Living in Gravesend

Thinking of moving to Gravesend? As the most successful independent estate agency in the South East, Ward & Partners has collated our local knowledge to share with you in our Living in Gravesend guide.

As well as uncovering all you need to know about local services, our guide will give you a feel for what life is like in the area, along with its history, culture and all the recreational activities on offer!

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What Is Life Like In Gravesend?

Gravesend is an historic town, 21 miles from central London. Its close location to the capital and high-speed rail connections (only 24 minutes to London St. Pancras), along with picturesque cobbled streets make the town a desirable place in which to live.

Gravesend boasts a mixture of homes, spanning the decades. These range from grand Victorian villas and cottages to properties built in the 1970s.

Windmill Hill, with its village feel, is a popular area very central to Gravesend, and includes quaint country-style pubs and spectacular views at the summit. Singlewell, with its large detached houses and impressive gardens is also very popular. Higham is a popular village, with countryside walks surrounding it. One of the most exclusive areas in Gravesend is Shorne, a village boasting beautiful properties – some worth over £1,000,000, along with an impressive country park that attracts visitors from miles around.

History Of Gravesend

Gravesend’s history dates back as far as the Stone Age and, over the years, has become home to many settlements.

In 1086, the town, then known as Gravesham, was recorded in the Domesday Book as having fisheries, mills and hythes (small ports).

Gravesend has one of the UK’s longest running markets, with a charter granted in 1268. Still thriving (and running six days a week), the market has been in a purpose-built building since the 18th century.

Another royal charter was given to the town in 1401. This allowed boats to operate between London and the town and became very popular!

Sadly, many of the town’s oldest buildings were destroyed by fire in the 18th century, however, there are a few buildings remaining, including Milton Chantry – a 14th century chapel.

During the Victorian period, Gravesend grew rapidly as tourists flocked to the town and it has been a popular destination for holidaymakers and day-trippers alike ever since!

Between 1932 and 1956, the town had an airport. During WW2 this was used as an RAF station and known as RAF Gravesend. In 1956, it was taken over by the town council and Riverview Park, a large housing estate, was built on the site.

Geoff Livermore - Senior Branch Partner

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Days Out In Gravesend

Gravesend has plenty of options for a good day out to suit everyone!

Stroll along the promenade in the sunshine or take a walk through Fort Gardens, on the riverfront for a relaxed summer day out, complete with the sites of Gravesend’s military and port history.

Speaking of history, the town centre is packed with reminders of the area’s past. Lose yourself in its picture-perfect cobbled streets (with a good selection of high-street stores and a varied selection of restaurants) and look out for nostalgic reminders like the statue of Pocahontas. Located at St George’s Church, the statue commemorates Princess Pocahontas, who was brought to life in the Disney film and who arrived here after marrying an Englishman. Charles Dickens lived in the Gravesend area and mentions it in a number of his books, including David Copperfield and Great Expectations.

For those who love exploring the countryside, Shorne Country Park offers 300 acres of woodland walks and education for children about nature.

Things To Do In Gravesend

From traditional markets to leisure centres, sports clubs to pub lunches, there’s plenty to explore and enjoy in Gravesend!

Gravesend Indoor Market is open Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm, offering the perfect place to pick up fresh local products. For high-street names such as Boots, W.H. Smith and Wilko, head to Thamesgate and St. George’s shopping centres.

If sports are more your thing, you’re in luck as there are two main sport centres in the area: Cygnets at Northfleet and Cascades on the outskirts of Gravesend, both of which offer swimming, gym and other sports facilities. There is a Cyclopark in Northfleet which offers a safe and pleasant environment for keen cyclers and runners.

If you’d prefer to cheer on from the sidelines, Ebbsfleet United Football Club and Gravesend Rugby Club are both nearby. If that all sounds a bit too strenuous, then sit back and indulge in a delicious lunch or dinner in one of the town’s large selection of restaurants, cafés and pubs specialising in a variety of worldwide cuisines.

Schools In Gravesend

Gravesend has many excellent schools and educational facilities located nearby.

Primary and first schools include:
  • Bronte School
  • Cecil Road Primary And Nursery School
  • Chantry Primary Academy
  • Cobham Hall
  • Cobham Primary School
  • Copperfield Academy
  • Holy Trinity C. of E. Primary School
  • Istead Rise Primary School
  • King’s Farm Primary School
  • Lawn Primary School
  • Meopham Community Primary School
  • Painters Ash Primary School
  • Tymberwood Academy
  • Rosherville C. of E. Primary School
  • Shears Green Infants' School
  • Shears Green Junior School
  • Shorne C. of E. Primary School
  • Singlewell Primary School
  • St. Botolph's C. of E. Primary School
  • Vigo Village School
  • Westcourt Primary School
  • Wrotham Road Primary School
Secondary schools include:
  • Gravesend Grammar School
  • Mayfield Grammar School
  • Meopham School
  • Northfleet School For Girls
  • Northfleet Technology College
  • St. George's C. of E. School
  • St. John's Catholic Comprehensive
  • Thamesview School
Higher education institutions:
  • North Kent College
  • Gravesend Grammar School
  • Mayfield Grammar School
  • Meopham School
  • Northfleet School For Girls
  • Northfleet Technology College
  • St. George's C. of E. School
  • St. John's Catholic Comprehensive
  • Thamesview School

Transport In Gravesend

Gravesend is well connected and has fantastic transport links to London and surrounding towns.

Train links

Gravesend’s station has routes running to St. Pancras International (via high-speed link) in 24 minutes, Gillingham in 25 minutes, Faversham in 42 minutes and London Charing Cross in just over an hour. Nearby Ebbsfleet International station offers a similar high-speed service to St. Pancras and also services to Europe via the Channel Tunnel.

Buses and coaches

Arriva South East serves Gravesend and has regular buses to nearby towns.

Airports

London City Airport is the closest airport to the town, just 25 miles away. Gatwick is 40 miles from Gravesend, whilst Heathrow is 60 miles away.

Car

Gravesend is located near to the A2, connecting it to London in the north within an hour and Faversham, Canterbury and Dover to the south (via the M2).

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Gravesend Branch
Opening times

  • Mon-Fri: 9am - 6pm
  • Sat: 9am - 5pm
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