The London Borough of Lewisham
“Lewisham is still one of the most affordable areas to buy and rent in the capital, making it’s varied neighbourhoods a hotspot for young professionals and students”
Moving to Lewisham
Wedged between Southwark and Greenwich in South East London, the London Borough of Lewisham is often ignored in favour of these more famous neighbours, both of whom boast the historic sites and riverside expanses that Lewisham lacks. But look a little closer, and you’ll find that Lewisham has plenty of charms – particularly when it comes to supporting young, creative communities, or providing space for families to grow.
Despite sitting comfortably in Zone 2 and touching the river Thames in the north, the Lewisham is still one of the most affordable areas to buy and rent in the capital, making it’s varied neighbourhoods a hotspot for young professionals and students. Home to Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross is a hub of activity with independent bars, small galleries, and quirky cafes catering to the student population, whilst in nearby Brockley street food rules the scene with the Street Feast Model Market serving up an array of different dishes from cult traders on the weekends. Deptford, on the other hand, is being touted as the ‘new Peckham’ for those seeking the next cool nightlife neighbourhood, while in contrast Sydenham is where the borough’s families go to find terraced housing and greener pastures.
House prices in Lewisham
As well as a large communities of renters, Lewisham is becoming increasingly popular with those looking to buy – with an average property price of £450,000, the borough is significantly cheaper than the London average, and among the top 10 most affordable boroughs in London. Properties are varied throughout the borough, with plenty of Victorian and Georgian family homes in the more affluent Forest Hill Blackheath, and more affordable apartments and modern properties in Deptford and Catford.
“In Brockley street food rules the scene with the Street Feast Model Market serving up an array of different dishes from cult traders on the weekends”
Aside from two DLR stations on the north-eastern border of the borough at Deptford Bridge and Elverson Road, the borough is served by National Rail and Overground links alone, with no access to the Underground. This makes commuting more complicated for some residents depending on their destination, though with both Thameslink and Southeastern routes supported trips to locations such as London Cannon Street and London Bridge can take less than 20 minutes. For drivers, meanwhile, the A20 and South Circular both pass through the borough.
Restaurants in Lewisham
The best dining scenes in Lewisham can be found in New Cross, Brockley and Deptford, where new restaurants and trendy bars are springing up on a regular basis as young professionals descend on the borough in droves. Highlights include The Gantry on Brockley Road, Birdie Num Nums Cafe on Lewisham Way and PHO Hanoi on Deptford High Street, while for fans of street food Model Market from Street Feast is a must-visit on Friday and Saturday evenings with mouthwatering dishes from traders such as Yum Bun, Mother Clucker and Ink.
Major supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Asda can all be found throughout the borough, as well as low-cost options such as Aldi and Iceland. For international cooking, Lewisham also has a good selection of supermarkets selling Asian and Middle Eastern produce including FLK Chinese Groceries, Sathyam Supermarket and Turkish Food Centre.
Health and sport
Large gyms aren’t abundant in Lewisham, with most areas served instead by small studios and council-run services such as Glass Mill Leisure Centre, Forest Hill Pools, and Bellingham Leisure and Lifestyle Centre rather than the large fitness chains that usually dominate.
Lewisham boasts the internationally renowned Horniman Museum. Close to Forest Hill station, this Grade II listed building and grounds feature an aquarium, stunning gardens, and a music gallery, as well as offering workshops and classes for young children to nourish their minds with tales of natural history and get them involved in small animal encounters.
Other key cultural sites in the borough include the Broadway Theatre in Catford, and a number of popular local cinemas such as Deptford Cinema, the Thinking Cinema, the Vortex Cinema Club, and Curzon Goldsmiths. There are also lots of independent galleries and up-and-coming exhibitions to be found in New Cross, as a result of the largely creative residents.
“Goldsmith’s, University of London is also a notable landmark in the northern student region of New Cross, near to the Lewisham Arthouse. It regularly ranks among the top 50 universities in the UK”
Schools and education
For younger children, St James’s Hatcham CofE Primary School, Turnham Primary School and Holy Cross Roman Catholic Primary School are among the best primary schools in the borough with over 100% of pupils achieving expected levels in English and Maths, while the best secondary schools in Lewisham include Pendergast-Hilly Fields College, Addey and Stanhope School and Bonus Pastor Catholic College. There are also some excellent independent options, such as St Dunstan’s College and Sydenham High School GDST.
For further education, Goldsmith’s, University of London is also a notable landmark in the northern student region of New Cross, near to the Lewisham Arthouse. It regularly ranks among the top 50 universities in the UK, and notable alumni includes artist Damien Hirst.
Crime rates in the London Borough of Lewisham are around 93 crimes per 1000 people, similar to the London average. Anti-knife crime operations have caused knife crime to drop year-on-year.
Although the borough of Lewisham has 15% less greenery than the London average, there are still a selection of fantastic parks and green spaces to be found here, a number of which have received Green Flag Awards. Beckenham Place Park is the largest in the borough, with a generous 237 acres offering sports facilities, a sensory garden, a cafe, and ancient woodlands. Lewisham is also home to the Waterlink Way, a dedicated cycle path and walking route from South Norwood Country Park to Greenwich, which allows walkers and cyclists to pass through some of the area’s finest green spaces.
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