Londoners struggling which area to move to!

This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Helen 8 months ago.

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    Hi Everyone,

    Myself and my husband are looking to move out of London (and have done for a few years) we haven’t made the move as we haven’t settled on where! We want a family home (no kids just yet but hopefully soon!) location is super important to us! We are both creative and would like to socialise with/meet new people in/around the new area.. our budget is not too sizeable and the price of houses now is shocking!! Areas we love include; Epping, Bath, Somerset, Winchester and Tunbridge Wells (haven’t visited Winchester or TW just yet but from what I’ve researched) ideally we would like outdoor space and a spacious house.. we wanted to be within 1-hours commute to London but the prices of houses are too expensive.. happy to move further out but would still need to commute a few 2-3 days each week.. any advice greatly appreciated

    Thanks in advance 🙂



    Hi Charlotte,

    DEAL in Kent, 80 mins by train from St Pancras with loads of creative / social hubs and fresh sea air :

    Good luck,



    Hi Charlotte,
    It’s a big decision but if your research points you to Tunbridge Wells you’ve obviously been pretty thorough as it’s a great place to live for so many reasons. I live five minutes away and have never regretted moving down here from London.
    Not only is it a very friendly town but it’s the perfect size, not too big and sprawling but not too small that you don’t have lots of choice both in terms of shopping, eating and entertainment. You can really get involved too and there are great schools and excellent nurseries if you go down the children route.
    We’re on Southeastern rail which is so much better than Southern who you hear about in the news all the time. So commuting on two or three days a week is good with a 50 minute journey into London Bridge. There are several different parking options not always available at other stations.
    Pricing wise it is obviously very different from your Somerset choices (although probably not Bath!)but there are many options and Tunbridge Wells benefits from beautiful architecture with many houses having spacious rooms and reasonable gardens for a town setting.
    With a more reasonable commute than your other choices you would have options to live in a nearby village if that appealed to you too. You have fabulous National trust houses, parks, the South Downs, Ashdown Forest, the coast e.g. Brighton, Eastbourne and Camber Sands all easily accessible as well as being able to hop on the train to London for the evening.
    Many people are now doing exactly what you are hoping to do, they don’t have to commute every day so they can have a better quality of life going up a few days a week whilst making the most of being out of London.
    If you would like to chat about a move do give me a ring, I run my own business Kent Home Finders in West Kent and East Sussex (particularly Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks) and am always happy to chat with people thinking of making the move down here whether or not you are interested in using a property finder.
    If you’re interested in taking a tour at some point do let me know and I can introduce you to the town.
    Best, Louise
    Louise Streets 07771 723 807



    I’ve lived in Somerset (my parents still do), spent many a teenage hour in Bath and now live in Tunbridge Wells….which is a lovely city, small, close to London, the sea, glorious countryside, and very family friendly. There are two theatres, and we may be about to get two new cinemas in town and a new shopping centre development – although STILL no Waitrose…which is a big bone of contention for some ;0). There are hundreds of societies and clubs to get stuck into and it is very sociable – we moved here from London (via a very short stay near Epsom) about 10 years ago and love it (bar the traffic).

    Tonbridge would offer better value for money in property terms and has a castle, lovely park, river etc and the commute is better because there are far more trains; it also has a Waitrose – yet TW dwellers are very sniffy about it for some reason. Their high street is no better than the top end of TW, although the ‘Village’ area of TW is lovely with some super independents and more well known brands (Crew Clothing, Joules, Cath Kidston etc).

    All that said, I’d move to the West Country in a heartbeat if I didn’t have to be in the South East – somewhere like Bruton or Frome has a very creative/arty vibe and you’d definitely get more house for your money – the commute from Castle Cary is do-able on a two or three times a week basis, although the train is expensive. Is Bristol somewhere you’d consider – my brother lives there in a gorgeous place near the Downs and it’s fabulous – and it’s far better value than Bath – and the traffic/tourist quotient isn’t as high.

    Plus, if you do have children in the future, the 11+ in Kent is a hideous system, even if you have children who are unlikely to struggle with the test – it’s very divisive and people here get UBER competitive very early on!

    Not sure if any of that helps at all!



    Hi Charlotte

    So glad you are considering Tunbridge Wells! It’s a great place to live…a vibrant town, loads of good restaurants including the newly opened Ivy and The Pantiles is a lovely place to while away an hour or two with a drink in hand. There are lots of good independent shops, upmarket offerings such as The White Company/ Russell and Bromley/Farrow and Ball/Carluccios etc and a shopping centre for all the usual high street brands. There are two theatres in Tunbridge Wells and as the previous poster pointed out there may be a new development coming to town to include a new cinema and shopping centre within the town centre. The commute would be an easy one with London Bridge accessible in just 45 minutes on the fast train.

    The surrounding countryside is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the coast is within easy reach and the schools including several grammar schools are excellent, should you require them in the future. There is high competition for houses in the good schools’ catchment areas so it’s good to get some insider knowledge. Beware that details on houses might refer to a property being within a coveted catchment area when these areas change year on year so we’d recommend some research. If you’d like some guidance on Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding area please feel free to get in touch. We are always happy to have an informal chat.
    Jay Milborne



    Many thanks All! Your responses are great! Much appreciated and valued 🙂

    Just out of interest, does the TW area have a creative/art feel to it at all? We will be visiting the area soon!

    Important to us that the location feels right. I have heard excellent things for Somerset and fell in love with Bath but unfortunately, it is just too far a commute and too expensive to make 3 times each week!

    Same with Deal, I have heard it’s great place, but again could potentially be a bit too far as we would like the option to drive for the commute, as we’ll as get the train..



    Hi Charlotte,
    In terms of creative arts Tunbridge Wells has a thriving theatre (Trinity), some great galleries dotted around e.g.. Wing Gallery in Wadhurst and the Fairfax gallery in the Pantiles plus sculpture/photography/writing courses/groups, networks and exhibitions. Music is also growing – Jazz on the Pantiles, The Forum, Music at Frant….all different genres.

    This group is very active locally It might be an idea to get in touch with them and have a chat.

    Lewes around half an hour south of TWells and Forest Row to the west are very well known for their arts vibe. Lewes and surrounding East Sussex has the Charleston set influence and has long been a draw (but I’m sure you know that).

    Hope that helps,



    Hi Charlotte

    How is your search going? Are you any closer to deciding on an area to move out to?

    Winchester is a great place for young couples moving out of London. The schools are excellent and there is so much to do for young families.

    Take a look at my website for photos of Winchester and the surrounding area

    You can get more for your money by considering some of the outlying towns and villages which are still only a 10 minute drive from the mainline station to London, Waterloo (59 mins).

    Winchester itself has an arty creative vibe with the Winchester College of Art as well as many popular events such as the infamous Hat Fair, Gin Festival, Cocktail Week, Winchester Film Festival, Winchester Fashion Week, Winchester Writers’ Conference, Winchester Festival and Winchester Comedy Festival. Check out the Visit Winchester Guide for further info on Arts and Culture in the city.

    I offer relocation/orientation tours and a school information service to help you find the right house to suit you in the right location. Stamp duty is so expensive that it’s worth getting the area right from the start – especially with school catchment areas in mind since you are considering starting a family.

    Do give me a call for an informal chat about the city and surrounding villages/towns – and I would be very happy to meet for a free, no obligation consultation whether you choose to use the services of a home search agent or not.

    Good luck with you decisions – it sounds like a very exciting time for you!

    All the best

    Mulberry Home Search
    07765 250953

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