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 Post subject: Move to Tonbridge
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:07 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 8539
We live in West Kent but in a place where it is a long commute for children whatever secondary school they go to, selective or non-selective.

( And it could get harder to get into the superselectives from here if they change the admissions policy in some way if the Schools Adjudicator supports the campaign backed by Michael Fallon and the LEA).

Am considering moving to Tonbridge. We need a good commute into London from home though. Easy parking at the station, or a pleasant relatively safe cycle ride which still placed us within guaranteed distances of grammars. Or best still living close to the station.

But we currently live in a largeish house with quiet surroundings and large garden so other half would probably want similar. Any thoughts on Tonbridge, commutes, pleasant residential locations near the station versus a bit out of town / village, primaries etc would be welcome.

Tunbridge Wells attracts also, but thinking that with the shorter train ride into London Bridge ( 10 mins less each way on average from Tonbridge) Tonbridge may have the edge for us.

 Post subject: Re: Move to Tonbridge
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:46 am
Posts: 421
Hi, you could consider Hildenborough only a mile from Tonbridge. Good station (nearer london then T or TW) and two excellent primary schools. Bus links to senior schools are good and its usual that children if they pass, get into TWGSB or weald if not going to a superselective.
Generally quite quiet and plenty of open space. A good option, worth a google :wink:

 Post subject: Re: Move to Tonbridge
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:08 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:01 pm
Posts: 247
Prior to the children thing I used to work in London and had a house in Rusthall (western side of Tunbridge Wells). I used to drive, via the back lanes, to either Tonbridge or Hildenborough stations - around 15 minutes in the morning to Tonbridge (20 to Hildenborough) but slightly longer in the evening, depending on what time you return. Total door to door commute time was consistently under 90 minutes and if on a fast train service to Tonbridge then I could be back within an hour and a quarter.

Positives with Rusthall - really good bus service to the station (every 20 mins at peak times) so not always necessary to drive if you're commuting and certainly very good for school transport. Has an increasingly good range of shops and services in the High Street, from bakery to chip shop, dry cleaners, post office, general store, pharmacy, doctors' surgery etc. Close enough to the Tunbridge Wells grammars to be pretty much certain of a place at TW Boys Grammar and even at TWGGS (although perhaps on second allocation if you live closer to the Langton Green border), so super selectives not essential (but easy to get to from Rusthall). Depending on your price range, the houses around Toad Rock and the golf course would be inside 2 miles to the grammars as the crow files. There are also some very nice houses in the central part of the village itself but perhaps not all with the size of garden you're looking for.

You would also be close enough to the county border to try for either Beacon or Uplands Community Colleges in East Sussex - probably more likely to gain a place at Beacon but worth trying both.

Downsides would be that there are one or two (small) areas of Rusthall which are deemed socially deprived and as such the village earnt an undeserved reputation for antisocial behaviour (although I never experienced it in the six years I lived there). This unfortunately has had a knock on effect with the primary school so it has not had the support of the middle class parents in Rusthall who prefer to try to gain places outside the village. I can't really comment more on the primary school as I left Rusthall when my eldest was not quite 3 so have no first hand experience.

Perhaps worth a look if you find Tonbridge doesn't fit the bill.

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