Southeast London has become a hotbed for renting over the years, thanks to its affordable rents in comparison to other places in the capital and the always-improving travel connections. But where's the next hotspot in Saaf London? Why it can only be Penge.
Fast commutes into central London, lower rents and a strong community vibe all give Penge the upper hand when it comes to finding somewhere to live.
But what's it really like living in Penge? In this London guide, we're getting cosy with the SE20 postcode, discovering everything from its history to the fun things to see and do.
On a map
Penge is located in south-east London and falls under the London Borough of Bromley. Neighbouring areas include Crystal Palace, Beckenham and Bromley. Penge is located around seven miles from Charing Cross.
Historians believe the name Penge comes from the Celtic word Penceat, meaning 'edge of wood' and refers to the surrounding areas that were once covered in a dense forest.
Before the arrival of the railways, Penge had very few residents and mostly comprised a large green area. Then, in the 1800s, the area expanded as travel links offered better connections to the rest of London.
During the Victorian era, Penge was known as a sought-after suburb, thanks to its excellent travel connections to Victoria. That same railway line remains to this day.
Who lives there?
Penge is a relatively small neighbourhood with a population of around 20,000. The median age is 36, and around 58% of residents rent their home in the SE20 postcode.
Renting in Penge
Penge is primarily made up of apartments for rent, most of which come in one, two and three-bedroom options. The majority of these are either in purpose-built buildings or converted period homes from the Victorian era.
Expect to pay around £1,000 per month for a one-bedroom home in Penge. A two-bedroom apartment rents for about £1,250 per month, and a three-bedroom house achieves in the region of £1,700 per month.
Penge East and Kent House stations offer direct services to Victoria in less than 20 minutes and St Pancras in around 35 minutes. Penge West has trains to London Bridge and Victoria, while the Overground Line serves Canada Water. From here, you can hop on the Jubilee Line and arrive at Canary Wharf in less than two minutes. Penge is located in travel Zone 4.
Creperie Chez Yves
Head to this French bistro to sample a range of delicious bites from France. From canard confit to beef bourguignon, you'll feel like you're dining in a little French village at Creperie Chez Yves.
Sicilian Art Pizzeria
Enjoy a taste of Italy at Sicilian Art Pizzeria, an Italian pizzeria in the heart of Penge. First opened in 2015, Sicilian Art Pizzeria uses only the finest Sicilian ingredients for its tasty pizzas.
Blue Belle Cafe
Stop by Blue Belle Cafe for breakfast or brunch and sip back on a hot brew while enjoying top-notch grub. Choose from a range of cakes, coffees and snacks, plus an extensive sandwich menu that includes favourites like chorizo, tomato chilli relish, cheddar and spinach.
Things to do in Penge
Penge high street
Penge high street has a charming town square filled with independent shops and cafes. Spend a few hours browsing while taking in the local area.
Crystal Palace park
You will find Crystal Palace Park just a stone's throw away from Penge. This unique open space has pretty much everything from mazes to ruins and even dinosaurs!
Alexandra Nurseries is an independent garden centre with a vintage home and garden shop where you can find items for your new Penge home. There's also a popular cafe in case you fancy a cuppa.
Moving to Penge
With great travel links and a strong local community, it's easy to see why Penge is in such high demand with renters. Add-in affordable rents and an excellent position in southeast London, and Penge makes a strong case for one of the best neighbourhoods in this part of the capital.