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As well as the local services, our Living in Lower Gillingham guide will give you a sense of what life is like in the seaside town – its history, culture and recreational activities.
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What Is Life Like In Lower Gillingham?
Gillingham is a town in Medway, Kent. Located near to Chatham and Rochester, the area has benefited from some recent investments from universities and is deemed to be ‘up and coming!’
With fantastic train links to London (St. Pancras International is easily accessible within 48 minutes), plenty of green space and affordable housing – homes in Gillingham are 29% lower than Kent’s average asking price – Lower Gillingham is fast-becoming a popular choice to reside for commuters and families alike.
Berkeley Homes’ Victory Pier riverside development attracts a great deal of interest from both buy-to-let investors and buyers looking for upmarket properties in a stunning location. Housing surrounding the Medway Maritime Hospital, the only hospital in the area, is also popular with workers.
History Of Lower Gillingham
The first mention of Gillingham was in the Domesday Book of 1086. It is thought to have been named after Gyllingas – a warlord who led his warriors into battle screaming and shouting – derived from the old English gyllan, meaning 'to shout'.
The Davenport family have been important throughout Lower Gillingham's history. The pie-makers and keyholders of Gillingham owned The Strand in 1635 and then invested in the Chatham Dockyard, which sprawled into Gillingham. Davenport Avenue, in the town, was named after the family.
Forming part of the dockyard, Gillingham was a limb of the Cinque Ports and continued to play a big part in Kent’s maritime history, until the 1940s.
In 1919, after the First World War, a naval war memorial was erected to commemorate those that lost their lives. Further memorials were created in 1945, after the Second World War, just like in the important dockyard towns of Portsmouth and Plymouth.
Since the 1980s, Gillingham Business Park has attracted businesses and investors. It is now one of North Kent’s most popular centres, thanks to its close connections to the M2.
Days Out In Lower Gillingham
Whether you’re into history, nature, shopping or just having a community party, Lower Gillingham offers many options for a good day out!
The Royal Engineers Museum provides a fascinating insight into the area’s history, with designated collections of significant objects, whilst the Riverside and Capstone Farm Country Parks are the perfect place for wildlife lovers to explore.
Gillingham Marina is not only home to beautiful boats and luxurious waterside properties, but also a restaurant and bar, should you fancy refreshments when walking around the award-winning complex.
The town’s large street market in the High Street on Saturdays and Mondays, is the busiest in the whole of Medway and attracts visitors from throughout the region looking for a local bargain!
Things To Do In Lower Gillingham
Medway Park Leisure Centre boasts excellent sports facilities such as an extensive gym, four swimming pools, a sports hall, dance studio and track and field. The facilities are so impressive that the running track was even used for training by some international teams for the 2012 Olympics.
Staying on a sporting theme, the town is home to Kent’s only professional football club, Gillingham FC, who are currently in League One.
Each October, the hotly anticipated Gillingham Carnival returns for a whole week, bringing with it a funfair, concert, procession and so much more. Many local schools get involved, as do community groups, giving local residents the chance to meet up and celebrate all that’s great about Gillingham!
Schools In Lower Gillingham
Lower Gillingham has excellent schools and other educational facilities located close by.
Primary and first schools include:
- Oasis Academy, Skinner Street
- Napier Community Primary School
- Barnsole Junior School
- St. Mary's Catholic Primary School
- Burnt Oak Primary School
- Saxon Way Primary School
- Byron Primary School
Secondary schools include:
- New Brompton College
- Chatham Grammar School For Girls
- The Robert Napier School
- Greenacre Academy
- Fort Pitt Grammar School
- Chatham Grammar School For Boys
Higher education facilities include:
- MidKent College
- University of Greenwich, Medway Campus
- University of Kent School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Transport In Lower Gillingham
Lower Gillingham has superb transport links to London and the surrounding towns.
Lower Gillingham is well served with fast rail connections to London; St Pancras can be reached in 48 minutes, London Victoria within 53 minutes and Charing Cross in 80 minutes. There are also regular services to Ramsgate, taking 76 minutes.
Buses and coaches
Arriva operates many routes that serve Lower Gillingham to destinations such as Chatham, Maidstone and Rainham.
London City Airport is 33 miles from Lower Gillingham, whilst London Gatwick is 48 miles away.
Lower Gillingham is conveniently located for the A2 which links the town to London in 80 minutes and to Dover in an hour. The M2 motorway is also close by.