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What's it like to live in Forest Hill?
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Posts: 88
Joined: Dec 2009
Post: #1
20-01-2010 11:16 AM

Hello, I am a new user. I am about to move to Forest Hill after renting in East Dulwich. As you well know, you can get more for your money and after doing some research it seemed like a decent place to live. Sainsbury's, gym, a couple of nice pubs, some independent shops and good schools. Plus the Horniman's and of course the East London line shortly to arrive.

I would really like to know what people who live in the area think. There have been some articles in the paper about Forest Hill which have been in the main positive but other people harp on about crime and some go as far to say it is a dump and that it is over priced (there are lots of estate agents in the area compared to say Honor Oak which I think is a good sigh of activity?). They have scared me!

I would like some realistic responses and it would be great for people who live in the area to come back to me - hopefully with some positivity about the area!

Thanks. Look forward to hearing from some of you.

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Posts: 212
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
20-01-2010 01:29 PM

I think your first paragraph pretty much hits the nail on the head.

FH resident for 8 years.

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Posts: 45
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #3
20-01-2010 02:02 PM

F/H and now H/O resident for 19 years!! So cant be bad. I am particularly fond of open green spaces of the Horniman, Blythe Hill and One Tree Hill all great for walks and maintaining sanity. Also great access to other areas eg. Sydenham Woods is a haven. I have had no personal experience with crime problems and neighbours /friends very minimal too. Some great places to eat out eg Honor Oak, Dartmouth Arms and Babour Restaurant plus well connected for travel in all directions, So come and join us!!

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Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #4
20-01-2010 02:12 PM

Hi Belle,

In a similar position, i moved over from Richmond about 15 months ago, my girlfriend moved over from Fulham too. I bought in the area on the recommendation of friends and a few visits. I couldn't have been happier with my decision. The area has nice restaurants and pubs (although a couple more pubs would be good) the comedy club on a saturday is excellent. Good gym, some good local shops, improving transport links, nice green spaces.

I've had no experience of crime, or anythng slightly intimidating. Best of all, the area has a community feel. This is something I haven't experienced in 10 years living i London.

Don't worry

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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #5
20-01-2010 03:07 PM

So much nicer than East Dulwich - and we should soon have a brand new swimming pool too!

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Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2007
Post: #6
20-01-2010 03:18 PM

Couldn't agree more. Is a great place to live and lots to offer. Yes, could do with another pub and stand alone restaurant, but offers easy access to London Bridge and then to East Croydon if need to get to Gatwick. The Honor Oak pub is worth a visit too.

Crime is not a huge problem, no more than other similar areas in London. With East London line coming place still has more value to realise.

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Posts: 25
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #7
20-01-2010 03:56 PM

We moved here from Angel about 2 years ago and so far we absolutely love it.

We've met loads of local families, who are now our friends (which was a total change from Angel, where we barely knew even our next-door neighbours) and spend most of our weekends in the area, particularly the gardens of the Horniman Museum.

You can get a lot more for your money here, and the houses are generally of great quality- lots of good Victorian and 1930s housing stock - though some still require renovation, which at least might allow you to pick up a 'bargain'. A lot of the houses have decent sized gardens, again a welcome difference to us when we moved here. We looked at both East Dulwich and Forest Hill before we moved here, and it seemed to us as though Forest Hill is much greener and offered better value overall.

In my opinion, the area is a great mix of established locals as well as young professionals and families who have just discovered it. Personally, I have never seen or experienced any crime here - again, quite different from my experience of Angel.

There a few nice restaurants and coffee shops (and another coffee shop has just opened up opposite the train station) and hopefully the trend will continue in the next couple of years. Admittedly, there isn't a shopping 'hub' like Lordship Lane at the moment but that may change.

I don't know if it's relevant for you, but if you have (or are thinking of starting) a family but don't want to pay for a private school, quite a few of the local primary schools (eg, Fairlawn/Horniman) have very good or outstanding OFSTED reports.

Forest Hill is well connected with frequent trains to London Bridge and will become even better connected with the East London Line coming in May, and hopefully the Thameslink a few years later. Some rumours even mention that we might get an extended Bakerloo line by 2020! (though I don't know how much truth there is in that).

Anyhow, the bottom line is that I'm very glad we moved here and I recommend it to all my friends!

Hope this helps.

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Posts: 88
Joined: Dec 2009
Post: #8
20-01-2010 04:00 PM

Hello respondees! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my post and so quickly! I really appreciate it and its made me feel excited about moving when I was getting a little worried.

'Northener' mentioned the fact that FH has a community spirit and I have to say I'd already picked up those vibes by just reading the forum so it's really good to hear that.

Look forward to catching up with you again. I am sure I'll have some more questions once I move! Belle

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Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2007
Post: #9
20-01-2010 04:06 PM

are you buying or renting a place? may help with which EAs to go with.

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Posts: 88
Joined: Dec 2009
Post: #10
20-01-2010 04:21 PM

We have already bought a place! In the process of exchanging.

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Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2007
Post: #11
20-01-2010 04:22 PM

Good stuff.

if it's in colfe road will find a nice community feel.

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Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #12
20-01-2010 07:57 PM

Forest Hill has good and bad points like all places but overall I think it is OK.
Everyone's experience will be diferent . Avoid The Bird in The Hand unless you like Felixstowe words , but many good pubs.

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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #13
20-01-2010 09:00 PM

Nothing wrong with the Bird in Hand, if you like sport, want to nip across the road to the Paddy Power and have a bet, dont mind people who drink lots and get a bit loud. Horses for courses! In fact if that's the worse thing you can think of about Forest Hill, then it must be paradise.

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Posts: 285
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #14
21-01-2010 12:15 AM

Hi Belle

Forest Hill is a fine place to live. Whether you find it better than ED depends on what you like doing. There are a lot more shops/restaurants/bars within walking distance of Lordship Lane if you're in ED but it is only a short bus ride away and it kinda depends on how much you want to go out within walking distance of home. I've never found it that much hassle to hop on a bus when I want to go out there. That's not to say that there aren't decent restaurants etc in Forest Hill but there are more in ED.

The open spaces and woods are the biggest perk of the area. They are lovely to walk round, run round or simply sit in and enjoy. And it's fabulous to have a choice of what you fancy.

Crimewise - it's no worse than ED. I've been burgled while living here but don't feel particularly unsafe - just unfortunate.

And this forum is definitely less lively than EDF and doesn't quite cover the esoteric range of topics that the EDF does!

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Posts: 69
Joined: May 2008
Post: #15
21-01-2010 12:26 AM

I moved to the area 8 years ago, at the time through need rather than desire, and i have to say it was the best move i ever made. I didn't quite know where it was i was moving to, but it seemed ok. Now i realise it is such a lovely area with its open spaces, fabulous character, beautiful buildings, events, places and people who, if you smile at, 8 out of 10 smile back. I have no intention of moving (sorry, lol)
I don't know about schools etc, but i know about community spirit and a good sense of pride.

Am also on Colfe Benji Smile

Belle, I hope your move here is easy and are you are very happy

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #16
21-01-2010 09:57 AM

Hi, I'll have been here for 25 years this coming April - the longest I've lived anywhere - Forest Hill has met and continues to meet most requirements whether it is shopping, pubs, restaurants, access to other parts of London for work, entertainment etc, and of course to lots of green spaces. I've worked all over London especially north but never found a good reason to move although it would have saved on commuting. You'll like it here I'm sure! ED is ok but, hey, its as flat as a pancake so not half as much fun as here when it snows- try sledging down Lordship Lane!

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Posts: 361
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #17
21-01-2010 12:19 PM

Belle, one note on the FH/HOP comparison in your initial posting - surely there are fewer estate agents in HOP then FH because HOP is smaller. Small and beautiful, in this case! Thumbsup

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Posts: 1,515
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #18
21-01-2010 12:58 PM

Been here 30 years next summer, and I have to say, ever since I was old enough to understand location, I have always said I cant think of any area I would like to live more.

Convinience, not bad surroundings, central, crime really is not that bad, some lovely streets to live in.

People moan about late night sirens. To me, the close proximity is a relief, not a stress. Close to a mainline station. Good selection of shops. Central to most places you might like to go.

Some good people in the area, some wierd ones too (but harmless)

All in all, I love the area, and unless it was out of London, I cant think of anywhere else I would like to live.

PS im a realist and realise there is no such thing as perfection. I accept crime takes place, but given some other areas, some quite desirable ones, I think FH fairs well.

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Ex FH Pat

Posts: 112
Joined: Oct 2009
Post: #19
22-01-2010 03:03 PM

Belle - i would say it is one of the best places to live in London, I still have family there - if it was not for the fact that my children are in schools where i now live, i would be back like a shot

You move to FH or HOP as they are both fantastic places

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Posts: 378
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #20
22-01-2010 04:53 PM

The police were out and about last night with a group of Cadets handing out Smartwater to mark your possessions with.

I was told that crime in the area is down 30% from an already low basis. If you want to find out more then try or

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