September 23, 2014 at 10:33 am #11544
My other half and I have been considering moving to a Kent seaside town. He loves Deal but I’m a bit unsure about it (but thanks to James for giving me some great answers and helping a lot). We’re also thinking of Folkestone – I wondered if anyone on this has moved there? Lives/lived there? any thoughts on it as a place to live? My OH is keen to have that sea feel…um…so yes, any thoughts on the town and the commute to london woudl be really really helpful.
K xSeptember 23, 2014 at 3:05 pm #11547
Just saw your post on twitter. I have just bought a place in Folkestone (am from South London). It took me a year to decide and I have to say I am very satisfied with the area now. I am still fully London based though and only come for the week end at the moment. If I were you I would focus on the West end side behind the Leas and towards Sandgate. The 55 minutes journey to London is a plus and the town is changing for the best. There have been various big investment lately. Sandgate and Hythe which are just 05-10 minutes drive away are really nice. too. I know two other couples who are thinking to move in the area the past 2 months.September 24, 2014 at 12:17 pm #11592
Belinda DM’d me….I live in the area (in village outside Ashford), so can’t claim true insider knowledge of Folkestone, but visit often through year. There’s a lot changing there, particularly a massive investment around the harbour area. We go to Rocksalt regularly (great food, especially nice for lunch, or cocktails and/or brunch in the bar area). Also good fish and chips from their sister restaurant. The artists’ quarter is beginning to flourish and we enjoy strolling up around the hilly area off the town centre. Good comedy at the Quarterhouse and an interesting programme of other events too. Lots of nice residential streets away and West of the centre. Attractive and spacious Victorian terraces and villas – at bargain prices. As Frederic recommends, Sandgate and the Leas are particularly nice. Love Radnor Cliff! ‘Up and coming’ is often over-used, but I think it’s probably true with Folkestone. But I like Hythe too (it’s certainly prettier, but, am guessing, a harder commute to London?).September 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm #11593
I moved to Folkestone in 2003 after visiting since the late 80’s when my best friend moved down here. The property prices, lack of traffic, beautiful scenery and community spirit are all part of what enticed me to up sticks and move here from London. I have never regretted making that decision and love living here. My eldest daughter went to a local Grammar school and is due to go to Uni next year, she’s having a gap year at the moment. My youngest attends a local primary school and plays safely out in the street with all the children from our road. I’ve tried to let them have the same type of childhood that I had in London as it no longer exists where I grew up. There has been an increase in the number of DFL’s (Down from Londons – the local’s term 🙂 ) moving here over the last few years and they all agree they would never move back to London. The locals sometimes can’t seem to understand the enthusiasm for Folkestone that people who move here have but we all seem to appreciate how lucky we are to live in a such a community minded town. Yes there are some problem areas as in any town but people here actually do something to try and make things better. If you get involved with the local community you are welcomed with open arms and soon form friendships. I am actively involved within the local community, so much so that I present a radio show on the local radio station to promote Folkestone, the people, the events etc. We have so many free events going on during the year that sometimes you can’t get to go to all of them. The beaches and countryside are gorgeous, we are 35 minutes from France, 55 minutes from Central London. Why would you want to stay in London paying ridiculous prices for property and sit in traffic jams or squashed on public transport all day? I really don’t understand why people still live there.September 24, 2014 at 3:58 pm #11596
Gosh, thanks so much for answering and so quickly (even if you had to be ‘prodded’ Sally?! 😉 )
Kay, I’m really pleased by what you say about community spirit. I love joining stuff and it’s one of my biggest sadnesses about where we’re based at the moment, so that’s quite exciting.
We’re still v much in the beginning stages of considering but I might well have more questions closer to the time!
Do any of you commute to London? W
xSeptember 24, 2014 at 4:19 pm #11598
I know lots of people who use the high speed which takes 55 min, it used to take me at least 90 min to do a five mile round trip (school drop off then work) when I lived in London. I think it’s about 5K for a season ticket but if you compare that to petrol, congestion charge, parking meters, insurance etc then it’s not so bad. Folkestone is easy to get around, most places are 10-20min walking distance, I can get a cab home for under a fiver on a night out, I used to take about £40 just for cabs in London, and most of the time I walk home and feel perfectly safe. There’s lots of large families in Folkestone because no one really needs a car. Deal is lovely too but takes longer commuting and the lifestyle is a bit slower than Folkestone. I like to visit there but it doesn’t have the same buzz as Folkestone. I think property there is more expensive too but don’t quote me on that 🙂
If you need to know anything else I’m happy to help
KaySeptember 28, 2014 at 10:15 pm #11724
I too am thinking of a move to Folkestone in 12-18 months. DH and went down earlier this year to eat at Rocksalt and were impressed with the town, and the new developments we could see. The property prices were attractive, as well. We’re in our mid-fifties, and are out and about in central London a lot. I suppose I panic at the thought of leaving London – I’ve lived in SW London all my life – but the HS1 link is brilliant, so visiting town shouldn’t be a problem, I hope. What are some of the local events that people have mentioned? On our last visit, we tried to find out what was on, and hit a brick wall. How do local people deal with the DFLs? Is there resentment? What sort of local community activities do people involve themselves with? Thank you for any insights you’d be willing to share: all in the name of research!
Ma22September 29, 2014 at 12:49 pm #11727
Super interesting, thank you everybody for fab information!
One question – where would be the best place to live, given that we have toddler son who lives for the outdoors? Are there areas with parks/village green where he might roam free? Or is it too much of a city for that?September 29, 2014 at 7:39 pm #11807
Dorcas, DFL’s are welcomed, I should know having been here 11 years now 🙂 For info on what’s happening in Folkestone then try these FB Pages / Web Sites they will give you all the info you need to know – Folkestone Status, What’s on Folkestone, Discover Folkestone, Folkestone Quarterhouse, Folkestone Town Centre Management, Academy FM Folkestone, Folkestone Town Talk,Folkestone Festivals plus more that I can’t recall at the moment. I also present a show on Academy FM Folkestone 105.9FM which you can listen to online, it’s called ‘Waffling on a Wednesday’ and is all about Folkestone events, people etc. There’s lots of things to get involved in down here depending on what your interests are.September 29, 2014 at 7:43 pm #11808
Jules, we are a small seaside town with 45,000 people not a big city so very friendly. We are surrounded by countryside, beaches and the sea and our Coastal Park has won numerous awards. http://www.visitkent.co.uk/attractions/lower-leas-coastal-park/8926
The Warren is stunning and perfect for children to explore too. http://www.whitecliffscountryside.org.uk/index.php?id_sec=1132&id_sub=1132September 29, 2014 at 7:58 pm #11809
‘Waffling on a Wednesday’ – love it, great name! Thanks for all that detail; I’ll definitely check out those facebook pages too.
KathrynSeptember 29, 2014 at 8:03 pm #11810
Thanks Kathryn, Folkestone Facebook pages are full of excitement today as Banksy has just done a new piece here! I took some photos for the Folkestone Status this morning and it was confirmed as official this afternoon 🙂December 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm #13017
We bought our flat behind the Leas around July and I am very happy so far. I agree some part of Folkestone look really derelict and depressing.It s true however that they are some people in this town with that air of desperation but I have meet so far locals who really love the city and are trying their best to improve the local life. Anyway let’s face it, I will have never been able to afford a beautiful grand 120sqm 5 minutes walk from the sea anywhere else and so close to London for work. Winter is about to start, the old town is much quieter but we like it. The views, the sea, the beaches, no wonder the Edwardians were found of the area. As for the buzz, I know too so far 2 families/single friends from London who are looking to move since they visited us.
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