Eltham is a southeast London neighbourhood that has centuries' old buildings with stories to tell and peaceful open spaces to explore. It's also one of the capital's most affordable areas and is becoming increasingly popular for its period homes.
With neighbouring areas like Woolwich (with its Elizabeth Line) just three miles away, Eltham is also well connected. This makes it an intriguing area if you commute into the centre but want to keep costs down.
But what's it really like living in Eltham? In this London guide, we're visiting the southeast London neighbourhood to the homes, travel connections and what there is to see and do.
On a map
Eltham is located in southeast London and has an SE9 and SE12 postcode. It falls under the Royal Borough of Greenwich and neighbours Woolwich, Hither Green, Greenwich and Mottingham.
History of Eltham
Eltham's close location to the English Channel and the ports of Kent meant that it was an area of interest to the royals. This led to Eltham Palace becoming a place of significance for The Royal Family, especially between the 14th and 16th centuries.
It was also the location where King Henry VIII grew up and was often frequented by the kings of England. Away from the palace, Eltham remained rural until the early 20th century, when the railway station brought more access to the area.
During the First World War, it became home to many of the wartime workers at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich. Eltham continued to grow throughout the 1900s, with a number of buildings replacing the acres of woodland.
Who lives there?
Eltham has a population of just over 35,000 and a median age of 38. It's one of the few places in London where there are more owner-occupiers, though there's a still a significant number of renters at 47 per cent.
Renting in Eltham
There is a selection of period homes to choose from in Eltham, many of which remain as houses. Eltham Park has plenty of Victorian and Edwardian homes, while properties from the Thirties and cottages can be found dotted around the neighbourhood.
New builds are also available, with several options springing up around the area. Waterford Place features 135 new homes and is from Linden Homes, while nearby Kidbrooke features Kidbrooke Village from Berkeley.
Expect to pay around £1,000 per month for a one-bedroom home, with a two-bedroom apartment costing in the region of £1,300 per month. Properties with three-or-more bedrooms start from £1,450 per month.
You will find plenty of travel connections in Eltham, thanks to the four train stations that serve the area. Eltham, Falconwood, Mottingham and New Eltham all have trains to Charing Cross, with some stopping at Waterloo and Cannon Street. Eltham is in Zone 4.
Eateries in Eltham
Legends American Grill & Bar
A favourite spot in Eltham, Legends American Grill and Bar offers tasty burgers, ribs and BBQ treats, as well as top-notch cocktails and friendly and warm welcoming staff.
Thai Thai Restaurant
Get a taste of authentic Thai food at Thai Thai Restaurant, a hotspot in Eltham that serves up a treat or two. Spices and ingredients come from diverse areas of Thailand, offering restaurant-goers a varied menu with traditional delights and creative dishes.
With a strong emphasis on Turkish dishes, Rox has a mouthwatering menu of Ottoman cuisine. It's also a popular local bar and clubs, so you can shake a leg after enjoying a scrumptious meal.
Things to do in Eltham
The Bob Hope Theatre
A local community theatre, The Bob Hope Theatre is named after the famous actor and runs lots of local productions. It has been a staple of Eltham since it first opened in 1943.
Eltham is surrounded by open spaces, with plenty of green areas to visit. One of those is Eltham Common, a large green area that's ideal for enjoying a peaceful wander away from the hustle and bustle.
Eltham Escape rooms
If you fancy yourself as an escape artist, then you can try your wits at Eltham Escape Rooms in St. Mary's Place. Choose from a range of games from Nightmare on Ripper Street to The Temple of the Lost Spirit.
Moving to Eltham
There's plenty going on Eltham, including a strong neighbourhood community and peaceful open spaces. That it's one of London's most affordable areas is the icing on the cake for a postcode that offers a little bit of everything.