Hoping to move to Fareham? Here at Cubitt & West (the South East’s most successful independent estate agents), we’ve put together a handy post for you to see what life’s like in the area, with our Living in Fareham guide.
Not only will this give you an insight into local amenities, schools and transport links, but also the town’s history and things to do too!
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What Is Life Like In Fareham?
Fareham is a bustling market town in Hampshire close to the cities of Portsmouth and Southampton. The town is located near to the north tip of Portsmouth Harbour and has tranquil lakes to the west and a Marina that provides picturesque views.
The town, with it’s stunning Georgian architecture, has a thriving shopping scene with the Fareham Shopping Centre and its 100 shops! Retail is one of Fareham’s biggest employment sectors, along with manufacturing and defence (as the Royal Navy’s HMS Collingwood and the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory are both located close-by).
The area is famous for its brick manufacturing and most notably, produced the bricks used to build the Royal Albert Hall in London. Fareham is also well-known for growing strawberries and has plenty of pick your own farms to explore!
History Of Fareham
Fareham was originally a Saxon village, with the main settlement on the hill close to where St Peter and St Paul’s Church is located. The area was also listed in the Doomesday Book of 1086 as having two watermills and 90 homes.
By the 12th century, Fareham had grown into a town, with a weekly market attracting custom from other villages and its busy port saw wine imported into the country and timber exported.
Over the next few centuries the town relied on fishing, building ships and tanning as its main industries. In the 18th century, it became a favourite place to live for naval officers and their families, who wanted to be able to be close to Portsmouth, but away from the pollution of the city.
The area soon became known for its wrought iron processing, after inventor Henry Cort took over the Funtley Works in 1775 and invented new ways of processing the metal. This was believed to have revolutionised the iron industry and in 2001, a sculpture park was created in Fareham to commemorate the inventor.
The area experienced development and expansion during the 1960s under the South Hampshire Plan. The idea behind this plan was to create thousands of homes for residents looking to move out of the urban areas of Portsmouth and Southampton, and saw Fareham grow to incorporate the villages of Funtley, Titchfield, Catisfield and Portchester.
Most recently, Fareham has become a business hub with the opening of the Solent and Cams Hall Business Parks.
Days Out In Fareham
Fareham has plenty to see and do during a day out!
The Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve offers walking and activity adventures for all the family to enjoy. Covering 369 acres of the scenic Meon Valley, visitors can expect to find a variety of local wildlife thanks to its carefully managed river, fen, pools, reed bed and meadow. The Reserve also has a tea room, serving seasonal treats, delicious cakes and hot drinks.
Staying in Titchfield, Titchfield Abbey is a must visit! First built in the 13th century, the breathtaking Abbey was lived in by canons and then later was transformed into a grand Tudor mansion, by Earl of Southampton, Sir Thomas Wriothesley, after it was gifted to him by Henry VIII during the Suppression of the Monasteries. The Abbey is free to visit.
Keen historians or those who would just like to know more about the borough’s past, should take a trip to Westbury Manor Museum in West Street, which exhibits models, archived materials and objects.
Of course, being so close to both Portsmouth and Southampton means day trips to the South Coast cities for shopping and further culture are easily within reach.
Things To Do In Fareham
One of the many reasons people flock to Fareham is for its shopping centre and High Street stores including Debenhams, Next and Marks and Spencer.
If culture is more your thing, you’re in luck as Fareham is home to two venues both hosting live performances: Fernham Hall and Ashcroft Arts Centre. Wickham, just three miles away, hosts an annual festival in August with live music from prestigious music talent (over the past few years this has included James Blunt and Jools Holland) and is attended by local residents and those from further afield alike!
The town has an award-winning Leisure Centre with a gym, group exercise studios, swimming pools, sports hall, squash courts and Dance School, along with crèche and café. The Centre is also home to Fareham Nomads Swimming Club, which was formed in 1974 and now has a membership of 250 child, young adult and adult swimmers.
The Swimming Club isn’t the only successful sports group in the town, as Fareham also has a Hockey Club, Football Club, Cricket Club and Rugby Club – making it a great place to live, if you enjoy playing or watching competitive community team sports!
Schools In Fareham
Fareham has a number of excellent schools and educational facilities within close proximity.
Primary schools include:
- Castle Primary School
- Cornerstone C of E (Aided) Primary School
- Crofton Anne Dale Infant & Junior Schools
- Crofton Hammond Infant & Junior Schools
- Harrison Primary School
- Northern Infant School
- Northern Junior Community School
- Orchard Lea Infant & Junior Schools
- Ranvilles Infant & Junior Schools
- Red Barn Community Primary School
- Redlands Primary School
- St Anthony's Catholic Primary School
- St Columba CofE Primary Academy
- St John The Baptist CofE Primary School
- St Jude's Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School
- Uplands Primary School
- Wallisdean Infant & Junior Schools
- Whiteley Primary School
- Wicor Primary School
Secondary schools include:
- Cams Hill School
- Crofton School
- Fareham Academy
- The Henry Cort Community College
- Portchester Community School
Secondary schools include:
- Fareham College
Transport In Fareham
Fareham has fantastic access to surrounding towns and cities via public transport and road networks.
Fareham Rail Station has great links with London and the South Coast, with services running to Southampton Central (25 minutes), Portsmouth and Southsea/ Harbour (less than 30 minutes), Basingstoke (47 minutes), Brighton (1hr 22 minutes), London Waterloo (in 1hr 40 minutes) and London Victoria (2 hours), all running regularly.
Buses and coaches
Bus company First run many services across Fareham to destinations such as the Gosport Ferry, Portchester, Portsmouth and Southampton.
Fareham’s nearest airport is Southampton Airport, just 15 miles drive from the town and Gatwick Airport is 80 miles away.
At Junction 10 of the M27, Fareham is conveniently located to reach Portsmouth in 15 minutes and Southampton in 25 minutes. London is just 1hr 45 minutes drive away, via the M27 and A3, whilst Brighton is 1hr 30 minutes drive (via the A27).