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jethrotull

Paddock Wood

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Any advice on the Paddock Wood area would be greatly appreciated. Which are safest/nicest villages in the area?

My wife wants to follow all her friends and family and move from South-East London (9 mins commute to London), to Kent. Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells are lovely but I have got to find some real countryside, so we're looking at the villages between Tonbridge and Staplehurst.

We have heard terrible things about Paddock Wood and anti-social elements. Are the villages around Paddock Wood, like Hormonden, free of anti-social behaviour?

Villages and towns with train stations didn't seem so nice, but were convenient. The best places seemed to be Cranbrook, Benenden, and Tenterden.

Any tips on where to look are greatly appreciated.

I have about £550k for a 4 bed with enough land for my dogs.

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The only things going for Paddock Wood is the station and a rather large Waitrose. Horsmonden is too small a village and has well-connected criminal types living there. Benenden is too small and boring. Tenterden is OK but miles from anywhere (nearest large town is Ashford - awful) and the trip to the nearest station to get to London is at least a 20 minute drive to Headcorn. Staplehurst is unfortunately a village spread out along the road which runs through it so it has no real centre.

Your best bet is Cranbrook. It is a lovely pretty village/town with a number of independent shops, good secondary school and many pubs and restaurants including one with a Michelin star. Nearest big town to shop in would be Tunbridge Wells which is great. The drive to the nearest station for London is at Staplehurst which is less than 10 minutes away. I grew up and live in this part of Kent and would choose Cranbrook or Tunbridge Wells every time.

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Oh dear, Sibley.

Yalding is a lovely village but I would totally dismiss it as it is a major flood area. Flooded really badly there a few years ago and as for prices it is at least as expensive as Cranbrook which does not flood.

Paddock Wood, Laddingford and East Peckham are all OK but not nearly as nice as West Peckham or Plaxtol. I am not being a snob just saying what are the nicest places in the area. Obviously the better the village or town, the more expensive it is to buy there. The OP says he is moving from south London so I assume he is not on a shoestring budget.

You keep ramping Maidstone. I rest my case...

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Went down with Mrs Tull to have a look-see for a few days. We reached a couple of conclusions:

Horsmonden Green had a pub with a massive Sky TV banner facing it. My idea of a village pub isn't Fosters 'n' Footie. Everyone seemed to drive a Transit, even on a Sunday morning or Saturday night. However pretty it is, we ain't gonna fit in there. Nice, but not for me. In general I didn't feel at home in any of the market gardening areas of West Kent. It ain't snobbery, its just being realistic that people like us are in the minority. We'd be better off living with our own sort. Otherwise it was a lovely area.

Maidstone was just like South London used to be. Then I remember so many of the old South London families we had as neighbours moved to Maidstone, so that made sense. Transport connections were rubbish - a slow train and a road that is blocked twice a day during the 3 hour long 'rush-hour'.

Noise shaped the decision a lot, you can't go far west because of Gatwick noise. Pretty villages like Penshurst were spoiled by it. Motorways and the A21 rule a lot of other areas.

Also, the train service is critical for work. The train is dead fast to Sevenoaks and then just slows right down. From most stations it was quicker to drive to Sevenoaks than get on the local train. Friends in Tunbridge Wells told us how they drove from TW to Sevenoaks to catch the train because it was quicker, cheaper, and there is nowhere to park in TW.

In the end we decided on the villages South-West and South-East of Sevenoaks, or the North of Tonbridge because of locals, noise, trains, prices, and scenery.

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