CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hampshire Life today CLICK HERE

Best things about living in Fareham and Whiteley

PUBLISHED: 09:00 29 December 2014

Whiteley

Whiteley

Emma Caulton

Between them, Fareham and Whiteley encompass Hampshire’s past and future; Emma Caulton pays the area a visit

Comparing and contrasting ‘neighbours’ Fareham and Whiteley is an interesting exercise. Whiteley is as bright and shiny as a new toy. Fareham has faded charm. Whiteley is all tidy estates of Georgian-style townhouses and twee terraced homes. Fareham has the real thing: period properties including old sea captains’ houses. Whiteley is partly surrounded by woodland. Fareham has a waterside location. Until recently Whiteley could only be reached by one road; at the time of writing a decision is being made on permanently opening Yew Tree Drive, allowing cross-country access from the north and alleviating tailbacks on the M27. Fareham may have better road connections, but it is divided from its waterfront by a busy carriageway.

Fareham has a mainline station. Whiteley is a walk to Swanwick train station (Portsmouth to Southampton line). Fareham has history and character. Whiteley doesn’t. According to my Ordnance Survey map of the area (admittedly dated 1993) Whiteley doesn’t exist. Well, it does as a farm. I remember visiting Whiteley less than ten years ago. Its centre was a designer outlet village and it felt like there should be tumbleweed blowing through. Well, baby, look at you now! Today the shopping centre is all new with glossy glass and steel and cedar cladding. The shops are almost entirely familiar brands (M&S, Next, Paperchase, Wagamana, Cafe Nero et al) and there’s a cinema complex on the way (to be completed next summer). Landscaping is fresh and green, and parking is easy. Abutting the shopping centre are housing developments with garden squares and playgrounds. Families can easily stroll to the shops or cycle, as there is a network of greenways. There’s a leisure centre and at its heart, a big recreation ground. I am especially taken by Rockup in the town centre (just opened), an adventure of climbing frames for kids and adults. Altogether Whiteley is a successful reinvention of the shopping centre as a community and leisure hub. This is something that, it seems to me, Fareham has struggled to achieve despite its good covered shopping centre, street art of ironwork sculpture and arts centre. However there is a bit of a burgeoning creative scene in Fareham – it has the right amount of character and quirkiness for that. I can’t see that happening in Whiteley anytime soon.

What they share in common are thriving business parks - Whiteley’s are lush, landscaped affairs with swish glass encased buildings and blockbuster names like ITV Meridian, National Air Traffic Services and Zurich.

Most importantly, both are children-friendly with good value, family-sized property and decent schools. The Ofsted inspection reports are impressive - most are rated good with a number of outstandings, including Whiteley Primary School, Harrison Primary School, and Cams Hill Secondary School.

All in all, they may not be as fashionable as other towns and cities in the county, but there is a lot to be said in Fareham and Whiteley’s favour if you’re looking for more house for your money (there can’t be many places you can pick up a Georgian detached townhouse for £450,000), good schools and a decent quality of life with a mix of residential, shopping, leisure and business facilities on the doorstep. Both share a feeling of being up and coming. It’s just a question of choosing between old and quirky (Fareham) or new and shiny (Whiteley).

--------------------------------------------------

Read on

10 Good reasons to visit Fareham

Best things about living in Romsey

Things to see and do in Wickham

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

Yesterday, 15:45

This thriving market town in the South Downs National Park may be your perfect match

Read more
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Live the Island life, and without the hassle of a ferry crossing

Read more
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more
Friday, August 3, 2018

Outdoorsy types who want to get away from it all should head to the New Forest

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory



Property Search