Local Talk

Thinking of moving to Sevenoaks from London next year ...

(10 Posts)
MissWooWoo Mon 09-Jul-12 12:28:53

... but not sure where is "good", need to be fairly close to station for DP's commute into London and DD will be starting Y1 after the summer holidays.

DD also does ballet/tap and gymnastics so would be good to hear of any clubs etc.
Ready to make the move but I'm petrified of being completely isolated - am SAHM.

Any advice from people who've made the move or sevenoaks born and bred welcome

eatyourveg Wed 11-Jul-12 13:58:14

Sevenoaks commuters often fight for seats on the train, there is only 1 secondary state school (Knole Academy) and the 11+ers commute south to Tonbridge or Tunbridge Wells and those wanting church school commute down to Tunbridge Wells.

Next downline is Hildenborough though not all trains stop there and the station is not in the village centre. Stocks Green primary is considered better than Hildenborough Primary but usually oversubscribed.

After that you come to Tonbridge about 10 mins after 7oaks on a fast train. Big commuter station and good secondary schools. Woodlands primary is considered one of the best in town but is in North Tonbridge. if you want walking distance of the station you really ought to be south of the river Medway. Tonbridge has 3 grammars, 2 high schools and 1 comprehensive.

After that the line splits, half the trains go to Paddock Wood and on to Ashford. Paddock Wood is much cheaper in terms of housing but not in the 11+ catchment areas meaning if you choose to take the test for one of the grammars, you will need a higher score than someone who is in area. Only one secondary school Mascalls which is one of the biggest in the area

The other line goes down to Tunbridge Wells via High Brooms and then onto Wadhurst to Hastings. the border with sussex is on the road out of Tunbridge Wells another factor when it comes to education. Tunbridge Wells has 3 grammars 2 church schools and 1 academy. Houses here are more expensive than Tonbridge but not quite as expensive on the whole as in Sevenoaks

If you are not limited to being within walking distance of a station then I'd go for an outlying village. Bidborough Penshurst Weald and Leigh all have village primary schools, chipstead and otford are nice areas too though I don't know if they have primary schools. Underriver is very nice but no village school, your nearest would be weald or maybe seal which has 2 primary schools.

There are loads of prep schools all over the place

MissWooWoo Wed 11-Jul-12 23:00:50

shit the bed eatyourveg brilliant info - thanks - you've given me a lot to think about

we like TW but didn't want to go as far down as that due to the extra commute, we had a quick look around Tonbridge but the high street totally put us off!

eatyourveg Thu 12-Jul-12 11:20:03

No-one shops in the high street silly!!

You only go there to meet friends for coffee at Starbucks/Neros et al or to visit the charity shops for a bargain or to pick up your prescription from Boots. Though for some reason we do have a large Monsoon. Much bigger than 7Oaks or T Wells. Oxfam bookshop is brill - briller than TWells one imo. Shopping you have sainsburys and waitrose or a smaller co-op and lidl or beales (big department store) Tesco is at Pembury about 5 mins on the A21 Asda is at North farm just before Pembury. 24 hour Tesco superstore in Dunton Green north of 7oaks. Otford has the mega huge Sainsburys as does T Wells.

North farm between tonbridge and T Wells has john lewis home and next as well as m&s home & toys r us. m&s in 7oaks is just food

Bluewater is 25 mins up the motorway - ikea through the dartford tunnel another 5-10 mins further on

T wells itself has usual high street shops in the victoria place shopping centre with horrendous parking charges. 7Oaks parking is 24 hours you pay even if you arrive at 9pm including sundays

its not a pretty high street the council are trying to get mary portas on board to do something but we do have the castle which hosts concerts on the lawn in the summer and firework displays and there is the river where you can hire rowing boats in the summer and a fab park with the swimming pool and lido in the summer and tennis courts crazy golf etc

I think I should invoice the tourist board -

flatpackhamster Thu 12-Jul-12 13:52:43

To add to what EatYourVeg wrote:

if you want walking distance of the station you really ought to be south of the river Medway.

I lived just off Dryhill Park Road for a few years, and that's a 20-minute walk to the station, which IMO was fine.

If you are not limited to being within walking distance of a station then I'd go for an outlying village. Bidborough Penshurst Weald and Leigh all have village primary schools, chipstead and otford are nice areas too though I don't know if they have primary schools. Underriver is very nice but no village school, your nearest would be weald or maybe seal which has 2 primary schools.

Otford has a primary, and also has St Michael's Prep School, which has a good reputation, although since my mum stopped teaching there it can't be as good as it was. ;)

MissWooWoo
we like TW but didn't want to go as far down as that due to the extra commute, we had a quick look around Tonbridge but the high street totally put us off!

The High Street is pretty awful. However, the Farmer's Market (2nd Sunday of every month) is brilliant (3,500 people through it every month), the Waitrose is just off the high street, there's a nice new middle-class cafe opened up. There are a dozen gastropubs within a short walk/drive/train journey, depending on where you are (Little Brown Jug in Chiddingstone is an 8-minute train journey from Tonbridge station, which means you can both drink if you want to).

And our history is WAY older than TW and 7oaks. There's some masonry in Tonbridge school which is apparently from a Roman temple which was once on the Medway (probably where the 11th C castle is).

BooToYouToo Wed 22-Aug-12 18:38:36

I'm in Sevenoaks and love it here. We came within a day of exchanging in Tunbridge Wells before bring gazumped but so glad we ended up here instead. As you say the commute is so much better for DH - quicker and also more trains to chose from. We have a good selection of local shops/restaurants and as mentioned Bluewater is only 20 mins away.

If you buy close to the station you run the risk of not getting into any local schools however. The 2 schools in centre of town are church (St. Thomas's R.C. and Lady Boswells C of E ) so if you don't meet their criteria you may be allocated a school in an outlying village.

My DC are at Amherst School in Riverhead which is rated outstanding as is the linked Riverhead Infants school but it has a small catchment area. Not sure of your budget - lots of children come from Montreal Park which is only 8 mins walk to station, very expensive If you buy Brittains Lane or Kippington you are unlikely to get in.

Better value houses are in the Chesterfield Drive estate but you may not get a place as your child is not joining in reception. On the plus side, it is a very international school so 2-3 places do come up each year as families move abroad.

Other good schools are Sevenoaks Primary and Dunton Green. If looking at the latter, the village does have a station but when you come to look at secondary schools you may lose out on distance as the grammars are in Tonbridge and Tonbridge Wells. There is a campaign to get a Sevenoaks grammar school

Raleys gym run after school gymnastics as do some of the schools. Sevenoaks gymnastics club is on Saturday mornings at Combe Bank School in Sundridge.

It is daunting moving into a new area but you should meet new friends through school. Certainly at Riverhead they have class reps arranging coffee mornings and nights out.

Also there are loads of local gyms where you might meet people. If you fancy getting into running, or do already, then Sevenoaks Ladies Joggers is supposed to be good.

reastie Wed 05-Sep-12 14:57:09

I'm near Sevenoaks too. Weald is a lovely village and its primary school has a good name for itself - really close to Sevenoaks town but a village feel IYKWIM. Otford is a nice village but I've heard mixed things recently re: the primary school.

Amherst and Riverhead Primary schools both suppose to be very good but also very oversubscribed. Chevening school in Chipstead is good (I went there when I was a young 'un grin )

Re: Sevenoaks Ladies Joggers - I used to do Saturday jogs with them - very nice friendly group but also very Sevenoaksy. I'm a member of Nizels gym/health cub and it's really nice there - lots of classes and really nice gym. Also they do lots of childrens activities too and have a creche.

Bat and Ball have a train station and is a bit more down market than Sevenoaks central so may be cheaper, but I'm not sure about the immediate primary schools to the area.

It is a great place to live - easy reach to London but nice town with some nice shops and people generally are friendly (but can be cliquey, maybe that's just me though)

there's a fb groups called 'Sevenoaks Mums' - try searching that - it's a wealth of info on everything and everything and you can always post questions about anything and get very useful responses grin

fmmg2011 Mon 22-Jul-13 10:21:22

Hello, I have just picked up on this thread as I am hoping to move to Sevenoaks. Just wondering if anyone can tell me how I find out the catchment areas (furthest offer) info for Amherst and Riverhead schools? Many many thanks.

Peekaboomoo Wed 24-Jul-13 14:16:00

Contact them fmmg, they are very popular and it's very difficult to get in so make sure you get the geographic right if you're moving to try to get into either of them

elk4baby Mon 14-Oct-13 14:16:22

We've been here just over two years now and LOVE it! Besides the good schools, decent shopping and fast trains, thought I'd mention the parks. We were lucky enough to end up midway between station and the Wildlife Reserve! The Reserve is brilliant, especially in the summer - lots of birds, the ponds are gorgeous, and a ton of wild blackberries in July/August. And a short walk down to the town centre, there's Knole - a bit more of a 'civilized' park than the Reserve, even has paved pathways. It's fantastic for walking and cycling, you can watch deer grazing about (kids' favourite).
To be honest, so far the only downside I've found to the area is its very up-and-down hilly landscape. Though I probably wouldn't have noticed, if I didn't have to cycle towing a trailer with two toddlers smile.

Over the past two years, we've seen the whole area get younger - that is, there seems to be more and more young families moving in. Yes, that means over-subscription to schools, but better and more activities and facilities for the youngsters!

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