What’s it all about?
The highest point of Gipsy Hill gives sweeping views north to the City and this attractive, if relatively little-known, Lambeth enclave of sloping streets lies sandwiched between Dulwich Village, West Norwood and Crystal Palace Park. The main road around which the area clusters, also called Gipsy Hill, is home to a train station and a number of pleasant pubs, including Beer Rebellion, an outpost of the Late Knights brewery, while Gipsy Road hosts local groceries and takeaways. Add to this easy access to plenty of quality green space and to the burgeoning amenities of neighbouring areas, such as ‘the Triangle’, a busy hub of restaurants, bars and shops centred on the intersection of Westow Street, Westow Hill and Church Road, and it’s clear that Gipsy Hill represents a desirable and convenient base for families and professional couples alike.
- A multi-room nuclear bunker designed as a military HQ was built in the early 1960s at Pear Tree House, part of the Central Hill Estate on Lunham Road. Rebuilt in the 1980s as the Cold War reignited, it remained a focus for peace protestors until it closed in 1993.
- As its name implies, before the railway station opened in 1856, Gipsy Hill was a mostly rural area where groups of travellers often stayed.
- A mention of a visit to the ‘gypsies at Lambeth’ that crops up in the 17th century diary of Samuel Pepys is believed to be a reference to famous fortune-teller and ‘Queen of the gypsies’ Margaret Finch who legend has it lived to be 108.
Architecture and property
Gipsy Hill is dominated by Victorian properties laid out around the train station in typical 19th-century railway suburb fashion, many examples of which have desirable period features. Often divided into multi-occupancy residences over the course of the 20th century, bigger properties are increasingly being converted back into sizeable family homes. Large terraces are supplemented with smaller Victorian workers’ cottages, substantial Edwardian homes, as well as new-build houses and flats in various more recent styles.
For house price information please visit our resource centre.
Eating: Upmarket Mediterranean restaurant Manuel’s offers a menu of Italian classics and is one of South London’s best kept secrets. Nearby, The Paxton pub covers all the bases with lunch and evening menus, kids’ specials and Sunday lunches.
Drinking: As well as hyper-local brewery Late Knights’ tap room Beer Rebellion, located opposite the railway station, the Gipsy Hill Tavern is a friendly and relaxed local with large beer garden, and which shows all the major sporting events.
- West Norwood Cemetery is one of London’s ‘magnificent seven’ Victorian burial grounds, and boasts a wealth of grand Gothic Revival mausoleums, monuments and memorials to 19th-century luminaries.
- Open early for Gipsy Hill’s commuters, the Brown and Green Café is tucked behind the attractive Victorian frontage of Gipsy Hill station and is known for its tasty breakfast and brunch options and top-notch coffee.
- Opened in 1900, Upper Norwood Joint Libary on Westow Hill is an independently run resource offering kids’ events, second-hand book sales and local history workshops.
Living in an area punctuated by green space is one of Gipsy Hill’s chief assets and residents are in a great position to take advantage of nearby Crystal Palace Park with its famous Victorian dinosaur sculptures, intriguing palace ruins, city farm, maze, play areas and sports facilities. Meanwhile, bordering the eastern side of Salter’s Hill is Norwood Park, a lofty point from which to enjoy views across Dulwich and beyond to Canary Wharf and the South Bank. It also offers woodland walks (the last vestiges of the forested common lands that once made up medieval Norwood), an outdoor gym, water play area and café. Nearby are the woods and parks of Dulwich and Sydenham, as well as South Norwood Lake and Grounds, where you can get a licence to fish by the day or take to the water with the Croydon Sailing Club.
Nine high-spec apartments at 69 Gipsy Road by Q New Homes have recently been completed with other residential development likely.
Rail: Trains operated by Southern serve Gipsy Hill station and travel into London Victoria and London Bridge six or seven times an hour with journey times between 20 and 30 minutes, with the option of connecting with the Overground service at Crystal Palace.
Road: Close by is the South Circular Road, South London’s major road artery linking east and west.
Bus: The number 3 bus from Gipsy Hill takes you to Oxford Circus, while the 322 serves Clapham. There are more bus options from Crystal Palace.
Getting away: To travel further afield, Gatwick Airport will take less than an hour to reach by car, or around an hour via public transport.
The Gipsy Hill Federation runs three primaries in the local area: Elm Wood, Kingswood and Paxton – all of which are highly regarded. Park Campus Academy is a secondary Alternative Educational School offering provision for pupils who have been excluded or are out of mainstream education for other reasons. Upper Norwood Catholic girls’ school Virgo Fidelis Convent Senior School specialises in maths and computing, while nearby Dulwich offers various private school options.
Please see our education resource for more information on schools in this area.
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