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Top places to live in Kent West Malling

With a pretty, period heart this market town offers a perfect mix of modern dining alongside Medieval character. From relaxing walks in its parks to historic landmarks, great places to eat and transport links in all directions. Go grab the car keys! Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

A tudor period home in the town of West Malling
Image: Mark Bridger

WHY?

With Sevenoaks just to your west, Maidstone just to your east and London about an hour by train this property hot spot is in just about the perfect location.

Rich pickings for all the things we most admire on Muddy – indie shops, cafés, restaurants, local businesses and community spirit. There’s lots to love about this high street. West Malling offers that perfect marriage – handsome-historic-high-street, meets modern-much-loved-eateries-and-indie-shops. 

EAT

Fresh on the food scene is the new Bowley’s Restaurant at The Plough in Trottiscliffe which offers a magic combo of community-funded bar and family-run restaurant. Boasting a young chef from the well-established Thackeray’s stable, the food is top notch – we think you’re going to come to love this hidden gem.

Michelin-listed brasserie, The Swan, is a must – and it’s also home to a sleek cocktail bar too. For a down-to-earth, cosy option there’s The Farm House with its origins as an Elizabethan coaching inn.

You’ll love Frank’s Restaurant & Mussel Bar– housed in a 16th Century bakers, with cosy vibe and speciality of mussels cooked 21 ways! Italian food lovers will want to head to Amano restaurant. Then there’s The Hungry Guest – a busy, bustling café and upmarket artisanal bakery and food store. 

SHOP

As well as all those essentials, there’s a decent mix of characterful shopping, like the Mill Yard Craft Centre (dating back to the 1550s) that houses specialist shops and the charming Old Mill Tea Room.

In terms of local indie businesses you’ll love everything from Bush Barbers (bit trendy), independent Hardy’s Wine merchant (hic) to Monks & Co clothing (not habits, silly, but men’s clothing boutique) and Coco & Bloom (gorgeous flower shop). You’ll want to visit Soles with Heart (super cute shoe shop) or even Chocolate Umbrella (tempting chocolatier).

For all your photographic or framing needs you’ll want the white studios, run by two talented local ladies, who can do anything from family photos (at home or on location) to business portraits.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

You’ve got easy access to great shopping at Bluewater or Maidstone town centre. Manor Park Country Park makes a good destination for a family walk. This former estate grounds boasts natural fields, a wildlife rich lake and open play areas. Nearby you’ve got Mote Park in Maidstone – 440 acres of award winning, multi-use parks and Maidstone Leisure centre & swimming pool

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

Average house price: £428,601 – local estate agents includes Wards of Kent and Simon Miller & Company.

HOT PROPERTY

SCHOOLS

Here you’re spoilt for choice, with good local Primary Schools and Prep Schools. Also there’s the Grammar Schools of Tonbridge and Maidstone nearby. 

Excellent Prep Schools include Somerhill School with it’s exceptional outside space and facilities nearby towards Tonbridge (read the Muddy review here) or some do travel over towards Ashford to enjoy schooling at Spring Grove (read the Muddy review here).

Slightly closer to home is Sutton Valence Prep, in Sutton Valence, (read the Muddy review here) or Fosse Bank (read the Muddy review here) in Hildenborough.

There’s excellent Independent Senior Schools, such as Tonbridge School, Sevenoaks School, Sutton Valence Senior School and Rochester Independent College (read the Muddy review here).

BEST KEPT SECRET

If you’re looking for love, head to West Malling! Yup, it once came first in a survey looking at the best 20 towns for singletons. According to the study there are eight times as many daters in this small rural town per 1000 population than in London.

COMMUTE

Just under 1 hour by train into Victoria – from a station that is 10 mins walk from the high street. Easy and quick access to the M20 which takes you 45 mins to drive down to the East Kent coast or quickly links to the M25 and onwards.

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live 

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