If you want to buy or rent a property in a well-connected area, with a rich and vibrant atmosphere, excellent travel links, good restaurants and bars, schools and leisure facilities – you can take it from us that Ashford in Kent is a fantastic choice and a great place to live (and we’re not just saying that because it’s our home town!).
Once coined ‘Best Placed in Britain’, this former market town which lies along the River Great Stour has always been popular with homebuyers, but it can thank the creation of the town’s International Station for really launching it into the public’s consciousness and putting it on the map, attracting those who work in the city, but want to buy a property away from the big smoke. The introduction of the country’s first high speed rail line means that you can be in London from Ashford in just 37 minutes, and are also within quick and easy distance of Paris, Lille, Brussels and the European continent, making Ashford an appealing option for homebuyers who commute for work or leisure, those looking for somewhere to set up a new business, and those who work in the travel and tourism industries.
If great shopping and even better amenities top your list when it comes to picking an area in which to buy a home, you’ll be pleased to discover that Ashford is home to a popular designer outlet, which you’ll be unable to miss thanks to the prominent and unique design of its shopping units. Drawing visitors from all over Kent and beyond, like moths to a well-priced designer flame, the unit houses over 100 designer brands and restaurants, as well as a children’s play park and ample parking.
With the beautiful Kent coast just a 20 minute drive away, the capital 40 minutes in the opposite direction, and the stunning North Downs visible from every part of the town, it’s no wonder that Ashford is consistently listed in the top 5 of places to live in the UK. Located smack bang in the middle of the Garden of England, Ashford is a modern, fresh town with a buzzing vibe that still manages to retain its traditional market town flavour, with its medieval roots still very apparent in Ashford’s historical buildings, beautiful churches and the old corn exchange, all nestled alongside exciting, post-modern architecture.
In 2008, Ashford’s town center became a pioneer of modern design when it incorporated one of the country’s first shared area concepts, with cars, cyclists and pedestrians all using the same space. There were initially a lot of raised eyebrows over this idea from locals and outsiders alike – with well-known loud-mouth Jeremy Clarkson in particular having a lot to say about it. But its introduction has been successful, largely down to Ashfordians’ attitude of ‘getting on with it and making it work.’ This part of Ashford’s town centre is home to Elwick Place, a 100,000 square foot leisure and restaurant development which includes the new Ashford Picturehouse, Matches Sports Bar Grill & Social, and Macknade – a place where you can enjoy coffee and cake, lunch, dinner, or pick up something from the delicatessen corner and small food hall. There’s also Unita 4, which offers an authentic Italian dining experience as well as cooking masterclasses, and the complex is also home to a gym and a Travelodge hotel.
If you decide to buy or rent a property close to the town centre itself, you’ll be pleased to know that it offers both a high street and two shopping centres – Park Mall and the undercover County Square that boasts local and global businesses, coffee shops, a bookshop and beauty retailers.
Of course, buying a property in central Ashford means that everything this amazing town has to offer is right on your doorstep, but if you fancy making one of the town’s many suburban residential areas your home instead, you’ll be spoilt for choice, with Willesborough, Willesborough Lees and Kennington to the north of the town centre, and Singleton, Godinton and Park Farm to the south. Over the last 20 or so years, thanks to the town’s growing popularity, several new developments have sprung up, such as Knight’s Park, Repton Manor and Chartfields, all offering executive housing, apartments and gorgeous family homes, backed by rural Ashford and its villages. That’s not to say that central Ashford doesn’t have its own greenery, with the town centre being home to Victoria Park, the Memorial Gardens and The Warren.
Ashford is a popular choice for families in part due to its many excellent and well-resourced primary schools, the Highworth and Norton Knatchbull grammar schools, and it’s secondary schools; Towers School and Sixth Form, The North School, and the Church Of England John Wallis Academy. There’s also a reputable private school, Ashford School, and because of its close proximity to Tenterden, Homewood School and Sixth form is a popular choice with Ashford residents.
For older kids and adults moving to Ashford there’s the town’s K College which runs a variety of higher education and vocational courses and thanks to Ashford’s excellent transport links Canterbury College, Canterbury Christchurch University, the University of Kent – and even all of the universities that London has to offer aren’t far away.
If you’re looking to buy or rent a property in Ashford and happen to be a sports and fitness enthusiast, you’re in the right place. There’s a reputable football club, Ashford Town, and a rugby and hockey club, as well as an array of gyms and health clubs, cycling clubs, Ashford Athletics club, golf clubs, dance schools and a swimming club. If you still have the energy after all of that, Ashford also offers a huge variety of pubs, restaurants, themed bars and the Cameo nightclub, situated just across from the Ashford International Station.
Do you want to find out just how much your current property is worth before you start searching for your ideal property in Ashford? Book a Valuation with one of our local property experts and find out!