Moving to Kent - Folkestone/Sandgate/
We are thinking of moving to East Kent with our 2 DC (years 1 and 3). DH will need to commute to London so we're considering areas near Folkestone W, Ashford and Canterbury.
Canterbury looks nice but properties seem expensive and not often available, plus the traffic getting to station limits how far away we could live.
Ashford, I hear is not so nice but has nice villages around it.
DH is very drawn to the coast though. So we are focusing mainly on Folkestone (west) now and also Sandgate / Hythe. However, there are a lot of older posts on here where people say Folkestone is a bit grim and not a good move for families due to its social problems. Is that still the case or are things improving now? Anyone made the move and have strong views one way or the other? I wonder what are the areas to look at with young children?
I see there are a lot of good schools around but I'm dreading the prospect of trying to get two of them into the same school and realistically not sure how likely this would be.
DH has a few colleagues who commute from Folkestone West. Sandgate and Hythe are positively lovely. My MIL lives in the latter and I wouldn’t be surprised if we retire to there ourselves. I’ve walked around Folkestone West and it looks affluent and pleasant to me. But there are other parts of Folkestone that we’ve driven through that I wouldn’t like to get out of the car in.
I’ve also spoken to someone who commutes from one of the villages that are a little inland - a train into Ashford and then a quick train into London. Apparently the overall commute time isn’t dissimilar to taking the Folkestone West train.
Hythe is by far the nicest of the places you have mentioned.
Avoid Folkestone. Whilst it has some charming spots to visit they are few and far between! It really is grim (there’s good reason houses are much cheaper) Ashford centre is crappy, but sorrounding villages are lovey- also look at new Romney which has affluent areas. If you want high speed link start searching along the A2070 from Ashford to the coast and you won’t go far wrong!
Kent is pretty much a full Grammar county, so do think about that before you move! However there is less pressure on school places in East Kent than West Kent.
Can you rent so that you reduce risk and don't burn bridges or make a massive commitment to the wrong area? This would also allow you to parachute into catchment area of school you wanted - then (once you have satisfied their criteria) you could go and buy where ever you liked.
Sandgate and Hythe are lovely - Folkestone trying hard to regenerate - has great architecture and a bit of an arty scene - but overall I find it quite depressing - lots of social deprivation.
Thank you all for your advice. Sounds like Folkestone still has its problems and Hythe could be a better option.
Will also look along the A2070 too thanks, Fruitbat.
Look at whitstable. Canterbury and surrounding villages are lovely but the traffic is constant and parking is an issue.
We relocated to Hythe and love it here - have three children aged 1, 3 and 6. There's plenty for the children to do locally and it's great being able to just pop to the beach
We have lived in Folkestone west for 3 years. Everything looks great. We are often told that it’s a bit rough in the east part of the area, it’s not a problem for us. So far the neighbors are pretty decent people. The sea, the cliff, the green and the history make it a very special town to live. We see family with children they look happy to me.
Another reason we chose Folkestone is we can commute to London within one hour, I often work on the train. Many Londoners move here and makes the town more lively.
Hythe is nice, a typical town for middle class family. Folkestone is exciting, you see great villa, nature, artists and changes.
It depends on what you need.
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