Forest Hill: the highlights of this affordable South East London gem.
People that move to Forest Hill, tend to stay in Forest Hill. So, why choose Forest Hill, and what is it that makes people stay?
Forest Hill is well known for its, leafy streets, and beautiful buildings: from large, Victorian and Edwardian houses, some converted to flats, some making lovely family homes, to Victorian cottages, Twenties semi-detached houses, artists’ studio houses, Art Deco flats and newer blocks around the station. Along with this, spectacular views of London, and a strong sense of local community.
The 16-acre gardens at the Horniman Museum boast incredible views of London, as well as a world famous taxidermy museum, children’s zoo and aquarium, stunning Victorian bandstand and a weekly farmers market. The Devonshire Road Nature Reserve is home to rare plants on a cutting on the Forest Hill to New Cross railway embankment, and hosts a number of local events. There are also other parks and green spaces dotted around, with Mayow Park a 10-minute walk away, and Dulwich Park and Crystal Palace Park (with its infamous Dinosaurs), a bus/cycle ride away.
The South Circular runs through Forest Hill with easy links into London. Set in Zone 3, Forest Hill’s transport system works well for the commuter. Forest Hill station (Zone 3) is 15 minutes direct to London Bridge and around 35 minutes direct to Victoria. The Overground tube line takes you to Canada Water, Hoxton, Shoreditch and Clapham, with easy connections into central London.
Forest Hill’s primary schools are rated “good” by the Government’s education watchdog Ofsted, with two rated as “outstanding”: Eliot Bank in Thorpewood Avenue and Fairlawn in Honor Oak Road. There are two comprehensive schools, Sydenham (girls aged 11 to 18 with boys in the sixth form) and Forest Hill (boys ages 11 to 18 with girls in the sixth form), and Ofsted rates both ‘good’. Sydenham High (ages four to 18) is a private girls’ school that gets good results at GCSE and A-level. Nearby Dulwich has a selection of private day schools — James Allen’s Girls’ School (JAGS), Dulwich College and Alleyn’s School, and all are a short drive or bus ride away.
Eating and Drinking
There is an array of independent coffee shops, from cake and flapjack at ‘St David’s’, to cheese and olives at ‘Aga’s Little Deli’, the popular ‘Teapot’, and ‘The Archie Parker’ (owned by Children’s TV hero (Trevor and) Simon). There are a number of gastro pubs, ‘The Dartmouth Arms’, ‘The Hill’ and ‘Sylvan Post’, as well as the Thai restaurant ‘Orchard’, Indian restaurants ‘Elachi’ and ‘India Gate’, as well as a magnificent art deco Weatherspoon’s, ‘The Capital’, and the eclectic restaurant ‘Canvas and Cream’ which also doubles as an art gallery.
Again, more independent shops such as the stylish ‘Bunka’, a south London boutique chain first launched in Forest Hill, which sells clothes, shoes, jewellrey and an array of quirky household items and gifts. ‘Stag and Bow’ has an eclectic mix of vintage homewares and craft items and runs craft workshops. ‘Sugar Mountain’, a traditional sweet shop selling sweets from jars as well as ice cream with an eat/drink in ‘50’s’ style area, and an array of charity shops. There is also a large Sainsbury’s store.
Leisure and the arts
Havelock Walk is an artists’ colony of renovated mews houses where there are often art exhibitions. Forest Hill Pools, with its Victorian façade, has a gym and 2 swimming pools, and Energie is a smaller local gym with competitive fees.
The Property Market
The property market has consistently risen in Forest Hill, and we predict it will continue to do so.
Attracting first time buyers, families, and buy to let investors, Forest Hill is a great place to buy, and with its strong sense of community spirit, it is a great place to live and to make your home.