Hi, we're looking for houses around Blackheath, Greenwich, Brockley way and have found them all v pricey! We've just stumbled across Eltham but don't know too much about it. High St seems okay and decent train into CharX and Victoria.
There are lovely big houses around a local primary called the Gordon which seems to be the area recommended by all the local agents. Prices are much lower than nearby Blackheath but would love any inside info from any MN locals.
I have a very close friend who lives there and I stayed with her for a month after we gave up our rented house (in Blackheath) to move back up north.
I felt safe enough there. I worked long hours and got the train back around 9/10pm and walked back to her flat (which is just off a main road) from the station and felt fine about it.
My friend has good neighbours and the area she is in is quite settled with a feeling of community. She has lived there for 13 years (in this flat for 7 years) and is very happy there.
I think the high street is ugly, personally, but if that doesn't bother you then it is worth looking at property in the area. To me it is a suburban area with a range of ages living there and a lot of 'old Londoners' IYSWIM - people who've lived there years and have family there. It's not pretty or trendy, but it's not really rough either IMO.
Lived there for 20 years and family still there.
Can't really comment on schools but have mates whose kids are there.
Ok commute into city/charing x or Victoria
Nice open spaces (green chain )
Good links to Kent / coast and bluewater
Agree re it being safe generally(i regularly went home after night out and feel far safer there than sw London where I know live)
High street is functional but with internet shopping , other areas within commute (it's 20 minutes to blue water, Bromley) that is no bad thing
There are limited options to eat out but fab take aways
I moved away when got married or would probably still live there
I have several friends in the area with young families, so go there quite a bit. We considered moving there a few years ago but were put off by the secondary school options and wanted somewhere a bit further out and closer to countryside. My friends all like living there. Recently the Gordon school is thought to be on a bit of a downer (their opinions only, but it seems a widely held view) - Deansfield seems to have overtaken it under a newish head.
There are lots of nice bits (Eltham Park area is good), and some not very nice bits. Like most places in Greater London really.
It is so easy to get to Blackheath/Greenwich that it is a really good option if you like the feel of those areas. I have a lot of friends with young families who are there as Greenwich/Blackheath prices are so high. Have you looked at Hither Green? Pricier than Eltham, not as pricey as G/B and perhaps a little more liberal in feel.
It has a good leisure centre, I love Oxleas wood which is out that way and the cafe there is not posh but has a fab view. Eltham Palace is a really nice place to take people if you have visitors coming to stay. I live in Hither Green BTW, very different vibe, more densley populated and more multicultural. Eltham is very white by London standards. Eltham feels more suburban, I would imagine you would use a car a lot more if you lived in Eltham, and if you do use your car a lot you are very close as already mentioned to Greenwich/Blackheath.
Thanks everyone for those thoughts. It's really helping us to draw out the pros and cons of the area. I know what people mean about the sense of safety - walking around Eltham seems to be a bit like walking back in time - there just isn't that sense of urban menace that is so prevalent in many areas. We've lived in both Greenwich and Blackheath and had prowlers in the back garden of one house and our doorway used as a vomitarium and toilet for the many pub-goers in the other! We've done edgy and are looking for a bit more calm in our lives. Without wishing to romanticise it, Eltham feels a bit like (what I imagine to be) a 70s childhood. It certainly can seem tired in parts and the high st. could do with a makeover but it's got a proper M&S (with clothes + food), a mini-Debenhams and a good size Sainsburys too. The comment about 'old Londoners' definitely chimes with our impression - but in a good way. We're trying to find a balance between having a broad cultural life and being safe and content - and maybe Eltham could be the answer - and the houses are mahooosive! For the same money as a 1 bed cottage in Greenwich - we're looking at proper family houses in Eltham - or flats in Blackheath!
Cheers emsyj - we just did a road trip along the A205 today to make sure we weren't missing any hidden gems - Forest Hill, Catford, Sydenham etc -ended up back in Eltham - still looks like a good deal!
I like Eltham High Street, has just the right amount/variety of shops. Generally though I think Sidcup is nicer than Eltham (I'm biased as I live there!) and schools are better but Sidcup High Street is shit, so Eltham def wins on the shopping front! And it's Zone 4 rather than 5 which makes a lot of difference to train costs.
Got a few viewings lined up in Eltham over the weekend - going to try and have lunch at a place called the Tudor Barn - apparently Edith Nesbit (author of the Railway Children) lived there!
It's possible that the safe suburban feeling you describe depends on who you are. Eltham was where Stephen Lawrence died. It has a v high BNP following and UKIP voter turnout. There has been a steady incidence of racist and homophobic attacks in the area.
I have family members who live in the area. House prices, transport links and doubtless the majority of citizens all great. But it isn't without it's dark heart.
Well Golden Beagle, I shouldn't think there are many people who don't know where Stephen Lawrence was murdered. And in the almost 20 years since it happened London (or indeed the UK) hasn't become any more racially harmonious. If you're looking for BNP strongholds, I'd look to where they are being elected. I see no evidence of that in Eltham or the wider borough of Greenwich. I've looked at crime stats for the area, read the local press and I can see no evidence of racist or homophobic activity in the area.
Every street in the UK has its problems. I don't avoid Peckham because of the killing of Damilola Taylor, I don't denigrate Gloucester because of Fred West, or shun Muswell Hill because of Dennis Nielsen. Terrible things happen and there are lots of bad people out there. If you imagine there's anywhere in England that's bigot-free - then you're wrong, and while all areas of London have racially motivated crime, there's a lot more racially motivated crime outside the capital than in it. Are you implying that I might feel safe in Eltham because you assume I'm white? Eltham has incredibly low rates of all crime compared to other London boroughs - check the Police website. Why do you assume I'm white?
"Every street in the UK has its problems. I don't avoid Peckham because of the killing of Damilola Taylor, I don't denigrate Gloucester because of Fred West, or shun Muswell Hill because of Dennis Nielsen. Terrible things happen and there are lots of bad people out there,"
Exactly - which is why the descriptions of Eltham as a nostalgic suburban idyll may have something about them, but are not the whole truth "walking around Eltham seems to be a bit like walking back in time - there just isn't that sense of urban menace that is so prevalent in many areas." just seemed worth qualifying.
I said "doubtless the majority of citizens all great." in the same spirit as your comments above. But I know there is another side because members of my family HAVE experienced racist incidents (and twice violence). This can happen everywhere, and Eltham is not immune.
I live in a notorious area which many might think was imbubed with 'urban menace' but actually it has a strong community feel and is full of great people.
I don't assume anything about you - just that you might not know much about Eltham because you 'stumbled across it'.
Good luck in your house hunting.
Don't tell me your budget because I'm not now going to tell you another gem you might like if your stumbled across it
The Debenhams is shite. The M&S is brilliant. You've got all the other main high st stuff. Leisure centre great. Secondary schools in transition currently, am watching what they're doing to Crown Woods school with interest. People who live actually in Greenwich and Blackheath can be a bit sniffy about it (it has 2 pound shops, the shame) but I love it. Hope you had a good lunch at the Tudor Barn!
Cheers Camerondiazepam. We did go to the Tudor Barn and had a lovely lunch and a wee drinkie and a walk around the park!
Have put in an offer on a place but can't go any further until we sell ours.
We're up against another buyer in the same position, so hope we sell first!
The Debenhams is a strange one - I like the coffeeshop - a bit like Acorn Antiques - is it womens and childrens clothes only?
I've just seen it's got a new independent bookshop too - Ink & Folly.
Any news on the house yet? I was in the same situation as you are now last year this time :-) We were also looking for a house to buy in Blackheath/Greenwich and we ended up in Eltham. I had never heard of the place before and having lived in the heart of Kensington (renting) for 12 years I wasn't sure what to expect but I can honestly tell you that it was the best thing we did. People are friendly and it's so close to Greenwich/Blackheath but what you get for your money here is so much better. Yes, the high street it's not Eltham's best selling point but at least we have M&S, and frankly how much time does one spend on the high street?
We had the baby a few weeks after we moved here and I've made so many friends already. Tudor Barn is a great place to have a drink and the pleasaunce is great place to relax. There are so many hidden gems in the area, I found it so exciting getting to know my local area. The new book shop is lovely, I just hope it will survive.
Anyway, I wish you good luck and hope you will like Eltham as much as I do!
Hey BabyHattie! Ta very much. Things are moving along - I've become very twitchy about saying anything to anyone because I'm so worried about jinxing things, but let's say I'm feeling optimistic
I love the place! We come by most weekends now and trawl the high st charity shops and just generally get a feel for how it is. It's got a brilliant Lidl too (never thought I'd hear myself saying that!). The Marks is great and always busy which is a good sign. Been down to the pleasaunce a few times and that's lovely and calm.
I live in eltham park (preferable part of eltham) and I absolutely love it - have a 3 year old -great safe place to bring up kids with the 'vibesque' greenwich and Bh literally a stones throw away! Neighbours who say hello - kids who ride bicycles in the street - brownie scouts selling biscuits - eltham is a hidden gem for families!
Appreciate that this now a dead thread, I'm posting a link to a thread I've created as I found this thread quite useful when considering Eltham for our new home.
Any insights welcome.
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