Kent - tell me about it should I move there

(64 Posts)
sunshineoverthehill Sun 10-Oct-21 11:51:46

I'm looking at areas my family could move to in the U.K. we are a mixed race family, my dh white British and I am brown but only know British culture. Our dc is tanned. I think this may make a difference to where we live hence me mentioning it. I am happy for an all white area but not one that would exclude us.

I have put our budget in and 'England' into Zoopla, would ideally like to be fairly close to London ie max 2 hours away by any transport and Kent comes up with a lot of nice houses. However have noticed on statistics it has a very high crime rate as a county.
Is it nice or should I cross it off the list, any areas to 100% to avoid?

Unfortunately I only ever see it negatively on the news for all the channel crossings atm!

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DoubleHelix79 Sun 10-Oct-21 12:00:39

Kent is a very large county with many different areas - from fairly deprived areas in the north that have suffered from the closure of the dockyards and other industries, to lovely little towns and villages in the weald where not owning a jaguar (or two) is considered poor.

We're near Ashford in a nice little village that is a 15 min drive to Ashford international (38 min into St Pancras). Ashford itself is nothing special (although not as bad as some on here would lead you to believe). So very commutable but access to the Kent Downs, Canterbury and other nice towns, and still a lot more affordable than for example Sevenoaks or Tunbridge Wells.

Its not massively diverse in terms of here in our village, but there seem to be enough people who've lived abroad or in London (or come from abroad like myself) and appear open minded.

Happy to help further about areas I'm more familiar with. I like Kent and am happy we moved here from south west London.

DameAlyson Sun 10-Oct-21 12:17:48

As DoubleHelix said, it's a big county. There is lovely countryside and historic towns. Even some of the most run down areas have lovely coast and countryside around them. You have a choice of town or country, coast or inland, close to London or further out.

If you have school age children, bear in mind it is a grammar school area. If you might be thinking of independent schools, there is a good range, but it would be something else to take into account in your search.

You could start by looking along the two main rail lines, which run from London to the coast via Ashford and via the Medway towns, and see if anywhere appeals to you.

sunshineoverthehill Sun 10-Oct-21 13:30:11

Thanks for your help. Our budget is 800k or less although it may be able to be stretched to more but ideally not.

We would look at private schools and grammar schools. We are in year 3 so I feel like we still have time to prepare for any 11+ scenarios, they are ahead in their age group so far which helps give us that option hopefully.
I will take a look along the train line. Any areas to avoid?

OP’s posts: |
bluebirdswhistle Sun 10-Oct-21 13:35:44

To be honest as a brown person it is the one of the only places i've been in the UK where i've felt really unwelcome and had a hostile vibe from so many people ( when going into a shop or a playground etc). We live in essex close to the kent border and dread it whenever we have to venture into kent for anything. It's got some lovely houses and the countryside views are so lovely- I would Love to live there but the racism my children would encounter completely puts me off the idea. Funnily enough my sister in law who is mixed race said she felt the same when she has visited in the past

bluebirdswhistle Sun 10-Oct-21 13:36:44

Ask this question on the Black Mumsnetters page and you may also get some more insight

Rrrob Sun 10-Oct-21 13:36:51

As above. Kent is huge. I live in a relatively diverse area but we are only just outside of London. Do you need to get into London for work? I would start by looking at transport links.

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Guardup Sun 10-Oct-21 13:38:32

I would suggest trying the following areas:

Tunbridge Wells
Sevenoaks
West Peckham (they are filming the Darling Buds of May here)- v small village but lovely
West Malling (also Kings Hill)
Hadlow
Bearsted

These are all places that I think would be nice family places to live with good grammars/comps and private schools.

Other places that I love to visit but don’t know much about being diverse or about schools:

Faversham
Canterbury
Tenterden
Rye

I love living in Kent

Happy house hunting
X

Highlandskye Sun 10-Oct-21 13:38:52

For the SE. I’d live in Zone 6 max. Sorry. Not what you want to hear. But the reality of being brown in this country.

balloonsintrees Sun 10-Oct-21 13:47:57

Why does everyone forget Tonbridge in favour of T. Wells (which is now an absolute dive btw)!
Cheaper than Sevenoaks, very good schools, most of the east Kent grammars are here as is Tonbridge school, plus the comprehensives are mostly amazing too.
Some fab small independent schools, easy train commute into London Bridge (38 mins) and an increasingly diverse mix of people.

bluebirdswhistle Sun 10-Oct-21 13:53:37

@balloonsintrees Tonbridge has a ridiculous amount of flags up in homes and businesses and we all know what that means!

Tillysfad Sun 10-Oct-21 14:01:49

In my opinion, Kent is basically under apartheid. Sleepy privileged villagers will be expecting you to be white, as hideous as that is. It's shocking.

canyoutoleratethis Sun 10-Oct-21 14:03:54

I was born and raised in Kent and could not wait to escape. It’s a true-blue county, which says everything about its people and their opinions/outlook. Also it had very high rates of ‘Leave’ voters. So it depends on your politics, but you certainly won’t find that many mixed-race people.

It’s a shame as there are lots of very pretty places in Kent

Highlandskye Sun 10-Oct-21 15:15:14

@bluebirdswhistle this thread highlights the privilege of being able to see the beauty of an area viewed through the lenses of a non-brown person. This flags probably mean very little to most. But as a brown person. If I see it. It’s a no from me. And I’m certain the bearer of the flag is happy the message has been received loud and clear.

Lesserspottedmama Sun 10-Oct-21 15:38:31

Last I heard of Kent their water was full of ecoli

HundredMilesAnHour Sun 10-Oct-21 15:45:35

I've spent a lot of time in Kent and currently I work part time near Tunbridge Wells although I live in east/central London. I'm white British so used to London's ethnic mix and I find Kent quite shocking in its whiteness. I recently went to one of the big supermarket chains in Tunbridge Wells and was shocked that I didn't see a single non-white face. It actually made me feel very uncomfortable.

CagneyNYPD1 Sun 10-Oct-21 15:47:58

Tunbridge Wells. The only part of Kent which voted to Remain in the EU. The town of Tunbridge Wells (rather than the outlying villages) is increasingly voting in Liberal Democrat councillors in protest at the local Tories.

I live there. I'm from S London and it is the only bit of Kent I will live in. Except Canterbury.

Look at the St John's area of Tunbridge Wells. Or Southborough. Good housing stock, close to good primary schools. And secondary schools on your doorstep, including 3 grammar schools. But traffic, lots of traffic.

CagneyNYPD1 Sun 10-Oct-21 15:49:49

HundredMilesAnHour

I've spent a lot of time in Kent and currently I work part time near Tunbridge Wells although I live in east/central London. I'm white British so used to London's ethnic mix and I find Kent quite shocking in its whiteness. I recently went to one of the big supermarket chains in Tunbridge Wells and was shocked that I didn't see a single non-white face. It actually made me feel very uncomfortable.

Was it Asda?

HundredMilesAnHour Sun 10-Oct-21 15:50:45

Was it Asda?

No, Sainsbury's.

balloonsintrees Sun 10-Oct-21 15:51:27

bluebirdswhistle

*@balloonsintrees* Tonbridge has a ridiculous amount of flags up in homes and businesses and we all know what that means!


WHERE? I live and work here and probably have seen about 3

CagneyNYPD1 Sun 10-Oct-21 15:58:11

HundredMilesAnHour

*Was it Asda?*

No, Sainsbury's.

Now that does surprise me. But in all honesty, no there isn't a significant percentage of people of BAME heritage in Twells. But it is getting better. The vast majority of non-white people in Twells are of Asian origin. And this is going to sound dreadfully stereotypical but they work in finance or medicine. So doctors and consultants from the local hospital, accountants, dentists, opticians. And far more likely to get a weekly Ocado delivery than a big shop at Sainsburys. But these are just my observations.

snazzynamechangetime Sun 10-Oct-21 16:07:48

Guardup

I would suggest trying the following areas:

Tunbridge Wells
Sevenoaks
West Peckham (they are filming the Darling Buds of May here)- v small village but lovely
West Malling (also Kings Hill)
Hadlow
Bearsted

These are all places that I think would be nice family places to live with good grammars/comps and private schools.

Other places that I love to visit but don’t know much about being diverse or about schools:

Faversham
Canterbury
Tenterden
Rye

I love living in Kent

Happy house hunting
X


Erm how many brown people have you seen in these areas ? Hadlow honestly no, I don't think there are any.

OP it really depends on what you want to get for your money, but maybe somewhere like Eltham or Lee would be more diverse. It's SE London. As you move out from London there's Lewisham, Catford but they are town like, but some big green spaces around. But into Bromley ( which has Kent in its address) I would say it gets more white and then you hit the edge of the M25 and you go into Kent it's not as diverse. So your train travel will cost much more once outside the London zones and property will be less apart from the Kent hotspots.

I have family in Kent, I went to college there, it's not diverse.

Let us know property type and bedrooms required and I can have a think on areas.

popkick Sun 10-Oct-21 16:36:51

bluebirdswhistle

*@balloonsintrees* Tonbridge has a ridiculous amount of flags up in homes and businesses and we all know what that means!


Bollocks, I live there and the only time I saw lots of flags was during the euros.

snazzynamechangetime Sun 10-Oct-21 16:56:17

@popkick there are flags, but not everywhere. But would you say that Tonbridge is a diverse community? I certainly wouldn't. It's 99.9 % white.

https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/uk-population-by-ethnicity/national-and-regional-populations/regional-ethnic-diversity/latest

sunshineoverthehill Sun 10-Oct-21 17:01:22

Wow all these replies thank you. The thing is I have been raised by white British people culturally. And sometimes I find on black mumsnet people on there seem to be more interested in finding their culture within an area, which I actually envy being more straightforward, as the only culture I know is 'white' British but a lot of areas will not accept me at all because of the colour of my skin. I was raised by my white grandparents, went to church then the pub every Sunday etc and know nothing else other than how I was raised, I am mixed white British and Asian but know nothing of the Asian side, maybe one day I'll find out but it hasn't been a part of my life so far.
If I was white no one would question where I was from and I definitely fit more into the British cultural areas than any other for my own identity.

I actually live rurally at the moment and am the only brown person for miles and that doesn't bother me at all and most people are very nice but if I go to certain areas I know there will be problems so I just avoid them. I'm very happy in a white area but cannot live anywhere where someone will maybe turn up with their pitch fork because my mum was from a different country grin

That's what I'm kind of trying to get at.
I'm in a bit of a strange position I suppose. I will take a look at some of the places mentioned on here.

OP’s posts: |

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