The Weald of Kent comprises many beautiful rural areas, towns, villages and hamlets. It provides excellent commuting options to London, with either the high speed link from Ashford or the very commutable times from mainline stations in the towns and villages.
There is a good selection of excellent schools, both state and private, and Kent has maintained a grammar school system.
Sevenoaks is a beautiful commuter town 20 miles south east of Charing Cross. It is surrounded by idyllic villages and hamlets and is one of the most sought after locations for purchasing property in Kent, with its excellent links to London. There are excellent state and independent schools in and around Sevenoaks including the prestigious Sevenoaks School. The town is vibrant and busy with a wide range of shops, bistros and restaurants serving all tastes. There are plenty of outdoor pursuits and activities for families of all ages.
Tunbridge Wells is a spa town with excellent high street and independent shops. The town is set on a hill, at the bottom of which is the historic Pantiles area with its bandstand, restaurants and boutique retailers. A number of events take place in the Pantiles during the year including the renowned jazz festival in the summer. At the top end of town there is a modern shopping centre with all the multiple retailers one would expect. John Lewis and Marks and Spencers have opened out of town adjoining the existing multiplex, bowling and usual DIY retailers. Tunbridge Wells is also home to a range of grammar and independent prep and senior schools.
Tonbridge is a market town just north of Tunbridge Wells with a direct rail link to London Charing Cross. It has a wide variety of restaurants and shops (including Waitrose) as well as a selection of grammar and independent schools, Tonbridge School being the most famous.
Maidstone is the county town of Kent and offers excellent shopping with the new Fremlin Walk shopping quarter appealing particularly to the teenage set with Zara, H&M, Next, HMV,Top Shop and JJB Sports all in close proximity.
Ashford benefits from the Designer Outlet Centre with its range of discounted designer brands and high street names (particularly good for trainers!) as well as Ashford International railway station with its high speed link to London St Pancras in under 40 minutes and Eurostar connection to the Continent. With a wide variety of out of town shops, including John Lewis and Waitrose, if you need something, Ashford will have it!
Tenterden is a charming small market town and ‘Cinque Port’ between Cranbrook and Ashford. Historic buildings flag the wide tree-lined approach to this hidden gem, known as the ‘Jewel of the Weald’ with its cluster of antique shops, weekly artisan market and popular Waitrose.
Cranbrook, the capital of the Weald, is a picturesque medieval wool town lined by pretty houses, every one different from its neighbour. It boasts a wide range of interesting shops, pubs, delis and coffee shops as well as a hotel dating back to 1300 said to have hosted Elizabeth I! The town is also home to the unique Cranbrook School, a co-ed grammar school founded in 1518.
The county is also blessed with numerous pretty and historic villages such as Goudhurst, Brenchley, Sissinghurst, Horsmonden, Speldhurst, Lamberhurst, Pluckley, Charing, Smarden, Woodchurch and Appledore.