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Spotlight on Faversham

PUBLISHED: 10:53 05 April 2013 | UPDATED: 21:24 05 April 2013

Spotlight on Faversham

Spotlight on Faversham

From the lovely Market Place with its historic Guildhall to the ancient buildings all around, Faversham has barely changed from the wonderful market town it has been for centuries

Spotlight on Faversham


From the lovely Market Place with its historic Guildhall to the ancient buildings all around, Faversham has barely changed from the wonderful market town it has been for centuries


Often referred to as Kents hidden jewel, nowhere in Faversham is further than a few minutes walk from open countryside, there are all the facilities you could want, history is everywhere and the Creek is a haven for boat lovers.


Convenient, pleasant and peaceful with a range of clubs and societies, its a wonderful place to live and a fascinating place to visit. The recently screened Channel 4 production Southcliffe, a tough modern thriller, was filmed in the locality, where viewers saw Faversham disguised as the fictional eponymous town.



FACT FILE



Connections


Very close to the M2 and M20 (linked to M25) and M2/A2 for Canterbury (about 10 miles). Rail links to London around one hour.



Entertainment


Royal cinema (01795 591211, ME13 7AG), rare 1930s Tudorbethan style; Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre (01795 534542) comprises a museum, Tourist Information Centre, bookshop, gallery and hall; Maison Dieu at Ospringe (01795 534542, ME13 8TL), the oldest village museum in Britain; Shepherd Neame Visitors Centre (01795 532206, ME13 7AX), with a shop, bar and guided tours.



Events


18-19 May: Travel Through Time, Faversham Transport Weekend, with vintage and veteran vehicles, music, entertainment and stalls.


15-23 June: Faversham Festival; musical and artistic events.



Scenery


Faversham Creek, Oare Gunpowder Works and Country Park with nature trail, Abbey Physic Community Garden.



Buildings


Parish church of St Mary of Charity, Shrine of St Jude, Chart Gunpowder Mills, the oldest gunpowder mill in the world, plus around 500 listed buildings.



Refreshment


Reads Restaurant (01795 535344, ME13 8XE); The Sportsman (01227 273370, CT5 4BP) (both Michelin starred); Albion Taverna (01795 591411, ME13 7DH); The Three Mariners (01795 533633, ME13 0QA); The Bear Inn (01795 532668, ME13 7AG) and the Sun (01795 535098, ME13 7JE).



Shopping


The majority of shops are independents, with some chain stores, most being in the centre of town, and there are thrice-weekly street markets in Market Place and Court Street. There are a number of antique shops, as well as various specialist shops: bakers, butchers (notably Barkaways Butchers, 01795 532040, ME13 7JE) and the excellent Macknade Fine Foods (01795 537373, ME13 7JE now right next door.



Property talk


Michael Wallington, owner Baldwins Estate Agents


Baldwins (01795 533544, ME13 7AG) prime business is selling middle to upper market homes, especially interesting homes, and those with character.


Were finding local prices have held well over the last couple of years, says Michael. Theres stability in the market and excellent potential for future growth, and Id say this is a great time to invest, as there are new businesses starting, further development of residential and commercial areas, yet were still cheaper than Canterbury or Whitstable in fact we have a regular influx of buyers from London. Faversham properties range from the 15th and 16th-century buildings in Abbey Street and West Street to homes from all eras. Bargains are rare, but good value is always around.


● Typical prices


One- and two-bedroom flats are around 116,000 and 149,000 respectively, a three-bedroom semi is approximately 232,000, while a four-bedroom detached house could be yours for upwards of 438,000



Business talk


Richard Murr, managing partner Mackay & Co


Mackay & Co solicitors (01795 536061, ME13 8AD) started in Faversham in the 1970s and offer a broad spectrum of legal services. Richard has practised here since 1996 and moved to the town three years later


Property in Faversham is very good value Ive seen people sell a small basement flat in Fulham and being able to buy a good-sized house here, says Richard.


The housing stock is very varied, from a tiny medieval cottage to a Victorian doctors house. The variety is much wider than in Whitstable, for example, and far better value.


There are a lot of businesses moving to Faversham, benefiting from the fast communication links to London and the proximity to the Channel Tunnel. I particularly appreciate the quality of life in Faversham; 10 minutes walk to the north is the sea wall, while the same distance to the south is hilly woodland, and the beach is only a 20-minute bike ride away.


There are good restaurants, friendly pubs with live music, concerts and art exhibitions. I especially love the area alongside the Creek Im interested in the Thames Sailing Barges, and in the summer I work as crew aboard a friends Thames Barge. Id wholeheartedly recommend a move to Faversham.



Mayors musings


David Simmons is Mayor of Faversham, as well as being a farmer who runs a market stall selling local produce. He was born in Faversham and has been a member of Faversham Rotary for 30 years, is Chair of the League of Friends of Faversham Cottage Hospital, and trustee of Faversham Municipal Charities.


His wife belongs to the Faversham Society, Inner Wheel and she is Chair of The Friends of Ospringe church.


Things are still very tough in the business community but Faversham is in better shape than many towns, David says. Faversham is very much a can do place, because of the positive attitude of the residents and the opportunities that localism is bringing.


The best aspect of life for me is the open countryside within a mile of the town centre. To the north are the Graveney and Oare mashes, to the south the North Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, while to east and west is the north Kent fruit belt.


Reads Restaurant is perfect for special occasions, and I love my local pub, The Alma (01795 533835, ME13 0DU). Faversham is a great place to live and work, with old and new buildings well blended together, lots to do for all ages and interests.




Getting there


Faversham is close to the north Kent coast, separated from the Isle of Sheppey to the north by the River Swale. Its near to junction 6 of the M2, reached via the A2 from the M25. There are rail links to London (twice hourly), and other parts of Kent.


Satnav postcode: ME13 8NS.



MY TOWN


Ima Rix, Business Support Officer for the Faversham Enterprise Partnership



Tell us about your work


Faversham Enterprise Partnership (01795 539339, ME13 8PG) is an organisation that works with local councils and businesses to support and promote commerce. My job is to carry out initiatives to promote Faversham and to encourage shoppers and visitors to use local shops and businesses. Although Im office based, I go out and spend time meeting staff and owners of local businesses and ascertaining how we can support them, plus I organise events. I live in a village a few miles outside town



How are local traders faring?


Time are hard for our small traders, but we have plenty of excellent, lively independent shops which are holding their own



Any upcoming events?


Were involved with events such as Faversham Transport Weekend (see above), involving hundreds of vintage and veteran cars and buses, with lots of music and entertainment in the town centre



Favourite walk or cycle ride?


I love to walk or cycle around the Syndale Valley near my home.



Favourite place?


Our stunning Guildhall in Market Place



Favourite place to eat?


I love coffee, so Jittermugs (01795 533121, ME13 8NZ), Macknade Fine Foods caf (see above) and the Creek Creative Caf (01795 536686, ME13 7BE) are among my favourite places for a relaxing break.



Why move to Faversham?


Its a very friendly place to live, it feels like a large village and youre made to feel very welcome. The kind of town where theres always something going on, lots of clubs and societies, plus the facilities are excellent. If you like the countryside and are interested in history then its all here.



Faversham in a sentence?


Charming, friendly and bustling with a great community life.




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