The best places to live in Kent

As part of our focus on Kent, we’re looking at the best places to live in Kent, based on Kent postcodes. What might be the best place for a retired couple looking for a quiet seaside town might not be ideal for a young professional seeking good transport links or restaurants and bars on their doorstep.

Are you moving to Kent or within the county itself and want to know where to live?

Here are some of the categories we are looking at:

The best towns in Kent

Kent is packed full of diverse towns offering a little something for everyone. From families to young professionals, through to retirees and people just wanting a quieter pace of life, Kent’s towns are characterised by their welcoming nature. We’ve listed our personal picks for the best towns in Kent based on their convenience, culture, amenities, and affordability.

1. Canterbury

A market town which is technically a city, Canterbury combines cultural activities and highly rated educational establishments with historic landmarks and nearby nature, making it a hit with families and students alike. Again, commutable into the capital, but all of this comes at a price. Find out more about living in Canterbury.

Canterbury is one of the best places to live in Kent

Canterbury is the best place to live in Kent

2. Royal Tunbridge Wells

This historic spa town is packed with culture, public parks, shopping and plenty of bars and restaurants. It is also commutable into London and the property prices reflect this convenience. Find out more about living in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

3. Belvedere

Belvedere is a charming town (in fare zone 5, but with a Kent postcode) with great public transport links and is full of Ofsted-rated ‘Good’ primary schools.

4. Ashford

A market town with plenty of shops and restaurants and high-speed trains that get to London within 40 minutes. The town’s proximity to the wonderful North Downs is an added bonus.

5. Sandwich

An attractive, small, and quiet town minutes from the coast. Great if you love well-preserved medieval architecture, but a somewhat slower journey for those heading into the capital.

Rounding off the top ten in order are Dartford, Maidstone, Gillingham, Dover, and Folkestone, while upmarket Sevenoaks sits at 11. All of these places overall have a lot of benefits, but if you’re looking for something more specific, read on.

Best commuter areas in Kent

Work in London and need to prioritise rail links? Kent has plenty of towns and villages to commute from. We’ve grouped together a few places that share the same rail lines, make sure no location takes longer than an hour and fifteen minutes to get into London from.

1. Northfleet, Swanscombe, and Gravesend

Northfleet, Swanscombe and Gravesend one of the quicker Kent commutes

Northfleet, Swanscombe, and Gravesend offer some of the quicker Kent commutes

Residents have the choice of trains into Charing Cross and St Pancras, the later only taking 20 minutes from Ebbsfleet International. Whilst the towns lack in abundant entertainment options, Bluewater shopping centre is only a 10-minute drive away and offers plenty of retail opportunities.

2. Dartford, Swanley, and Eynsford

Dartford has regular services around 50 minutes into London rail stations Cannon Street, Victoria, or Charing Cross. Swanley and the small, quaint town of Eynsford both have rail stations with Southeastern and Thameslink services. For Swanley, residents can get into London in around 30 minutes, though for Eynsford the best-case scenario is closer to 45 minutes.

3. Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, and Maidstone

Benefiting from the high-speed rail network into St Pancras, there are plenty of towns to choose from. Ashford and Maidstone are quicker to get in and out of London. Slightly further on is desirable Canterbury, while Dover provides coastal living for commuters wanting to be in the capital in just over an hour.

4. Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, and Tunbridge Wells

All three have services into Charing Cross and Cannon Street, with affluent Sevenoaks being slightly closer and quicker, though  Tonbridge also has a service into Victoria. Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells are highly desirable places to live with lots of schools, shops, and restaurants, though both places come with a hefty price tag.

5. Strood, Sittingbourne, Rochester, and Faversham

Also on the rail network into St Pancras are several Medway towns and further south locales. Strood is a quick 35-minute commute and a cheaper alternative to attractive and historic Rochester. Sittingbourne is the cheapest of the four towns and has lots of local amenities. The market town of Faversham has rows of Victorians and lots of independent shops and pubs, but the longest commute (an hour and 10 minutes) – though getting a seat is very likely as many services start at Faversham.

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The best country villages in Kent

Here are a selection of the best country villages in Kent, chosen for their unique rural qualities and, in many cases, practicality:

Eynsford is a Kent country village that has it all

Eynsford is a Kent country village that has it all

1. Eynsford
2. St Mary’s Platt
3. Ightham
4. Staplehurst
5. Brenchley
6. Marden
7. Langton Green
8. Hawkhurst

Eynsford is a worthy winner, as its picturesque settings and good rail and road connections make it stand out. Better-known villages such as Aylesford, Biddenden, Chiddingstone, and Chilham offer similar qualities, but not in the same abundance. The other villages listed in the top eight above score highly, not just because they are pretty but because they are practical.

Best coastal towns in Kent

Kent is blessed with a plethora of charming seaside towns. Here’s a list of the best coastal towns in Kent:

  1. Folkestone
  2. Margate
  3. Whitstable
  4. Herne Bay
  5. Broadstairs

Just outside the top five are Ramsgate, Deal, and Walmer which many people may prefer over the better-known town of Dover. However, Dover’s practicality and wide choice of decent shops, schools, and amenities, help it to remain a popular choice for many.

Of course, finding the best place to live in Kent is always going to come down to what you need most, what you can afford, and what sort of lifestyle you want to live.

How can OneDome help me move to Kent?

Moving to any of the above? OneDome can help you find a property in Kent, connect with estate agents, get a mortgage, and complete conveyancing (find out more about conveyancing here).

Keen to learn more about Kent? Read about the safest places in Kent here.

For more information on how OneDome works to help home buyers and sellers, take a look at our short video explanation.


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