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Spotlight On: Sevenoaks

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Sevenoaks is a traditional and affluent market town just outside London. Situated on the wooded slopes of the North Downs in Kent, it nestles within an area of outstanding natural beauty. The surrounding area is home to some of the finest historic houses and castles in England including the beautifully preserved Chartwell, former home of Sir Winston Churchill, Squerryes Court, Hever Castle, Leeds Castle and Penshurst Place.

The town is named after seven oak trees that were planted in Knole Park on the edge of town in the Middle Ages. Later, in 1909, a further seven oak trees were planted to commemorate the Coronation of Edward VII on the northern edge of The Vine, one of the country’s oldest cricket grounds.

The arrival of the railways turned Sevenoaks into a commuter town. Two distinct building booms — one in the second half of the 19th century and another in the 1920s — mean that much of the architecture is either Victorian and Edwardian, or twenties and thirties-style family homes. There are some traditional cottages, but those in search of older period homes tend to look to the surrounding villages of Otford, Plaxtol and Penshurst.

Excellent train links (the journey to central London is approximately 30 minutes) means that the station is one of the busiest in the country. A short commute and outstanding choice of schools makes Sevenoaks a very popular choice for families.  And families gravitate towards Sevenoak’s green open spaces: the 15th century Knole House (owned by The National Trust) is very popular, as is the great Knole Deer Park at the heart of the town.

The Housing Market

The Wildernesse on the north-eastern edge of Sevenoaks is one of the town’s most sought-after areas. Some of the large 1920s houses with spacious gardens were designed by the Arts & Crafts architect HM Baillie Scott.

Other desirable locations include the conservation areas — Granville and Eardley Roads; and Kippington and Oakhill Roads for their large detached and semi-detached Victorian houses. Other popular streets include The Rise and Montreal Park.

Education

Sevenoaks is spoilt for choice when it comes to good quality schooling. It remains one of the key drivers for families moving to the area. Many of the primary schools have “outstanding” ratings from Ofsted.

The outstanding private school is ancient Sevenoaks School (mixed), which pioneered the International Baccalaureate in place of A-levels.

Shops and restaurants

Sevenoaks has an attractive town centre. There is a Waitrose, some boutiques in the medieval lanes off the High Street and a small shopping centre with a Monsoon, Gap Kids and a Phase Eight.

There are several popular places to eat out and the nearby villages also offer good pub food.

Transport

Road: M25 is 3 miles and central London is 30 miles away.

Rail: Sevenoaks to London Charing Cross and Cannon Street: frequent trains take 35 minutes

Air: Gatwick is approximately 25 miles away and Heathrow is 50 miles


Average Rental Prices (per calendar month)

SevenoaksRentalPrices.jpg

Source: Rightmove

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