Where to live in London – Bromley area guide

Bromley area guide

With over 400 shops, a pedestrianised high street, cafes and restaurants galore and two train stations, there’s no mistaking it, Bromley is a large suburban town. However, this buzz is juxtaposed by the charming Victorian terrace streets, historic churches and superb parks, including Bromley Common. Its main appeal is that it truly offers the best of both worlds and is only 15 minutes on the train into London.

Living in Bromley

Bromley is a traditionally popular town as it has so much to offer. Students, first time buyers, families and retirees look to live here and the different styles of architecture reflect these diverse profiles.

Top five Bromley features

  1. Bromley’s transport. Commuting into the Capital takes just over 15 minutes from Bromley South station – this is an enormous attraction for young professionals
  2. Schools. Families move here to get their children into the outstanding local schools
  3. Parks. The wider borough is said to be London’s greenest borough and Bromley town has no shortage of wide green spaces
  4. The Churchill Theatre is Bromley’s main cultural attraction, seats over 700 people and was opened in 1977 by HRH Prince of Wales. As well as staging high profile plays, it also produces its own performances, many of which transfer to the West End
  5. The Glades Shopping Centre. People travel from out of the area to come to this shopping mecca with its advertising slogan ‘Everything you’ll ever need under one roof’

The best of Bromley

  • Bromley town centre has one of the most popular shopping venues in the South East. The pedestrianised High Street, with its weekly Farmer’s Market and range of co-ordinated events, is complemented by the Glades Shopping Centre which has a wide range of specialist shops as well as the usual stores.
  • A £90 million scheme to rejuvenate Bromley South Central has started. When complete there will be new housing, a multiplex cinema, a hotel and a collection of cafés and restaurants
  • The Empire Cinema screens the latest blockbusters
  • Ripley Arts Centre showcases amateur art from across the Bromley borough. The centre also offers a wide range of courses and activities

Time out in Bromley

  • Churchill’s Theatre - produces its own work and showcases some of the best West End and touring productions from across the UK
  • The Bromley Little Theatre is a popular amateur dramatics venue
  • There are plenty of chain restaurants in Bromley town centre to choose from including Pizza Express, Zizzi, Café Rouge and Belgos
  • The Star and Garter pub is popular for ales and the extensive wine list. There is also an O’Neills and the Five Bells on Bromley Common and The Chatterton Arm are also popular
  • Yak & Yeti offers Indian, as does Cinnamon Culture

Parklife

  • One of the finest is Bromley Palace Park, behind the council offices. The gardens surround the former Bishop of Rochester’s Palace, a Grade II listed mansion dating from 1776 and there’s also a boat house and lake, a folly and an ice house
  • Lots of green areas around Bromley such as: Martin’s Hill Park and playground, Church House Gardens – where there’s a skateboard park, a children’s playground and tennis courts, Widmore Playing Fields, Whitehall and South Hill Wood recreation grounds and Norman Park with an athletics track.
  • Bromley Common offers wide open spaces and is popular for dog walking

Education

The schools are particularly good, and many people move to Bromley area just to get a place for their children.

For primary education, Highfield Infants and Highfield Junior schools both have ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted ratings. Other popular choices are St Joseph’s, Scotts Park, Raglan and St Marks.

For secondary education, Newstead Woods girls’ school and St Olave’s boys’ schools are among the top 20 in the country, and both have ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted ratings.

For private education, there is Bickley Park, Braeside and Bromley High.

Local facts

  • The London borough of Bromley is the largest of the 32 London boroughs and includes part of the Kent Downs and is the only London borough with one of the 41 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty designated in England and Wales
  • The name Bromley, first recorded in 862 as Bromleag, is Anglo-Saxon for “the place where broom grows”
  • Prior to 1965, Bromley was in the county of Kent
  • Bromley was recently awarded the impressive Safer Shopping Award as it is deemed to be an exceptionally friendly and safe area
  • Celebrated author H. G. Wells was born in Bromley in 1866. Today a blue plaque marks his birthplace in Market Square

Transport

The excellent transport links attract many buyers here. Bromley has two overland stations – Bromley South where trains to London Victoria take just over 15 minutes and Bromley North with shuttle trains to Grove Park where there are onward connections to London Bridge, Charing Cross and Cannon Street.

Buses. There are no daytime direct buses into central London. Local bus routes service Orpington, Lewisham and Croydon. From Charing Cross there is a night bus to Bromley, the N47.

Property in Bromley

A mixture of old and new buildings with most roads having both houses and blocks of flats. Bromley Council prides itself on its flowers and there are many at the sides of the roads and on the roundabouts.

 

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