One of the biggest shopping centres in the country and access to a high-speed train service have transformed Greenhithe into a property hotspot.

Greenhithe is a small town in Kent that sits beside the River Thames. It was once a peaceful residential area, but over the last 20 years the Bluewater shopping centre and High Speed 1 train service have provided a major boost to the area.

With continued development drawing in home-hunters, house prices have soared by 32.61% in the last five years to reach the current average of £317,000. This puts Greenhithe just a little below the prices of popular areas such as Maidstone (take a look at the latest prices here). But if you’re looking for a home outside of London that still has great commuter connections, Greenhithe could be a cost-effective choice.

Learn more about Kent, the ‘Garden of England’, by reading our informative guide.

Living in Greenhithe: what to expect

New housing developments, which are part of the Thames Gateway regeneration project, have remodelled Greenhithe’s riverside. The Waterstone Park and Ingress Park developments have introduced contemporary homes to what was once neglected space.

This doesn’t mean that all traces of the past have been obliterated. Greenhithe’s history as a thriving port and its brief heyday as a Victorian resort can still be seen in its characterful Victorian homes and the busy mooring points outside traditional riverside pubs.

The town has also held on to its semi-rural nature. The Bluewater shopping complex takes its name from the 23 acres of lakes that surround it. Fifty acres of parkland have also been landscaped, meaning residents have plenty of nature on their doorstep.

Detached house in Ingress Park, Greenhithe

Where to start your property search

If you want a contemporary home or one with a riverside view, then take a look at the new developments at Ingress Park and Waterstone Park.

In Ingress Park, the Avenue Collection has two-bedroom apartments, three-bedroom duplexes and a refurbished Grade II lodge house set among 72 acres of landscaped grounds. You can also find modern town houses along Capability Way and sizeable detached homes on Sylvan Mews. For riverside flats, look to Clarinda house and Portland Place. Penthouses are particularly sought-after but also command high prices.

You can also find new developments a little further away from the river. The Bellway development of St Clements Lakes on London Road has two-bedroom apartments and three- and four-bedroom houses, many of which have lake views. Choose from terraces, semis and detached properties that have open-plan living and dining areas and en suite bathrooms for master bedrooms.

For a period house, take a look at the three-bedroom Victorian terraces that line roads such as Providence Street. These flat-fronted homes have narrow but lengthy gardens, but if you’d like a bay window, take a look at the properties on Park Terrace.

Some of the larger Victorian houses on the market have been converted into flats, so if your budget is more modest, take a look at areas such as Knockhall Road. It has imposing Victorian properties with high ceilings and sash windows, as well as other period features.

Quaint homes that sit near the river can be found along the narrow Pier Road. Take a look here for that cosy cottage with a garden full of flowers.

If you want a comfortable family home, search Louvain Road and Mounts Road for a 20th-century semi-detached property. Houses here tend to be set back from the road and have spacious rear gardens. Even larger gardens are attached to the terraces that can be found on Birch Place.

Modern flats in Greenhithe

Getting around Greenhithe

By rail: Greenhithe station has direct services to London Charing Cross (via Sidcup or Woolwich Arsenal and Lewisham), London Waterloo East, Gravesend and Gillingham.

A train to London Waterloo East takes 48 minutes whereas a train to Charing Cross takes 50 minutes.

Residents are also a short drive from the Ebbsfleet International High Speed 1 station. Here you can catch a high-speed train to King’s Cross St Pancras International and reach your destination in just 19 minutes. Lille, Brussels and Paris are all less than two hours’ train ride away.

Southeastern trains also run services to Ashford, Canterbury West, Dover Priory, Margate, Chatham, Maidstone and Faversham from this station.

By car: Greenhithe residents have good access to major roads. The M25 and M20 sit to the south and residents can also hop onto the A2 to join the M2 near Rochester.

By air: Gatwick Airport is just a 36-minute car journey away. You can fly to 220 destinations from here, including Australia, Hong Kong and India.

Victorian terraced house in Greenhithe

Things to do in Greenhithe

History: Visit Stone Church, also known as the ‘Lantern of Kent’, to admire views of the River Thames and to see stunning medieval architecture. The church, which is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, was built in the 13th century and earned its nickname thanks to its position on the hill that overlooks the river. It is also known as ‘Little Westminster’ due to its unexpected grandeur.

Swanscombe Heritage Park is the place to visit if you’re keen to learn about man’s early beginnings. Flint tools dating back 400,000 years have been discovered here, along with human remains. Follow the trail around the park to learn more about our early ancestors and see where the finds were unearthed.

Cultural: Each August the owners of Ingress Abbey open their gates to welcome the local community for The Annual Ingress Park Family Fun Day. Stalls are set up in front of the abbey but residents can also enjoy events such as a dog show, a walking treasure hunt, carnival day and steeplechase.

The Showcase Cinema de Lux in the Bluewater complex offers an IMAX cinema, where you can catch the latest releases along with live theatre, ballet and opera shows via satellite. A Sony XD motion ride is also available, which gives you a 4D cinema experience.

Outdoors: For £13 you can explore Bluewater’s surrounding lakes by pedalo for half an hour.  You can also discover the wildlife in the surrounding parkland and meadows by following one of the trails. Younger visitors can be entertained by the three climbing and adventure play areas.

More parkland is attached to Stone Pavilion in nearby Stone. Fifteen acres of parkland and outdoor pitches are available for hire, and the pavilion itself is host to dance, Tai Chi and yoga classes, among others.

Shopping: The ultimate shopping destination in the area is Bluewater, which is one of the largest malls in Europe. Inside you can find 300 stores, including high-street favourites such as House of Fraser, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer. Seasonal events include a Halloween horror experience and a Christmas grotto and ice rink.

For the weekly food shop, supermarkets such as the Asda superstore in the west of Greenhithe are available. Alternatively, you can head to Dartford and Gravesend for more independent and high-street stores.

Food and drink: To enjoy a drink and a meal while admiring a view of the river, take a seat at the Pier Hotel. It serves hearty traditional food such as chicken and ham pie and steak and kidney pudding.

On the High Street you’ll find the Sir John Franklin, a friendly pub where you can relax with a pint or enjoy homely food in cosy surroundings.

For a wider variety of cuisines, wander around the restaurant options at Bluewater – there are more than 50 to pick from. If you like Mexican cuisine, try Wahaca, which is designed to look like a Mexican market. Try their tacos, quesadillas and tostadas while seated in converted VW vans beneath a recycled bottle canopy.

If you’re looking for a sophisticated spot to dine, head to Côte Brasserie. It dishes up authentic French classics, such as beef bourguignon and crème brulée, and has monthly specials to choose from too.

The River Thames and Queen Elizabeth II Bridge as seen from Greenhithe

Hidden Greenhithe

Walk along the river and see if you can spot any areas that may have been used by smugglers as hiding places. The Thames estuary and Kent saw lots of smuggling activity in the 18th and 19th centuries and it is believed that secret tunnels once ran through Swanscombe Wood.

5 reasons to live in Greenhithe

  • Easy access to all the entertainments of Bluewater
  • The Ebbsfleet International High Speed 1 station is within easy reach
  • New houses and estates are updating the riverside
  • Choose from riverside apartments, Victorian terraces and comfortable family homes
  • Plenty of lakes and parkland to explore

Has this article piqued your interest in Greenhithe? Share your opinions in the comments below.

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