After more than a year of working from home, most people are gradually returning to the office, resulting in a huge increase in the demand for homes in suburban cities.

Estate agents have seen a massive increase in buyer searches for homes near suburban train stations outside London.

But it’s not just the well-known suburban cities that are seeing an increase in demand – more and more people are looking to relocate to other cities that have good rail links to London.

Read more: Tunbridge Wells named best town in Kent in which? investigation

And one city that’s becoming increasingly popular for London commuters is Folkestone.

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According to Rightmove, Folkestone West Station saw a 27% increase in buyer searches, which places it in the top ten areas most popular for commuters.

It was beaten in first place by Chelmsford Station, which saw a whopping 107% increase in buyer searches.

Folkestone Harbor was once a popular shipping port
Folkestone Harbor was once a popular shipping port

Rightmove real estate expert Tim Bannister said: “While some stations such as Chelmsford are still popular, the notable increase from June to August suggests the growing importance of the morning commute for those who do not work locally.

“While the demand to move or find more space has never gone away, the figures suggest that this will need to be balanced with easy access to transport on office days, which is naturally less on the order of the day. day for many over the past eighteen months. “

Folkestone is a port town on the southern edge of the North Downs, in a valley between two cliffs.

It was an important port and a shipping port for most of the 19th and 20th centuries, but it grew further after the arrival of the railway in 1843.

Today, Folkestone’s domestic services use the Central and West stations of the South East Main Line.

Folkestone's Old Main Street is a popular shopping spot
Folkestone’s Old Main Street is a popular shopping spot

Passengers on the Orient Express also change at Folkestone West for coaches and onward travel through the Channel Tunnel.

The High Speed ​​Railway 1 (HS1) from the Channel Tunnel to London has stopped at Folkestone since 2009 – travel time to London via this route has been reduced to less than an hour and some trains from Folkestone West takes as little as 52 minutes to reach the capital by TGV.

Folkestone is also a popular place to live thanks to its breathtaking scenery – from the wilderness of nearby Dungeness to the breathtaking views of the Downs.

Folkestone Harbor is now popular for its restaurants and bars
Folkestone Harbor is now popular for its restaurants and bars

There’s plenty for families to do too, including miniature train rides on the Romney, Hythe, and Dymchurch Railroad or African safari experiences at the award-winning Port Lympne Preserve.

The area also has a fascinating history – with over 1,000 skulls preserved in the ossuary of St Leonard’s Church in Hythe and the ancient Martello towers built to defend the coast during the Napoleonic War.

Other areas in Kent that are proving popular for commuters include Sittingbourne, which, an hour by train from London, saw a 47% increase in buyer searches, and Tunbridge Wells, which is the fourth largest station. the most sought after outside of London.

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