Moving out of London - others have done it!
We receive a third of all enquiries from London-based parents who are looking to move out of London, to get away from:
- the congestion of London and to move to some green space. Holmewood is situated just outside Tunbridge Wells in over thirty acres of grounds and is surrounded by countryside.
- the pressure of the London prep schools. Holmewood is essentially non-selective. Our assessment process is to ensure that a child can readily access our broad curriculum and benefit from all that is on offer at Holmewood. We, nevertheless, have an enviable academic record and successfully prepare children for some of the best senior independent schools in the country.
You and your children will be leaving friends behind in London. This can be more daunting for you than for your children; however, children at Holmewood (and their parents!) are very used to new faces joining their class. We make sure you and your children receive a very warm welcome. You need not worry about your children; they will soon make new friends. We also ensure that you are quickly introduced to other Holmewood parents. You will soon make new friends too!
Twenty eight percent of our current parents have moved from London! Here are a couple of their stories:
“Being a Maida Vale girl born and bred, I didn't imagine myself ever leaving London BUT watching children grow up in the same area I did without the familiarity and neighbourliness I remember made me rethink. The nail in the coffin was the London pre-prep system which is obliged to see children through the 7+; the timetable cannot to my mind nurture them in the way it should and support each child as an individual.
We chose Holmewood House first, then looked for a place to live. In the end we opted to rent first so as to get to know the area better. I don't miss London at all. It would be easy to pop up once a week but there really is no need. Everything you could want from an amenities perspective is close to hand. Friends prefer to visit us in Kent and we would much rather spend our weekends doing the things we readily travelled outside London to do... walks in the countryside, pub lunches, cycling, adventure trails etc. with the added beauty that the journey home involves 10 or 15 minutes of stunning countryside not a disheartening slog on the motorway in weekend traffic.
We were attracted to Holmewood first and foremost by the enthusiasm of the staff. Hard to imagine the children not wanting to learn. The facilities are hugely impressive and the ethos that everyone is both included and accountable. Each child matters.
The parents are thankfully a far more mixed bunch than I first imagined. Our main concern upon leaving London was losing diversity but that isn't the case. I would say it would be impossible not to make friends.
Husband is trialling various train stations to get him to London by 7.30am. We are outside Tunbridge Wells so further afield. Winter commuting is never fun but he claims he would rather come home even after a work dinner, when he has the choice to stay in town, as this is quite simply where he wants to be.
On a general note, everyone seems not just happier but much healthier. Dark bags, pale faces, sinusitis have gone and we all sleep, breathe well. The dog thinks he's a puppy once more, every walk is his favourite. The children haven't once asked to go back to London since we moved. People are often mentioned fondly but not the actual place.
Instead of listening to daily police sirens, I get to watch pheasants dance on the lawn and meet the odd stag when putting out the rubbish. The most wonderful thing is my eldest says I shout less!”
Mrs Patterson, current parent recently relocated from Maida Vale
"We decided to move out of London as our family was expanding and our children needed space to run around. We were attracted to TW because of the fantastic schools: Tonbridge, Judd and Skinners, to name a few. Holmewood House appealed to us because of its fantastic facilities, excellent track record and friendly atmosphere. The children looked happy on our show-round too.
I was surprised at how quickly the children settled in. Obviously there were a few, initial teething problems (the older ones missed their friends) but within a few months, they were pleased about the move and have not looked back. If anything, they now feel sorry for their London peers who are bussed out to their playing fields and have to sit in hours of traffic!
As a couple, we have met and made some strong friendships already. The school is fairly international and we have friends from Geneva, Brunei, Singapore...and Wandsworth! The PTA have been very welcoming and have invited us along to nights out and coffee mornings too.
Stephen's commute is relatively straightforward too. He takes the 05:48 train from Tonbridge and he is at his desk at 06:45. Tonbridge has fast connections into London Bridge (33 mins is the quickest train), Charing X and Cannon St and they ALL provide an easy commute to the Wharf, the City and the West End. He reckons it is the best commute into Central London."
Current parent, recently relocated from Fulham
"The school values a caring approach, encouragement, good manners and generosity, all of which are evident in the demeanour and actions of the pupils."
ISI Inspection Report 2017