If working from home has got you thinking about a house move – how about Kent? We check out the best places to live in the garden of England.
The lockdowns of the past year have brought about a seismic shift in people’s working lives – and seen increasing numbers of city dwellers looking to move out of London. A home by the sea, in a quiet village or an historic market town once felt like a dream. But working from home has put a quieter pace of life within the grasp of many thousands of urbanites – almost 74,000 homes were bought outside London by people moving from the capital last year.
If you’ve decided to make the move, and think Kent might be the place, you’ve chosen well as this county ticks many of the boxes. Kent is known as the garden of England, and it’s easy to see why with its rolling farmland and areas out outstanding natural beauty.
Depending on where you choose, there are some easy commutes into London as well as great schools (Kent has the grammar school system) and stunning beaches, many of them quiet and undiscovered. And if you’re thinking house prices, you might find Kent surprisingly affordable compared to London.
Where you choose will really depend on your priorities; whether you’re after a quirky coastal spot, picturesque village or bigger town with great amenities and its own unique charm.
To get you thinking, here’s our pick of the 10 best places to live in Kent in 2021.
Sometimes dubbed ‘Shoreditch on sea’, Margate is the ultimate in beachside cool with plenty of vintage and interiors shops, bars and cafes. It’s home to the Turner Contemporary art gallery and Dreamland – the town’s amusement park, restored for the 21st century and now an occasional music venue. Plus, Margate has stunning Georgian and Victorian architecture and a big sandy beach.
A favourite haunt of Charles Dickens – he came here to write David Copperfield – Broadstairs is smaller and more sedate than Margate but with its own selection of cute independent shops and some great dining options.
Further down the coast you’ll find Deal. The beach is pebbly here but quiet and sedate compared to Margate. Property options include lovely Georgian cottages and stunning conversion flats along the seafront. Deal’s charms haven’t gone unnoticed – the town made it into the Sunday Times best place to live list for 2021 for its ‘swanky but sensible high street’.
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With its pastel-painted shopfronts and beach huts, pretty Whitstable has Instagram-worthy appeal. An historic fishing port, it’s a magnet for seafood lovers and is famed for its oysters. There’s also a thriving arts scene and real sense of community.
Kent – Tunbridge Wells
Royal Tunbridge Wells
A spa town from the 1600s, Tunbridge Wells was the retreat of choice for monarchs down the centuries, particularly Queen Victoria – her son Edward VII bestowed its ‘Royal’ status in 1909. While set within an area of outstanding countryside, the town has a buzzy feel centred around the pedestrianised Pantiles – an attractive colonnade of shops and cafes.
If you’re after a bit of heritage, it doesn’t get much more historic than this medieval city, home to the impressive Cathedral and immortalised by Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales. While on the tourist trail, Canterbury is an appealing spot to put down roots, with its cobbled streets, riverside restaurants and quaint shops. It’s also just an hour from London St Pancras by high-speed train.
Sevenoaks also made it into the Sunday Times’ list of top places in the south east this year. The town has been popular with the wave of relocating Londoners and it’s easy to see why – with trains to Charing Cross taking just half an hour, it’s a commuter’s dream. Plus, Sevenoaks has its own unique country-town feel, plenty of places to eat, good schools, decent shopping and a rich sense of history.
Just 40 minutes from London by high-speed link, this market town has a choice of shops and restaurants as well as easy access to the glorious countryside of the North Downs.
Kent’s oldest market town, Faversham has a growing reputation as a foodie hangout, bursting with independent shops, cafes and gastropubs. It’s also well situated for coastal and country walks.
With its ancient cathedral perched above the River Medway, Norman castle, crooked houses and cute shops, Rochester is a visual treat. It has its place in literary history too – Dickens spent his early and later years close by and, consequently, you’ll find bookshops a-plenty. Rochester is also well connected by train – you’ll be in St Pancras in half an hour.
If you’re looking at buying in Kent, give us a call. We can talk to you about your options and help you find the property and location that are perfect for you.
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