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House hunting on London to Ashford train line, suggested villages?

(10 Posts)
cauliwobbles Mon 03-Oct-16 20:07:24

A friend is thinking of moving from the outskirts of London/Kent to further afield. Maybe to Ashford or one of the nearby villages. Would need to travel into London each day and have good community for a SAHM with 2 small children.

They are Catholic so would need a good primary which is ideally a faith school and have around 400k for a 3/4 bedroom.

Is this doable?

Is Kennington nice?

They said the line to Ashford as have heard the other lines can be very slow but would welcome being told are wrong and suggestions of other places on other train lines.

They asked me to ask Mumsnet (I feel used!) so here I am! Your combined wisdom would be much appreciated.

freddiefrogpercypig Tue 04-Oct-16 17:01:22


Kennington nice for Ashford yes

scaredofthecity Wed 05-Oct-16 11:18:37

I wouldn't want to go further out than Paddock wood if I was traveling everyday. 90 mins door to door is doable. Anymore and it becomes like torture!
That line does generally run well on the way in but can be rubbish to get home, trains cancelled last minute ect.

cauliwobbles Thu 06-Oct-16 18:43:43

Even on the 'javelin'? Scared of the city?

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Thu 06-Oct-16 18:52:39

Lots of nice villages around Ashford (Pluckley, Challock, Great Chart, Charing, Wye etc) but not many catholic schools. There is one in the middle of Ashford but that's not the countryside. Kennington isn't really either to be honest. Do they plan to drive to station every day? Rail fair about 6k per year. It's a quick train -37 mins but do account for getting to station.

scaredofthecity Thu 06-Oct-16 19:50:13

Oh if theyre gonna get the high speed then no problem! Unfortunately it's unaffordable for many. Don't forget to factor in car parking as well as it ain't cheap.
I have just moved nearby and it is a beautiful part of Kent, my public sector job won't allow me to get the fast train though. My commute is now 2+ hours each way and it is making me miserable. Needless to say I'm looking for a more local job.

cauliwobbles Thu 06-Oct-16 21:07:47

Yes they'll drive each day to the station. Is parking prohibitively expensive? Is the 6k for the fast train? I'm not sure they've factored in an extra 6k+ for travel as it's very cheap where they are at the moment.

Are St Simon's and St Theresa's too far away from the listed villages? They like Pluckley.

scaredofthecity Thu 06-Oct-16 21:21:51

Hs is £6100 going up to £6700 with travelcard from ashford. Parking is about another £5 a day on top.
You've gotta be paid a lot to make that worthwhile! Plus the cost of running two cars as well. It's pretty much unavoidable this way.

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Thu 06-Oct-16 21:33:11

The train is busy now, it never used to be (The car park is very busy now) think people are factoring it in for the slightly cheaper housing. St Simons and St Teresa's are both in Ashford. If you lived in Kennington walked/cycled to station you could get in probably and wouldn't need a second car. But it's really not rural living. It's a town, a relatively poor town with all that goes with it. Ashford has improved and there is a lot of building going on. Personally I'd rather live in a village close by with a village school and go to church. Primary's are fine in most places anyway- are they sure they are on for the Grammar system as well? I believe there is a C secondary in Canterbury so they would get the train. Lots do.

nougatsquirrel Fri 14-Oct-16 15:10:06

I can tell you about Staplehurst, which is 50 minutes into London bridge with stops at Waterloo East, Charing Cross and Cannon Street depending on the line you take. You can always get a seat on the train at Staplehurst. It gets busy from Tunbridge. Season ticket is c. £4,800. We live 8 minutes from the station so its super convenient. The village has a supermarket (Spar), Post office, Health Centre, bank (temporarily shut), cute coffee place called Helen's with gluten free cakes which is child friendly - its where local mums meet, butchers, 3 churches (not catholic but great playgroups at all of them Tuesday & Thursday), a local library (with rhyme time on Fridays), the best Indian takeaway I have had, a chippy, a pub, a local writer's group, a village hall with yoga, pilates, art classes etc, and a great community vibe in general. The only downside is the busy road that runs through it. But it does mean it didn't get flooded as its high up and the road provides quick connections into Maidstone and Cranbrook. The bus runs every hour. We settled in nicely. I'm actually feeling sad that we may have to leave soon due to DH's job moving away from LBG (can't handle 2 hour+ commute vs 1h door to door).
We are also Catholic and after visiting all Catholic churches in the area settled for Goudhurst service 1030 on a Sunday. The Father is very friendly and welcoming. The service is packed with children. And it also offers some diversity. Afterwards we have oven baked pizza at the Goudhurst Inn which has a children's play area.

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