Although they are just a short distance apart, there are immense differences in the lifestyles enjoyed by people in London and Kent. It goes without saying that London is one of the busiest and most multicultural cities in Europe, while towns in Kent – such as Chatham – tend to offer a far more relaxed way of life.
So, if you had to move to one or the other on a permanent basis, which would you choose?
What does London have to offer?
With a population in the region of eight million, it is hardly surprising that the English capital is so diverse. It is hard to sum up London as one entity, such are the huge differences between each borough.
The West End is generally accepted to be the most upmarket part of the city, with places like Kensington and Chelsea attracting more than their fair share of celebrities and wealthy residents. However, the East End has also become increasingly attractive in recent years, helped in no small part by the huge regeneration of the area for the 2012 Olympic Games. Brick Lane is an excellent example of how parts of London have been transformed from rundown districts into hip and trendy artistic hubs.
There is a general feeling that the world is your oyster in London and you will never struggle to find something to do. Of course, the excellent Underground system ensures that young professionals can get around the city with minimal fuss and there tends to be far more attractive job opportunities in this part of the UK, as many of the world’s biggest companies have bases in London.
But what about Kent?
They don’t call Kent the ‘Garden of England’ for nothing, you know. The county is one of the most picturesque areas in the UK and there are few better places to go for a scenic walk or bike ride. The Kent lifestyle is obviously a far cry from that in London, but this suits a lot of people down to the ground.
Although it does not have the same level of entertainment on offer as London, that doesn’t mean that Kent hasn’t got plenty to see and do – far from it. One thing that Kent has an abundance of is history. The county has always been a gateway into Europe and it has staged some of the most famous battles that England has ever seen. You can spend hours roaming around the beautiful castles and forts that were built to fend off marauding Europeans in bygone eras.
Of course, Kent also has the benefit of being a coastal county and there are some simply stunning seaside towns to explore.
Where would you rather live?
A lot obviously depends on your own personality, but there are a few things that work in Kent’s favour here.
Property prices and the cost of living are generally much lower than in the centre of London, so you are getting far more for your money. One important thing to remember is that Chatham is little over 30 miles away from London, so those who live here can enjoy a quieter day-to-day existence, safe in the knowledge that one of the most exciting and cosmopolitan cities in the world is only a short distance away.
Trains run regularly from Medway stations such as Rainham, Gillingham, Chatham, Rochester and Strood into a number of London transport hubs, including Charing Cross, Victoria, London Bridge and Waterloo. This means you can be in the thick of the action in central London in less than an hour.