Guest post: moving to Deal

deal-01Today we have a guest post, from TWR reader Kathryn, who wanted to tell us about how she moved -mid life- to live by the sea. A word of warning, you may well want to put your own urban house on the market and head to the coast after reading this and seeing Kathryn’s lovely images….I did. Over to you Kathryn.

We were stuck. And fed up. Having lived on the outskirts of ‘commuter nirvana’, Berkhamsted, for seven years we discovered that the local council were to build 900 house in the Green Belt fields around our hamlet home, which of course meant an end to the relative tranquility we’d found just 35 minutes from Euston and a substantial drop in the value of our home. We searched high and low in the local area, spreading the search further and further out, but couldn’t find anything vaguely affordable. We were convinced we wanted something rural, something within 40 minutes commute of the big smoke and – most of all – somewhere really private, with no neighbours.

So how exactly did we end up living on the south coast (1 hour 20 minutes from town) in the middle of a town?

boats in dealA series of coincidences, a good deal of luck and the blinding realisation that what we thought we wanted was actually influenced by past behaviours and – rather radically – flawed beliefs about our personalities (turns out we’re not really recluses after all). Sounds a bit deep, right? And, bearing in mind our age, whiffs pungently of the mid-life crisis. Whatever the reason, we’d like to thank Dacorum Borough Council, the ridiculous escalation of house prices in the commuter belt, and the incredible friendliness of our adopted home, Deal in Kent, for our new and improved life.

Deal is riddled with history yet still surprisingly undiscovered. The name gives nothing away and, as it’s on the way to nowhere, you really need to make an effort to come here. The first time I visited – a grey day in February, 2013 – it was to work with an old colleague on his new website. Thankfully, he gave me a quick tour through the fascinating Georgian conservation area (passing by the blue plaque to Charles Hawtrey) to the huge Aldeburgh-like beach before we tucked into some fine fare by a roaring fire in the much-loved Black Douglas coffee house (itself a good indicator of the bohemian and off-beat feel of the town). Needing to move house as we did, I asked him what some of the lovely Georgian townhouses up for sale might be worth. After my post-shock resuscitation, he also mentioned the high-speed train connection. A lengthy journey in to town, for sure, but with property prices a least a third lower than in Hertfordshire, it seemed worth the gamble.

deal-streetIt’s not for everyone. And its detractors span the centuries: ‘a very pitiful town Deal is’ (Pepys, 1660); ‘the barbarous hated name of Deal shou’d die, Or be a term of infamy’ (Defoe, 1704); ‘depressing narrow street[s] that would remain shadowed and cold even during a heatwave’ (Morrissey, 2013). It’s provincial, miles from anywhere and a bit mad. The shops shut promptly at five and rarely open on Wednesdays and Sundays. There’s no cinema, the seagulls are loud, and we’ve yet to find a decent Chinese take-away.

On the other hand, it’s fabulously friendly, oozes quirky charm and has given us the undreamed of chance to live in a Grade II listed house just paces from the sea. Which you can actually swim in for at least a few months of the year (and really must do on Boxing Day, in fancy dress, if you want to hold your head up in this town). There are two and a half castles on the length of the gobsmacking stony beach. A beach that is never busy, even on bank holidays. There’s a pier. And invigorating sea air that lifts the spirits even on a winter’s day. Thank goodness for that midlife crisis and the unaffordability of the Home Counties.

deal-sign-on-pierRead more of Kathryn’s musings on her blog The Daft Apeth.

Do you have a mid life moving story you want to share? Do email on [email protected], now excuse me, I need to phone the estate agents…..




  • Isha Mathur says:

    Woah! very nice views and photography

  • Leigh-Anne says:

    We love people moving to our little town. The influx of people and money has revitalised Deal, a fab little place by the sea considerably cheaper than our upmarket neighbour Whitstable!

  • We did a similar thing, moving from Twickenham to a village couple of miles down the coast from Deal, three years ago. It’s beautiful and we love it. And Deal is fab.

  • sarah says:

    Thanks for this lovely post.
    Deal is fab, we have rented a house there for our holidays (again). Kent is so underated. Hipsters should investigate Hastings for tip top shopping.

  • Wonderful place! The place looks so beautiful! You took a wonderful decision! The photos are amazing! Thumbs up! Thanks for sharing! Greetings, Man With Van Acton Ltd.

  • LeabytheSea says:

    So lovley to read this post – I moved from Twickenham to Bognor Regis 9 years ago. It did take me about 2 years to settle. It always makes me smile whenever I read about people who have made the move so thank you so much for sharing.

  • Charlie says:

    Living by the sea is what I dream about. :-)

  • bernie. says:

    Sure, people are friendly and it’s nice enough if you like this sort of thing. I am just not cut out for quite so small and quiet, and it doesn’t make me feel alive. Everywhere I want to go is another hour away and more expensive for travel. I’ve only been here six months and have been wanting to move out again for at least three. Sorry.

  • Jiggy Clark says:

    Guest Post Submission on Your Website-


    Greetings for the day!!!

    I’m Jiggy Clark, I’m looking for guest posts Sites, and blogs.

    I recently came across your blog and found it very interesting.

    The article is related to your website and will be appreciated by your readers.

    I guarantee you that the article will be 100% unique, top quality and Copyscape protected and will not be shared with any other site.

    Please let me know if this sounds good to you so that we can send the article to you for review.

    Hope to have a positive response.

    Many Thanks,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *