2 St. Margaret's Street
2 St. Margaret's Street
15 Bank Street
Welcome to our Kent area guide where we take a closer look at county known as ‘The Garden of England’ with useful information on key features and assets such as towns, transport, property prices, leisure and schooling.
Kent's proximity to both London and the sea makes it a highly desirable place to relocate when escaping London. From Strutt & Parker’s offices in Canterbury and Sevenoaks, we cover the whole of Kent; from the quaint seaside towns of Deal and Sandwich to the county town of Maidstone or Westerham in the far West and everything in between.
Kent’s housing market is highly varied: from traditional fisherman’s cottages and classic terraced houses on one hand to huge red brick family homes with extensive grounds and stunning, super-modern seafront properties and barn conversions on the other. Buyers who are attracted to the Kent property market are equally varied, with London based cash buyers often competing against locals to capture the property. Commuter towns such as Sevenoaks are especially popular for their convenient access to London.
Coastline and beaches
Kent has all the benefits that a coastline should: the iconic white cliffs of Dover offer breath-taking scenery; the Isle of Thanet (incorporating Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate) offers family-friendly sandy beaches and Herne Bay, near Canterbury, has extensive opportunities for those wishing to try their hand at sailing. There are further beaches to the South, around Dungeness which together cater well for water sports enthusiasts seeking favourable wind conditions from any direction.
Knole House, set in its own grounds, adjoins the town of Sevenoaks and is just one of many beautiful locations accessible to the public. The National Trust has a number of properties in the county and the area also benefits from open countryside, on the North Downs, in The Weald and more, offering limitless opportunities for country pursuits such as walking, riding and cycling. With nearly one hundred golf clubs, Kent is also ideal for golf-lovers.
Kent has fabulous countryside, high speed trains to London and a huge cross section of people. We also love:
Our Canterbury and Sevenoaks teams recommend the following:
Best restaurants: The Vine in Sevenoaks and Deeson’s in Canterbury
Best pubs: The Blackboy as it is just next door to the Sevenoaks office or The Griffin’s Head in Canterbury
Best annual event: The Canterbury Festival
Secret spot: Knole Park as it is countryside in the heart of the Sevenoaks.
Ashford is a market town offering all the high street favourites alongside a range of independent stores. Since the opening of Ashford International Station, giving direct access to Paris and Lille, Ashford has benefited from a high speed line into London. Just 15 miles from the fishing town and seaside resort of Folkestone, it is a natural choice for commuters. The surrounding villages are especially popular.
Canterbury is just a few miles South of the beautiful Kent coastline at Whitstable and Herne Bay and is surrounded by unspoilt countryside. The city itself is crammed with cultural attractions, many of them linked with the religious history of the town and St. Thomas Becket; the most notable is of course the cathedral. The Goods Shed market, food hall and restaurant is a gastronomic highlight. Canterbury is home to one of the campuses of the University of Kent.
The Georgian town of Deal is a quiet and picturesque seaside resort with a fascinating history, which can be explored in the local castles and museums. The twice weekly markets complement the town’s excellent range of independent shops; highlights include a well-regarded Italian patisserie and a café on the pier.
Located a stone’s throw from Kent’s coastal wetlands, Faversham is a historic port town boasting beautiful buildings and tidal creeks. It is 3 miles from the glorious downs and only 5 from the sea. Faversham also benefits from easy links into London and beyond, by both road and rail.
Maidstone is Kent’s very well connected county town with excellent schools and some beautiful historic parts. The town boasts two glorious open green spaces, used for a variety of recreational activities, and also benefits from some unique cultural hotspots, such as the community arts centre, Stepping Stones Studio.
Sevenoaks is a very pretty hilltop town with extremely convenient links into London, yet only an hour to the coast. Sevenoaks is home to a number of impressive stately homes, including Knole House which was built by a past Archbishop of Canterbury. The town centre has typically local architecture and some interesting and independent shops as well as a weekly market; a local shopping centre has all the chains you would expect.
A historic market town, Tonbridge has an impressive Motte & Bailey castle dominating its centre. The market, still popular with locals and tourists, sells a range of local produce every Saturday. Tonbridge sits close to the M25 and has regular and efficient trains into London, making it a popular commuter town.
Tunbridge Wells is a famous Spa town sitting close to the Kent/Sussex border. The Georgian Pantiles attracts visitors from all over the world to its elegant colonnaded walkways. The town is a haven for the independent retailer with a huge range of one-off shops catering for all shopaholics!
Ashford has good grammar schools and both Ashford Friars prep school and Ashford School come highly recommended.
As for comprehensives, both Great Chart primary and Norton Knatchbull secondary both have a very good reputation.
Canterbury has a wealth of good independent schools; the King’s School is particularly well thought of. The Archbishop’s School is an ‘outstanding’ state school in the city.
Deal’s Castle Community school was graded as outstanding by Ofsted and the town is also home to the independent Northbourne Park School.
Faversham’s Luddenham School is an exemplary academy and the town also benefits from a good grammar school and a choice of primaries.
Maidstone is blessed with a number of ‘outstanding’ schools, including Allington primary, Valley Park Community secondary school and the two grammar schools. Sutton Valence prep school also has a good reputation.
Sevenoaks’ famous Sevenoaks School, offering the international baccalaureate, is always ranked among the country’s top schools. The Walthamstow Hall schools and the New Beacon School are also well regarded. There are a number of highly regarded state primary schools in the area including Riverhead and Amherst, Sevenoaks Primary and Lady Boswell’s.
Tonbridge is home to a wealth of well-regarded independent schools, including Tonbridge School (for boys) and the Schools at Somerhill. Tonbridge grammar school has achieved ‘outstanding’ in consecutive Ofsted reports.
For a more comprehensive list of schools in the area we recommend the Good Schools Guide.
Trains from traditional commuter town and village stations go into various different stations in South East London and provide excellent access to the West End and the City in as little as 33 minutes from Sevenoaks; from most of Kent, it is possible to get into London in an hour. Train links to the rest of the country largely involve a change in London.
Kent is increasingly well known for High Speed One, the Eurostar line to the continent which carries commuter services as well as direct services to Lille, Brussels and Paris. Canterbury is now readily commutable, in 56 minutes, and Ashford is just 37 minutes from St Pancras.
Kent is well blessed with motorways, with both the M20 and the M2 linking London and the M25 to the channel ports, via Maidstone.
Kent has fabulous countryside, high speed trains to London and a huge cross section of people.