August 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm #18838
We are planning a move from London to the Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells area and would really appreciate any advice!!
We have a young family so good day nurseries and soon primary schools (state) are very important to us.
Both myself& husband will be commuting into London so access to a station is critical.
We are imagining a rural village with primary school, day nursery/kindergarten, mainline station and a few pubs/basic shops…..does this exist??!! I’ve heard that Hildenborough may fit the bill- it looks fantastic for commuting but do you pay a premium for this?
How possible is it to drive into either Tonbridge or Tunbridge Wells from surrounding villages to park at the station and commute? Do people do this or is traffic just too busy at peak times?
Thank you so much for any advice!!August 16, 2017 at 4:51 pm #18839
You may be the same Mary that I spoke to, hope you had my email about Hildenborough etc!
If not I apologise… my name is Louise Streets and I run a homefinding company called Kent Home Finders.
You are absolutely right, Hildenborough is a very popular station and commuters do drive for miles to use it at peak times. The service is much more restricted in the day. Philpott Allotments is a good place to park if you can get a space/allotment but parking tends to be pretty full including all the lanes around, locals are pretty frustrated as I know a few people who live very near to the station. So being truthful, the back roads from Tunbridge Wells/Penshurst etc are pretty fast and furious in the peak times and this starts much earlier in school terms. But it is a good commute, fast and easy which is why it is so popular (plus you can pick up a paper and a coffee at the station :-))
Hildenborough is not a ‘pretty’ village though, but it is walkable to the station. There are really no stations you can walk to unless you move down to Wadhurst just South of Tunbridge Wells or live in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge or Tunbridge Wells itself.
Hildenborough has a good school, chemist, doctors and cafe as well as Stocks Green school being nearby. However, not many properties come up in Hildenborough (there are hardly any to rent) but there other options and the surrounding villages such as Leigh does have a bus service to the station at certain times. Not all the villages have nurseries either and quite often the best pubs are ones you might drive to.
Prices in all these villages between Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells are high, Penshurst particularly as it is very sought after despite being further from the station, it is stunning though! Fordcombe, Speldhurst, Chiddingstone are all good options too for different reasons. The better value is nearer Tonbridge villages the other side of Tonbridge but it really depends on your budget and what you are happy to do in term of work etc.
But it is an incredibly popular area with people moving down as the commute is so easy. People are now much more willing to do up 70’s houses to get a good location within striking distance of the station even if they don’t particularly like any of the houses in their road. They will all slowly be updated though due to prices/the market/proximity to station/grammars etc. As you probably know the surrounding countryside is so beautiful so this adds to the traffic on weekends and holidays (along with the swelling cycling brigade).
It is a fabulous place to live though.
I know this area backwards having lived between Sevenoaks and Tonbridge for all of my childhood, I have many friends and my children’s friends all around there and know the schools well too.
In the end you your home will most likely to be a compromise on your wish list but it’s knowing what is a good trade off that is key and how it would work for your family.
If you would like a no obligation chat please do feel free to give me a call on 07771 723 807 and we can chat through any aspect of your move.
Also if you would like to talk to any of my clients to see how I helped them find their home in West Kent and around this particular area, then please just let me know.
Kent Home Finders
07771 723 807
http://www.kenthomefinders.comAugust 18, 2017 at 10:56 am #18840
The area around Chiddingstone/Bough Beech/Chiddingstone Causeway/Leigh is lovely and Chiddingstone Primary school has been brilliant so far for our two, there are shops in Chiddingstone/Leigh and Chiddingstone Causeway and good pubs in Bough Beech and Chiddingstone, The Wheatsheaf, Little Brown Jug and The Castle Inn plus the cafes and play areas at Hever Castle and Penshurst Place (annual pass to both makes sense when you live so close!). Most people commute to London, and get there either from the Hildenborough Line or Edenbridge Line – being between the two comes in handy when you have issues with either line and need to find a way home! There is a free station car park at Hever & Cowden, and lots of paid options for parking at Hildenborough, we use https://www.philpotsallotments.com/commuter-parking – traffic isn’t a problem, only small villages so you don’t really hit traffic until you get nearer to Tonbridge or Tunbridge Wells. Good Luck with your hunt!August 18, 2017 at 1:27 pm #18841
Thank you both so much- really helpful and some great suggestions for villages to explore!
Louise- yes it’s the same Mary,thank you so much for your help!
Beckie- it sounds like you have little ones (I have three preschool…..), could I ask a few questions about schools/childcare?
I would be working part time so some days both myself and husband would be commuting- do most people have a nanny/childminder to care for younger children and cover school pick up/holidays etc?
Are there many ‘full time’ nursery options or primary schools (state) with after school clubs etc to accommodate working parents? One of us could plan to be back for a 6pm pick up- I guess alot of parents do this and have to park two cars at the station?
It all seems so straightforward in London jumping off the tube and walking to nursery! !!
Thanks again so much for your help!August 25, 2017 at 12:40 pm #18845
We moved to Hildenborough two years ago.Id lived near Sevenoaks (7o)some years ago – tho it is lovely in the centre,we couldnt afford what we wanted there within easy distance of the station (which is also at the bottom of a v steep hill!) For us Hildenborough is an ideal compromise. It isn’t that pretty – Between Sevenoaks and Tonbridge, it has a variety of housing stock (check out TN11 on rightmove- theres two houses on our road alone up for sale atm!)local facilities eg primary schools,friendly health centre, library,chemist, one Stop shop with post office,yet seems less suburban than 7o or T. We’re on Stocks Green road and as theyve recently reduced the speed limit,we can either walk to the station in 10 mins (many do),DH drops me or we park (more in winter…brr!). Ive never not found a space. Its absolutely perfect for offering regular quick services to London (charing x for me cannon st for DH). The station master is great,and the guys at the coffee bar get to know yr order. Takes 45 min direct to ch x. At night DH sometimes picks me up from 70 as there are more trains to there.
Hboro is also well siuated for getting out to lovely surrounding village pubs at weekends for meals. (We looked at a few of these villages too during our property search eg chiddingstone etc but decided the necessity to drive everywhere was too much of a disadvantage). Our 17 year old likes that he too can walk/cycle to the station and be in central London within an hour
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