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Where not to live south/south east London?

Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by smmudge, May 28, 2012.

  1. smmudge

    smmudge It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it

    I know this thread has been done like a million times before, it's just an outrage.

    Anyway, I'm hopefully looking to move back to London Proper some time in the near future and south london is uncharted territory for me. I only have a few conditions, in this order:
    -> cheap
    -> within cycling distance of New Cross/Gate (I can cycle about 5-7 miles in one go)
    -> 'safe'

    I don't care about interesting or nice or any of that, I just want somewhere I can afford to live alone, sleep well and happy to step outside when it's dark. I can't think of anywhere that could be that bad anyway, but like I say I don't know the area much at all. So places to avoid, but places to go for would also be welcome.
  2. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    These threads usually go well. :D

    I've only lived two places in SE London. Catford, which I found a bit boring and a bit too far from central to be 'London'; and Bermondsey, quite close to the river which I quite liked. But was lucky in that I was 'flat sitting' and so got cheap rent.
  3. colacubes

    colacubes Well-Known Member

    Brixton obv :D But in all seriousness prices have been pushed up here loads recently so it's not that cheap anymore. Also a pain in the arse to get to New Cross if you had to use public transport rather than a bike. In your boat I'd look Crystal Palace way. Nice area, reasonably cheap as a bit further out, plus you also have the Overground to New Cross if you get stuck without a bike at any point. There's also New Cross itself, which I've always liked when visiting friends, and the same goes for Deptford.
  4. craigxcraig

    craigxcraig Prefers 'cxc'

    Recently moved to Crofton Park (Brockley) and quite like it. Hilly Fields are lovely - theres good transport, trains from CP to London Bridge and you've also the new overland in Brockley.

    Couple of nice pubs and nice vibe about the place.

    theres a bus from CP to Brixton as well (think the P4 iirc.)
    ddraig and oryx like this.

    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    Croydon for the win obviously. Short painless train journey to new cross if you couldn't cycle one day. 15 mins to London Bridge or Victoria. Greenest London Borough, loads of parks. Cheap. Tram to ikea and Wimbledon.

    Personally I don't like new cross, Catford, and the Peckhams etc. Bermondsey was where I bought my first house, being so close to the southbank rent doesn't go all that far and a lot of it isn't really very nice.
  6. temper_tantrum

    temper_tantrum The beauty of the ride

    Brockley. Obviously.
    danski and oryx like this.
  7. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    Yeah, parts of Bermondsey are a shithole and parts aren't; much like most parts of London. Being close to the Southbank, Borough Market and some alright boozers are a plus point though.
  8. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat lumpen proletaricat

    There was a Catford thread not that long ago

    Good things -

    Relatively cheap (by London standards)

    Lots of trains (two stations, so even if one line is having problems, chances are the other will still be functioning)

    Less 'clone town' than many places (Catford is free of Costa, Starbucks and the like)

    Broadway Theatre

    fairly big library in town centre

    And of course it has the Catford Cat.

    If the bike's out of action, there's fairly frequent buses to the New Cross region - 172 via Brockley or 136 via Lewisham

    Possible downsides -

    shops are not very 'up market' - may or may not be an issue for you, but there's lots more shops a short distance / one bus away at Lewisham or Bromley (loads of buses to Lewisham, several to Bromley)

    some residential areas (as discussed on previous thread) are pub-less, due to teetotal puritan type developer.

    no cinema in Lewisham borough any more

    not considered very trendy

    it's off the edge of the underground map which means some people think it doesn't exist and won't come to visit you

    traffic round catford town centre can be bloody awful.

    has a reputation for being 'rough' but don't think it's that bad.

    I haven't tried to ride a bike in the area since I was about 13, and that's longer ago than I would care to admit. Lewisham Cyclists website might be worth a look - I'd have thought that Lewisham Council would be the sort to encourage cycling by recommending cycle routes that might avoid some of the nastiest traffic bits, but I'm not qualified to comment.

    Brockley / Honor Oak Park / Forest Hill, or further out towards Lee / Bromley may be considered 'nicer' but more expensive.

    (perspective is that I grew up round there, and have been a fairly frequent visitor ever since)
  9. smmudge

    smmudge It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it

    Thanks for the suggestions guys. There's too many place names around London, I find it a bit unnecessary if I'm honest.

    For me 'London' is anywhere in zones 1-6!

    Is that Brockley to live obviously or not to live? Shouldn't have made my thread title so confusing :facepalm:
  10. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    Well yeah. I meant didn't 'feel' like London. It was actually the first place I lived and was keen to be where everything was happening back then, not a tube ride followed by waiting for a train or a bus. Of course, nowadays I don't care about that but it isn't close to a tube which puts it back on my shit list.
  11. twistedAM

    twistedAM Left Of The Dial

    Central Crystal Palace (or in estate agent speak, "The Triangle") is expensive enough. Down at the bottom of the hill is cheaper e.g. Anerley, Penge.
  12. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    i would get familiar with the rail map. overland is just as good as tubes, and places tend to be cheaper.

    to live somewhere with lots happening, I think you want to live no further out than zone three.

    New cross itself isn't very pretty, but there's a huge student population which keeps things like bars etc busy. deptford is even less glam, but cheaper. quite a burgeoning arts scene and it's very close to all the good things in greenwich.

    further afield, peckham remains cheap for the area - super busy with some trendiness but mostly little gentrification. nunhead/honour oak/forest hill are quieter and more residential. nice enough. of the dulwiches, west dulwich is still relatively affordable, though somewhat lacking a centre. There is still some affordable accomodation in east dulwich, and it's a good choice if you want 'young-professional-friendly' bars etc. Not edgy enough to be hipster, it's nonetheless quite white and middleclass.

    We live in herne hill which is lovely, peaceful and has a genteel little centre of great restaurants etc, just a hop and skip from brixton. Neither are cheap, but herne hill is much cheaper and less hectic. Denmark hill (bit sleepy)/ camberwell (wide awake) are also good choices, for the money - great positioning, facilities, price. Loughborough junction is a bit bleak, imo.

    Tulse hill is worth a look, as is west norwood (but further south than the station can feel a bit cut off). Streatham is cheap, and there's a reason for that. a lot of people feel very strongly about it being bleak and depressing. have a wander down the high road and see for yourself. Crystal palace is a great option - lots going on there in its own right. Direct bus into brixton, running at all hours. Very hilly, though - which might be a factor for cycling. (All of south east london is hilly, btw - it's just that crystal palace seems to take liberties.)

    To the east, Brockley is relatively quiet but i'm told beginning to find some energy, with stuff going on. Catford is absolutely no frills or gentrification, but completely fine - if a bit quiet and remote from the fun stuff.
    danski likes this.
  13. Dan U

    Dan U Boompty

    mate of mine has just bought a house in Honor Oak Park. Seems to really like the area and from what i've seen its alrite.

    There is either an Overground Train or a Southern Train every 10 mins or less it seems to Overground destinations (via New Cross Gate) or London Bridger (often stopping at New Cross Gate). No idea how long the commute would be on a bike but its only 2 train stops.
    ddraig and oryx like this.

    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    Borough Market is a bunch of overpriced arse these days. In general you are paying a rather high price for living in a shit hole or a really really high price for living in a nice bit. The OP wanted somewhere cheap.
  15. tommers

    tommers Yourdisco needs you

    Crystal palace. Hills are good.
  16. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    To be honest, I don't think it matters too much where you live if it has shops and transport links that suit. If you're friendly and nice to people, they're usually friendly and nice right back. The best way to be 'safe' in any area is to know the people, know your way about and move about confidently.
    danski and porno thieving gypsy like this.
  17. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    but cheap is a completely relative term. as is shithole.

    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    How about relative to London?

    High prices = Overpriced for what it is. Relative to London.
    Shithole is harder. I guess some people from LA mansions might think my suburban house isn't all that, but they wouldn't call it a shit hole.

    I don't live in an LA mansion but there are some areas of london that I call shitholes.
  19. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    but while i might not use the word shithole, i def wouldn't want to live in croydon, among other places. but you really like it there, and probably would hate to live some places that i really like.

    and priced relative to london is a big and complicated thing. relative to other places in the same geographical area? relative to other places with similar transport links? relative to other places of a similar size? relative to other places with similar facilities/nightlife/good schools? relative to a person's level of disposable income?

    Sometimes when people say they're looking for somewhere cheap, they don't automatically mean the cheapest place possible with no other qualifying filters applied. We're buying a house and we were looking for somewhere cheap, but that didn't mean we bought the cheapest property inside the m25.
  20. smmudge

    smmudge It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it

    For me it's just cheap though :D Don't care about nightlife or amenities apart from somewhere to buy rice and whisky, and transport anywhere in London will still be better than anywhere else I've lived. (I have high aspirations.) Still, it sounds like South London is just an ace place to live generally. Except I don't really want to live in Croydon. Plus it's like 10 miles from Croydon to New Cross, with hills?! No thanks!
  21. temper_tantrum

    temper_tantrum The beauty of the ride

    Maybe you could give a bit more detail of what you're looking for? House share or flat of your own? Preferences: nightlife, pubs, transport, posh shops (delis etc), trendy y/n, quiet and leafy or gritty Tarmac jungle, etc etc.
  22. smmudge

    smmudge It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it

    Oops did I sound sarky? I was being sincere :D I'm pleased that just about everywhere has more good points and the only real bad points are 'too expensive', 'bit boring', 'no pubs' or whatever. I just don't want to get mugged :oops:

    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    Ten miles?? Really? It's 8 minutes on the train. I used to cycle to central London and that was only 9 or 10 miles but 15 - 20 minutes by train.

    I wonder why everyone hates croydon. I mean I know why I didn't want to live there (before I did), but that was basically because I hadn't been there, and then when I did go there I went to the wrong places. I live on a lovely tree lined suburban street 10 minutes walk from the station. Loads of nice parks. Of course there are 'really' shit bits of Croydon, just like anywhere else, but it's a really big place and they are a long way away from me.

    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    Well I have been mugged in Clapham and that's supposed to be poshy posh. In fact my friend who lives in a very nice part of Clapaham was mugged just the other day too.
  25. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat lumpen proletaricat

    *is really tempted to raise the "is Croydon really in London" question*

  26. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    for me, having lived in the borough of croydon, and taught in a couple of croydon schools, it has a very unpleasant feeling of suburban small-mindedness. the town centre is identikit chainstores and little else, and after dark becomes dominated by places like yates' wine lodge, tiger tiger etc. there are very few places i'd want to go out, including restaurants - and those that there are are quite a long way from each other.
  27. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    Was a long time since I lived there. Borough Market was quite good back then. And yeah, it cost more to get some stuff that wasn't available generally everywhere else, not sure that I was arguing it is a cheap place to do the weekly shop? Nicer parmesan than Tesco though. And more value for money, all things considered. Don't think Tesco even stocked spicy cider at that point. Window shopping is obviously better in Tesco. What's the deal here? :D
  28. EastEnder

    EastEnder Brixton Barnacle

    Have you been to London before?

    I think you might have to clarify your definition of "cheap" before you can expect realistic suggestions. The only truly cheap places to live are nowhere near London.
  29. smmudge

    smmudge It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it

    Alright, I mean cheap relative to London, not the rest of the country.
  30. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    rroom in a shared place? studio? 1 bed flat?

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