Chatham is Located in South East England and the North of Kent. It is one of the Medway cities in England. The place is worth considering if you plan on moving to the UK. The housing is cheap and has a lot of historical heritage.
The town is famous for its dockyard and the military barracks from which the city developed. Whether you’re a resident or an expatriate planning on moving to England, Chatham has something to offer for everyone.
Most probably you’re here because you have some thoughts of moving to the UK, but you aren’t sure whether Chatham is the best location for you. For instance, you may be wondering about life there, cost of living, whether the city is ideal for a family with school going children, crime rate and accessibility. Read on to get all the answers you have been seeking so that you can make an informed decision about your relocation.
Is Chatham a Good Place to Live?
It is true that Chatham has been a crime-prone city. However, over the years things have changed, and crime has reduced significantly thanks to the police who work day and night to ensure the residents are safe.
Apart from a few cases here and there which are common in any city around the world, Chatham is a safe place to live. One of the best neighbourhood to live in is Rochester with almost zero rate of crime as well as good proximity to social amenities.
There are many primary schools for children aged three to eighteen years, for instance, the King’s School located in Rochester. It is a great private school as rated by Ofsted. Thomas More RC located on Bleakwood Road to the South of the city is also ranked as an outstanding school. If you’re looking for a grammar school, they are also plenty within the town such that you’ll be spoilt for choice.
The high schools within the city are not among the best in the UK, but they offer the basic IGCSE system. However, there are so many universities such that you’ll be lost for choice. The main universities are: the Medway School of Pharmacy, University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University, and the University of Creative Arts Rochester. Students living within the city are offered subsidised rates for accommodation, bus tickets, and train tickets. There are also many hostels where students can live within close proximities to their schools.
There is a Pentagon Shopping Center located close to the train station, and it has more than 70 high street shops. The docking area also has a factory outlet shopping centre where you can bargain for anything you want.
There are also many restaurants both in Rochester and Chatham docking area where you can eat and drink by the River Medway. Besides, as you shop you can explore the ancient city of Chatham.
The city has more than 600 acres of green space with bikes and hiking trails for people who love adventure like exploring the goodness of the city.
The train is the best and cheapest mode of transport from Chatham to other cities. Of course, the road is also an option, and the road network is well developed. There are frequent train trips to London Victoria, Cannon Street, and St Pancras. All these trips are available on the high-speed train, and each trip takes about 45 minutes. Besides, Chatham is close to M2 and M20.
Is Chatham a good place to buy a house.
The place has a wide variety of houses ranging from the Victorian, Edwardian, to the Georgian. Prospect Row, Mansion Row, and New Road are lined with awesome Georgian houses. There are also spacious Edwardian and Victorian houses along Maidstone Road.
If you want two and three bedroom Victorian houses at prices of between £ 90,000 and £ 130,000, then you should travel to the South of the High Street. Walderslade area also has very spacious detached houses.
If you would fancy living in a flat overlooking the docks, then St Mary’s Island is your best bet. The place has become a riverside village with some of the most modern houses designed in the England style. Ideally, if you plan on buying a house in Chatham, expect to pay a cost of about £ 200 per square foot which can be even lower for terrace houses. It is evident that Chatham is one of the best places to own property because it has lower prices compared to other cities in England.
Sporting and Leisure Activities
Chatham has an 18 hole golf course where golfers can test their skills. You can also decide to go swimming in the waters of Medway. There are also lots of places for skiing both in the winter and the dry seasons. Go-karting is also one of the ways you can pass the time while living in Chatham. The Olympic Standard Trampoline Center would also interest anyone who values fitness.
Is Chatham a Good Place to Work?
Since the closure of the dock in the year 1984, about 7,000 people lost their jobs. As much as it is possible to get jobs in the city, Chatham is considered a commuter town whereby people seek jobs in other towns and commute by bus or train.
Other people have chosen to start their businesses by the shopping centres. Whichever you prefer, it is a good place to work from. Most of the prospective areas to get jobs in the city include the restaurants at the shopping areas, clubs, or in the military barracks.
Subway Franchises is one of the largest employers in the region with the lowest paid employee earning about £ 8 per hour and the highest earning £ 12 hourly. Barnardos charity organisation is the other place where most Chatham residents work. Within the organisation, salary differs depending on the position held.
For instance, a manager earns a stipend of £ 39,095 per annum, an administrative assistant post can give you £ 13,000, and a volunteer position can give you £ 26,000 yearly.
Retiring in Chatham
Retiring in Chatham is a dream come true for most people. If you want to buy a property where you can enjoy your old age, they are in plenty and at affordable rates. Most real estate firms offer discounts to people above sixty years, and there also plans where you can have a lifetime lease of the property.
With as low as £ 220,000, you can get a retirement house in Walderslade to suit your needs. A two bedroom house costs about £ 230,000, a three-bedroom house sells at about £ 245,000, a four bedroom costs roughly £ 250,000, and a five-bedroom sells at £ 285,000.
At retirement age, you have to be concerned about the best neighbourhood in terms of accessibility to healthcare as well as the quietness. The worst areas to live in if you seek a quiet retirement haven are Gillingham and Maidstone. They are known to have the wildest nightlives thanks to the Moo Moo Clubrooms and Strawberry Moons located in the areas.
Is Chatham a Good Place to Visit?
Chatham is a historic city where you can learn about the way of life of the Southerners. If you love ancient architecture, then you would love visiting the Rochester Castle and the Rochester Cathedral.
The cathedral is the second oldest cathedral in the whole of UK and is worth visiting. You can even take photos at the site during your graduation or wedding. The two buildings are located away from the busy life in the city. It can make a great getaway for you to unwind.
The Central Theatre in Chatham offers the best comedy, theatre and music for those who love learning about culture and art. The Brook, on the other hand, offers art workshops, dance, and theatre classes.
Buckland Lake Reserve and the Capstone Farm Country Park are places where you can take walks along the nature trails or even bike rides on the bike, and they have no entrance fee. If you want to have a breath of fresh countryside air, then the Riverside Country Park is your best bet.
The historical docking area remains a major tourist attraction site even though it is no longer operational. It gives visitors an insight into the rich history of the town. Besides, the economy of Chatham thrived from the business that the docking area brought.
The city has all facilities ranging from football pitches for soccer fans to climbing walls for individuals who love climbing and having some adrenaline rush. It is therefore evident that the city of Chatham is packed with a myriad of activities and places to visit for both visitors and the residents.
Moving to city name (Chatham) is a good idea because the city has reduced crime rates, affordable housing and a variety of recreational centres and activities to engage in. You can also choose to retire within the area because there are discounted house rates for people over sixty years. Schools are in plenty from the primary schools, grammar schools, high schools, and universities.
Chatham is considered a commuter town, but there are reputable employers within the city such as the Subway Franchises and the Barnardos. It has some of the major historical sites in the UK such as the docking area, the Rochester Cathedral, and the cathedral.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.