Living in Ashford, Kent
Written by Anonymous Visitor and posted in Kent, South East, United Kingdom

A town in South East England where the bling people wear is actually Argos, allegedly 4ct yellow-coated lead and the hoop earrings are so big that people’s ears look like those of the Yanomami Indians who stretch them for traditional purposes. I grew up here and am mentally scarred for life by the sheer amount of shell suits and Fila tracksuits with tummies poking out from under the jackets.

The town centre has always been littered with empty shops and the ones that are filled are either 99p shops, mobile phone shops, charity shops or discount shoe shops. Even Pizza hut has fled the town centre. The town has two Argos’s (says it all really).

Most teenage girls are spotted pushing prams around with a fag in one hand and a bottle of Lambrusco in the other and there are many 35 year old grannies too. It’s not uncommon to have aunties or uncles actually younger than yourself …

The factory outlet shopping centre, consisting of over 100 shops sell dross that rest of the UK population refused to buy the previous 10 years, but Ashfordians come flooding in at weekends to buy the passé sportswear, cracked ceramics and £10 pairs of discount Kickers.

There are many supermarkets selling Ashford’s favourite meals; McCains Microchips, turkey twizzlers and chicken nuggets – all rounded off with a glass of Sunny Delight or Blue Nun.  There is however a posh area too, served by the Waitrose supermarket, but last time I visited there were only people in black-lycra leggings pushing prams around.

Weekend activities consist of visiting boot fairs, kids birthday parties at McDonalds and going out to get bladdered in the evening. Monday mornings are spent queuing up to sign on.

  • xD

    I lived there most of my life, moved away and realised there are far WORSE places in the UK than Ashford. All I can say is, the Author of this has obviously never been to Slough! If you want a prime example of a cultural and economic mire then Sloughs it!

    To be fair though, this was probably posted by someone from Tenterden. So what do you expect? They have a unwarranted delusion of their own superiority when in reality no one outside of the Weald has even heard of the place.

  • Robb Fury

    Seriously this post is so misleading, ashford really isn’t that bad, sure it’s lacking some entertainment choices such as a lack of music venues and places for more refined entertainment. I have lived here for 16 years (since I was 9) and honestly the people arnt too bad (depending where you go of course), it’s relatively quiet and uneventful honestly I read this and laughed at how misinformed the writer is on this topic

  • Fatman

    If you think ashford is bad then you havent been to Medway or lived there!

    – Your description of the locals is pretty much every town in kent except Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells
    – The town centre has lots of shop variety comapred to many other towns in Kent, If you want to see 99p shops and cheap jewelrry/phones/tat then go to Chatham.
    – The town has one argos and one that is in an out of town retail park. Medway has at least 3 Argos’
    – Teh teenage mothers are just a sign of the times im afraid, they are everywhere up and down the country.
    – I agree the outlet is s**t, its seconds, last seasons and too expensive posh s**t no one buys (150£ Le Creuset casserole dish anyone?)
    – Sainsburys has a a massive store with a great selection, there are two Tescos, Lidl I agree is great and there is a Waitrose, hardly chav cuisine. I live near ish Waitrose and its hardly posh. Repton is full of flats and houses with no parking, housing association and it has a fooking awful set of traffic lights on the A20 that hold everyone up.

    TLDR – If you only know Ashford you dont know how well you have it.

    • Fatman

      I meant to say one Argos in town, nto jsut one Argos.

  • Biggun

    I lived here for three years. Good things about Ashford:

    Good Wetherspoons (better than the ones in Canterbury).
    Great transport links
    Nice villages around it
    Lidl has expanded and is the best supermarket in Ashford
    Some nice parks near the town centre

    Not-so-nice things

    The Wetherspoons is the only decent pub in Ashford – part of me feels it could benefit from a micropub.
    Lack of restaurant choice. There’s a Nepalese and an Italian but apart from that it’s probably the Wetherspoons which has the best food.
    Like many High Streets, Ashfords is suffering and you are struck by people subconsciously aware of this as they just seem to hang about in clusters.
    You can call the locals Trashford if you want but there are decent folk among them.

  • Ashfordian XIV

    Ashford isn’t so bad. The town council continues to encourage gargantuan mega, no giga-stores on the outskirts of town, knowing full-well that this will leach customers from the town centre where parking isn’t free, and that this could effectively make the town like a doughnut with a hole in the middle. However, the residents keep voting for the same party and expecting different results so they’ve only themselves to blame. I’m not sure how long it takes to cotton on that if you don’t like what you’re seeing, maybe somebody with a different outlook running the show might be a start.
    The town itself is no worse than many other towns of a similar size. The bit around the churchyard is very nice and there is an international station, so if you hate the place so much you can get to London in 38 minutes and Paris or Brussels in a couple of hours. Also the parks are very nice. Cycle the route from Singleton to Kennington and you’ll see that Ashford can be very green and pleasant. What’s more, the big flat blocks in Stanhope have gone and although people moan about Charter House and International House, I think they communicate that Ashford is actually a sizable town that means business.
    Whilst I’m not a shopaholic, the designer outlet does seem to have put Ashford on the map and is very popular, encouraging visitors from all over the southeast. The proposed railway museum should really get the ball rolling if this gets off the ground too.
    The countryside around the town is very nice, including great walks along the North Downs, Royal Military Canal, etc. There are woodlands at Challock and Hamstreet, windmills at Woodchurch and Willesborough and some really atmospheric little pubs all over the borough.
    Ashford is modern and shouldn’t try to compete with Canterbury because it doesn’t have a million visitors a year. It does need more town centre eating options though, and the lack of these is back to the ‘relocate on the outskirts’ planning mandate again. Nando’s? Yes, it’s a mile and a half if you walk along that dual carriageway. Ditto for the cinema.
    Wye gets a drubbing too on this site, which amazes me. I don’t think any place has escaped the modern ‘culture’ which is encouraged by the dumbed down media, so I don’t think its indicative that Ashford or Wye are bad places with bad people, just good places with ordinary people living in a culturally void era!

  • Russell

    The only thing mentioned here is the consumer patterns of people less economically privileged than the ‘author’, Who i would imagine lives in one of those wealthy villages surrounding the Ashford area. Also, clearly possessing some sort of social inferiority complex but as a result of their own ignorance can only hope to elevate themselves by indulging in social stereotypes surrounding wealth.

    • Geraldine Gibson

      Well said and true. There are a lot of these idiots (mostly illiterate) who want their “voice” to be heard on such sites because it will not be heard anywhere else. I have looked at this site for various areas, and the same kinds of creep are everywhere. They want to denigrate everything because they are basically sad cases. My best advice is to avoid this site as it does not offer any useful information about any area.

  • Colin

    Give it up Geoff! 🙂