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Move to HOP?
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Posts: 10
Joined: Mar 2012
Post: #1
13-03-2012 10:46 PM

Hi everyone,

My husband and I currently live in East Dulwich and are contemplating a move down to Honor Oak Park. As with many other people, we wanted somewhere close by, with good transport links, where we could afford a house. We are considering an offer on a house in the Gabriel St/Ackroyd Road area. I'm now nervous about moving and looking to anyone for inside information and advice on HOP - and reassurance that this is the sensible decision. I have scoured this forum and found relevant advice - and just had a few more specific questions.

When we walked around HOP last weekend, it seemed very quiet, with few people about. Hopscotch was really nice (good sandwiches!) and the deli had some good (if expensive) options. We had a nice walk around the Blythe Hill area (and saw the spectacular views). We walked to the Kings College sports ground and watched a little of the rugby game that was on. I'm just wondering if we missed anything - like are there any good pubs in the area apart from the Honor Oak on German Street? Are there any restaurants or shops around apart from on the Parade/Babur/Le Querce? Are there any big supermarkets close by (I've read the threads on Sainburys opening on the parade, so I'm presuming not)? Or are these all things that can be accessed easily with local transport included the ELL and the 185 to ED? Would you recommend a wander towards Crofton Park for any of these over the weekends?

We're also looking to be in an area with good schools and good child care - if our offer were accepted we would be very close to the Ackroyd Community Centre and also within the Stillness School catchment (within 0.3 miles) so the Infant and Junior School would hopefully be an option for us. I think the nearest playground would be the one on Blythe Hill (unless there's one hidden somewhere else?). Are there pros/cons about having young kids in the area? There don't seem to be quite as many kids around as in ED, but maybe this is deceptive.

Finally - is it safe at night, especially when walking back from the station towards Brockley Rise? It seems very safe during the day, but we have yet to wander there at night.

I would gratefully accept any advice, thoughts, encouragement, discouragement, responses from anyone. We've had a lot of change in our lives over the last year and I look to the kindness of strangers to help us in our decision to move to HOP.

On an aside - have there been any discussions about putting another pedestrian crossing on Brockley Rise? There doesn't seem to be one between about the Honor Oak pub and the junction with Honor Oak Park which makes it a bit of a scamper across to go up to Blythe Hill!

Thank you so much in advance!

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Posts: 273
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #2
13-03-2012 10:55 PM

if you are meat eaters I recommend Peter James butcher at Crofton Park, also there is a little co-op and a Budgens there. I usually go to Sainsburys at New Cross Gate on the way home to HOP - it is quite large and has a meat and fish counter. Lewisham market on Saturday is great for fruit and veg, and there's an excellent Italian deli there near Santander. There is also a food market in the car park at Lewisham College Saturdays 1000-1400. If you are after a gym the one at St Dunstan's school is reasonably priced although only open out of school hours.

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Posts: 187
Joined: May 2010
Post: #3
14-03-2012 09:54 AM

The area in Hop where you are looking is an excellent choice. 5 mins from the station, quiet and with easy access to the town's amenities. As well as The Honor Oak I regularly enjoy a pint in the Try Tapas restaurant, the left hand side of which is a bar in the evenings with a good atmosphere. Hop scotch is also now open 4 evenings a week with a good wine and beer selection and regular live music. If cocktails are your thing then the Stone Bar is really excellent. Less than a ten minute stroll away you have the Mr Lawrence wine bar which has one of the best selections of good wine in South London. There's also the Brockley Jack pub opposite to keep things varied. I moved to Hop from Brick Lane (and formerly Twickenham) so found a good selection of evening entertainment essential to our prospective area. Hop and the surrounding areas (forest hill, crofton park) means we have more than enough without relying on anything other than foot power. Indeed from your intended location you can wind up back in ED in about 25 minutes if you stroll via Forest Hill road towards Peckham Rye park and then up Barry road.

Safety wise neither my partner or I have ever felt unsafe or threatened in hop, particularly on the daily walk back from the station after work via the back roads to the area you are considering. Schools in the area are excellent.

Crossing brockley rise is going to be a walk down to the junction with Honor Oak Park and over. It is a shame there is no zebra crossing but there is a safe central reservation if you spot a break in the traffic.

If you have geeky undertones the arrival of ftth 100mbps broadband to Akroyd road is another draw.

All in all I cod not be happier with the choice we made. It caters for our every need (except perhaps fresh fruit close by - set to change as you state) and the good night life and three exceptional restaurants near by make the pocket you are considering particularly nice. Do it, you will not regret it!

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Posts: 204
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #4
14-03-2012 10:23 AM

We also moved for an affordable house and good schools. At first HOP felt a bit quiet compared to other areas but now I love it for that. There's a real community feel, lots of young families and green space - and yes, plenty of children hiding, so take a look at just before 9am or just after 3.30pm and you'll see the crowds to and from Stillness, Dalmain and Fairlawn! I'm very happy my children live in this area - our street is safe and friendly and there are plenty of activities going on. You might need to seek them out a bit more than ED, though.
Places that haven't been mentioned for you to try...
One Tree Hill (great views, great for blackberrying, sledging and summer picnics) and the Honor Oak Sports Ground, known as the Rec (take the turning next to the allotments and keep going - you'll find a little playground and a big sports' field).
Devonshire Road Nature Reserve is open on the last Sunday of every month and also has lots of special activities for children throughout the year.
Decent pubs are a bit lacking - but hoping that will change with the Old Bank!
Good luck with your decision. I'm sure you won't be disappointed!

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Posts: 21
Joined: Sep 2011
Post: #5
14-03-2012 10:40 AM

I moved here from East Dulwich last year with my family, and so far, everything has been great. HOP has a better sense of community than ED. I think that's down to the fact there are more family homes and fewer rented flats. We've met a number of neighbours since being here and everyone has been very friendly and welcoming.
The transport options are better than ED. You've got the overground, rail straight to London Bridge and Victoria, and a different line at Crofton Park that will take you straight to Farringdon and Kings Cross.
And really don't worry too much about leaving ED. I still go there all the time. It's a 5 minute bike ride. Good luck with the move.

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Posts: 358
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #6
14-03-2012 01:02 PM

Hi, I've walked to Gabriel Street/Ackroyd Road from the station for the last few years and have never had any problems, also fairly late at night. Moved from NW3 to SE and liked it so much that I've just moved to a larger place a few streets away. A lot of people usually still get off both the trains and overground at night, even on the last train just before 1am, and pour into the surrounding streets. It's a safe and quiet area.

The restaurants and shops you mentioned are all very useful, in addition, there are Jam Circus (restaurant/bar, sometimes have live Jazz), Mr. Lawrences Wine Bar (lovely, as mentioned before) and the Brockley Jack (Pub, surprisingly nice food these days). Plus a good selection of restaurants and cafes in Forest Hill, all of which can easily be walked to from Gabriel Street. And hopefully, the Old Bank will re-open soon!

Shops - my personal favourite would be Jay's Budgens in Crofton Park - they management there is always friendly and helpful.

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Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #7
14-03-2012 01:07 PM

Hi Devsdev
There is a Sainsbury's on london Road in nearby Forest Hill.

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Posts: 30
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #8
14-03-2012 01:09 PM

We were nervous too when moving from East Dulwich after living there for 7 years. Same reason as you, a house instead of a flat. Schools and transport also a big improvement.

It has been almost 2 years, and we haven't looked back. We know all our neighbours and regularly chat over the fences. Maybe it is something about more home owners than renters, but the atmosphere is much more friendly and chatty.

Hopefully we can get a pub at the old bank, and somewhere that sells meat within walking distance.

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Posts: 10
Joined: Mar 2012
Post: #9
14-03-2012 04:15 PM

Thank you all so much! The positive responses have been really great and confirm that we're making the right decision. We'll be back to have a wander around the area on Saturday - I think go up One Tree Hill and go down towards Crofton Park. And fingers crossed we'll be HOP residents soon.

Thank you again - glad to have found the SE23 Forum!

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