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Another where to live in London thread ...

(22 Posts)
WhenDoISleep Fri 24-Jul-09 11:51:54


I am looking for some advice from the wise people of MN on where to live in London.

We currently live in a flat in the Rotherhithe area (have lived here for 6 years), which was fine when it was just us but now we have a 6mo DS we need to relocate to a more family-friendly house / area.

We have Forest Hill, East Dulwich and Sydenham on the list to look at and I would like to hear experiences from anyone who is in those areas.

Also, which other areas do you suggest we look at? DH (and DSis who lives with us) need an easy commute into the City (London Bridge, Bank or Liverpool Street), ideally a commute of under 1 hour door-to door as DH likes to get home in time for bath time at least a couple of times a week.

From my point of view we need to move to somewhere family friendly with a good set up for mums and babies (groups, activities, local park etc) as I have struggled a lot with isolation since becoming a mum and need to start building a local network of friends, particularly as due to a change in circumstance I will not be returning to work after ML. Family and friends are all 300 miles away and whilst we want to relocate in the future it is not an option at the moment due to DH's job.

I drive and have a car but also like walking so a local park woul be nice.

I should also say that we are long-term renters and are not looking to buy. We will be looking for a 3 / 4 bed house with garden.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

HerHonesty Fri 24-Jul-09 11:54:38

well i used to live in putney and it is lovely but it is ££££.

jeanjeannie Fri 24-Jul-09 12:38:57

I've lived in East Dulwich - gorgeous but I'd say probably still over-priced. Does have a nice feel and I know a few people who've had children there.

Best mate lives in Forest Hill - she loves it and there is an outstanding primary there that she loves. She just wishes she was nearer to a large green space.

Personally, I love Herne Hill but the overground only goes into Victoria so I imagine that's going to rule it out. It is lovely though as it's got Brockwell park on the doorstep and within walking distance of Dulwich park and picture gallery without paying Dulwich prices!

WhenDoISleep Sat 25-Jul-09 09:21:16


austinsmam Sat 25-Jul-09 09:55:18

What sort of rental budget do you have?

Place around Victoria Park are nice, short commute for DH.

Lots of places in North London Stoke Newington etc

ComeOVeneer Sat 25-Jul-09 10:03:56

Does it have to be London? We relocated from N London into Surrey, more for your money loads of green areas (we are near Richmond Park and Bushy Park). DH commutes into the city, less than an hour (train to Waterloo then one stop on the tube). Fab schools, very friendly family orientated area, Kingston good for shopping. Much better area for children imo.

FlappyTheBat Sat 25-Jul-09 10:07:10

I used to live in Kingston, took dh about an hour to get into the City.

I loved it as was so close to Richmond Park so was there most days, another short walk to the Thames and there are playparks there.

Shopping is great there too, found it very family friendly and would love to have stayed there permanently.

spicemonster Sat 25-Jul-09 10:25:33

I'd look around North Dulwich station which is sort of between Herne Hill and Dulwich - train goes to London Bridge in about 10 mins

WhenDoISleep Sat 25-Jul-09 10:48:47

Thanks for all the ideas.

Budget wise we ar looking at 1400 pcm - maybe 1450.

WhenDoISleep Sat 25-Jul-09 10:49:50

sorry - are

jeanjeannie Sat 25-Jul-09 14:54:32

Yep, I'd second looking at North Dulwich - I forgot that went to London Bridge.

nouveaupauvre Mon 27-Jul-09 22:33:06

crystal palace! trains go into london bridge or victoria, loads of parks and green space, lots of child-related activities, strong sense of community and cheaper than east dulwich or herne hill.

bruffin Mon 27-Jul-09 23:02:28

Why not move a bit farther out. I used to live in Crystal Palace then Sydenham. My sister lived in Forest Hill and Catford and my Mum in Sydenham and there is no way I would bring up a child in any of those areas.

My sister and her family have just moved out to Norfolk and my mum is following her.

We now live on the borders of Herts and London. 20 minutes into Liverpool St by train. Right on the Lea Valley so lots of open space and several parks.
NOt the trendiest of areas but plenty for children to do. Mine are kayaking and sailing this week and it's within walking distance.

toja555 Thu 30-Jul-09 16:22:20

I live in South Norwood and although it is probably not the best place to live, it is brilliantly convenient for commuting to London. If leave home 8:10am in the morning, I catch fast train 8:20 and reach London Bridge 8:32, then few minutes of walking and 8:40 I am in the office in the City! Because I have a small child that will go to childcare for full-time soon, this made me to buy a house in South Norwood because you rarely find location that is a bit remote from central London and still very close in terms of commuting. Had I more money, I would consider Beckenham, Petts Wood, Chislehurst, Wallington. But now I am fine where am! I hope that property value will go up here when people realize the benefit of communing and also that coming tube will make it even more attractive. I know there are many nice areas to live more remote from London, but since I have to work FT – I cannot afford to live more far than I am.

notcitrus Thu 30-Jul-09 16:33:57

Tulse Hill is very handy for London Bridge (same line as North/East Dulwich) but cheaper and has green space. Also Crystal Palace/Gipsy Hill - both areas with a community feel and lots of parents and small children.

What about Maze Hill and Westcombe Park areas of Greenwich? Even more frequent fast trains to London Bridge, near river and green space.

Umlellala Thu 30-Jul-09 18:52:25

We live in Stoke Newington. Very family friendly especially families with young children, train straight to Liverpool St (20mins?), Clissold Park is great. I love it here and we are only moving (to Walthamstow - have you thought of Walthamstow?!) cos we can't really afford it here anymore...

MarthaFarquhar Thu 30-Jul-09 18:59:05

East Dulwich has much more life to it than Forest Hill/Sydenham - more cafes, toddler groups, and is handy for Dulwich Park, as well as the v.underrated Peckham Rye Park. Slightly better commute to the City - you can even do it by bus from there.

I really, really like East Dulwich, and would live there if I could afford to (we relocated from Peckham to the North a while back).

wobbegong Thu 30-Jul-09 23:05:52

Another North London suggestion. What about Finsbury Park/ Hornsey/ Alexandra Palace?
Busting with kids and parks and a very quick direct train to Moorgate (from where my DH walks to Bank).

glitterkitty Sat 01-Aug-09 07:11:41

Greenwich is lovely, and fast into london bridge, but 3/4 bed house with garden in a half decent bit will set you back around 500k. Shooters Hill/Eltham are cheaper, and lots of green space. Try nestopia, you can scroll across map of london looking at houses.

Good luck!

sincitylover Sun 02-Aug-09 22:09:37


I live in your area and have done since dcs were babies, not sure why you would want to move really as think it's a great place to bring up dcs - there are loads of people with young children in this area and I have made many friends.

There is park, woodland and not sure why you feel the need to move.

It's also very convenient for work and close to places like Greenwich etc

I have also lived in places before dcs like Clapham, Streatham and Brockley - agree about the Dulwich, Crystal Palace, Greenwich and Blackheath area they are more on a circuit if that's what you are looking for.

chandellina Wed 12-Aug-09 15:26:26

East Dulwich/Peckham Rye is fab - it is totally child friendly and has a range of big and small parks. It's cheaper too than north London. We are renters too and just moved into a huge 3-bed house with a big garden. I think it works out to around 1,600 a month but there are cheaper ones out there. We came from a 2-bed flat in Kennington and are not looking back! (Kennington is a great location and family friendly too but house rentals are few and far between and more like £500/week.)

From Peckham Rye station you can go to London Bridge, Blackfriars/Kings Cross, or Victoria. I go from home to the City within 30 minutes, can jog over to Peckham Rye Park within 5 minutes, and have the numerous amenities of Lordship Lane a 10 minute walk away.

bran Wed 12-Aug-09 15:48:40

It probably sound unlikely to most but I've found that the Isle of Dogs has been a great place to bring up a young family. It's been friendlier than anywhere else that I've lived in London. There's a city farm and a big park in the middle. There are lots of toddler groups and I've found the people I've met there to be very chatty. It's contained by the river so it feels relatively small and almost sleeyp and you tend to see the same people all the time. There is very little traffic so it's easy to walk everywhere. DLR to Bank is about 30 mins.

State primaries are quite good, but very over subscribed. State secondaries are awful.

Around Victoria Park also looks lovely, I know a few people who live there and find it good with a family.

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