Sydenham vs Forest Hill

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senewbie
Posts: 7
Joined: 22 Feb 2016 00:03
Location: East Dulwich

Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by senewbie »

Hello - we're currently looking to purchase a home in either Sydenham or Forest Hill but quite torn on deciding which one... We would love any thoughts on Sydenham vs Forest Hill.

Property value-wise, Sydenham seems to be slightly better (less expensive) than Forest Hill.

However, Forest Hill seems to have better high street - particularly the areas from the station towards the library/pool.

Also, Forest Hill has the leisure centre/library right in the center whereas the equivalents in Sydenham seem to be a bit way off from the station...

Safe and transport-wise, it looks like there really isn't much of a difference.

Any thoughts or advice would be so appreciated! Thank you.
Rachael
Posts: 2450
Joined: 23 Jan 2010 13:42
Location: Sydenham / Forest Hill Intersection

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by Rachael »

Consider how you will use the two different high streets and how you would get to each - car, bus, walking? They are so close together, if you live equidistant between both, like I do, you will use both, but for different things. Sydenham Road is great for everything practical, with a smattering of nice places to eat and drink. Forest Hill I use more like a destination, when I need to buy a gift at Bunka, stock up on fabulous meat at The Butchery or get a hair cut at Geddes, or eat at the amazingly good Perryvale Bistro. These are things I do regularly, but not every day.

If you drive, both areas have free car parks if you decide to live in one but want to use the other.

Personally, I would concentrate on getting the right house safe in the knowledge that both areas are great places to live and each is accessible from the other. High streets change and that's somethings outside your control. You will get marginally more for your money in Sydenham, but I don't know for how long!

Good luck!
_HB

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by _HB »

Buy in Sydenham and shop in Forest Hill. If you can find the right property.
Rachael wrote:If you drive, both areas have free car parks if you decide to live in one but want to use the other.
But please don't drive from your house in Sydenham to the shops in Forest Hill. That would be mental. It's a lovely walk or a very short cycle away.
michael
Posts: 1273
Joined: 26 Sep 2006 12:56
Location: Forest Hill

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by michael »

I biased as I live in Forest Hill - with it's museum, swimming pool, wonderful views, and lots of good pubs and cafes.
If you are looking for a cheaper place to live then Sydenham might be slightly better (I don't think there is really much difference) but the closer you get to Catford you will also find excellent value for money.
If you want a 'better' high street then you might want to look at more expensive places in East Dulwich or Gypsy Hill, and some parts of Beckenham can be great value for money.

Of course a 'better' high street is subjective. I love popping into Billings in Sydenham or going for suchi in Kirkdale. Coop is a decent supermarket, and Sainsburys isn't far to go from Sydenham, especially if you have a car. And it is really easy to go out in the neighbouring villages. I sometimes take the train from the centre of Forest Hill to Honor Oak or Sydenham - a 2 minute train ride (with trains running every 5 minutes) connects our high streets extending one area into another. So if you want a pint and you are standing by Sydenham station, you are probably equidistant from Dartmouth Arms (next to FH station) or the Dolphin (beyond Mayow Road).

So I'm with Rachael, find the right house, in the right street for as much as you are willing to pay. There is little to choose between Forest Hill and Sydenham (although you may wish to consider primary school catchment areas if that might be of interest to you - and again, neither Sydenham or Forest Hill is better - but there are some spots in each that are too far from the closest schools to get in).
monkeyarms
Posts: 293
Joined: 28 Jul 2015 14:54
Location: Tredown

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by monkeyarms »

michael wrote: If you are looking for a cheaper place to live then Sydenham might be slightly better (I don't think there is really much difference) but the closer you get to Catford you will also find excellent value for money.
We found that there was in fact a quite a big difference. Forest Hill proper is significantly more expensive than Sydenham. A comparable house to the one we ended up in would have been between £40,000-£90,000 more. As you say, the closer you get to Catford, the cheaper it gets. But then it's basically Catford, not Forest Hill. There's nothing wrong with that: long-term-investment-wise, Catford's a good bet.

But that long stretch in-between Forest Hill and Catford we eventually dismissed because, compared to Sydenham, it was just too far away from the nearest station for us. There were some affordable (relatively speaking) houses to be had on some of those "CatFordest Hill" roads but we didn't want a big commute at the beginning and end of each working day. So where we are now, a 5 min walk to either Sydenham or Penge East, is preferable.

If I were to do it again, I would probably have spent a tiny bit more time investigating the area near Mayow Park and also perhaps Penge. But we're happy with where we've ended up (off Venner Rd)
senewbie
Posts: 7
Joined: 22 Feb 2016 00:03
Location: East Dulwich

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by senewbie »

Thank you everyone for your inputs!! That makes sense that either way I go, I can access both Sydenham and FH easily given they're so close to each other. Like monkeyarms, we want to be close to the station so that our commute isn't too long - so our housing options are quite limited but we'll just keep looking...

In terms of the library / leisure centre, do folks in Sydenham just use the FH facilities or do you go to the ones a little further down from Dolphin? Or alternatively, I suppose Crystal Palace sports centre is a good option?!??
mosy
Posts: 4094
Joined: 21 Sep 2007 20:28
Location: London

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by mosy »

The mention of Penge East station made me think about ease of travel to Clapham Junction and Victoria, so if that is relevant to you, I'd say Sydenham. Some parts of Forest Hill are quite hilly, which doesn't show on a map. I've lived in both and couldn't say I found much if any difference and as said they are so close anyway.

Either way, it is still said that people fall in love with a particular house the first time they see it, regardless.
stuart
Posts: 3393
Joined: 21 Sep 2004 10:13
Location: Lawrie Park
Contact:

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by stuart »

senewbie wrote:Thank you everyone for your inputs!! That makes sense that either way I go, I can access both Sydenham and FH easily given they're so close to each other. Like monkeyarms, we want to be close to the station so that our commute isn't too long - so our housing options are quite limited but we'll just keep looking...

In terms of the library / leisure centre, do folks in Sydenham just use the FH facilities or do you go to the ones a little further down from Dolphin? Or alternatively, I suppose Crystal Palace sports centre is a good option?!??
In transport terms Sydenham has the benefit of three independent rail lines so when one gets disrupted there is an option. Also if you plan to travel to LBG or Canada Water at peak time you get the first dibs on any available space for the same fare (zone 3).

We live in Lawrie Park so FH Library & Pools is door to door on the 176 & 197. Much more convenient than Syd Library & The Bridge - its even nearer if you walk. The message is to treat FH & Syd as closer neighbours than each to any other. Where you live in one may determine which options of Syd or FH you use.

So to echo the message. Find a good place in either and enjoy the other.

Stuart
Ghlpc
Posts: 350
Joined: 2 Aug 2013 14:02

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by Ghlpc »

A nice test we used to do when looking for a house close to a station (as you mention commuting is important to you), was after the viewing (if you really consider the property) walk from the house to the nearest station and time it.

Obviously the walkable distance/time will vary for people, but we went for the 20min/ 1 mile radius as max .

I'm in sydenham, with the next road along from me classed as SE23.

Because of this post code snobbery that estate agents have created I paid 20-30k less for my house than equilavents on nearby SE23 roads.

Like mentioned in previous posts, there are a lot of roads in both towns that are equal distance to each others stations/high st. We visit both, each has it's own pro's and cons, i suppose it depends on what you consider these to be.
appletree
Posts: 96
Joined: 30 Jun 2015 09:40
Location: Sydenham

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by appletree »

It depends where you are in Sydenham or Forest Hill. We live off of Kirkdale and I believe that is considered to be Sydenham, though in Forest Hill ward. The houses are lovely and we have the best of both worlds, equidistant from the two stations. We are slightly closer to shopping in FH, and do go there a bit more, but we also have the benefit of lower house prices than the other side of London Road.

We moved a year ago from north London and like it very much.
leenewham
Posts: 5886
Joined: 2 Sep 2007 11:58
Location: SYDENHAM
Contact:

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by leenewham »

I too moved down south from North London after being priced out.

We wanted to live in Forest Hill, but couldn't afford it so went as close as possible to it in Sydenham. It's much better value, although with the ridiculous house prices everywhere, we couldn't afford our own house now if we were buying today.

We rarely go out in Sydenham, but do love Forest Hill and Crystal Palace as places to browse, eat, drink or relax. If it's something we need that we can't get online or ethically (like the post office services, or stuff from wellbeing), we venture to Sydenham, even if we find the high street a little depressing.

It depends what you want from a house, do you want to be able to walk 5 mins to public transport, what sort of shops entice you to a high street, how do you shop, what sort of parks do you want etc.

Only you can answer that.

Walk around the are and get a feel for the road and the surrounding neighbourhood, talk to neighbours etc. Visit at different times of the day. Our biggest issue was inconsiderate neighbours who played loud music. Our road was quiet, and at the time of purchase, cheap compared to similar properties.
Search East
Posts: 119
Joined: 6 Oct 2009 20:40
Location: Sydenham

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by Search East »

I also fully agree with the views of others that it's worth getting the property you like and can afford nearby and enjoy all the benefits of both areas, which are mostly a walk from each other.

Forest Hill does have the clear edge over Sydenham, but Sydenham has been dragged up by its boot straps over the last couple of years, mostly due to the London Overground improving the transport connections and overflow of people unable to find or afford anything in the surrounding areas, which has brought in / encouraged new businesses and enhanced those already here.

Me and my better half enjoy the local restaurants and a cheeky pint or 2 in the Beer Rebellion. We live in Lower Sydenham, but will happily walk into Forest Hill, Kirkdale or Crystal Palace as well.
P1971
Posts: 170
Joined: 28 Mar 2014 21:44
Location: Dartmouth Road

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by P1971 »

I too like Michael may be a bit biased as I absolutely love living and trading in FH.

I don't think it's Sydenham vs Forest Hill because I think both High Streets offer something different and actually compliment each other as neighbours.

I shop in FH Tues-Sun but often shop in Sydenham on my day off (Monday) using Billings, Fresh & Fruity and a few others as we don't have a fishmonger or greengrocer in FH yet & because it's not far so I can walk.

I wish more people would think like Rachael and try and use both areas to shop/eat out as this would increase footfall for all businesses in both areas.

I think there is more of a community vibe in FH & that's due to a big majority of the independent shop owners in FH actually living in FH so we care about the community more as a whole & a handful of us are very active in organising community events and we always have the backing of FH Society in all we do.

Saying that there are also quite a few independent shop owners in Sydenham that live locally who care about where they live and trade & would like to do this too but because there is many more businesses in Sydenham than FH they are in the minority which makes it much harder to achieve.

Agree with all that mentioned it's down to your gut instinct on finding a house you fall in love with & you will have the benefit of using both High Streets for lots of reasons especially as they are both in walking distance.

Hope you find a great home & welcome to the area when you do.

BTW thanks everyone for all the lovely comments about our shops in FH it's much appreciated & I'll make all aware at our AGM on Wednesday :-)
Mayowthorpe
Posts: 111
Joined: 30 Jul 2014 07:16
Location: Sydenham

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by Mayowthorpe »

Not a great deal between the two areas, but the key benefits of Sydenham are:
1. Better transport: Penge East and Lower Sydenham give much better transport options (Sydenham and FH stations offer the same).
2. More parks: Mayow, Sydenham Wells, Alexandra Rec, Crystal Palace, Home Park, Sydenham Woods.
3. Improving food/drinking: The best restaurant in London on TripAdvisor (Trattoria Raffael), Hibagon, 161 Kirkdale, Beer Rebellion, The Dolphin (and its beer garden) ... and hopefully the new Greyhound is also a plus.
Supermarkets: PFC, Tesco, Coop, Lidl plus one of the biggest Sainsburys in the UK (and another on its way near the Greyhound). Also closer to the Waitrose at Beckenham.

Yes, the high street could improve, but its slowly getting there. What Sydenham lacks are a few more decent eateries and bars; so locals don't head for East Dulwich, Beckenham or Crystal Palace to go out locally. I think the butcher (Billings) could improve as well, but its decent enough. The Saturday markets are disappointing, and a shame they do not get more interest.

I do like FH; and regularly visit the Perry Vale, Railway Telegraph, Signal and Canvass & Cream. I wish the Capitol would be returned to a cinema.

However, the South Circular seems to divide the high street in Forest Hill; and I prefer a flat garden so the hilly streets were not appealing.

It depends ultimately with what you are looking for - but both areas are nice.
JRobinson
Posts: 1104
Joined: 5 Jan 2010 12:40
Location: De Frene Rd

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by JRobinson »

everything everyone else says, plus:
west of the rail line, you can kind of count Dartmouth Road, and Kirkdale as continuations of the high streets, so the walk to any shops is far less than east of the rail line where there are hardly any shops (a couple of runs of small corner shops but nothing major) between the two stations. So if you need shops, you'll need west of the railyway, or nearer to the stations, but if you're after open spaces, then I'd say Sydenham is better.
Also FH is nearer to central london, and Syd is on the zone border between 3 and 4 - so Sydenham and Sydenham Hill station are zone 3, but Penge stations, and Lower Sydenham are zone 4.

If the commute isn't an issue you might look further north east and try Brockley Rise, Honor Oak kind of area.
senewbie
Posts: 7
Joined: 22 Feb 2016 00:03
Location: East Dulwich

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill vs Honor Oak

Post by senewbie »

Thank you again for all the thoughts!!!

Since JRobinson brought it up, we're somewhat interested in Honor Oak, too (can you see we're totally confused...!??!?!).

We're looking specifically on the streets by the station as the whole area around there feels calm and very safe and great for commute and easier access to central London.

The hesitation is that the high street is not much to speak of and quite different from Forest Hill/Sydenham...Like many said, I think FH and Sydenham are sort of twins but HO is quite different...

If anyone has any thoughts on Honor Oak vs Forest Hill/Sydenham, please share. Thank you!!!
Rachael
Posts: 2450
Joined: 23 Jan 2010 13:42
Location: Sydenham / Forest Hill Intersection

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by Rachael »

My first thought was you'd never get a seat on the Overground in the morning at Honor Oak Park.
leenewham
Posts: 5886
Joined: 2 Sep 2007 11:58
Location: SYDENHAM
Contact:

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by leenewham »

Honor Oak is nice, not far from Forest Hill, some nice roads. We looked there again, but were priced out.

The high street has a few nice places to eat and drink, a Sainsbury's and feels like it has some quality places (La Querce, the Indian, the Bank pizza place and tapas etc). Crofton Park is only a short walk too with Jam Circus etc.

See for yourself, spend some time there have a walk around, how does it make you feel.

There is nothing wrong wit Honor Oak Park. One Tree Hill is a little gem too.
appletree
Posts: 96
Joined: 30 Jun 2015 09:40
Location: Sydenham

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by appletree »

Rachael makes an excellent point about the Overground. The further out you are, the easier to get a seat in the morning. Forest Hill is doable some of the time. Sydenham is better. Honor Oak would be much harder.

I agree that there doesn't seem to be much centre to Honor Oak. The several nice restaurants are easily reached from other areas by a train or bus journey of a few minutes.

As for peaceful and safe, most of the area feels that way to me, once you get off the main roads. I suggest you spend a few hours walking the back streets in all the areas and see what you think. There are many nice, quiet streets with good housing stock and (what I particularly value in the area) pleasant trees. Just see what you fancy.
P1971
Posts: 170
Joined: 28 Mar 2014 21:44
Location: Dartmouth Road

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by P1971 »

No one has mentioned Albion Millenium Green yet which is my fav hidden gem in FH.

Situated behind Dartmouth Road (the Road from FH Station to the pools/library you mentioned) along the train tracks, but Shh we don't want to tell too many people about this.

http://www.amgfriends.org.uk/our-leaflet/

And here is what FH library & Louise House (V22) will look like around August this year. So if you decide to buy in FH I suggest you do before this is done & the improvements to Dartmouth Road (due to happen soon) as I guess house prices will increase again when this work is done.

http://v22collection.com/media/uploads/ ... ans-01.pdf
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