particular issue for people from Whitstable/Tankerton/Herne Bay.

marinaaquamarina Tue 12-Mar-13 16:52:47

Hi CharlieMouseWillDoIt

Joy Lane has some of the most expensive houses in Whitstable but it is a bit of a trek out from the town centre. The key area would be the roads between Joy Lane itself and the beach.

Borstal Hill is very different - although very close/bordering Joy Lane in places. As the name suggests it is a hill and very, very, very steep and is the main London entry/exit road.

I think the further up the hill you go, the less desirable the houses are: distance from town/the sea and so on . It depends on the individual road or house the further away from town you get.

CharlieMouseWillDoIt Tue 12-Mar-13 17:02:42

Ah, thanks marinaaquamarina. Having looked a bit more closely at maps of the area, I can see that it would be a bit of a schlep into Whitstable itself. Like everything when it comes to property there is always a trade-off between location and how much house you get for your money!

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