Life in Kent...

Jul 16th, 2007, 05:21 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Life in Kent...

I have a chance to work in Kent for a year. I'm very excited but I not quite sure what to expect. I currently live in a very diverse, major US city. From what I know about London, I imagine that I would enjoy living there. Unfortunately from the research that I've done so far, I can't get a sense of what to expect in Kent.

Also could anyone suggest:
1. Any safe, affordable but trendy, neighborhoods?
2. Any good websites or books to ease the transition from the US to the UK?

Any other comments or insights(especially those specific to various parts of Kent) would be greatly apprieciated.

seajainrunn is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 05:28 PM
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"Any safe, affordable but trendy, neighborhoods?" Kent isn't a town w/ "neighborhoods" to pick. It is a large, diverse county - w/ cities like Dover and Canterbury, seaside resorts, rural towns and villages, and farm land. So - where abouts will you be working? It will make a big difference
janisj is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 05:29 PM
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The above was assuming you meant Kent and not Kentish Town, which is in north central London.

So where do you mean . . . . .
janisj is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 06:10 PM
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Sorry I wasn't clear in my original post. I meant Kent County. Unfortunately, I won't know where I'll be working in the county until next month. I'm just trying to get a head start on narrowing down my options. Some of the areas that I've heard nice things about are Canterbury, Maidstone and Rochester. I am looking to avoid the more rural areas. I expect that I'll be required to travel into London quite often.
seajainrunn is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 10:51 PM
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I live in Kent and to be honest I wouldn't describe any of it as 'trendy'. There's nowhere that is comparable to living in a large city.

nona1 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 10:55 PM
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Until you know where you are working it's not much help giving advice on where to live as travelling within Kent can be a painful experience if you can't go directly from home to work

Once you do know where you are working you also need to tell us how much you can spend on accommodation as Kent is very expensive and what is acceptable to you may be too expensive
alanRow is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 10:57 PM
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Until you find out where you'll be working in Kent/London it'll be difficult to make any suggestions as there are several train lines into London, and being near the wrong one could make commuting very unpleasant.

You might want to think about living in south London and commuting out to your work in Kent?

Kent generally is 'small-town' or 'rural' land. What are your main priorities? Good nightlife? Good shopping?

On the diversity front, the northern part of Kent is quite diverse, I don't know about the rest of it.
nona1 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 03:30 AM
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I now live on the Kent East Sussex boarder. Some very general rules of thumb. North Kent is more built up with some large towns like Maidstone and Ashford. West Kent is very rural Southwest even more so (apart from Tunbridge Wells), this area is often called the weald. Accommodation is on the expensive side as it has its share of converted oast houses now lived in be moneyed people.
However, you can find areas that have good commuter links into London and good facilities in bars and restaurants. Tunbridge Wells 45 mins, Sevenoaks 35 mins, Paddock Wood 40 mins. Nearer London, there is Orpington, Dartford etc
I suggest you get a map of the routes that South eastern (train company) run and then look at the stations and then the areas. That is what we did when we left the smoke for the county.
I am sure that when you know more details on where you are based their will be lot of willing helpers on this forum.
JimSteel is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 05:08 AM
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I'm not sure I would call Ashford North Kent, (it is south west) nor Tunbridge Wells south west (north west or central if you are going to include the bits of Kent swallowed by London).
Cnaterbury is suprisingly affordable, but trendy it ain't. It is in the middle of very rural Kent. In fact most of Kent is pretty rural. My SIL live in a village near Canterbury, though she is currently in hospital in Ashford, having fallen from a great height, without aid of a parachute, and broken various bits of herself.
But as others have said until you know where in Kent you will be working we can't really offer advice on where to live. Meanwhile there is stacks of information for you on the net.
hetismij is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 05:19 AM
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Do not live in Dover if you can avoid it. Transit town
bilboburgler is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 09:10 AM
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I'd give Rochester a swerve too - tourists by day, pissed up chavs by night.
audere_est_facere is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 09:22 AM
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Can you get hold of some Kent Life magazines? (There's a whole slew of these regional lifestyle magazines, Berkshire Life, Buckinghamshire Life, etc.). They're a bit rose-colored and rah rah, but still you can get some good ideas of what's hot and happening (if anything) in the area.

Perhaps your local Borders or B&N could special order it for you.
BTilke is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 09:26 AM
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FWIW, we're mulling a move to the Tunbridge Wells area. Depends on what happens with our careers. We've looked into Faversham as well, but we're not sure we want to go that far out.
The nice thing about living in Kent is the ease of reaching Eurotunnel for car jaunts to France and Belgium. Getting there from our current place in Maidenhead means dealing with the M25 beltway around London, which in turn means we're a lot more likely to hit traffic delays.
BTilke is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 11:33 PM
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If access to the Eurotunnel is that important then don't forget that the new station opens in Ebbsfleet (near Dartford) in November on the new St Pancras route. You'll be able to join Eurostar trains this year and from 2009 there will be a high-speed commuter link to London that will take just 15 minutes to St Pancras.

Not the nicest area in the world immediately near the station, but some nice little villages a few miles away if you poke around a bit.
nona1 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 01:56 AM
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I moved from London to Sevenoaks a few years ago, and specifically chose Sevenoaks for its quick train-journey times into London.

I feel it's have a good balance of being able to enjoy the 'Garden of England' whilst being able to be in the bright lights within 1/2 an hour.

Kent certainly isn't diverse or trendy (London's near enough for that) but is a beautiful part of the world and definitely worth spending a year in. I would recommend staying in Kent and visiting London as and when you felt like it, rather than living in South London and commuting out as nona1 suggested.

I'm basically re-iterating what everyone else has said, but I guess that's what forums are for...

Jay_G is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 02:21 AM
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Ive lived in Kent my whole life (42 years!) Ive lived in many parts of this County.

Sorry to all those that live in Medway, but I would give the Medway towns a WIDE berth. I hate the area, full of unemployed chavs and its just plain dirty. I have to cross Strood to get to Hoo St Werburgh to visit my Mother in Law and can't wait to get out of it.

Let us know which part you are interested in. I live rurally between Maidstone and Ashford, in Lenham.
EnglishOne is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 03:46 AM
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Our family relocated from US almost a year ago. Kent is about 10 minutes from our house. Fast train will take to to London in 40 minutes. If you are interested, read our American Expatriate Family in London at My husband wrote about relocation package, transfer, moving etc. in our blog. Good luck! Feel free to email us from our site with any questions.
Matroskin is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 03:47 AM
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Nona1, we're more interested in Eurotunnel than Eurostar for our trips, as they're taken in the car with the dog along. Can't do that on Eurostar, from Ashford, Ebbsfleet or Waterloo.
BTilke is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 03:27 PM
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Thanks for all of the responses to this post. They have been extremely helpful. I agree with those of you who suggested that I return when I have more information. I'm meeting with my recruiter in 3 weeks. I'll give it another go then.
seajainrunn is offline  

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