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Thinking of moving to East Dulwich/ Peckham borders or East Dulwich/Forest Hill borders. Any advice? Good schools? Good childcare?

(41 Posts)
Nickname1980 Wed 20-Jan-16 12:05:51

I've posted here before about my housing dilemma. Currently live in Hackney but with £850k to spend, we have to move to a different neighbourhood.

I've narrowed it down to either Walthamstow Village or the East Dulwich borders. I've seen some properties online and can afford both neighbourhoods, I'm after 3-bedrooms and a garden.

I don't know either neighbourhood all that well. What I really want is a friendly vibe, lots of artsy stuff going on, restaurants nearby that aren't chains, and a great place to raise a family.

Can anyone tell me more about ED? Will I miss Hackney terribly?

We have amazing childcare here. I'm wondering if there's any amazing childcare in ED?

Which end is better? The one near Forest Hill or the one near Peckham?

Just looking for the best possible place to raise a family in my budget, really! I don't really want to shift neighbourhoods again so want somewhere we'd all be happy to stay and love living.

Nickname1980 Wed 20-Jan-16 14:59:12


hesterton Wed 20-Jan-16 15:02:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hesterton Wed 20-Jan-16 15:03:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iwantavuvezela Wed 20-Jan-16 15:06:56

Hi nickname, we made the move from Hackney to south east London as couldn't afford to upgrade to a house there. I would suggest coming over on weekends to get a feel. Nun head is great, there's forest hill. Peckham is thriving with a very Hackney feel, bars and cafes popping up everywhere. Decent schools and childcare and lots to do on the weekend. Lots of activities for children. Brockley food market, horniman, east dulwich picture gallery, parks, near to Greenwich, loads going on. Have a look at the East Dulwich Forum which will give you a feel for what's on.

lightgreenglass Wed 20-Jan-16 15:10:48

I would say Peckham is the better end but then I'm biased and the reality is they are as nice as each other. Lots of fab childcare here - we're awash with childminders and there's a couple of nurseries which are well subscribed to. You should look up schools to see which end you prefer? If you want a Hackney vibe then the Peckham end is probably more for you.

Nickname1980 Wed 20-Jan-16 15:40:13

Thank you, lightgreenglass and iwantavuvezela - good to hear that Peckham-end has a Hackney vibe! I like the Horniman Museum, so was naturally drawn to the Forest Hill end, without realising it.

I know Lordship Lane-ish. About 5 years ago, I briefly lived/worked in another part of SE London and used to drive through East Dulwich and it was always in the back of my mind as somewhere I'd like living. I definitely need to spend more time there to get a proper feel for it though!

I work from home, hesterton, but my husband would want to continue cycling to Shoreditch. So it doesn't matter that much which trainline we're on, but the East London Line would mean I can go and visit my old 'hood and friends easily if I need to!

Another, very poncy question, I love my overpriced organic shops (ahem - Whole Foods - blush), will I find stuff like that in East Dulwich / Peckham / Forest Hill?

Childcare and schools definitely the most important factor, though.

iwantavuvezela - do you miss Hackney?! Or are you totally happy in SE?

iwantavuvezela Wed 20-Jan-16 15:56:56

Nickname, totally happy here, very pleased with move. Will always (and still do) love and visit Hackney. New overground makes that easy and we often head to shored itch, Bethnal Green, etc etc to catch up with friends or go to old haunts.
There are lots of lovely shops (organic butchers) and places to get good food. No whole foods though!
Bussey building in Peckham is fantastic,
New cinema on lordship lane
Cheap as chips cinema in Peckham
Very vibeyBellenden road (like a mini church street in Stoke Newington
Decent pubs

iloveinterior Wed 20-Jan-16 18:07:29

ED is a funny little place. Have lived near there for 25 years. It has gone from being very similar to current day Tulse Hill/West Norwood, to current day Brockley, and now very ra ra. We used to have mainly public sector type workers, then we got lots of doctors (due to Kings Hospital nearby), now it's very City/Tech types with a small spattering of digital/media type people.

I would say it does feel a little bit like Stoke Newington but much more family oriented due to the crazy number of good schools nearby. Most 3 bed houses have been extended back, side and upwards.

Which side is better? The Peckham side is definitely more buzzy and has an edgier/grittier feel to it. The Forest Hill/Honor Oak side has many large houses and is therefore a lot quieter and probably more residential.

I would recommend either as ED really is a great place, but i'd probably opt for the Peckham side due to more transportation options.

Nickname1980 Wed 20-Jan-16 19:23:14

Cinema sounds brilliant iwantavuvezela! Love the sound of Bellenden Road. I've driven through it, but don't know it. I read an article about it in Kinfolk- that prob says it all! grin

Funny what you both say about Stoke Newington, iwantavuvezela and iloveinterior. That's my current spot. I've been here for years (my partner even longer, more than 10 years) and we've seen it change a lot. It's thanks to SN getting so expensive that we can afford ED in the first place (I say "thanks to", but we're sad to leave).

Weird when the neighbourhood dynamics change. I'm hoping ED will be full of likeminded people and not too full of city bankers. Is that a terrible thing to say?! I'm sorry. Makes me sound a right snob. blush

Nickname1980 Wed 20-Jan-16 19:35:48

(Feel a bit guilty for saying that I hope there aren't too many city banker types now. Totally take it back blush)

Teds77 Wed 20-Jan-16 19:48:37

Peckham side more buzzy, Forest Hill/Honor Oak teeny bit more suburban but good houses and gardens, Nunhead somewhere between the two. East Dulwich is just around the corner and offers loads of stuff too but I think the 'borders' are nicer and you'll get a bit more house for your money. Might also be worth looking around Telegraph Hill as similar prices and slightly closer in than Forest Hill/Honor Oak.

Loads of great schools round here but you do generally need to live close to them to get in.

Nickname1980 Wed 20-Jan-16 19:52:21

Thanks Teds77, I don't know Telegraph Hill, I am excited to explore!

Eek it always seems to be the way about schools... Any great, stand-out ones?

miaowmix Wed 20-Jan-16 20:00:30

It's really lovely, really buzzy, lots of gorgeous architecture. Peckham side probably more hipster (cringe) and with plenty of the expensive but nice food shops you like, plus there's cheap markets on rye lane. East Dulwich slightly more middle-class and yummy mummy, Nunhead absolutely on the up. Nice vibe. Forest hill side lovely big houses, leafy, slightly more suburban in feel. I love the whole area. Dulwich proper more established old money feel plus city/bankers. Great area overall, I'm Peckham and love it. Pm me if you need anything. smile

miaowmix Wed 20-Jan-16 20:03:04

Ps most of the state primaries are fab. Childcare in abundance and millions of teen babysitters too!

Teds77 Wed 20-Jan-16 20:03:24

I wouldn't want to pick one but you will find loads of great primaries. However there is a big challenge on distance. If you look at the Lewisham and Southwark admissions brochures (available online) they have distance tables in them.

There are good options for secondaries too but again, distance and even lottery come into play.

iloveinterior Wed 20-Jan-16 20:30:57

Dulwich 'proper', i.e the SE21 postcode regions within the Dulwich Estate is very very nice. Think big grand houses, white picket fences, tollgate, history etc.

That part of Dulwich hasn't changed at all really over the years as it's all protected and has always been expensive. Some very snooty people. Also has a much older vibe. You do find younger (think parents early 40's) families in some of the terraces off the Village (Burbage Road, Croxted Road), but in general it's a much older vibe. The actual village can be completely dead at times, it has a very muted buzz, but there are some chain restaurants in the vicinity (Pizza Express, Gail's Bakery etc).

Nickname1980 Wed 20-Jan-16 22:14:04

GreyGardens, your enthusiasm is infectious! I feel pretty excited about the neighbourhood. Really interesting that most people seem to recommend the Peckham end, based on the stuff I talked about. I'm planning a good, proper visit the weekend after this one!

Ooh I will check that website out, Teds77. Scary, never wanted to be someone obsessed with school places but it's just so important!

You have great local knowledge, iloveinterior! Dulwich village sounds very pretty, but definitely prefer the vibe that ED sounds like it has, like you described.

Love all your enthusiasm for this neighbourhood! That's just what I'm after! Somewhere that locals love.

miaowmix Thu 21-Jan-16 13:13:12

Thanks smile.
It's a very community-minded area I think.

Do PM if you need advice.

iwantavuvezela Thu 21-Jan-16 15:14:34

Loads of interesting initiatives in the area as well

Franks café - a roof top bar is lots of fun in summer with amazing views of the city

There is a day in the year when there is an artists open house, and you can go around the neighbourhood seeing all the local artists work, so there is a fair mix of people in the hood.

You might want to look out for the typical school fairs etc as its a good way of getting an informal glimpse at the school and parents .....

Blueskies80 Fri 22-Jan-16 14:59:19

It's a great area. In east Dulwich borders but the honor oak side. Horniman museum a great resource and a short walk. As others have said a more suburban feel than Peckham but it is very close to Peckham (5 mins on the bus, lots of people commute from here via Peckham rye station). Great views at the top of the hills, lots of greenery / woodland around, lots of new cafes and ventures opening up nearby. Good luck!

legalalien Fri 22-Jan-16 16:03:55

smile iloveinterior. Just to add that us mid 40s parents in se21 are mostly lawyers, doctors and accountants / actuaries. For the most part the city bankers live in the SW postcodes / wandsworth / balham and bus their children in to the private schools... (Slightly tongue in cheek so don't flame me)

legalalien Fri 22-Jan-16 16:05:31

And just to add you could also think about herne hill / parts of SE24. Great farmers market and a community feel

iloveinterior Fri 22-Jan-16 16:47:45

Dulwich is a great place. However, I do think most of East Dulwich is over priced, especially in the standard 3/4 bed terrace range.

legalalien Fri 22-Jan-16 17:20:24

Agree - with that budget and small children I'd be tempted to go for se19 eg And spend some money on it. But probably not a Hackney vibe.

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