Kent offers extraordinary contrasts and choices to the London commuter. There you find famous Garden of England beauty, unchanged villages, oasts, vineyards and fruit farms in the south west; glorious medieval timbered houses in the spectacular Kent Downs in the central belt; old industrial eyesores mixed with huge regeneration projects in the north east and new seaside chic in fishy towns like Whitstable on the coast.
House prices vary accordingly. Kent has always played Cinderella to other Home Counties like Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. But it is now becoming the housebuyers’ choice for anyone who wants to use the high speed train link to Paris (2 hours 15 mins) or Brussels (1 hr 55 mins). The Eurostar can be caught from Ebbsfleet International or Ashford International. You can pop to Paris for lunch if you feel like it.
The combination of good commute into London’s Charing Cross or Victoria, excellent grammar schools and some notable independent schools make it a winner.
Househunters have obviously been seeking value here. The Halifax reported that prices had risen dramatically in 2012 in Rochester (by 13.3% to an average £184,908) and Gillingham (by 12% to an average £171,406), placing them among the top ten fastest rising towns in the country. This is because they came off a low base as commuters moved in.
Kent is well served by major roads including the A2, M2, M25, M20, M26 and A28.
Surrounding counties are East Sussex, Surrey, Greater London and Essex. The Essex border runs through the middle of the Thames Estuary.