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Completely London

Area guide for South East London and North Kent

South East London and North Kent overview

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From the historic riverside to the quintessentially English town of Hayes, South East London’s cityscape is steeped in history and dotted with green space. There’s perhaps no other region in London as diverse as this. 

The river

BermondseyBoroughGreenwichKenningtonCanada Water Surrey Quays

A maze of cobbled streets, wharves and warehouses runs along the river from London Bridge to Rotherhithe, with some of London’s most significant cultural landmarks in the mix. Here you’ll find Tower Bridge, Tate Modern and the Design Museum. Ancient Borough Market is the epicentre of London’s foodie revolution and its effects are felt throughout Southwark. The area attracts a gourmet crowd alongside City professionals and media types keen for a quick commute. Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals are located here, and a number of medical students and doctors live in the area. Further east beyond Rotherhithe is Surrey Quays, an area to watch with plans for exciting property developments, and then Greenwich, a World Heritage Site whose elegant buildings speak volumes about the maritime history of London. The area is a major draw for tourists and students at weekends and, with lots of open space, gorgeous riverside pubs and a buzzing market, there’s a carefree vibe. West of London Bridge is Kennington, which developed after the completion of Westminster Bridge in 1750. Consequently, it’s packed with pretty Georgian squares and historically is a favourite place for politicians and government workers to live, as it allows them to enjoy a ten minute walk to work.

Parks and terraces

BlackheathBrockleyCatfordCrystal PalaceDulwich VillageEast Dulwich • Eltham • Forest HillLeePeckhamSydenham

The next level of development in this region happened alongside the arrival of the railways, and large parts of South East London are characterised by rows of Victorian and Edwardian terraced houses now listed as conservation areas. It’s less densely built up than North London and patchworked with green space. Some of the best views of the City are to be had from Telegraph Hill, Crystal Palace and Blackheath House, and there is a multitude of smaller parks and gardens. Add to this house prices that are comparatively lower than other London regions and it’s easy to see why young couples and families are attracted here. The completion of the London Overground in 2012 has meant vastly improved transport links for Catford, Crystal Palace, Brockley, Forest Hill and Sydenham, which have all seen house prices rise. Despite some similarities, neighbourhoods here have their own unique quirks and identities. Peckham has a reputation for being cool and edgy, while Dulwich Village and Blackheath are two of London’s most appealing urban villages. Nearby Camberwell College of Art means there’s a big artistic community around Brockley. Kate Bush is originally from Eltham, where there's a wide choice of property and plenty of development planned. It's beginning to attract buyers from other areas of South East London. 

Suburban charm

BeckenhamBromleyChislehurstHayesWest Wickham

Take a step further back and there’s a range of leafy commuter towns complete with duck ponds and summer fairs, which attract families and retirees migrating from central London. Excellent schools, good sized detached and semi detached houses and outstanding access to green space are all part of the package. The nearby Kent Downs are an area of outstanding natural beauty, and after a day spent here it would be impossible to guess that you're just a 20 minute train journey away from central London.


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