Welcome to Swanscombe
Our area guide for Swanscombe and Greenhithe offers a brief overview of the town, its neighbouring village and its attractions, properties, schools, history, council tax and public transport links.
Swanscombe and Greenhithe Overview
Greenhithe has become the epicentre for new house building, with a number of mature and new developments attracting home movers from across Kent. Ingress Park, Greenhithe Village, Worcester Park, St Clements Lakes, Stone Village, Saxon Park, Waterstone Park and Neptune Park are always in high demand, with new developments, such as Castle Hill, keeping interest in the area high.
Swanscombe and neighbouring Bean are equally as desirable as Greenhithe, with much more of a village feel and great connections to the A2. As well as residential development, the leisure and retail aspects of DA9 and DA10 are just as exciting. There are plans for a world-class theme park on the Swanscombe Peninsula, ambitions to extend and improve Bluewater shopping centre and the continuation of Crossways - one of Kent's largest business parks, located along the boulevard near the Dartford Tunnel.
Swanscombe has many open spaces and public parks, and is surprisingly quiet given it is situated within a few hundred yards of Ebbsfleet International Station. The international station is where the Eurostar will whisk you to Paris and beyond, while the high speed commuter train takes only 17 minutes to London St Pancras.
The semi-rural village of Bean is situated a few hundred yards to the south of the A2 and is surrounded by open countryside but still has many benefits, with the facilities of Greenhithe and Swanscombe a two-minute drive away.
Swanscombe and Greenhithe Shopping
Bluewater Shopping Centre, situated in Greenhithe and on the borders of Swanscombe and Bean, attracts around 28 million visitors a year. There are over 300 stores and thousands of free car parking spaces. The flagship stores are John Lewis, House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer, although many shoppers flock to the centre for high-fashion stores such as Urban Outfitters and All Saints. For more everyday shopping you’ll find a 24-hour Asda next to Greenhithe train station. Swanscombe High Street is home to the largest post office in the area as well as a Co-op, several hairdressers, dry cleaners and various take away outlets. There are various convenience stores and take aways dotted throughout the area too, including a newsagent with a Post Office in Bean.
Swanscombe and Greenhithe Attractions
As well as being a shopping destination, Bluewater is also an entertainment hub. There are over 50 bars, cafés and restaurants, a 13-screen cinema, two 18-hole crazy golf courses, pedalos for hire on the lake, outdoor play areas, a climbing wall and an off-road driving experience. GLOW is the recently opened events arena that will bring music, comedy and exhibitions to Bluewater, and plans have been submitted to extend the shopping centre and to add to its leisure facilities. There are several public parks with play areas and sports facilities throughout the Greenhithe area, in addition to two gyms, squash courts and a leisure centre in Swanscombe.
Swanscombe and Greenhithe Food and Drink
Apart from the huge selection of restaurants, bars and cafés at Bluewater, where you’ll find every corner of the globe represented, there are several pubs serving food in Greenhithe and Bean. There is a carvery at The Wharf, which looks out over a picturesque lake, and both the Sir John Franklin and Pier Hotel in Greenhithe Village have seating areas on the waterfront overlooking the Thames. Two Indian restaurants can be found in Swanscombe and Greenhithe.
Swanscombe and Greenhithe History
Greenhithe was best known for its chalk and lime pits – today Bluewater sits in one of those massive chalk excavations. The town’s location on the River Thames facilitated the export of its riches and for a time in the Victorian period, Greenhithe was a tourist resort with its own pier. Strong naval ties also can be traced to Greenhithe – it was home to a naval training college and berthed both the Cutty Sark and HMS Worcester. Swanscombe is probably most famous for its archaeological finds. Items such as a straight tusked elephant from 100,000 years ago to a Roman Villa and Saxon Mill have been found locally. Most famous of all is the Swanscombe Man – bone fragments dating back an estimated 250,000 years. The abbey at Ingress Park was built in 1833 from reclaimed stone from the old London Bridge. In Elizabethan times, Bean was the location for one of the chain of beacons used to warn of the approach of the Spanish Amada (c1580). The Bean beacon was at the top of the hill where Beacon Wood Country Park is now and has given names to many of the roads in the area.
Swanscombe and Greenhithe Property Market
Greenhithe has a varied selection or property ranging from early Victorian houses in Greenhithe Village to award-winning new developments close to Bluewater. St Clements Lakes, a collection of two-bedroom apartments, and three- and four-bedroom houses, is set for release in spring 2015.
Ingress Park, Waterstone Park and Thames Waterside are the three most recent new build developments in the area, with property still being built at Ingress Park. On offer is every type of new accommodation, from riverside apartments to six-bedroom family homes. Worcester Park, Greenhithe Village and Saxon Court were built within the last 25 years and offer more traditional style housing.
Swanscombe is peppered with predominantly Victorian and 1920s style properties originally built for workers of local factories and cement works. In 2000, Neptune Park was created, offering two, three and four-bedroom new homes.
The village of Bean has a mixture of large detached properties and 1970s-built family homes plus two small modern developments.
Swanscombe and Greenhithe Council tax
Greenhithe forms part of the civil parish of Swanscombe and Greenhithe, and comes under Dartford Council. The latest council tax charges can be found here:-
Swanscombe and Greenhithe Education
Schools in the immediate area include:
- Bean Primary School
- Craylands Primary School
- Manor Community School
- Knockhall Primary School
- Stone St Mary Primary School
- Ebbsfleet Academy
Swanscombe and Greenhithe Hospitals
The nearest hospital to Greenhithe is Darent Valley, although there is an Urgent Medical Care Unit based at Queen Mary’s Hospital in nearby Sidcup.
Swanscombe and Greenhithe Transport
Greenhithe and Swanscombe both have over ground railway stations, which have frequent services to London Bridge, Cannon Street, Waterloo East, Charing Cross and Lewisham (for the DLR). Journey times into central London take around 45 minutes. Ebbsfleet International, with high speed trains to St Pancras (17 minutes) and the Eurostar to Europe, is a 20 minute walk from Swanscombe or a short bus journey from Greenhithe. The M25, Dartford Tunnel and A2 are within a couple of miles of Greenhithe, Swanscombe and Bean. A commuter coach service to the City of London stops along the A2 between Bean and Greenhithe. There are also many local bus routes serving the area, including the Fast Track bus from Dartford to Gravesend via Ebbsfleet.
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