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Moving to Canterbury
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Bouham · 04/07/2020 11:59

Hello
We are a family with 3 kids (1 secondary school, 2 primary). We have lived in south east for over 20 years and now decided to move to Canterbury as our daughter got a place in Canterbury Girls Grammar School. We are really struggling to decide which area we should buy/rent as we are not familiar with Canterbury and surroundings. Would anyone please be able to give us some honest advice of which places we should look at and which we should avoid.
Some point to take into consideration:

  • we are family oriented and we want a family friendly are
  • looking for a safe place as we travel a lot and obviously you want your mind at rest when not around
  • good schools (primary)
  • feasible commute to Simon Langtons GGS is a must
  • I need to commute to central London for work (may be one/twice a week)

    we have these places in mind:
    canterbury central, wincheap, chartham and herne bay...

    we really need to honest advice pleeeease

    thanks a million
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Bearnecessity · 04/07/2020 14:06

Broadstairs all day long.

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Bouham · 04/07/2020 14:48

Thanks Bearnecessity. We have been to broadstaires before and yes we loved it but I think it is a bit far from Simon Langtons GGS...and a bit further away to commute to London :-(
Thanks again

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KittyHawke80 · 04/07/2020 15:11

Herne Bay is a total craphole and only people who live there (and only a handful of them) think otherwise. Some really nasty incidents with delinquents last summer.
Wincheap is a little bit rough (and Thanington is ghastly) but there are some nice Victorian houses with big gardens and high ceilings. Parking is tough, though.
Central Canterbury varies. It is tremendously expensive. Sturry village (the Thanet side of C'bury) has some nice houses.
Wye, Chilam and Chartham are all nice with not much is the way of antisocial behaviour AFAIK. Again; expensive, although Chartham is a bit bigger with more choice of properties. Chilham v chocolate box. Houses in Wye are mostly around the 500-600 k mark with lots considerably more. I love it, though. And if you're already SE you probably won't find these prices surprising.
And steer clear of Aylesham. It's hideous.

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Bouham · 04/07/2020 15:45

Thanks a lot KittyHawke80! Very useful information. We might start by renting then if we like the area proceed to buying.
And sorry we are south east London lol not south east England :-(
I will try and see what I can find in the villages you mentioned but still not very confident about deciding where...
Thanks again!

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KittyHawke80 · 04/07/2020 16:06

No probs. I shall keep an eye on this thread and see if can be of any further help. (Waiting for someone from Herne Bay to pipe up and say how charming it is . . . 😂 For the avoidance of doubt - it isn't. Can't make my feelings on the place clear enough).
Thanet to London is a heck of a commute
so I'm not surprised you're not considering it. And Thanet is always that bit further than you think - the only way in and out is the Thanet Way and if anything happens on there, you're buggered. Got stuck in traffic outside Westwood Cross shopping centre for hrs on a boiling afternoon and really,?really glimpsed the abyss that day. Thanet has a bad rep, which is a shame really, because parts of it are lovely - Birchington; Westgate-on-Sea; Broadstairs. It can be frightful (I worked in Cliftonville in Margate for a few years and I saw some shit, I can tell you, but I was weirdly fond of it because it doesn't really have any delusions about itself - it knows it's a rough old bird. I had to put myself (eight months preggo) between a solitary kid and a rival gang from Ramsgate intent on giving him a hiding. On there other hand, there's a weird camaraderie between people who grew up there I can't quite describe but us kind of charming. And it tends to be scrote-on-scrote violence. I never felt particularly scared which I have elsewhere in Kent.
Faversham may be worth a look, too. You're between C'bury and Ashford there so the trains are quite good. I don't like Sittingbourne one iota but it's cheaper than both.
The Simon Langton is an excellent school, so well done to your girl. I'm sure she'll have a great time.

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Bouham · 04/07/2020 17:12

Thanks KittyHawke80 Smile
I am v grateful to you sharing your thoughts and experiences...this is exactly what I need as I am taking a big risk moving out of my niche to a place I don’t know but I am 100% it is worth sacrificing for the sake of my kids future ...(some people might not agree with me but ...well this is me!)
I’ll see what others would say...
Thanks again Smile

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AtLeastThreeDrinks · 04/07/2020 17:58

Canterbury is pretty diddy and while some of the centre is lovely, parts are a big rough around the edges. Being a student town you want to choose city-centre streets away from pubs! Saying that, there are some gorgeous houses on the river and close to the cathedral but they’re of course much pricier than farther afield. I lived in the city centre for a while and it was great having so much on your doorstep.

Whitstable (on the coast) is lovely is you’re interested in moving slight farther out, it’s only 20 minutes from the city in a straight line, so a direct bus for commuting in. Lots of indie cafes and nice shops there, a market with foodie bits – it’s growing quite popular for Londoners wanting a weekend by the sea.

Blean between Whitstable and Canterbury is quite sleepy but well-positioned between city and coast (10 mins by car in either direction) and good access to woodland walks.

There are lots of villages surrounding Canterbury but I suppose it depends how far you’re willing to travel for school and commuting! Bearing in mind city centre parking is expensive, so I personally would look at bus connections.

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MsSweary · 04/07/2020 18:27

New or Old Dover rd - and up toward Kent and Canterbury - they border Wincheap but nicer areas. Both near the Langton and near enough to Canterbury East Station which is a mainline up to London.

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MsSweary · 04/07/2020 18:27

that should read near Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

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MrFaceyRomford · 04/07/2020 18:53

Can I just voice my agreement regarding Herne Bay. My family come from there. I'm in Wiltshire. There's a reason for that.

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KittyHawke80 · 04/07/2020 19:06

You absolutely can, Facey. You sound like a sage individual fully deserving all of life's bounty.

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SoloMummy · 04/07/2020 19:12

Alternatively, look at the areas served by the school bus routes.

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MsSweary · 04/07/2020 19:14

I wouldn't recommend Whitstable either.

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Bellesavage · 04/07/2020 19:18

Blean and rough common areas are nice, if you pick the right end of them then the station is a 10 min downhill cycle in the morning (but a huge slog on the way home!)

South Canterbury is where people supposedly want to be but it's a nightmare getting to Canterbury West which is where the fast train runs from

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FizzyPink · 04/07/2020 19:22

Agree that Wincheap and Herne Bay are rough. I would look at Rough Common or Blean for easy commute to Canterbury west for the high speed train to London plus easy bus route for your daughter.

It’s also a great location for her to get into town to meet up with friends. Otherwise I’d go the other way and look at Bridge. I went to SLGGS and it’s a great school

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dingledongle · 04/07/2020 19:33

Why not rent initially? It will then be easier to look around at areas you like the look of.

Canterbury has two train stations so you need to get on the right line.

Also beware which side of Canterbury you move to because the traffic in to the city from either side is a challenge! If you are travelling in from Thannington/Chilham side you have to go through the city to get to Langton which at peak times is tricky.

It sounds like you need to do more research Wink

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Bouham · 04/07/2020 22:28

Thank you all for all your views! Very helpful indeed and YES I think I need to do a lot of research now that you helped me find the start point for my research Smile I think by September I will be an expert on the geography and transport/road layout of Canterbury Grin
Not easy with the current situation and the great windy weather we are having but we will try to visit as much as we can to have a feel of the different areas around there...
May be renting is a wise option right now ...
Thanks again everyone...I am pretty sure I will have more questions in the coming days Confused

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Florencenotflo · 04/07/2020 22:39

Oi you lot!!! There's nuffink wrong wiv Herne Bay 😂😂

In my defence, I moved here because DH lived here and he was worth the move. I'm not sure I'd have done it if I'd have known we'd still be living in HB 12 years later. In all honesty there are bits that aren't so good, we're up the Beltinge end and I don't mind it. It is a typical seaside town though and can be a bit bleak in the winter. But I'd still say you'd have a hell of a journey from here to SLGS.

I'd say you'd want to be the school side of Canterbury really, there are some lovely villages; Bridge, Bekesbourne, Patrixbourne. But that depends on if you want to live in a village. Chilham and Chartham are nice but I don't know enough about Thannington and Wincheap to say.

Will you be driving your Dd or will she be getting the bus? If she's getting the bus, I'd look up the buses and look along the bus route.

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FizzyPink · 04/07/2020 22:51

If she’s going to be getting the bus the majority of villages between Canterbury and Folkestone on the 17 bus route are lovely and where I grew up. Bridge or Barham would be ideal and both with lovely village primary schools for your younger children. However if you’re moving from SE London you might prefer a more lively city based area which those villages definitely are not!

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AuntieDolly · 04/07/2020 22:55

Herne Bay has got a nice cake shop...Smile

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clevername · 04/07/2020 23:40

There are loads of nice villages around Canterbury, if that's your kind of thing. Wingham is quite nice and pretty close. Ickham is also lovely (tiny village though!).

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Bellesavage · 05/07/2020 07:00

Just remember the villages can't get deliveroo!

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MsSweary · 05/07/2020 07:40

And they can get cut off in the snow! Not sure about mobile reception out there either?

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Bouham · 05/07/2020 09:33

Prefer villages to be honest...we had enough of London and we want a quite calm place now...
Don’t mind not having delivroo Grin either
The plan is to drive To school initially so avoiding traffic spots would be advantageous ...
Cheers everyone

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Bellesavage · 05/07/2020 09:43

Just remember you will be your DC taxi service if you do go to the villages. I grew up in one so I'm a bit jaded having been a teenager with no driving licence and few buses Grin

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