Living in Upper Gillingham


Thinking of moving to Upper Gillingham? As the most successful independent estate agency in the South East, Wards has gathered our local knowledge to share with you in our Living in Upper Gillingham guide.

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

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What Is Life Like In Upper Gillingham?

Gillingham is an up-and-coming town in Medway, Kent, which has recently seen investments from universities, who now have two campuses in the town.

As well as being home to the University of Greenwich and University of Kent, the town attracts those looking for an investment property, first-time buyers, commuters and families. This is in no small part due to the brilliant transport links (St. Pancras International can be reached within 48 minutes!), amenities and affordable house prices. In fact, the average Gillingham property price is 29% lower than other areas throughout Kent!

Just a few of the areas especially popular with buyers are suburban Darland (with breathtaking views across the Darland Banks), Holmside, Cleave Road, Park Avenue, First Avenue and Poets Corner. Housing surrounding the Medway Maritime Hospital – the only hospital in the area – are also popular with both workers and those looking for buy-to-let investment.

History Of Upper Gillingham

Gillingham was first listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. It is believed to have been named after a warlord named Gyllingas who led his warriors into battle screaming and shouting. The word gyllan comes from the Old English meaning ‘to shout’.

The Davenport family, who were pie-makers and key holders of Gillingham, played a big part in Upper Gillingham’s history as, in 1635, they owned The Strand. They also invested in the historic Chatham Dockyard, which spread into Gillingham. The Royal Dockyard became a shipbuilding yard, employing thousands of men and launching hundreds of vessels (including HMS Victory, built at the dockyard in the 1760s). Whilst it closed in 1984, the dockyard has been preserved as a historic site.

Shortly after the First World War in 1919, a naval war memorial was erected in Gillingham to remember those who lost their lives in combat. Again, after the Second World War, more memorials were created in the dockyard town.

Since the 1980s, Gillingham Business Park has attracted many businesses and investors and is one of North Kent’s most popular centres, due to its close connections to the M2.

Gary Snedden - Branch Partner

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Days Out In Upper Gillingham

From walks to ice skating, parks to shopping, Upper Gillingham has lots of local attractions.

The beautiful Darland Banks is a Local Nature Reserve and offers 45 hectares of woodlands for keen walkers to explore. The Riverside and Capstone Farm Country Parks are also close by and provide a wonderful day out for wildlife lovers.

Silver Blades Ice Rink is a popular day-out option, boasting a full-size ice rink with seating for over 1,000 people. They also hold disco sessions (with club tunes!) every Friday and Saturday night too.

The town’s large street market, held on Saturdays and Mondays in the High Street, is the busiest in the whole of Medway and attracts visitors from throughout the region looking for a local bargain!

As busy Rochester is only 20 minutes away, with its many events, festivals, history and shops, there’s plenty going on just a short drive away!

Things To Do In Upper Gillingham

Medway Park Leisure Centre has fantastic sports facilities including an extensive gym, four swimming pools, a sports hall, dance studio and track and field. The running track was even used for training by some international teams during the 2012 Olympics.

If you’d rather watch sport, the town is home to Kent’s only professional football club, Gillingham FC, who are currently in League One, along with Gillingham Dynamos (Ice Hockey) and Gillingham Rugby Club.

Upper Gillingham has a parade of shops, covering all of your day-to-day needs. There’s also a large Tesco in the town.

The town has a strong community feel and this becomes especially evident during the Gillingham Carnival. The week-long event, usually taking place in October, sees local schools, groups and residents get together for a fair, concerts, a procession through the streets, and so much more!

Schools In Upper Gillingham

Upper Gillingham has some fantastic local schools and further education institutions located nearby.

Primary and first schools include:
  • Byron Primary School
  • Luton Junior School
  • Luton Infant School
  • Barnsole Junior School
  • Barnsole Infant School
  • Napier Community Primary School
  • Woodlands Primary School
  • Featherby Junior School
  • Featherby Infant School
  • Kingfisher Primary School
Secondary schools include:
  • Chatham Grammar School For Girls
  • The Robert Napier School
  • Brompton Academy
  • Greenacre Academy
  • Rainham Mark Grammar School
  • The Howard School
  • Rainham School For Girls
  • Chatham Grammar School For Boys
Further education institutions include:
  • MidKent College
  • University of Greenwich, Medway Campus
  • University of Kent School of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Transport In Upper Gillingham

Upper Gillingham is well-connected to London and nearby Kent towns, with its great transport links.

Train links

Gillingham has fast rail connections to stations across London including St. Pancras (48 minutes), London Victoria (53 minutes) and Charing Cross (80 minutes). Regular services to Ramsgate also operate from Gillingham station, taking 76 minutes.


There are many bus services from Arriva that serve Gillingham, running to Chatham, Maidstone and Rainham.


The closest airport to Upper Gillingham is London City Airport, 33 miles away.


Conveniently located near to the A2, Upper Gillingham has easy access to central London (taking 80 minutes) and to Dover, within an hour. The M2 motorway is also close by.

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Upper Gillingham Branch
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  • Sat: 9am - 5pm
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