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The local area guide to living in Queensborough

Queenborough is a picturesque little town on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, which was once an important port but is now a much quieter place whose waters are given over to more leisurely pursuits such as yachting and rowing. In 1346 King Edward III built a castle to protect the mouth of the Thames Estuary and established the town around the site, which he named Queenborough after his consort, Queen Phillippa.

Admiral Lord Nelson was said to have learnt his seafaring skills in the area, and lived in a house near the harbour with his mistress, the Lady Hamilton. The town became known as the major wool port and grew to hold two markets a week and two fairs a year.

In the 17th century the castle fell into disrepair and was sold off, but the town continued to thrive until the early 1900’s, when the improved navigation between London and the mouth of the Thames Estuary caused it to lose its importance as a port.

Modern day Queenborough still reflects something of its history, with the medieval church still standing, along with many buildings constructed during the town’s 18th century seafaring heyday. Queenborough is now a typical small town, with all the shops and amenities you would expect, but with the added benefit of a picturesque harbour.

The harbour has a large selection of moorings to suit all budgets, a boat yard, free car parking and free wifi, making the romantic notion of living on a houseboat a very real possibility.

Information about the local residents

In the 2011 census, Queenborough had 3,407 residents, compared to 3,471 in 2001. It’s a fairly young town, with almost a third of the population falling within the 25-44-year-old age bracket, and it’s a popular place for families: children aged between 0 and 15 make up 25% of the population.

The largest employer in the area is manufacturing, followed by retail and construction, and the unemployment rate is on a par with the national average at 3.40%.

Nearby schools

Within the town itself is Queenborough Primary School and Nursery, which was classed by Ofsted as ‘good’ in its last inspection, having previously been described as ‘satisfactory’. Staff are praised for being ‘committed to maintaining high expectations and ensuring that every child reaches their expectations’. Also nearby is Halfway Houses Primary School, which is also described as being ‘good’.

The nearest secondary school is the Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey, which was classed as ‘requiring improvement’ in its last inspection, though the school is improving and was praised for the ‘very strong leadership of the executive principal’.

Getting around

Queenborough sits on the Sheerness line, which connects Sheerness to Sittingbourne and the Chatham Main Line, which has excellent links to London and the rest of the UK rail network.

The A249 runs through the town and connects to the M2 just 15 minutes down the road near Oad Street, with Maidstone only a further 15 minutes on. Queenborough is served by Arriva buses and has regular routes to Sheerness, Leysdown, Rushenden and Minster.

Local shops

Queenborough has a good mix of independent shops and more familiar chain stores, including a Morrison’s, a Co-op and an Iceland and its proximity to the water is demonstrated by the independent fishmongers, The Two Suns Quality Fish.

It has a selection of attractive pubs, including The Rose Inn, The Flying Dutchman (which apparently serves ‘fish and chips to die for’) and The Old House at Home, which sits right on the edge of the harbour and benefits from impressive sea views. There are plenty of places to eat too, including the Mirimar Chinese Takeaway, the Golden Fish Bar, Nic’s Restaurant and the Queenborough Kebab & Pizza House.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.