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Best places to live in South London

17 March 2014 Carly Klineberg Read time: 4 min
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Carly Klineberg

South London, or South of the Thames, is often seen as the more picturesque part of London and has more areas where you can “forget” you’re in the city.

In this blog we’re looking at the best places to live in South London, offering a balanced opinion from the most affordable places we could find to fancy flats and tarty terraces!



Image credit: Richard Pope Image credit: Richard Pope


Brixton is one of the coolest places to live in South London, and there's always something going on. The area has managed to get a bit of a facelift without conforming to art school kid hang out parody, thus preserving slightly cheaper rental prices and it's original unique atmosphere.

Everyone from professionals to families live in the area. There are loads of things to do (not to mention the great value Ritzy Cinema), and it's definitely got its own strong community spirit. It's busy, a little bit grimy in some places, but that's one of the reasons people can afford to live there. It's on the Victoria line, too, so there are good connections to central and North London

£780 is the cheapest room in a 2 bedroom flat and £800 the cheapest for a studio flat.

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Crystal Palace


Image credit: Berit Watkin Image credit: Berit Watkin


Crystal Palace has received an influx of young professionals and families in recent years. Why? Well, the town, within the London Boroughs of Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham has enjoyed a recent regeneration scheme. The growth of younger professionals moving to the area has seen better transport links to the city and, adding young families to the mix, many popular restaurant chains, great shops and cafes have all opened in recent years.

Popular visitor attractions include Crystal Palace Park (benefitting directly from the regeneration) and the National Sports Centre that includes a fifty metre pool, gym and classes.

Property in the area is mostly Victorian. Two bedroom properties range from £1000 - £1700 pcm.

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Image credit: Herry Lawford Image credit: Herry Lawford


Clapham is one of London’s most loved areas and is within the London Borough of the same name. The vibrant high street and 200+ acre park are just two of the many positives in the area. This is a popular enclave of London and is a great investment thanks to a recent regeneration plan.

Victorian style buildings are commonplace with many of these buildings divided into flats. Some are still available as full houses and include large gardens. There are also one or two areas with Georgian property.

Prices for two bedroom properties range from £1250 - £5300 pcm.

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Image credit: Scott Wylie Image credit: Scott Wylie


Battersea is close to Chelsea and sits at the south bank of the River Thames in Wandsworth which is zone 2 of the London Underground. It's under three miles from Charing Cross, and if you’re a fan of parks and open spaces then just south of Marble Arch is Battersea Park, which delivers on this level big time; with a variety of activities, wildlife, gardens and history.

So if you need to commute and love the outdoors and nature, look up Battersea; where you can find studio flats from around £1000 pcm.

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Looking for more ideas? Check out the ultimate guide to the best places to live in London!


Forest Hill


Image credit: Jim Linwood Image credit: Jim Linwood


After a decade-spanning inner-city regeneration plan succeeding, attentions are being switched to developing suburbs for commuters. One area benefiting from this is Forest Hill, an area already on the rise.

Forest Hill is in the borough of Lewisham and is a thirty minute overground journey from Charing Cross and has connections to the DLR. The area boasts primary and secondary schools performing to a high Ofsted standard and is affordable.

Small one bed roomed flats and studios weigh in at £700 pcm and beautifully presented modern flats and terraced houses will cost you around £800 pcm (based on one bedroom in a two room property).

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West Norwood


Image credit: Berit Watkin Image credit: Berit Watkin


West Norwood is located in the borough of Lambeth and links up to central London pretty well, with train journeys between twenty and thirty minutes. It also sits five-and-a-half miles from Charing Cross.

You’ll find Edwardian terraced and semi-detached properties in abundance with many of them developed into ground and first floor flats. There’s some high-level performing primary schools in the area, while secondary schools take a dip in performance but remain satisfactory.

Small flats and studios can be found from around £700 onwards; not bad at all for an area on the rise.

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Image credit: MIke Knell Image credit: Mike Knell


Don't forget Deptford, South London’s answer to Shoreditch/Camden. If you prefer the alternative, cultural lifestyle and want to move to the city but find areas in and around Shoreditch too pricey, then you may find yourself more affordable property here. A lot of Goldsmiths students live in the local area (it's close to the university), which means there is the a cool, young bohemian vibe.

Great transport links to the DLR and overground get you into central London in under 10 minutes, and it's also short walking distance from New Cross and New Cross Gate overground stations, which can take you directly to Shoreditch and Dalston.

Local pub the Royal Albert is a great place for a pint and Sunday roast (and is in our unknown pub guide!), whilst close neighbours Greenwich and New Cross have great pubs and restaurants too.

Small yet presentable flats start at £700 pcm and plusher, luxurious one and two bedroom flats begin at £975 pcm.

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Image credit: Ewan Munro Image credit: Ewan Munro


Peckham is an amazing place these days but perhaps a place that people outside of London don't realise since they only associate it with TV Gold Only Fools and Horses. Well, there's more to Peckham than that!

Peckham has been to benefiting from its surrounding young and trendy areas, with the cosmopolitan feel of places like Shoreditch moving out to Peckham. Young, trendy people are relocating here along with young families. 

Property prices range from £1275 - £3033 pcm.

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Image credit: Anthony Spratt Image credit: Anthony Spratt


If you're on a bit more of a budget, Croydon is a little further south at just over 9 miles away from Charing Cross. The fast train can be caught to London Victoria and it takes just thirteen minutes making it another smart choice for a commuter.

It also has “Croydon Vision 2020” in its favour; a £3.5 billion redevelopment plan which will see the whole borough of Croydon flourish. In fact, Croydon's become so hip, some people are even referring to it as 'The Cronx' as it resembles, you guessed it, The Bronx. 

Modern studio and one bed roomed flats begin at around 700 pcm.

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Herne Hill
Herne Hill pub and restaurant


Before Peckham became the new Shoreditch, Herne Hill was already doing a fine job of offering south Londoners a taste of funky, gritty and alternative all wrapped up in the same place.<p?

Does that mean Peckham's the new Herne Hill? We're not sure, but we do know that cool bars, an eclectic mix of restaurants and the massive Brockwell Park can be found in the SE24 postcode.

Rents have been steadily rising in Herne Hill for a while, and you can expect to pay between £1300 and £2000 for a two-bedroom property.

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