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Tell Me About SE23 Please
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Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2009
Post: #1
18-09-2009 04:48 PM

Heres one for you all.

I'm a northern lad currently working in the south. I live in a shared house near Caterham at the moment.
I have been discussing with friends where would be a more suitable please to live. Somewhere closer to the ' big smoke ' and with access to a station for journeys up north and of course to work.
I have been told ' Forest Hill ' thats where I should consider.
So other than reading what you good folk get up to and the usual local issues I would love to know more.
I dont wish to have too many negative comments, I am a man of the world and appreciate that this country is far from perfect but...... tell me what is good about SE23 and why I should up sticks and move????

Over to you....look forward to reading your thoughts.

P.s If any body wants a lodger? That would depend on the comments being left though.

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Posts: 3,261
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
18-09-2009 05:45 PM

Well, we do have a comedy club and around 11 pubs in the postcode, 12 minute train journeys to London Bridge, tube line (East London Line) coming in May next year along with direct links to Victoria, cheaper rail tickets to London than from Caterham, lots of parkland and woodland (for London), a rather nice museum, and the swimming pool will be rebuilt in a couple of years.

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
18-09-2009 05:48 PM

I moved here nearly 25 years ago and have stayed even though I have had jobs all over north London, south east and west London, and Dorking which has meant long and often difficult commutes, but I never once seriously thought of moving as a result.

Whats good for me is an eclectic mix of people and properties,and a nice suburban ( without being boring ) community feel which I felt from the start. I never expected this of London before I moved here. There is a good mix of native Londoners, immigrant communities and migrant workers so as to provide a balance. There are just about the right number of shops and restaurants to avoid getting bored, but the fact that it isn't a real hot buzzing centre ie East Dulwich, Brixton, the Angel, etc is actually personally appealing to me as I know I can get a good nights rest here and shoot off either to central London or Brighton as required on a whim. There are lots of things to do with and for small children if thats your main priority. If you want real 24 hour excitement , bars and clubs all the time its probably not for you but if you want somewhere with good links to central London but otherwise a green and leafy place to live, then you will be happy here. Occasionally I have considered other places ie Beckenham, East Dulwich, etc but ultimately I don't think I could live anywhere so geographically flat and boring, Beckenham in particular. The hills round here can be hard work but they will keep you fit and the views will always take you by surprise as the seasons change.

As you will probably read elsewhere on the thread, transport links are having a few challenges at the moment but thats pretty common throughout London anyway.

So, when are you moving in!

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Posts: 27
Joined: Nov 2005
Post: #4
18-09-2009 06:45 PM

Travelling to Gatwick airport is easy by train. One change at East Croydon then through to Gatwick. Quicker and cheaper than driving.

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Posts: 1,516
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #5
18-09-2009 08:14 PM

Its a great central hun to get to most places from.
Diverse area, with a wide range of conviniences.

Not a bad little area for problems etc, and I have been in the area almost 29 years now.

Cant think of many places in London I would rather live, and thats me being 100% honest, not just happy with where I am.

Plenty to do locally and close by. And not like some of the neighbouring areas which get over run by drunks on the rampage.

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Posts: 822
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #6
18-09-2009 08:16 PM

travelling to east croydon (and so Caterham gatwick and Brighton) by train may be far less convenient next year, and eventually will involve another change at norwood junction imo.

As Southern choke off our service to London Bridge, they'll no doubt attempt to reduce this valuable service to East Croydon too.

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Posts: 72
Joined: Sep 2009
Post: #7
18-09-2009 10:54 PM

Thankyou for starting this thread, we're planning to move to London from the North (Darlington) and have had a look around Forest Hill. This board has proven pretty useful, came down for a visit last weekend to check out things like the Horniman Museum, the shops and transport links. Will look for accommodation soon but am in no rush as we will be able to stay with relatives in Dulwich Village. That's a lovely place but we want to be somewhere more affordable and a bit more "London"!

So, thankyou to everyone for posting on this forum it's very useful to get a flavour of what is going on, and I like the community spirit there seems to be in the area.

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Posts: 46
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
18-09-2009 11:42 PM

Brilliant - how to make SE23 even better: more people from the north moving here Smile( there's quite a community of us)
I have lived all over london and it is the only area I have settled in. its a decent mix of folk and I know and talk to people on my street - which is not that common for london.
There are some nice little local restaurants and some decent pubs too. it is not the seething mass of 20s-30s party people like clapham which might appeal to newcomers to london, but it is not so superficial or transient like clapham.
round here also represents pretty good value for renting and buying with a mix of properties.
ok transport which is set to improve - depends where you work though

only draw back is it is miles from kings cross to get back up north.....

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Posts: 73
Joined: May 2008
Post: #9
19-09-2009 07:19 AM

Living in South East London is like being in wonderful a secret club, albeit with a vast, vast membership, that north londoners tend to sneer at without knowing anything about. This is basically because the area hasn't been on the tube so doesn't register with some. Reviewers tend to write things like ' this is a lovely restaurant but you may not want to make the trek out to South London to go there'.

The community of people has been mentioned already, and big landmarks like the Horniman. The things I love about this area too - the hilly green spaces and views, the hidden corners and interesting buildings (places like the Rivoli ballroom); the way Lewisham's rivers are being opened up; the markets, like Deptford and Lewisham; the way new restaurants and coffee places are opening up round the place, some great Indian, Thai, Turkish, Chinese places to eat and there are a good mix of pubs, from the very traditional Blythe Hill tavern - my favourite- to more gastro type places, There's a pub theatre in nearby Crofton Park (Brockley Jack) and there are several comedy night places; I love traveling by overground train, rather than by tube; love being able to get out into countryside easily; love some of the eccentric events and festivals round here. I've lived here since 1975 (with odd years away) - I never meant to stay .

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Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2009
Post: #10
19-09-2009 08:12 AM

Hello rymerster,

I started the thread because I was very pleased to read so many positive things on the forum, unlike so many that you can search. Your not going to believe it but although working and staying down south my family home is in Darlington.
For many years I have worked in the South and totally love it. I'm now trying to find the ' perfect ' place to reside in the SE neck of the woods.

Thanks to all who have provided great feedback so far. I am sure there are more comments to come.

Looking forward to wandering round Forest Hill at some point.

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Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #11
19-09-2009 09:42 AM

Although we are not that close to Kings Cross, don't forget there are some direct trains from the Crofton Park/Nunhead/Peckham line - at least to St Pancras international, which is identical in underground terms (handy for the Paris train too).

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Posts: 106
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #12
19-09-2009 10:30 AM

Don't forget the P(aradise) 4 bus to Brixton, then the Victoria line to Kings Cross/ St Pancras which is a quick route, even though the TfL Website does not mention this way.

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Posts: 49
Joined: May 2005
Post: #13
19-09-2009 11:29 AM

That's the limitation of the current TfL Journey Planner. It does not do combination of bus and tube.

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Posts: 46
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #14
19-09-2009 12:45 PM

the p4 to brixton is the route I use as it involves no steps ( which is great when you have a suitcase full of christmas presents!) but you need to check the victoria line as it seems to shut quite a bit at the moment.

I didnt realise there was a direct train from crofton park to pancras, that would be great - thanks for that.

I suppose another good thing bout se23 is a proximity to stations on a number of different lines so crofton park can take you right out into kent and from forest hill you can get to croydon where you can go to all sort of place (or get out at croydon and be amazed that people also still wear shellsuits down south too....)

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Posts: 29
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #15
19-09-2009 08:13 PM

Lots of green spaces, views, better air quality than down the hill in East Dulwich, quiet, nice walks in Sydenham Woods and the parks, reasonably priced housing - and less than 15 minutes into central London. What could be better.

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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #16
21-09-2009 11:02 AM

Forest Hill is a great place to live. 15 mins into London Bridge or East Croydon by Train. Good bus service to Lewisham, Brixton, Crystal Palace, Dulwich and Peckam. It has a traditional Victorian feel, with a small high street. We have our own library, fantastic Museum with great parks and woods on our door step. Our swimming pool has recently been given the go ahead for a makeover. We have a small but useful Tescos and medium sized Sainsburys (although a large SavaCentre in Sydenham - which is just down the road). We have a good mix of pubs, restaurants and takeaways. Pub Quiz nights, comedy nights, Weatherpoons for cheap and chearful, Gastropub - Brockley Jack (20 mins walk away) is a pub with a small theatre upstairs. There's a good community feel and people are passionate about where they live and what's going on. The Hornimans Park holds a Xmas Concert each year and supports classical and multicultral festivals with music and food at different times throughout the year. We have a local magazine called SE23 (see if you can get hold of a copy!) and there is also the Forest Hill Society that regularly meet and communicate events, planning issues and new development in the local area.

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Posts: 115
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #17
21-09-2009 11:21 AM

You need to watch out for the annual jerk festival in the Horniman, and practice evasive moves to dodge the Big Issue seller at Sainsbury's and the drivers screaming down Manor Mount the wrong way!! Laugh

Seriously, I moved to Forest Hill shortly after coming down from Scotland in 1985. The only disadvantage I can see is that it can be a pain to get to the M40 or M1 or M11 if you make frequent trips north.

But there are lots of pluses. For me the main one has to be that living on the hill (and I live pretty much at the top of it!) makes you feel like you are well out of London even though it is so close. I love the Horniman park and museum which is probably our best asset. The park is superbly maintained and a great place to sit and ponder (for the 364 days a year it is free of jerky fanatics!).

I lived in Balham (Gateway to the South) for about a year when I first came south, and would never exchange Forest Hill for there. In fact I can't think of a good reason to move anywhere else in London which is probably why I have been here 25 years!! Thumbsup

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Posts: 203
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #18
21-09-2009 12:29 PM

I've been here for about ten years now and basically I would simply say that SE23 is a place to make a home.

No, it's not flashy like other bits of London but if you want somewhere decent to live with enough to make a nice evening out then it's ideal.

I often drag my friends out here to eat at local restaurants and they are always amazed at what culinary delights SE23 throws up. It's a gem of a place.

I'm proud to have my I Heart Honor Oak badge stuck to my work computer screen!

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Posts: 72
Joined: Sep 2009
Post: #19
21-09-2009 12:39 PM

Thankyou again people for posting on this topic - I really have fallen for Forest Hill and can't wait to move (anyone want a 4 bed house in Darlington at a bargain price - with park views and off street parking?)

Relatives have been saying East Dulwich might be a good bet (Lordship Lane area) - but the transport doesn't look as good to me. Also, rentals and house prices generally seem a bit steeper. Does ED have anything to offer that Forest Hill doesn't?

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Posts: 3,261
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #20
21-09-2009 01:27 PM

Many people are of the opinion that East Dulwich is nicer than Forest Hill. It has some great local private schools, Dulwich Park and Dulwich Picture Gallery are both not too far away. The high street has lots of gastropubs and nice food shops (cheese shop, organic butcher, fishmonger, etc) - all the things that we would love to see in Forest Hill.

But there is a downside to East Dulwich - it has ONLY gastropubs, and trains only go to London Bridge, while Forest Hill trains will shortly go to three central London destinations - London Bridge, Victoria, and Shoreditch. Also whilst their pool is being refurbished, ours is being rebuilt behind the existing facade.

East Dulwich is currently more expensive than Forest Hill, but don't count on this lasting for ever! Forest Hill has been undervalued for years but there is enough infrastucture investment that this may start to change between 2010 (Overground trains) and 2015 (Thameslink trains providing direct links to Kings Cross).

If you would prefer to pay less for your house, value transport links, and are not currently thinking about private education - you will probably be very happy in Forest Hill.

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