Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

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Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby Poppygirl » 11 May 2011 15:30

Hi everyone :)

I’m new to this forum and was hoping to get some advice please! Myself and my boyfriend are thinking of moving to the area, he works in Canary Wharf and we currently live in West London so need to be closer as the commute is too long for him.

Please can you give me an honest opinion of what Sydenham is like to live in? I live close to area’s like Twickenham which are pretty and green and leafy but very expensive! An estate agent I called up today about a property within the Thorpe Conservation Area has pretty much put me off living in Sydenham saying it’s not a nice area to live in! I find that shocking actually! Ha ha! So I thought I would ask the good people of Sydenham what they think of it?

I live all the way in Ealing, so it’s not the easiest of commutes over to see an area, so I promise I’m not being lazy!

We are in our late 20’s so like to go out for drinks, eat out etc nothing too crazy but would be nice if we had somewhere locally to go too.

So...what’s great about Sydenham and why should I come and live here :D

Thank you to anyone who replies :)
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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby jotbot » 11 May 2011 16:12

Hello Poppygirl,

What a stupid estate agent! :roll:

We would love you and your partner to come and join us in our little patch of SE london. I have live here and work here, lots of green open spaces, practical shops and plenty of hidden treasures, arts festivals, music festivals galore.

Good luck with your house hunting.

:D
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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby marymck » 11 May 2011 16:20

An estate agent said that?! That's awful ... I think you should name and shame!

The Thorpes is really nice. Nice, chunky Victorian houses with well proportioned rooms. It's a conservation area just off the high street and a few minutes walk from Sydenham station. In addition to trains into London Bridge, Sydenham now has the East London Line, which is great. It connects up with many tube routes and the docklands light railway & you can be in central London in next to no time ... plus it's now an easy-ish run up to places like Islington and of course is absolutely brilliant for the city.

We're waiting for planned works to start that will improve the high street, but already have a few nice places to eat, especially (in my opinion) the Dolphin pub. We've got nice coffee shops, some restaurants and we've great hopes for the Greyhound pub, which is being rebuilt at the moment.

Sydenham is also an quick pop on the bus (or train, but then you have to walk up the hill at the other end) to Crystal Palace, which has masses of restaurants ... you'd be spoiled for choice there. In my opinion, Sydenham is a much nicer place to live than CP (I'll be shot down in flames from some quarters for saying this) because the traffic in CP is a nightmare and the air quality (once you're out of CP park and into the main shopping/restaurant triangle) is really bad.

I used to live in Ealing (Corringway) and worked in Villiers House (is that still there?) Sydenham is not yuppyish (as Ealing was in my day) but I think it's a more friendly place and somehow more "real".

I don't know what your budget is, but personally I really like the roads starting in "Lawrie" that lead to Crystal Palace Park. There was only one place for sale there when my husband and I were looking, but it would have been literally a stone's throw (even by my sissy standards)from the park, but we could never, ever get the estate agent to arrange for us to visit and I suspect the house was ring-fenced. (Agency name started with M and ended in n.) So we bought at the very top end of Kirkdale, just before the junction with Sydenham Hill. It's a stiffish walk up the hill, but the views are lovely and this part of Kirkdale is very quiet and green (also a conservation area) and not at all like the noisier, Sydenham end of Kirkdale. Great views and good air quality.

I was born in Sydenham, I've lived in many places, but I've chosen to come back here. I really like it and hope we can welcome you as neighbours. Good luck.
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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby Poppygirl » 11 May 2011 16:29

Awww that you so much for your replies :D II've been advised that there is a lower/upper sydenham divide and that the (Queensthorpe Road) is not in the better part of town. At the end of the day I want to live in a fairly safe neighbourhood and feel safe walking home from the station at night. How far is the walk from the upper parts of sydenham to the station approximatley?


I'll probably get in trouble if I name the estate agent, but he really has done a shocking job of selling the property to me and my partner! Never come across someone like that before! I thought an estate agent's job is to SELL HOUSES! Not put people off from buying them?!?! :?


Many thanks!! x
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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby jotbot » 11 May 2011 16:55

Hello Again

I live in the upper bit of Sydenham if you will but would be just as happy in the Thorpes they are the ohh la la roads due to the historic importance and the architect ted Christmas who built them have a google and you will see.

Where I am a 10 mins walk will get you to forest hill or Sydenham stations.

I am a child of the 80's and have not had any troubles, my sister also lived on Longton Grove and she too hasnt had any troubles to report.
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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby marymck » 11 May 2011 17:14

What's known as "lower" Sydenham is the area around Bell Green (where there is a big Sainsbury's supermarket), Home Park (we've got lots and lots of parks here ... check out Mayow Park and Wells Park also), the old Carnegie library and St Philip Neri church & school. It's true that "Lower" Sydenham has been more deprived than what's known as "upper Sydenham (i.e. the upper reaches of Kirkdale, the Longtons, etc. It is an improving area though and we who live in (both parts) of Sydenham don't really think of a divide.

I imagine it's Lower/Upper Sydenham purely because of the geography. Upper Sydenham (where I am) is at the top of the hill, central Sydenham (where the Thorpe estate & the station is) is at the bottom of the hill, and then the ground continues a very gentle slope down to "lower" Sydenham (i.e. around Home Park). You need to check this out on Google maps really ... that will also show you the amount of greenery there is here.

The Thorpe estate is one of the most upmarket and sought after bits of Sydenham. It would only take you five minutes to walk to Sydenham station from there. I don't think any part of the UK is really crime/mugging free, but Sydenham is no worse than a lot of London (and a heck of a lot better than most parts.)

Where I am (on top of the hill) I'm actually closer to Forest Hill station. It's fine walking there, as it's all downhill. But I find it a bit of a slog coming back (but then I've a lot of mileage on my biological clock) and if I've got shopping, or I'm tired I usually jump on the bus. We also have a night bus, by the way, from this part of Sydenham to Tottenham Court Road, which is really useful as it stops at the South Bank.
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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby marymck » 11 May 2011 17:15

Oh yes. And we could afford a house up here. We couldn't afford one of the Thorpes. I guess that says it all, really!
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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby Maria » 11 May 2011 17:54

I live in the Thorpes (my patner and I moved recently, when prices were at their lowest and those of where we left - Islington - at their highest, so we were lucky to afford it.

I cannot believe what you say about the estate agent... I have never come across such a beautiful group of streets packed full of edwardian houses with loads of character and space and light. And as for crime and noise and pollution - well, nothing to be compared with Islington which was 100 times worse.

The other day we had a visit from 2 fairly young actors from the Sydenham Arts Festival; one of them said - do you know, I have never ever found a place with such a strong community spirit as I find in Sydenham. Exactly. Please tell your Estate Agent that he is basically out of his mind.

By the way, in a year or 2 time they are going to close access to Queensthorpe Rd from Sydenham Rd - so it will become much, much quieter and safer

good luck! maria (PS: now that I know the area better I know lots of other streets and areas which I also love and would have been happy to live in - eg Kirkdale, near the wondrous Wells Park - just wonderful...
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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby Poppygirl » 11 May 2011 17:57

Thanks so much! The road the flat is on looks lovely, if the high street isn't that amazing that's ok I guess it's more the safety of the area that is important! I think we will go and view this property! That's if we can convince the stupid agent to let us! I will report back and let you know what we think! x

I

Will

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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby Billie » 11 May 2011 18:06

I moved to Sydenham from Highbury & Islington five years ago because I wanted to buy rather than rent. The change was fine for me - I love being in Sydenham. It is a great place to live and I'd really recommend it. I've really got to know my neighbours and shopkeepers are really chatty and friendly. There aren't loads of great places to eat/drink here and quality shops are few and far between, but it's improving. I'm 30 and work for a design agency in Shoreditch and spend most of my Fri/Sat nights at bars in that area or in Dalston/Hackney. It's really easy to travel to/from town now with the new East London Line. Also, I have a lots of friends who live in East Dulwich - the pubs/restaurants/shops in that area are really great. My friends had a one bed flat in Newington Green. They sold it and now have an amazing house in Forest Hill. They say they've never looked back and don't miss North London at all. I personally don't go to Crystal Palace often, but there some excellent pubs with late DJs and some really cool clothes/interiors shops.
Also, I live in The Thorpes - the Mayow Road end and I haven't got a clue why the estate agent would say all that stuff. The roads are really pretty, I feel totally safe and there is a strong sense of community. My neighbours are lovely and the guy next door even cuts my hedge for me! I found Islington to be very unfriendly as my neighbours tended to be renters who just came and went. People in Sydenham are here to make a home. I recommend you speak to some more estate agents as clearly that person doesn't know the area very well. I think the area is really changing too. The Greyhound is being taking over by a company that owns loads of cool pubs http://www.antic-ltd.com/ and should give you more options for eating/drinking. The Dolphin is amazing in the Summer - they have a massive beer garden and put on plays. Also, Sydenham has an annual arts festival. All in all, I'd recommend it.
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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby marymck » 11 May 2011 18:26

Yes, I second all that's been said. I forgot to mention the shops, bars & restaurants in East Dulwich. Nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. East Dulwich is more densely built than Sydenham and doesn't have the parks and green spaces. I also find East Dulwich, ever so slightly, smug.

Think Beckenham too for restaurants ... again, an easy bus ride from Sydenham.

Also a fun pub opposite the station in Forest Hill is The Hob. + the Horniman Museum & gardens are just up the road & we're in easy reach of Dulwich Park, Dulwich Art Gallery and the amazing Dulwich woods (which start at the top of Kirkdale).
Wells Park & Crystal Palace park (with its dinosaurs) are still my favourites though.
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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby Poppygirl » 11 May 2011 19:14

I am so grateful to you all for your comments! You all sound lovely, I'm already starting to like the place!

East Dulwich was one area I was looking at too but was worried it was a bit to cityish and busy! I viewed some flats in blackheath and hated the place! I'm sure people will think we're mad as it's a wealthy area, but it was too busy for out liking. We like chilled out areas, so hoping a flat within the 'Thorpes' might tick the boxes for us! I guess the only way to know is by coming and visiting!! Thank you so much again x

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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby sheppyboy » 12 May 2011 10:59

I grew up in Sydenham. I know live and work in beautiful Shopshire but I would move back to Sydenham tomorrow if I could. Great to see there is a new tube link now - long overdue!
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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby portobello » 14 May 2011 12:02

Not quite Sydenham I know...But I moved to Forest Hill from Notting hill two months ago.
The community spirit here is wonderful, there are plenty of nice parks, pubs and independent shops.
I'd highly recommend this neck of the woods to anyone north of the river.
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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby sophie » 14 May 2011 18:34

I would recommend Sydenham to anyone. Our high street is like most around - some good some not so good shops/restaurants etc. The transport links are fab, especially with the overground but I also love the 176 bus route. Interesting journey but handy for nights out in town if coming from Covent Garden area particularly. All walks of life here which I love.

Yes, there is crime but go to Mayfair and other "posh" places and you get it there as well. I'll be honest and say in all the years I've lived here I've never felt particularly unsafe but I still also try to take care and take usual precautions if out late walking around on my own (eg from the station). The roads are well lit but I would usually walk quickly, not listen to music and have my keys ready in my hand for when I get home/get to my car - BUT I would do that anywhere.

Places like Beckenham and Crystal Palace are nearby for other bars, restaurants and quirky shops. Great hairdressers (Mastercutters) - usually important for girls!!! The Thorpes are lovely as are the Lawries and then off the Thorpes you've got Silverdale and Mayow Road which also have some lovely places on them. I love Mayow Park for a stroll. DEFINITELY ignore the estate agent. It sounds bizarre that he would say that about a property he was, presumably, trying to sell. Perhaps he had his eye on it for himself (as places on the Thorpes roads do tend to sell themselves and go quickly) and didn't want you to have it.
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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby poppy » 17 May 2011 16:12

Hi Poppygirl

I agree with much that's been posted that's positive about Sydenham. We love living south of the river, it is calmer and greener than the north, we feel anyway.

I certainly wouldn't disregard 'central' Sydenham, even the south side (between the high street and Penge East station) has some lovely roads and people.

The transport links on that side are brilliant too, with a choice of Sydenham or Penge East, which has more frequent and more direct trains to Victoria - take about 15mins, running every 15mins generally.

P
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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby annabel mclaren » 17 May 2011 16:39

Hi Poppygirl
I agree with virtually everything that has been said. I've lived in the Thorpes for over 20 years and previously lived just off the high street. Sydenham has always had a great community spirit -when we first moved here the Sydenham Community Festival was an annual event. That faded in the early 80s but around 14 years ago the Sydenham Music Festival started (now the Sydenham International Music Festival - http://www.sydenhammusic.org) and in 2009 the Sydenham Arts Festival was born (Maria has mentioned it in her posting). Recently the Sydenham Film Club launched - its inaugural screening of 'Funny Face' last week was packed out! Please ignore the strange estate agent - maybe he has got some ulterior motive! And if you do move here check out the Sydenham Society - http://www.sydenhamsociety.com - and the Sydenham Local Assembly which meets quarterly and has very lively meetings where lots of local stuff is aired and support is offered for community projects.
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Re: Thinking of moving to Sydenham...please help

Postby alywin » 25 May 2011 01:01

Poppygirl wrote:Please can you give me an honest opinion of what Sydenham is like to live in? I live close to area’s like Twickenham which are pretty and green and leafy but very expensive! An estate agent I called up today about a property within the Thorpe Conservation Area has pretty much put me off living in Sydenham saying it’s not a nice area to live in!


Well, despite all the positive comments, it has to be said that if you're used to places like Twickenham and the like, Sydenham will come as a bit of a culture shock! As for "nice", well, obviously there are "nicer" areas to live in, but also less "nice" ones as well. I'd say it's probably somewhere in the middle, really.

Also, you seem to be concentrating on the upper part of Sydenham. I can't speak for what it's like to live in Lower Sydenham, but perhaps you shouldn't discount the possibility of commuting up from LS station to Lewisham and changing on to the DLR for Canary Wharf. (That said, beware of the fact that only the all-stations trains call at Lewisham - the semi-fasts bypass it, and New Cross and St. John's, entirely). Also, beware of what may be happening in future years to Southeastern's services between London Bridge and Charing Cross until the new "Thameslink 2000" development is finished.

Come to think of it, what about the Penge West end of Sydenham? I think there are some nice houses up there too, and they're close to Crystal Palace Park. Mind you, PW is in Zone 4, which will cost extra on the season ticket.
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