SE London - Can anyone advise me on Forest Hill/Crystal Palace/Brockley(12 Posts)
DH and I are looking to settle in SE London for a while to come. We were looking in SE23 but recently visited Crystal Palace and found it really nice though I was surprised to find an old thread (2013) saying that CP was a fair bit more edgy than FH as that hasn't been our experience to date. As we haven't spent much time in either area, just visiting to view properties, please could any locals advise on your own experiences of the area? We like Honor Oak Park as well. Basically we're looking to settle in an area with good transport (ginger line is great), schools, that is safe. What are your thoughts/experiences of living in the area please and which area would you personally choose? Thanks in advance x
These areas were on Location, Location, Location last night so might be worth a watch?
Personally I'd choose CP over FH. The transport is better, the high st is better, there's a bit more going on. Even with the regeneration in forest hill, because it IS the south circular everything seems a bit nothing. Plus the east Dulwich end is like no-man's land for transport for quite a big stretch.
@Marmitelover55 Thank you for pointing this out! I'll have a watch tonight.
@LBOCS2 Thank you, really useful to hear you say that. I really liked CP when we visited. I like the fact that FH is a bit closer in, but not so keen on the South Circular road.
Train wise FH is a bit closer to London Bridge (but then, CP is closer to Victoria on the LB - Victoria loop line!). In terms of driving, CP is actually only really 5 minutes over the hill to Forest Hill so it makes very little difference in time.
Any Forest Hill or other Crystal Palace mums who can advise on their experience of living there please?
Bear in mind both areas are hilly in places, so consider the possibility of steep up/downhill walks to get to shops, station etc when looking at individual properties.
CP has a better high street and probably always will, purely because it's bigger than FH's. There has been an increase in coffee shops and restaurants in FH in the past few years, but there's never going to be as many as in CP.
Public transport: the London Bridge/Victoria loop via FH is bad for delays but perhaps just in rush hour. FH has a more frequent Overground service (both CP and West Croydon services) but CP has more national rail destinations. Both are in Zone 3. FH station is right in the 'town centre' (such as it is) but CP station is a (steep) walk away from the shops.
Would definitely choose CP over FH. We live close to both, but looked to buy in FH in 2008 and I don't think it's really moved on that much. The South Circular doesn't help and it doesn't have easy access to a large park like CP.
CP has really come on in the past few years, it even has a 400 rabbits pizzeria which is pretty high on the 'cool' scale. I think it will only get better. Only issue is housing stock in fairly dominated by flats and the station is a good old slog in the rain up to the triangle.
We are in Honor Oak and it's lovely! It's a bit quieter than FH but has a decent enough high street with a sainsburys and some restaurants, cafes, bars and independent shops. The schools are good too. Depending on where you are there is Stillness, Dalmain or Beecroft, all good or outstanding.
There is a great community feel, I keep bumping into people, lots of families. Connections are good. Train station is well located and there is also Crofton Park station not too far with thameslink services. Crofton Park has plenty of bars and cafes and is only a short walk away.
Whenever we drive through Crystal Palace I do think it's a very cool place but at the same time it's really sprawling and,like someone else said, the train station is ways down a steep hill and the overground is less frequent than for FH and HOP as it's the end of the line and the Croydon train doesn't go via CP.
You may want to join local Facebook groups to ask local families about the area.
I live in Forest Hill and love it. Very good community spirit and lots of new independent shops just opened or due to open. Yes you have the south circular which is busy, but you also have Dartmouth road which is more like the proper high street now. Along that road there are now numerous coffee shops, nice pubs, two delis, proper sweet shop, vintage homeward store and also the recently regenerated Victorian swimming pools and library. there is also a fishmongers/greengrocers due to open just across the tracks and we also have an amazing butchers. There is an abundance of good schools at both primary and secondary.
And parks - ok there may not be one right there, but in addition to the amazing horniman museum, you are a 5 min bus or train ride, or slightly longer walk, away from crystal palace park, dulwich park, Peckham rye, and the smaller Mayow park and Blythe hill fields. My personal favourite is Mayow park which we can walk to in 10 minutes and has a cafe which does amazing brunches.
All in all I think it's a great area (can you tell?!). I just wish houses were more affordable as we are struggling to upsize in the area now.
We looked at both areas before settling in Forest Hill. There was more flexibility with schools in SE23 as there are more religious schools around Crystal Palace.
For where we needed to travel to, Forest Hill was better in terms of transport connections as it gets twice as many overground trains as Crystal Palace.
Crystal Palace has more going on in terms of shops and restaurants. Forest Hill is getting a much better mix but growth will be limited, to a large extent, by the small size of most of the shops on Dartmouth Road. We're near Lordship Lane so we go there if we want a greater mix of restaurants and shops.
Forest Hill has a lot of green space around it. In addition to the parks listed by LittlePickleHead there's also Sydenham Woods and One Tree Hill nature reserves.
Both areas are lovely. I'd let yourself be led by the houses you find and their proximity to schools. If you're going to be looking for a reception place you'll need to live very close to schools in either neighbourhood.
Thank you all, this is really useful. Sounds like we'd be happy in either area, which is great. Now to find a house! Thanks again, you've all been really helpful xx
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