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Living in Dartford

(29 Posts)
debymajek Sat 04-May-13 05:36:19

Currently in the process of buying a newly built home in Dartford. We choose this area due to affordability, good schools and the development had some attractive schemes.
I've been reading a lot of negative comments about Dartford that has now got me very worried. Does anyone know anything about the TaylorWimpey 'The Bridge' development or that area of Dartford?
We currently live in Dagenham which is also very chavvy so we thought Dartford would be an improvement (though doesn't seem likely from online comments).
Any comment will be appreciated.

Shattereddreams Sat 04-May-13 06:31:05

I know nice people in Dartford. Parts of Kent are chavvy, have high immigration stats and high unemployment. So what, so does everywhere.

Dartford I believe has high employment, lots of opportunities and great links road and rail. It does have excellent grammar schools, the usual comprehensive schools as all of Kent. Like most Kent towns, it will be the outlying villages that are nicer than the town.

I hope you like it, don't believe the hype. I don't live there but nearby.

What specifically have you read online to worry you?

twirliedobbit Sat 04-May-13 06:47:54

Dartford is like most places. The majority of dartford is lovely (including the bridge) there are a few chavs around but no more than anywhere else. The town has nice bits and chav bits but has some nice shops (M&S, costa, waitrose) as well as some poundshops, asda living (which I love!) and primark. The towns central park is brilliant. Great kids playground, nice cafe, skate/bmx park, ducks on the river, an athletics field, an old Victorian bandstand, lovely flower gardens and open spaces for football etc. it's very popular and good (the local drunks do sit near the entrance, but don't bother anybody)
The schools are good and redevelopment programmes are interesting be good to see the final results of low field street and the old co-op.
There is lots going on in dartford, live music, leisure centre, art groups, theatre. Etc
Some nice pubs (and some dodgy ones!)
Overall I would say. Good choice. Hope you enjoy your new home and town!!

MurderOfProse Sat 04-May-13 07:24:23

Agreed. As a former resident of that part of the world (albeit a bit further in, so not quite Kent but travelled out lots) it's no worse than anywhere else. Sure, the town centre is a bit shabby but that is so often the case with most places - many of the outlying parts are fine. And it has the benefits of Bluewater, Lakeside (I love the retail park there) just over the river, Waitrose in the town centre and the massive Sainsburys at Crayford. And there are some lovely walks along the Thames on both sides, especially Rainham Marshes just over the bridge. And the convenience of Ebbsfleet for any quick trips to France too.

We considered the Dartford area for a bit before opting to move to another part of Outside London entirely but the reasons we ruled it out were logistical for DH's job, not for any other reason.

Mamf74 Sat 04-May-13 09:00:32

We moved back this way a couple of years ago, and looked at a lot of houses in Dartford!

It's a decent, solid place to live with brilliant connections to London, especially as Oyster cards are coming in there. The town centre is a bit divided, the newer retail park bit is great but some of the town centre is in flux waiting for redevelopment so looks tired. Tbf, a lot of the bigger chains have Bluewater so don't bother with the town which means it still has quite a lot of independent shops, butchers, bakers etc.

As pp have said, the park is lovely, and I love the fact that within ten minutes' drive you are in proper countryside or at one of the biggest shopping centres in the country!

The Orchard theatre gets some big names appearing, used to be a bit tribute band and 60s night stuff but now they have people like Ross Noble and the Hairy Bikers so it is improving.

We chose to live somewhere other than Dartford (but not far away) simply because of the house, if we had ended up in Dartford I would have been more than happy!

debymajek Sun 05-May-13 11:00:16

Thanks for your comments. I feel more confident that we've made the right choice. The main thing that concerned me was people saying they felt unsafe in Dartford. I guess people only concentrate on the negatives and the positives go unmentioned.
We're going to drive down there today and have a look at the town center. I've only been to the new retail park.

VelvetSpoon Sun 05-May-13 11:06:23

I live a few miles from Dartford. It's not the best area BUT it's not that bad, certainly I'd say it's a lot better than Dagenham (I'm from Essex and have friends living around there who are very keen to move) and I feel far less safe in Dagenham/Romford when I've been back over there recently than I ever would in Dartford.

Good luck with your move smile

Shattereddreams Sun 05-May-13 18:42:31

There is little nightlife in Dartford so you are unlikely to walk around alone late etc.
it's family friendly I have never felt unsafe there.

Plus great hospital nearby when so many are being shut!
The development you are buying stands on old marsh land, I expect it will be tranquil and plenty of bird life.

Iceicebaby27 Sat 08-Jun-13 19:51:19


We have bought a house at the bridge development due to be completed in September/October. I've also had my doubts but the area looks very clean, safe and family orientated. I was there this morning checking the progress on the new house and it is lovely up there.

Have you reserved yet? Would be great to know someone who is also moving to the area.

lenabelles Sun 22-Sep-13 22:13:17

I know this is an old thread but just hoping for some advice.
Have any of you above moved into your homes yet? If so.. Any negatives/ positives as we are potentially going to reserve one within the next few days.
We live relatively close to this area already and have no issues with the area but we think we may massively struggle with the 1 parking bay, VERY few visitors spaces and yellow lines issue!
Would be great to hear from people!

CassieAuthor Fri 01-Nov-13 22:43:27


We're thinking of purchasing a property and the Bridge but we are also concerned about the parking restrictions and also moving totally out from the area we are used to: Croydon.

Please let me know how you have all got on if you live at the Bridge already and if you have had any problems with your houses.
Thank you :-)

dd2014 Tue 09-Sep-14 11:49:44

Just wondering how life is at the Bridge dartford as looking at houses for my parents?

Appears to be a lot of re-development

bm546 Wed 09-Mar-16 08:56:23

Hi All,

I know this is a long time since the last post but I was hoping so of you who were waiting to move in or making the decision to buy here may now have some further info on the development.
We viewed the show home at the weekend and have registered interest for the plots which are being released in June, this will be our first house and want to make sure we are choosing the correct place.
We currently live in Brentwood and with a number of issues arising and finding out what we actually want from a property we thought we would finally take that leap.
2 of my sister in laws live in the area so I know some parts can be hit and miss but was wondering what life on the actual development was like and how well the houses were built.
We haven't been informed of parking restrictions but see it mentioned on here, how are people finding it?
Thanks in advance.

David888 Mon 04-Jul-16 10:31:04

Hi guys,

I have just moved in to the persimmon part of the bridge.

The parking at our plot is a bit silly, basically I will be parking at next doors drive space! I think it's one and a half parking spaces for each house, in case of guests etc.

Regarding the area, it's much more quite and lonely than what I am used to, I originally came from greenwich which has everything from shops/takeaways close by.
You will definitely need to own a car to live around here!

Also, I don't think the supermarkets are 24 hours unlike my previous location.

We are just settling in at the moment, all in all, peaceful place but occasionally chavs around e.g Crayford High Street.

nazbaz Mon 16-Jan-17 22:44:13

Hi All,

Wife and I are planning on reserving a property here, but concerned regarding the Parking spaces. Can you confirm the validity and information as per the below link? Also, heard the Fasttrack bus service is Free for the local residents, is this true and for how long? Additionally, how have you fared when there is an Accident/Queues on M25 Dartford exits, how badly does it affect getting in and out of the Bridge by car/bus?

Any information for the above would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance smile

littlemissmuffet88 Tue 11-Apr-17 19:20:56

hello everyone, We are looking to buy our first home and are considering Dartford as it is in the Oyster zone now and house prices seem to be fitting around our modest budget. I do understand that the place won't be anything close to buzzing but wanted to understand about quality of life. We did a few viewings last weekend and the Saturday market was on. Is Dartford safe? Are the schools good as we plan to start a family and which are the roads/areas to avoid while buying. Any feedback is appreciated. We are also considering Sidcup, Bromley and Bexley if we find anything in our budget but seems unlikely , also houses are much smaller!

rsim87 Fri 21-Apr-17 19:26:58

hi there, we have bought at the Bellway development. due to move in summer.
Been to Dartford a few times , and so far so good x

gamerwidow Fri 21-Apr-17 19:43:10

i live in Crayford which is a bit chavtastic but is well connected and cheap. Dartford is ok but nothing amazing (however we too are considering a move there in the next few years!). Plus points are it's safe, has good transport connections, some great areas of green space and excellent schools negative points are the town centre is rubbish, the train station is outside the London Zones so journeys are much more expensive than Crayford (zone6) and it can be a bit industrial. I haven't seen much of the bridge estate but it is right off the entrance to the M25 and dartford crossing so I would worry that getting on and off the estate at times would be a nightmare. We live about 5 mins further away and at times our road is unmoving for hours at a time if there's been an incident at the crossing.

littlemissmuffet88 Wed 26-Apr-17 20:53:56

Hello everyone, just catching on this thread, our search continues in Dartford and nothing fits the bill yet - frustrating but guess its part of the process! @Gamerwidow just wanted to say that Dartford is now on the Oyster travel zone and so makes travel a bit more convenient.

PettsWoodParadise Wed 26-Apr-17 22:40:00

I have friends who moved to Dartford 18 months ago from the neighbouring borough of Bromley but didn't stay long. We go to Dartford for Bluewater and Dunelm . Bear in mind as part of Kent it is a fully grammar system so there are no comprehensives like you might be familiar with in other parts of the country. Bluewater has just announced a plan to extend substantially but no more parking spaces - it is already gridlock six weeks before Christmas. There is also a plan for a Dartford co-Ed free school to complement the single sex grammars that dominate the area at present.

gamerwidow Thu 27-Apr-17 06:32:31

@littlemissmuffet that's good to know. I am seriously considering dartford for our next move but the train price hike wouldn't have been worth it if it was still outside the London zones.

Freshairatlast Wed 09-Aug-17 13:04:24

For anyone buying in Dartford this might help:
ds has attended The Leigh UTC, on The Bridge development, for a year now. It is not a grammar school so no 11 plus to sit. I am really impressed by the school - committed teachers who really try to get the best out of the kids (ds plans to go to a Russell Group university), a safe environment (he is quiet and says he hasn't seen or experienced any bullying), and it is very high tech (it is only 3 years old). The UTC only takes 14 - 19 year olds but they are now building a second school for 11 - 13 year olds.

user1483732237 Sun 05-Nov-17 12:32:41

Check out Leigh UTC on the DfE website: below average progress, 21% got good grades in maths & English, 13% persistent absence rate. Significantly under-subscribed - so it built a school for KS3 next door! Probably one of the worst 300 schools in England

NotYetAMummy24 Sun 05-Nov-17 17:04:51

We went to see some houses at The Bridge Estate. We spent some time walking round the development and honestly what we saw wasn't for us. That said we have some nice houses/areas in west/south West Dartford. So it isn't Dartford as a whole I have issues with, just certain areas I would avoid.

Freshairatlast Thu 16-Nov-17 15:13:17

user1483732237 league tables only provide a limited picture, and the info on the DfE site looks incomplete. There is no mention of the engineering and IT BTECs (ds's BTEC is accepted by uni as 1.5 A'levels). Site lists only EBacc which is not relevant.
I was passing on my personal knowledge. My friend's ds left grammar school to attend Leigh UTC and has just started a sought-after engineering apprenticeship. We also chose them for sixth form instead of grammar.

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