The past year and a half has certainly changed people’s perspective on where they want to live. As working from home became the norm, tens of thousands of Londoners exited the capital for a quieter pace of life.
But as lockdown eases and people return to office working – even if part-time – commuter towns seem to offer the best of both worlds.
For anyone seeking easy access to the capital, Kent’s commuter towns are a great option. Depending on where you choose, you could be in central London in half an hour. The county has plenty of other things to recommend it too, from great schools to stunning beaches, rolling countryside or an arty vibe. And if you’re thinking house prices, you might find Kent surprisingly affordable compared to London.
To give you an idea, here are some of our favourite towns and villages in the ‘Garden of England’, all with an easy commute to London.
Classic village with pub, local shops and a green. Close to all the amenities of Royal Tunbridge Wells too. It’s an eight-minute drive from the station, which will have you at Charing Cross in less than an hour.
Charming medieval town in the Weald, whose oldest buildings date back 600 years. There’s a good selection of pubs, cafés and restaurants and stunning character architecture. It is also home to the outstanding grammar, Cranbrook School. From Staplehurst station (11 minutes away) you’ll be in London Bridge in 53 minutes. Nearby Sissinghurst with its castle and stunning gardens and vineyards is a good choice too.
Historic village, overlooking Romney Marsh with a shop, bakery, tennis club and a pub. Lively too, it’s popular with celebrities including Paul O’Grady, Alan Carr and Julien Clary. It’s a 16-minute drive from Ashford International, which will take you to London St Pancras in 37 minutes.
Pretty village in the Weald with a shop, tea room, good primary school and four pubs. From nearby Hildenborough station you can be Charing Cross in 45 minutes.
Picturesque place with plenty going on, including a cinema club. It’s close to Churchill’s home, Chartwell. The commute from Oxted to London Victoria takes 39 minutes.
Royal Tunbridge Wells
A spa town since the 1600s, set within an area of outstanding countryside, Royal Tunbridge Wells has a buzzy feel centred around the pedestrianised Pantiles – an attractive colonnade of shops and cafes. There’s a 57-minute commute to Charing Cross – Cannon Street is also an option.
Cathedral city immortalised by Chaucer in his tales, Canterbury has cobbled streets, riverside restaurants and quaint shops. It’s also just an hour from London St Pancras by high-speed train.
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Sevenoaks has been popular with the wave of relocating Londoners and it’s easy to see why. With its unique country-town feel, it has plenty of places to eat, decent shopping and a rich sense of history. It is also a site for the outstanding Weald of Kent Grammar School. Trains to Charing Cross take a mere half an hour.
Less than 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.
With its ancient cathedral perched above the River Medway, crooked houses and cute shops, Rochester is a visual treat. Dickens spent his early and later years here and, consequently, you’ll find bookshops a-plenty. Rochester will also get you to 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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