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Kent... somewhere along the M2/A2...

(33 Posts)
MissBetseyTrotwood Wed 24-Jul-13 23:21:16

Thinking about looking to leave London.

We'd like to be near the M2/A2 as DH will have to commute to East London. We don't fancy Essex at the mo as it'll take us too far from family. (Though if the commute's too long to Kent for him it may have to be that TOWIE).

One of our boys might suit grammar school. The other probably won't. Any ideas kind MNetters?

TIA thanks

Bumblequeen Thu 25-Jul-13 09:17:53

What is your budget? I asume you need a 3 bed as a minimum.

For £300k plus you can buy in a nice part of Sidcup, Welling or Bexleyheath.

Mamf74 Thu 25-Jul-13 10:00:55

I would second Bexley / Bexleyheath & Welling, Dartford also has a Grammar school system so it may be worth starting at the schools and seeing what you think, then looking for the house, IYSWIM?

As for the commute, parts of Blackheath and Shooters Hill & Greenwich would allow really easy access through the Blackwall tunnel (or DLR) to East London but you will pay for that, and I think it may still be too "London" if you're looking to move outside and I have no idea about the schools.

MissBetseyTrotwood Thu 25-Jul-13 20:33:49

Thanks guys!

Looking first at schools will be best I think. I'm worried about our DSs becoming young men around where we live at the moment which is why we are thinking about moving further out. It all just seems so violent for teenage boys around here; I'd like them to be able to do teenage things without fear of being stabbed... .

I'll have a look towards Sidcup etc. Our budget's good; around 750 providing our current place goes for what we think it might. We might consider renting too - having a 'gap year' somewhere before committing. Even further out might work too.

Thanks again. smile

Bumblequeen Thu 25-Jul-13 21:38:31

Wow you have a good budget!

It will not be difficult at all for you to buy a house on a nice road.

All the best.

MultumInParvo Thu 25-Jul-13 21:57:40

Cobham, shorne and higham are lovely.

MoonHare Thu 25-Jul-13 22:10:48

Canterbury. The other suggestions are still London in my book.

MissBetseyTrotwood Thu 25-Jul-13 22:11:34

It's a mixture of good and bad luck that's given us the budget... Early parental deaths/inheritance etc. Also our current place has gone up a lot since we bought. Just not sure this area gives us what we need any more.

Thanks for those ideas too! I'll get on rightmove now, any excuse!

MissBetseyTrotwood Thu 25-Jul-13 22:12:16

Tell me about Canterbury...

QOD Thu 25-Jul-13 22:25:56

Canterbury, a tale of two cities .;)

It's a city, has a cathedral and a build a bear plus Ann summers. What else could you want.

eurozammo Thu 25-Jul-13 22:28:07

Bexley/Bexleyheath/Dartford - good schools and still urban but not tooooo urban. With your budget you could get something really lovely in thos areas.

Canturbury would give you a VERY long commute to E London.

TheOldestCat Thu 25-Jul-13 22:30:17

Come to Faversham! It's lovely and you could buy about four terraces on our road for your budget grin.

Seriously - it's fab - one grammar school, one very good high school, a lovely community, what more could you want?

TheOldestCat Thu 25-Jul-13 22:31:48

QOD - DD regards us having never taken her into Canterbury Buildabear as a parenting failure of the very worst kind....

cuckoonest Thu 25-Jul-13 22:43:32

Sevenoaks is full of London exiles, you could get a decent place for your budget. Trains to London Bridge (25mins) and the city are faster than from some places closer in. Loads of excellent primary schools, secondary places are a bit thin on the ground although set to change considerably. Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells are on the same train line, with more schools, and better shopping!

allaflutter Thu 25-Jul-13 22:52:12

what about Bromley? could buy a huge house there plus very quick rail links to London for your teenagers, though not sure about driving.

MissBetseyTrotwood Thu 25-Jul-13 23:13:29

Yes re. the long commute to E.London from Canterbury. Just looked it up on AA and DH nearly had a fit. I like the cut of Canterbury's jib though. Might it be slightly gently hippy too? I always associate it with folk music. Went to the Indoor Market once or twice in my halcyon days and bought some yin yang earrings I think.

Sadly re. Sevenoaks and Bromley, having grown up around there DH has a slight aversion. I like them though and get on with the in laws (they still live in the area) and he can be talked around to most things if I take the right route.

Faversham sounds perfect for me tbh. Might still be a bit far for DH but a gander on rightmove shows me we get lots for our money there. It looks friendly too!

matblack72 Fri 26-Jul-13 13:33:06

Worth considering the Maidstone maybe Bearsted, Leeds or Hollingbourne areas, its a short drive up Bluebell Hill to the M2, also East Malling and West Malling are very nice.


MrsTaraPlumbing Fri 26-Jul-13 19:41:02

I like Faversham but I am 45 I think when your boys are teenagers it may be a bit boring for them.
Whitstable and Canterbury are both nice and more lively.
I am in Ramsgate - your DH would die if he looked at that on the map - it is almost France! But only 1 hour on train to Stratford and it stops in Canterbury on the way.

You could buy a great house in any of the east kent towns with your budget.
And you could consider private sch if son doesn't get grammar place. There are loads of private schools in Canterbury and excellent grammar schools in:
Sandwich, Ramsgate (x2), Faversham, Canterbury.

I'm not so sure on quality of schools in Kent if not grammar - that is the downside to the selective system.

BTW - in Ramsgate you would expect to get an amazing detatched house on the West cliff (best area), walking distance to everywhere inc Waitrose, for £500k or less.

Talkinpeace Fri 26-Jul-13 22:25:02

look at places within easy reach of the ashford train station car park ...

MissBetseyTrotwood Sun 28-Jul-13 20:57:42

Thanks all! We're just back from a little recce and we did love Faversham. Didn't see Canterbury but that may be for another weekend.

Definitely need to research schools in more detail. One of my DSs has SN so although he'll be in a MS school it'll have to be one with good SN provision. The other seems to be fairly able so it's always going to be a tricky move. The comprehensives where we are now are very good (I work in one wink ) but the bottom sets (where one of my DSs will probably spend most lessons) are still very challenging so we're wondering if a non selective private may be the way. No option for that round here though.

So a bit more research into Canterbury and Maidstone areas!

Thanks again all, matblack, MrsTaraPlumbing and Talkinpeace. smile

Talkinpeace Sun 28-Jul-13 21:19:37

Kent is a FULLY grammar / Secondary modern county
be incredibly aware of that when choosing where to live
there are no comps
there are no non selective schools
many of the private schools are geared up to jumping the queue for the 11+

Canterbury is a lovely town, but the transport links from Kent can be dire. The M20 is generally better than the M2 unless they have to do Operation Stack

MissBetseyTrotwood Sun 28-Jul-13 21:29:24

I grew up in Kent and it was pressured then - my DM still lives there and she says it's even more so now. I still think that it can be our only option though; or Essex, which also still has 11+... it's all a bit terrifying!

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Sun 28-Jul-13 21:37:26

I live nr Faversham and grew up in Essex. If you commuted via ashford international then Homewood school (Tenterden) could be a possibility? It's definitely easier to get a Grammar school place in East Kent rather than west Kent (smaller child population/coastal boundaries)

wannabestressfree Sun 28-Jul-13 21:41:29

If you need any info on the sn in mainstream schools in the faversham/ Canterbury/ Thanet areas message me.

MissBetseyTrotwood Mon 29-Jul-13 19:38:12

Thank you, both. That's so kind wanna - that info would be invaluable. I need to get a clearer picture of potentially where we're thinking first. My DS has lots of 'minor' SN that all add up to quite an interesting picture and which mean he's not very happy in school in general unfortunately.

I'll have a gander at Homewood School Natural , thanks.

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