inequality london

When someone says they’re moving to South London, they invariably mean Clapham – or Balham, at a push. But with house prices in these areas spiralling out of control, its time to look a little further afar – luckily, South London still has plenty of charming areas which are just as nice, and better value for money.

Sydenham Hill

Dulwich College, near Sydenham Hill

As close as you can get to Dulwich, without actually being in it (and paying Dulwich prices). Sydenham Hill is just a short stroll from picturesque Dulwich College and the world’s first purpose-built art gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery. There’s plenty of green space, good schools and an excellent choice of housing.

How to get there:
Trains go every 15 minutes from Sydenham Hill station to both London Bridge and London Victoria.

Gipsy Hill
View from the top of Gipsy Hill

Another great location around the same area – Gipsy Hill is blessed a view of the London skyline that would rival Primrose Hill. There are several great pubs, including The Paxton and the Rosendale, both with large beer gardens and Sunday lunches. If you’re a fan of beer, the area also plays host to two independent brewing companies – the Gipsy Hill Brewing Co and the London Beer Factory – both of which hold regular tastings and parties at the weekends. In a short (but hard!) walk up Gipsy Hill are the amenities of Crystal Palace, including the famous Crystal Palace park.

How to get there:
Trains go every 15 minutes from Gipsy Hill station to both London Bridge and London Victoria.

Tooting Bec common

Almost Balham, but not quite. Tooting is well-located near several Northern line stations for ease of access, and has long been overlooked – but not any more. For foodie lovers, it is well known for its many South Indian restaurants, such as Dosa n Chutney, and the hipster hangout Chicken Shop. Houses are mainly Victorian and Edwardian, with Tooting Bec common providing a great open space for families and runners.

How to get there:
Grab the Northern line and get to Central London in 24 minutes.

Herne Hill
The Florence pub, Herne Hill
The Florence pub, Herne Hill

Nestled perfectly between upmarket Dulwich and edgy Brixton, Herne Hill is a pocket of London worth discovering. It boasts several great pubs such as The Florence and Hootananny (for those that want to carry on into the night.) It is right on the edge of Brockwell Park, which has a lido for the summer, and a short walk from Brixton, with its generous choice of restaurants, pubs and bars.

How to get there:
Trains from Herne Hill Station go to London Victoria in 20 minutes, as well as links to Luton and Sutton.



Part London, part countryside – this sought-after location has it all. A panoramic view over Greenwich and Wharf, but with plenty of open space and a village feel. Every year it hosts a music festival, OnBlackheath, as well as being the start of the London Marathon every April. House prices are a little steeper here – it attracts families looking for a quieter place to settle down, and you can see why.

How to get there:
Trains from Blackheath station go into Charing Cross and Cannon Street, as well as Dartford and Slade Green.

Miranda Wadham on 26/04/2016
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