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Leaving London - but where to go in Kent?

(14 Posts)
GiGiraffe Thu 09-Jun-16 14:48:23

DH and I are thinking about moving out of London but we just don't know where we should go. We want a bigger house/garden (4 double beds) and more garage space for DHs hobby (old cars). If we sell up we'd walk away with £500K and don't want a mortgage. We both work in Central London (Euston/London Bridge) 2 kids in Yr 1 and Yr 2.

DH is from overseas and I have family and friends in W. London that I'll still want to get back and see (both drive).

We've been down for a couple of weekends this year - I really liked Tenterden and we are going to go and spend a couple of weekends checking out Staplehurst, Marden, Headcorn and Appledore.

Where else should we look. I don't want to live in a tiny village - would prefer a market town. Need to be relatively close to a station (which makes Tenterden not as perfect as station would make it!)

Also, am really worried about moving the kids school. What happens if none of the local schools have a place and they end up in a different town or worse different schools - anyone with experience of this?

Anyway, any suggestions/experiences welcome - thanks in advance

Notyetthere Thu 09-Jun-16 17:07:06

Also check out Tonbridge as that is where the trains on the Dover and Hastings Line converge hence you have more train choices . It is on the direct train to London Bridge and a short tube ride to Euston. The Euston person can even also catch a train to Waterloo East for the other arm of the Northern line so even more choice.

500k should get you decent house in Tonbridge.

The primary schools are great. Woodlands Primary school in North Tonbridge is deemed to be the better one but i have had good feedback from parents of the others too.

You could consider Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks but I doubt you will get the 4 double bed house for that price. And the good Tunbridge Wells primary schools seem to have very small catchments.

As for visiting friends in W London, Kent being SE wards of London, it will involve either driving half of the M25 or crossing London itself to get west. As an example, without traffic problems, it takes me 1hr to drive to Heathrow. About 35mins to Gatwick so your DH is sorted if he needs to visit family.

Experience of Tonbridge - I have lived in Tonbridge for 3 years now and I can't see myself being anywhere else. DH's family are all from around here and I get on well with them. I would say that it is a small town with a useful high street. Not as pretty as Tunbridge Wells or Sevenoaks but it is functional and a few nice shops have popped upin the last few years - bakery/butchers/and as DH describes it, a posh fish and chips near the station. We have a Waitrose if that's important grin.

The pubs here are dire though

GiGiraffe Thu 09-Jun-16 22:38:37

Thanks Notyet will definitely have a look at Tonbridge! Helpful to know about distances to the airports as I travel a fair bit and hadn't really considered that blush

Any experience of 'in year' applications to primaries in Tonbridge? My biggest fear is that we move somewhere we love but can't get a school place - DC are in consecutive school years so can imagine one getting a place in school A and another in school B and them being 5 miles from each other! Does that happen or am I being paranoid?

concertplayer Sat 11-Jun-16 14:22:02

Another vote for Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells especially if you have dds
It is noted for fab girls secondary schools. Cannot help with primaries
so you need to look into this now.
Ashford is an up and coming place in Kent due to proximity of the tunnel
No idea about schools however

linspins Sat 11-Jun-16 21:23:39

Tonbridge. But you might need a small mortgage cos I'm not sure that money will get four beds.
Tonbridge is great for kids, huge park with all sorts of sports, every type of activity club somewhere in town, reasonable shops, great transport links both road and rail. Lovely countryside all around. Friendly people too.

linspins Sat 11-Jun-16 21:26:24

GiGiraffe Mon 13-Jun-16 18:41:20

Thank you everyone - will have a look at Tonbridge when we go on a visit in Aug

228agreenend Mon 13-Jun-16 18:49:57

What about Miadstone and the villages around. For Euston, you catch a train to Strood, then the Javelin to St Pancras. There's three train stations in Maidstone which go to different parts of London.

Kent is a grammar school area so it's not unusual for siblings to go,to different schools (not sure about primary school situation).

You mention Staplehurst and Headcorn, both nice villages.

Kings Hill could be another possibility. It's relatively new, but has a wide variety of houses to suit every budget.

PettsWoodParadise Mon 13-Jun-16 20:19:17

Could you compromise on not quite moving out of London but getting somewhere in the edge such as Petts Wood - great community and great transport links and shops? Zone 5 but also lots of greenery. Safe. Good schools including nearby Bexley grammars which you can qualify on distance or the superselectives of St Olaves and Newstead plus good schools generally. Some Kent grammars also available without having the compromised system of the local schools all having the top ability students creamed off. This four bed is only affordable due to needing lots of work or this in Orpington, zone 6 which is modern style.

blue25 Mon 13-Jun-16 20:23:37

West Malling

GiGiraffe Sat 18-Jun-16 21:31:16

Thanks again for the new suggestions - just talking about this with DH and has given us some more places to look at!

mabooshka Sun 19-Jun-16 09:27:19

You may like Faversham, it has very good schools.

sue51 Sun 19-Jun-16 16:13:24

Canterbury is lovely. Good schools, decent shopping , lots of culture, masses of histotory and train into st pancras.

nougatsquirrel Tue 06-Sep-16 14:30:48

We live in Staplehurst and love it here. It has a station that takes you directly to London Bridge, Charing Cross or Waterloo East (sometimes Victoria on the weekends) in an hour. You always get a seat on the train.
The high street has everything you need, a coffee shop, butchers, Spar, post office, bank (currently being refurbished), wine merchants, library and health centre...There is a pub further up the road.
I spend a lot of time in Cranbrook. 20 minutes by bus and less by car. Its a lovely village with a children's centre and lots of coffee shops and pubs.
There are so many lovely nearby villages, Goudhurst, Tenterden etc accessible from Staplehurst.
It didn't get flooded where we are during the floods. Also, as its on a main road, Maidstone is a quick drive away.

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