Nice places to live in Kent?

(71 Posts)
Uhohmummy Tue 04-Aug-20 08:04:43

Can anyone recommend good places to live in Kent? It needs to be close to good schools (state or private). I like community and amenities (shops, pubs, etc within walking distance) and DH likes countryside - so ideally we would be in a village or edge of a town. Budget is up to £3m.
DH will be commuting to the City so that needs to be factored in to. Is Tunbridge Wells too far? I know the schools are good but is Sevenoaks a nice place to live?
We have 2 DDs (in case that’s relevant for schools).
We don’t know Kent at all so any insider info would be great.

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JoJoSM2 Tue 04-Aug-20 08:25:24

Given the budget, are you after a coutry pile? Allowing for a drive to the station, parking etc it would probably make more sense to stick to the Sevenoaks area if you commute regularly. We’ve got a few friends who live around there and they’re all very happy. It’s popular with professional commuters and there’s a good choice of indies. Personally, I find the town centre a bit dull (but it’s all very nice).

AvonCallingBarksdale Tue 04-Aug-20 08:28:02

If that’s your budget you’d be better off enlisting the services of a home-finding consultant or similar who are used to the budget brief.

MrsSSG Tue 04-Aug-20 08:33:49

I'm considering a move to Tunbridge Wells, lovely area. Nowhere near your budget though, unfortunately! Outer Tonbridge is nice too. Mayfield and Horsmonden are nice villages.

Sevenoaks is lovely but I've always been put off by its proximity to the M25.

Uhohmummy Tue 04-Aug-20 08:36:12

Thanks for the responses so far. Yes I can see the merit in getting a consultant - it does feel a bit like money for nothing though, and also I need to do my own research regardless.
I really don’t want a country pile, DH works long hours so I’d prefer not to be too isolated. Also we don’t have to spend that much, it’s our absolute maximum budget.
That’s my concern about Sevenoaks Jojo, nice but a bit dull.
The alternative is to move to further from London and DH does a weekly commute but I’m not sure about that.

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OnlyFoolsnMothers Tue 04-Aug-20 08:37:53

...not Kent but on your budget look at Dulwich Village

Ginandtonic4all Tue 04-Aug-20 08:42:45

What is key is where does DH commute into. If he can get the fast train HS1 arrives at KX, it opens up Kent.

My boss lives in a village outside Ashford, kids both at private schools and grammer. Gets to HS1. We work in fenchurch street.

I live in Sutton Valence, between Ashford and Maidstone. Get the slower train to Cannon Street and walk.

Sevenoaks is dull and full of pretentious city workers (I can say this as I am technically one of them). Tunbridge Wells the same but there is more going on.

If it were me I would pick schools and station first and then look around for areas.


JoJoSM2 Tue 04-Aug-20 08:59:11

Is it only Kent you’re interested in? Surrey would give you more options. There are nice towns to choose from, eg Reigate is small but quite cool or Guildford is larger with a lot going on but the trains take a lot less than from Tunbridge Wells. There’s plenty of stunning coutryside with the Surrey Hills AONB and the South Downs + no shortage of indies to choose from.

Uhohmummy Tue 04-Aug-20 09:14:13

I don’t know Surrey either Jojo but always thought the commute was too far to the City (Liverpool St). Will look into it now though as those places sound nice. Would it mean the dreaded South West trains line? Are the schools good around there?
Neither of us are from the South East and all our friends still live in London so it’s hard to know where would suit us. We live in quite an edgy/vibrant part of London which we like but never planned on staying long term.
Dulwich is lovely OnlyFools but we want to make a long term move now and for us that means leaving London.

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Thriceisnice Tue 04-Aug-20 09:16:19

I'd look at Rochester and villages around it, and villages around Canterbury.

JoJoSM2 Tue 04-Aug-20 09:23:51

Plenty of commuters from Surrey to the city. It’s generally SW trains indeed. From Waterloo it’s 1 stop on the Waterloo and City tube line into the city.
Reigate is in East Surrey, so it’d be a case of catching a train from Redhill (longer walk, cycle or 1 stop on the train) and from there it’s Southern trains to London Bridge or Thameslink to City Thameslink. Another perk is being less than 30 mins drive from the tube in case of coming back at 3am or any problems.

Surrey is the wealthiest county in England so there are plenty of independent schools and very good state schools but they’re comps vs Kent’s 2 tiers grammar system.

Uhohmummy Tue 04-Aug-20 09:25:59

Thanks, this is so helpful. It’s so hard to narrow it down when we don’t have links to anywhere!

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weathervane1 Tue 04-Aug-20 09:35:28

Cobham (the one in Kent) is lovely. Nice pubs, good walks in the nearby woods, lovely people etc. Spend a night in the Leather Bottle Inn and see what you think?

OnlyFoolsnMothers Tue 04-Aug-20 09:37:20

Sevenoaks is lovely- personally I couldn’t be that far out of London (not that it’s that far but if you are hesitant about countryside living I would look at Beckenham, Bickley). Ultimately I think you need to go visit these places and decide what feels rural or too city for you.
Liverpool Street the best commute is to Essex- have you considered somewhere there eg. Loughton / Epping?

Uhohmummy Tue 04-Aug-20 09:40:10

That sounds perfect weather. I’ll definitely have a look.
It feels so daunting that I’m very tempted to move the family back to my hometown and DH can do a weekly commute, but that’s a whole other thread!

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JorisBonson Tue 04-Aug-20 09:43:13

West Malling is lovely.

And now I'm looking at Zoopla porn.

buenavistabelle Tue 04-Aug-20 09:46:57

TBH if that's your budget I wouldn't move to Kent. Where are you at the moment? Surrey is much nicer. Oxshott is lovely.

buenavistabelle Tue 04-Aug-20 09:48:46

Also if it's Liverpool St station you want to get to then if look at Essex. Kent trains go into Victoria.

Uhohmummy Tue 04-Aug-20 09:49:33

Thanks OnlyFools - I grew up in the country so it feels more home than London to me. I know Beckenham a bit and agree it’s very nice but not for us.
Essex is a possibility - we like Saffron Walden. But I’d prefer not to go east as it’s the wrong side of London for family (Cheltenham/Gloucestershire).

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Uhohmummy Tue 04-Aug-20 09:59:59

Joris - I’ve never heard of West Malling but that house is so pretty.
Agree we need to go to these places - I’m trying to narrow down the list of places to visit. Every time I think I’ve done this somewhere else gets added to the list - looks like we need to explore Surrey now!

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mamaoffourdc Tue 04-Aug-20 10:10:38

Canterbury is lovely - train to st Pancras in an hour, amazing state and private schools

KoalasandRabbit Tue 04-Aug-20 10:18:57

Saffron Walden is lovely though I think you could buy a whole street with £3 million. grin The state and private schools are excellent there and good for independent and normal shops, very pretty. Cambridge might be worth looking at as well, goes straight into Liverpool Street and excellent private schools, most of the state schools around Cambridge and the villages are excellent too.

Further over Hertford East goes into Liverpool Street in quite a short time and its the end of the line so always get a seat. Hertford is lovely. I think state schools are reasonable, I don't know the private ones.

I really like Tunbridge Wells though don't know it well enough to say re commute. I would also test out any commute.

Uhohmummy Tue 04-Aug-20 10:22:06

That house is amazing mama! But the commute really needs to be an hour or less to Liverpool Street/London Bridge.

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JorisBonson Tue 04-Aug-20 10:23:11


Joris - I’ve never heard of West Malling but that house is so pretty.
Agree we need to go to these places - I’m trying to narrow down the list of places to visit. Every time I think I’ve done this somewhere else gets added to the list - looks like we need to explore Surrey now!

It's a beautiful place, we often drive through it and then buy lottery tickets 😂

Uhohmummy Tue 04-Aug-20 10:26:16

I like Cambridge, thanks Koalas. Possibly a bit too far for a daily commute but it depends how far we were from the station. I didn’t realise the train is direct to Liverpool St from there.

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