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The Buying Agent Insider Guide


Long known as The Garden of England for its history of growing fruit and vegetables for the rest of the UK, Kent might have had to change tack commercially over the years with the advent of cheaper imports, but the lushness and open spaces which were first used for food production remain, giving the county a special feel.

Its mix of coastline, thriving ports, historical towns and wide open spaces make it a popular spot for homebuyers, especially when one factors in the closeness to London. Commuters can truly have the best of the both worlds when they choose to live in Kent. Add in the strong links with France - either via the traditional ferries or the Channel Tunnel - and Kent is a county which can boast so many facets which aid its economy.

The North Downs ( and The High Weald ( are two areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty which only add to the charm of this special county. And a coastline which takes in not only the English Channel but also the banks of the River Thames as it winds its way up to London offers so much opportunity to the nautically minded. So many people pass through Kent when travelling to the Continent but, then again, so many choose to make it their home too.


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Canterbury – the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England, since the Reformation, Canterbury is dripping in history and culture, making it a popular spot for homebuyers attracted by the unique charm of this special place.

Sevenoaks - charming, characterful and historic, Sevenoaks is - unsurprisingly given its proximity to the capital and yet having an abundance of green spaces - prime commuter belt territory. If that means plenty of folk can be seen on the railway platforms during the weekdays, it also means it is a busy and thriving centre of retail and leisure opportunities at weekends and during the holidays. 

Ashford – transformed by the building of the international rail terminus serving the Channel Tunnel, Ashford is a town on the rise with new communities and business parks springing up all around it. The ease with which one can travel either into London or across to France by train has made Ashford a town whose property market offers a wide mix of opportunity.

Tunbridge Wells – it might have been the butt of jokes regarding the so-called ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ letter writer to the Daily Telegraph but within that jibe there lies an essential truth – when one lives in such a pretty and prosperous lace like this then it is perfectly justifiable to want to keep it that way. Historic and popular with commuters and retirees alike, Tunbridge Wells is a completely wonderful place in which to live.

The Cinque Ports – where to start with these five historic coastal towns in Kent and Sussex, grouped together as The Cinque Ports originally as a federation for trade and military defence but now largely a ceremonial grouping. Kent can boast four – New Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich – and all offer something different in terms of architecture and economy, while conforming to a central truth: they are as charming as they are colourful and characterful.


Best hotels in Kent

The Spa Hotel ( offers modern and classic luxe rooms in an 18th Century country house with a spa, restaurant and attractive grounds. Frasers ( offers rustic-rich chic rooms and suites in a charming country setting, with fine food options too. The Queen’s Inn ( is just about the perfect pub: enjoy a great meal and then relax in one of the beautifully appointed rooms.


Best restaurants in Kent

The Sportsman ( is a Michelin-starred gastropub with a fine reputation, in a lovely coastal location. West House ( is simply superb: an amazing gastronomic experience which has rightly won this spot many, many plaudits, including a Michelin star. Kathton House ( bills itself as ‘no ordinary restaurant’ which is 100% accurate – what a fine and memorable place in which to dine.


Best schools in Kent

Cobham Hall ( is an independent school for girls aged 11 to 18 with amazing facilities and a first class academic record. Kent College ( has boarding and day options for girls and boys aged up to 18 and is rightly well regarded for its broad mix of education and excellent results. Sevenoaks School ( has an outstanding reputation – and rightly so, offering as it does a superb education for boys and girls aged 11 to 18, with day and boarding options.


Buying Agents Kent Fact

Britain’s only officially recognised desert is located at Dungeness, the shingle beach at the southernmost point in Kent. Visitors to this unique British spot can expect to see beautifully bare shingle, gravel and shell landscapes which attract rare breeds such as the Spoonbill.



James Nightingall