There are six villages and towns in Kent which made the list of our best places to live for commuters, thanks to the county's proximity to the capital.

Langton Green

Commute: Tunbridge Wells, Kent (London Charing Cross, 57 minutes). Drive to station: about 8 minutes. Frequency of trains: 5 per hour (peak). First train in: 5.21am; last train home: 12.15am. Annual season ticket: £4,404. Annual car-park ticket: £1,042.

Tip: Trains also serve London Cannon Street.

The Country Life verdict: Only a few miles from Royal Tunbridge Wells is this classic village with pub, butcher, bakery, shop and cricket green, plus Holmewood House, a popular prep school.

Best address: Anything along the private road of Holmewood Ridge, says Robert Jacobs of Savills Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Alternatives: Pembury, Leigh, Chiddingstone.


Cranbrook

Commute: Staplehurst (London Bridge, 53 minutes). Drive to the station: about 11 minutes. Frequency of trains: 3 per hour (peak). First train in: 5.30am; last train home: 11.49pm. Annual season ticket: £4,728; Annual car-park ticket: £863.50.

The Country Life verdict: It ticks many boxes: you get an attractive village in the Kentish vernacular combined with an excellent grammar school that, according to The Good Schools Guide, ‘does not have the hot-housey atmosphere of the other grammars in the area and pupils appear relaxed and even laidback’. It boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant-Apicius-and the nearby Weald Smokery has won numerous awards for its smoked fish and meat.

Best address: Anything within the Cranbrook School catchment area.

Alternatives Sissinghurst, Benenden.


Aldington

Commute: Ashford International (London St Pancras, 37 minutes). Drive to station: about 16 minutes. Frequency of trains: 3 per hour (peak). First train in: 5.13am; last train home: 12.12am. Annual season ticket: £5,324. Annual car-park ticket: £1,118.

The Country Life verdict: The commute on HS1 isn’t cheap, but it’s reliable and delivers you deep into the Kentish countryside to this historic village, which was once a smuggling enclave-it overlooks Romney Marsh. It’s got a shop, bakery, tennis club and a pub. Comedians Julian Clary and Paul O’Grady live in the village and have been known to host some lively Christmas parties.

Best address Goldenhurst Farm – the home of Noël Coward from 1929 until 1956.

Alternative Lympne.

best places to live for commuters kent

St Martins church, Aldington.


Penshurst

Commute: Hildenborough (London Charing Cross, 45 minutes). Drive to station: about 10 minutes. Frequency of trains: 5 per hour (peak). First train in: 4.56am; last train home: 12.15am. Annual season ticket: £3,796. Annual car-park ticket: £1,043.

The Country Life verdict: Penshurst is a pretty village positioned in the Weald of Kent and is surrounded by beautiful countryside and walks. It’s also home to the oldest privately owned cricket pitch in the world. The village has a shop that opens early in the morning, Forge Stores, a tea room, a good primary school and four pubs.

Best address: Penshurst Place gets Rupert Coles of Prime Purchase’s vote.

Alternative: Chiddingstone.


Westerham

Commute:  Oxted (London Victoria, 39 minutes). Drive to station: about 9 minutes. Frequency of trains: 6 per hour (peak). First train in: 5.55am; last train home: 11.47pm. Annual season ticket: £2,168. Annual car-park ticket: £1,004.

Tip: Trains also serve London Bridge.

The Country Life verdict: Westerham is a picturesque, rather overgrown village with lots going on, including screenings at The Fleapit Cinema Club. It has its own golf club, created when the 1987 storm left an ideal site. However, beware – it’s a stone’s throw from Chartwell, so hordes of Churchill fans abound. It’s also home to Nigel Farage.

Best address: Grade II*-listed Squerryes Lodge, which sits in an idyllic riverside setting on the edge of the village.

Alternative: Groombridge.


Otford

Commute: Otford (London Victoria, 39 minutes). Frequency of trains: 5 per hour (peak). First train in: 5.46am; last train home: 12.07am. Annual season ticket: £3,320. Annual car-park ticket: £700.

The Country Life verdict: Otford holds the unusual distinction of having the only listed roundabout in the UK. It was crowned the best roundabout in Britain last year and is the only one to boast its own duck pond. Football and cricket matches take place at the weekends. St Michael’s is a very-well-regarded co-ed prep school and it’s an easy journey north to the grammar schools of Tonbridge and Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Best address Castle House.

Alternative Eynesford.

 

  • Alex

    “A new station in Cranbrook is due to open in 2015” – true – but it will be 200 miles away – in Cranbrook, Devon !!!

  • Judy Buchanan

    In your feature ‘The Best places for commuters to live:Kent’ (5th March issue) under the Cranbrook entry there is a reference to a new station opening in 2015. I believe this to be incorrect and a confusion with a new development near Exeter also named Cranbrook.