Category Archives: House removals

Four of the best up and coming Kent seaside towns

moving to Kent

Best places to live on the Kent coast

Kent’s gorgeous coastline is one of the County’s greatest assets. But this isn’t just down to the beaches themselves – the beautiful coastal towns behind them offer a fascinating mix of history and culture for visitors to enjoy. Having moved thousands of people over the years all over Kent we have selected four of the best places to live on the Kent coast.

Whitstable

Popular with Londoners, Whitstable is famous for its oysters – and in particular its annual oyster festival. The prettiest part of the town is the seafront, lined with charming houses decorated with seashells, while in the harbour you can watch the fishing boats being unloaded and explore the fish market for an unbeatably fresh snack. The town also has a strong arts scene, with an arts centre, theatre and several galleries, and numerous independent shops. There are plenty of places where you can feast on shellfish or fresh fish and chips – and make sure you visit the Old Neptune on the beach itself for a pint of local ale.

Margate

Margate has risen from its run-down reputation to become a cool, quirky and arty Kentish treasure. The Turner Contemporary, named after the artist himself in honour of the inspiration afforded to him by the town’s sunsets, is an internationally acclaimed modern art gallery. At the other end of the scale, Dreamland offers amusement rides and a roller skating hall. The pretty Old Town has a good mix of vintage shops, cafes and galleries – then there’s the astonishing subterranean Shell Grotto, 21 metres of winding passages decorated with artworks made from 4.6 million shells. But of course Margate’s crowning glory is the golden sanded, Blue Flag winning beach, the perfect place to spend hours building sandcastles or enjoying the promenade, children’s rides and tidal pool.

Deal

Who has not visited Deal and fallen in love with it instantly? This unassuming yet delightful town boasts a beautiful seafront, with grand houses and pretty pastel colours, as well as two Tudor castles – Deal and Walmer – to explore. Take a stroll along the promenade into Walmer (the two towns run into one another), where the memorial bandstand on the green, dedicated to the 11 Royal Marines who died in an IRA bombing in 1989, hosts brass band concerts throughout the summer.

Folkestone

Another seaside resort that has recently undergone significant regeneration, Folkestone is a melting pot of arty trendiness and old fashioned elegance. The west end of town is a stylish expanse of grand Edwardian and Victorian villas, tree lined boulevards and splendid sea views, while the promenade to the harbour arm is home to classy restaurants and bars. The main beach is shingle, but there’s a sandy spot called Sunny Sands next to the harbour, which hosts an annual sandcastle competition.

Award-winning, family-run Kent removals company Colin Batt Removals has been helping people settle into their new homes across the county and around the world for more than 40 years. We’re specialists in piano removals and have moved some of the world’s most treasured instruments, so you know your belongings are in safe hands with us. As well as house removal services, we also offer a packing service for moving house to make the whole experience as stress-free and easy as possible. Call us on 01233 740395 to find out more and get a free quote.

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Top commuter towns for home buyers in Kent and Essex

commuter towns

Commuter towns you should consider

Working in London but don’t want to live there? Here are some great commuter towns you can choose instead.

Tonbridge, Kent

A market town with 1,000 years of history behind it, Tonbridge is in many ways the unsung epitome of everything Kentish. It’s got an 11th century castle, and just outside the town is The Hop Farm. Formerly the site of the hop gardens which earned the county its status as the garden of England, it’s packed with attractions for kids. The town is close to the lovely Wealden countryside and itself has plenty of green spaces. Connections to London are excellent from Tonbridge: there are eight or nine peak-time trains an hour to Charing Cross and Cannon Street, all taking around 45 to 50 minutes and calling at London Bridge too.

Maidstone, Kent

Kent’s county town has it all: beautiful green spaces, cultural attractions galore, lively nightlife and fantastic shopping. Just outside the town stands the stunning Leeds Castle, popular as much for its gorgeous parkland as for the fascinating former royal residence itself. Mote Park, a 450-acre expanse of woodland and open grassland with a huge lake and a model railway, is a delightful place to spend a family afternoon; for a rainy day, there’s a theatre, a museum and a range of shops. Maidstone East has two or three trains an hour to London Victoria, taking around an hour and ten minutes. 

Southend-on-Sea, Essex

Out on the coast, Southend is within an hour of central London – there are 15 trains from 7-8am to Fenchurch Street and Liverpool Street, mostly taking between 55 and 65 minutes. The seven beaches will provide endless joy if you have kids, but there is much more to the town than its seaside resort status: two theatres, an art gallery, several leisure centres, a cinema and an airport are here too. Leigh-on-Sea in particular is popular with commuters, and has period houses, vintage shops and independent cafés.

Folkestone, Kent

Once a seaside resort beloved of Edward VII, Folkestone has recently experienced significant regeneration, both in the town centre and the harbour area. There are trendy, upmarket bars and restaurants, a thriving arts scene and a creative quarter of independent shops, galleries and cafés along the cobbled Old High Street. The west end of the town has splendid Victorian and Edwardian villas, tree-lined boulevards and a charming seafront, and runs into villagey Sandgate, full of little shops and cafes and cute cottages, upmarket Seabrook and then the quiet, historic former Cinque Port of Hythe. 

Ashford, Kent

A quarter of an hour up the line from Folkestone is Ashford, a town transformed by the advent of its high-speed rail link. There are ten trains to various London stations running between 7-8am, with Stratford just half an hour away and St Pancras a 38-minute ride. A lot of redevelopment is underway here, with independent shops, cafes and restaurants and a new cinema springing up, but the really big draw is still the stunning Stour Valley and Wealden countryside which surrounds the town.

When you’re moving house, you need a removal firm who you can trust with your most treasured possessions. An award-winning, family-run Kent removals company, Colin Batt Removals have been helping people settle into their new homes for more than 40 years. Finalist for the British Association of Removers’ domestic remover of the year award in 2018, we’re specialists in piano removals and have moved some of the world’s most expensive and treasured instruments.

When you work with us, you know your belongings are in safe and capable hands. As well as our house removal service, we also offer a packing service for moving house.We’re based in Ashford, Maidstone and Canterbury, and also cover the Folkestone and Tonbridge areas.  To find out more about our services, give us a call on 01233 740395.

Get a Free Estimate

Please complete the following form and we’ll get in touch to discuss your move as soon as we can.

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Celebrating 40 years of Excellence in Removals and Storage

Not only are we celebrating 40 years of high quality house removals and storage services but we have also just won the Kent Excellence in Business Award for Customer Service and we are one of 3 finalists in the national, British Association of Removers Domestic Mover of the Year Competition. We are amazed and so proud to be recognised in this way and this is on top of the Ashford Business Award for Customer Service we won in November. All in all,  we have a lot to celebrate as we turn 40 this year.

Domestic Mover of the Year Finalist

The Domestic Mover of the Year award aims to encourage and celebrate high standards, and to reward those companies that excel in customer service. The competition is open to all 430 members of the British Association of Removers, who are a professional trade body for the removals industry. Reaching the final places Colin Batt Removals as one of the top 3 domestic removals companies in the country. What a fantastic achievement for our Kent business. This achievement is a great honour and praise for the team; to be recognised as delivering high quality removals and excellent customer service by our own industry is a fantastic accomplishment.

Kent Excellence in Business Award for Customer Service

A couple of weeks later we were amazed to receive the Kent Excellence in Business Award for Customer Service. This award is open to any organisation, irrespective of size or sector, from Kent. The winner had to demonstrate commercial success whilst achieving excellence in looking after its customers. The competition is run by Kent County Council and the Kent Messenger Group with Barclays bank sponsoring and judging the customer service category. To top this list is very humbling, as we were up against some very strong competition from very large businesses across Kent. The judges singled us out for the commitment and passion we have to deliver an outstanding service to every single customer.

Kent Excellence in Business Customer Service Award Winners 2018

Simon Batt, the managing Director, said:

Our success in these rewards is down to the hard work and dedication of the whole team. Our motto is “Where Service is Key” and we are dedicated to helping the customer at every stage of their move. We want to make the process of moving house as stress free as possible. To win these awards and achieve this recognition in our 40thyear is truly amazing. Thanks to all our staff that work so hard every day to make this possible.

Family-Run Removals Company since 1978

Colin Batt Removals are family-owned and run and have been operating in Kent since 1978, providing domestic house removals, piano removals, storage and document archive services. Founded in Bethersden by Colin Batt with a single van the business has grown from humble beginnings. We now operate a fleet of vehicles, have 15 staff and our own storage facility on Maidstone Road, Ashford. At this site we can now offer furniture storage, document archive and climate-controlled storage. The Company is going from strength to strength and we are proud of the award-winning services we provide. You agree too, over 99% of our customers recommend our removals and storage services to their family and friends.

House Removals Accreditation

On top of the awards we achieved British Standard EN 12522 accreditation for Furniture Removals for private individuals. This is an independent verification of the quality of our removals processes and services. Another guarantee that your house or piano move is in safe hands.

QSS BS EN 12522 logo

So all in all we have many reasons to celebrate in our 40thyear; two customer service awards, British Standard Accreditation and National finalists in the Domestic Mover of the Year Award. These are all fantastic recognition of our quality house removals and storage services and a perfect birthday present. Thanks to all our staff and customers who make us who we are and Happy Birthday Colin Batt Removals.

Best places to live in Kent 2018 – Canterbury, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Ashford, Sandwich, Margate, West Malling

We have collated the results of several surveys to highlight the best towns and villages to live in Kent. We know that choosing the best place to live in Kent is very subjective, everyone has their own personal favourite town or village. Selecting the right place for you will depend on your personal circumstances, are you commuting, do you need access to good schools, are you a shopaholic etc? However, research and league tables do help define what each town can offer and provide a different perspective on life in various Kentish Towns. We have been looking online and have pulled together the top lists from a number of areas.

One Dome – Best towns and villages in Kent

One Dome, a property technology company, recently conducted some research into the best towns to live in Kent. Each town was measured using data from 70 sources and scored according to their own algorithm. The ranking was based upon education, transport links, lifestyle and nightlife, noise, crime, green spaces, public safety and access to groceries.

In One Dome’s view, Canterbury topped the charts by combining its cultural and historical heritage with some great education establishments and local nature areas. This makes it a hit with families and students alike. The full top five looks like this:

  1. Canterbury – Scored well for education, green spaces and historic landmarks. Not a great place for noise but good commuter links.
  2. Royal Tunbridge Wells – unsurprisingly this historic spa town scored well culturally, with plenty of green space, shops, restaurants and bars. Moving here does come with a price tag though!
  3. Belvedere – Easily commutable to London, being in zone 5, with lots of ‘Good’ schools as rated by OFSTED.
  4. Ashford – Scored well due to the high speed link to London along with plenty of shops and restaurants.
  5. Sandwich – small but attractive town, quiet place to live and only minutes from the coast. Not great if you’re looking to get to London in a hurry.

Ashford – Good transport links and great shopping

Dartford, Maidstone, Gillingham, Dover and Folkestone finished off the top ten, Sevenoaks just missed out in 11th spot.

One Dome also looked at Kent’s villages. They ranked our quaint settlements on Local Reality data and the top rated were:

  1. Eynsford
  2. St Mary’s Platt
  3. Ightham
  4. Staplehurst
  5. Brenchley
  6. Marden
  7. Langton Green
  8. Hawkhurst

Halifax Quality of Life Survey 2017

Interestingly, Kent has not done so well in the Halifax Quality of Life Survey 2017. We only managed to get one of our great towns into the top 50 this year, in 2014 we managed 5 (see our blog).  Well done to Tonbridge and Malling who secured 16th in the Halifax rankings.

Overall 17 of the top 50 were located in the South East and 4 in London. The South scored well in Halifax’s assessment due to high employment, and earnings as well as long life expectancy. The full top 20 ranking is here:

Local Authority Region 2017 Rankings 2016 Rankings
Hart South East 1 26
Orkney Islands Scotland 2 2
Rutland East Midlands 3 28
Wychavon West Midlands 4 3
Winchester South East 5 1
Wokingham South East 6 9
Waverley South East 7 17
Craven Yorkshire and The Humber 8 64
Richmondshire Yorkshire and The Humber 9 33
Stratford-on-Avon West Midlands 10 21
Uttlesford East of England 11 35
Ryedale Yorkshire and The Humber 12 29
Westminster London 13 44
South Oxfordshire South East 14 13
St Albans East of England 15 8
Tonbridge and Malling South East 16 14
East Herefordshire East of England 17 47
City of London London 18 20
Chiltern South East 19 10
Rugby West Midlands 20 32

The Newspapers

The Telegraph chose West Malling, specifically Kings Hill, as the best place to raise a family in the UK.  The Times rates Margate as one of the bets places to live in the UK in 2017.

Margate has seafront appeal

Summary

There is a variety of choice out there and Kent has something to offer everyone. We have great commuter towns, seaside getaways, up and coming gems and picture postcard villages. Whatever you need for your own piece of perfect, Kent has an option for you. The league tables above offer some insight but are very dependent on the data and algorithms used, take them with a pinch of salt. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so don’t take these scores as fact, do your own research and find what is right for you.

Read more about the research and reports here:

https://www.onedome.com/blog/lifestyle/the-best-places-to-live-in-kent/ – besttowns

https://static.halifax.co.uk/assets/pdf/media-centre/press-releases/2017-10-14-halifax-reveals-top-spots-for-kids-press-release.pdf

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/pictures/11072925/Britains-top-20-places-to-raise-a-family.html?frame=3025899

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/sunday-times-best-places-to-live-2017-3qkwjnvrm#/

Quality Removals Services Assured

We are very proud to announce that we have passed our initial audit for the British Standard for House Removals. We are now certified by Quality Standards Services as meeting the British Standard for delivering BS EN12522. This Standard covers all furniture removal activities conducted for private individuals.  The certificate shows that we are operating to the highest standards in the Removals Industry.

Quality House Removals

What is really impressive is that we not passed the audit first time, but we passed with zero non-conformities. This means there were no major or minor discrepancies with any of our policies or procedures. This is down to all the hard work the team did in preparing for the audit and the high standards we set ourselves, every day and on every house removal.

The audit examines every aspect of our house removals services and, therefore, it ensures we have the right processes, people and procedures in place to execute every phase of a removal. From initial enquiry, through the quotation to the move itself and beyond to our complaints procedures (not that we receive many of those). The QSS logo is your indication of a quality removals company delivering a quality removals service.

External Recognition

We are extremely proud to achieve this certificate but it is not the only sign of our outstanding removals services. You may know we are a member of the British Association of Removers, who also conduct an annual inspection of our business. Just check out the badge at the bottom of the page or read more about the BAR here.

Furthermore, last November we were honoured to receive the Customer Service Award from Business Awards Kent. The award was open to all small and medium-sized businesses from the Ashford area from all industries. We are proud to say we won, after beating some stiff competition.

Don’t just trust the experts. Our customers also provide great feedback of our performance. You can read these independently verified and collated reviews at Checkatrade.

Externally verified, certified, audited, reviewed and recommended, by any independent measure you can be assured of a quality house move when you choose Colin Batt Removals. Wherever you’re moving in Kent, be that Maidstone, Rochester, Canterbury, Ashford or Dover, we are your quality house removal company.