Sydenham vs Forest Hill

The place for serious discussion, announcements and breaking news about Sydenham

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

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by senewbie »

I'm so grateful for everyone's inputs. Thank you so so much.

On the topic of quiet streets, we've been looking at properties that are at most 5-6 minutes walk to an overground station since I'm not keen on the idea of walking on quiet back streets after dark when getting home... I also don't want to feel constrained about going out in the evenings or coming home later around 10-11 pm.

Having said that, in Sydenham, it looks like there are more property options with better value towards Penge East (but still walkable to Sydenham). Does anyone have thoughts on safety / comfort level of walking after dark south of Sydenham high street towards Penge East? We'll definitely try to walk around in the evenings but we have small children, and it's not always easy to get out in the evenings...!!!

Thank you for all the wonderful advice and thoughts!
Rachael
Posts: 2450
Joined: 23 Jan 2010 13:42
Location: Sydenham / Forest Hill Intersection

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by Rachael »

I don't know about Sydenham, but in Forest Hill there are always lots of people getting off the train, right up to the last one at night, and walking in all directions, so it feels pretty safe walking home. I live 12 minutes walk from the station (yes, I've timed it!) and am still in the flow of people coming off the train right up until when I turn into my own road.
Pally
Posts: 1478
Joined: 2 Aug 2014 05:38
Location: Sydenham

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by Pally »

Newlands park towards penge east and roads off it are fine. Also coming down the high street in Sydenham and the roads off...trewsbury, knight on park....hillmore and Broseley off Kent house ...all fine and 10 mins from Sydenham station, 15 mins from penge east
Pat Trembath
Posts: 613
Joined: 2 Oct 2004 10:54

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by Pat Trembath »

In the other direction - coming out the station and going up Westwood Hill.

The 122 and 450 buses do seem to be joined at the hip at this time of night and complaints are on-going about their time-tabling - however missing one of these and, certainly between 11.15 and 11.45pm and forced to consider a 15 minute wait, I have never had a qualm about walking home halfway up Westwood Hill at this time of night.

The cab office next to the station in Station Approach is also available for anyone who has concerns about getting home.
Poppy2011
Posts: 13
Joined: 12 Sep 2011 20:35
Location: Sydenham

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by Poppy2011 »

It may not be far to walk but I find the roads off the high street very dark and not very busy after normal commuting time. I always get a cab from the station after an evening out but that is not very often now I have a young child too.
senewbie
Posts: 7
Joined: 22 Feb 2016 00:03
Location: East Dulwich

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by senewbie »

All such helpful information. Venner Road hasn't been mentioned but there seems to be a fair amount of properties that come out on that road over time. But given it's right by the train track and the housing stock types being quite a mix, any thoughts on how that road feels after dark would be great. Also, does anyone have thoughts on Silverdale on the opposite side since that seems to lead you to most of the streets between Sydenham station and Mayow Park.

Thank you!
jonathan_har
Posts: 55
Joined: 28 Aug 2011 14:23
Location: sydenham

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by jonathan_har »

We live between Sydenham and Penge East and the roads here very quiet after dark. Lots of good houses, Venner Rd etc, and I'm sure totally safe, but you might not enjoy the walk home at night if you are of a nervous disposition.
mosy
Posts: 4095
Joined: 21 Sep 2007 20:28
Location: London

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by mosy »

I don't think a woman on her own at night will ever feel at ease in whichever urban or suburban area anywhere in the whole country. Can't change that instinctive feeling.

What I can say as a woman in Sydenham is that I don't see obvious potential threats or think I have specifically to avoid streets or roads. I feel strongly that it's just sheer bad luck if in the wrong place at the wrong time but odds are no worse here than the likelihood of falling under a bus, i.e. very unlikely..
Syddders
Posts: 44
Joined: 5 May 2015 22:16
Location: Sydenham

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by Syddders »

We were in exactly the same position as you last summer. Young family looking for a 3/4 bed house somewhere on the east London line. Had our heart set on HOP as we liked the high street and proximity to Brockley, but ended up moving to Sydenham after realising you get quite a lot more for your money, better transport links and a useful high street.

We live between Sydenham and Penge East stations and use both regularly. Being able to get in and out of Victoria, Brixton, Blackfriars, Farringdon, London Bridge, plus the east London line, can't be matched by transport options in FH, HOP or Brockley.

We use the high street every day and it's a real bonus having Boots, Superdrug, ironmonger shops, plus a bakery, butchers, florist, stationers and several food options. Yes we'd love a couple more restaurants or better chefs in the ones we do have (always disapponted with food at the Dolphin, On the Hoof and Golden Lion) but I'm sure that'll come.

As for safety, we moved from Hackney so it's all relative to us. Feels very safe with a great sense of community.

You won't go wrong with buying on any of the roads off the high st: Venner, Byne, Homecroft, Newlands, Tannsfeld, Trewsbury, Knighton Park, Mayow etc. Or the Lawrie Park triangle.

One other thing to mention is easy proximity to Crystal Palace Park. A few minutes walk away and a great way to spend a morning. Walk through the park and up to Crystal Palace itself where you'll find loads of independent restaurants and shops.

Good luck and let us know what you decide!
Matthew
Posts: 8
Joined: 10 Aug 2015 06:07
Location: Lower Sydenham

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by Matthew »

I used to rent in Forest Hill, and bought just over 3 years ago in Lower Sydenham, paying about £50k more for a 3 bed house than I would have paid for a 1 bed flat in FH. There was no competition.

Forest Hill is pleasant, but Sydenham has more going on - if I'm at home in the week it's a pleasure walking up the high street to the bookshop or for a coffee, plus the big Sainsbury and the new retail park with Next and B&Q is very handy. Lower Sydenham, Beckenham Hill and Sydenham stations are all within a 15 minute walk with lots of travel options.

Forest Hill is only a 10 minute bike ride away - but so is Beckenham which, let's face it, is far nicer than Forest Hill. If I fancy somewhere a bit more upmarket than Sydenham with nice restaurants I tend to head into Beckenham. And Sydenham Hill feels practically like Dulwich.
monkeyarms
Posts: 293
Joined: 28 Jul 2015 14:54
Location: Tredown

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by monkeyarms »

Syddders wrote:We were in exactly the same position as you last summer. Young family looking for a 3/4 bed house somewhere on the east London line. Had our heart set on HOP as we liked the high street and proximity to Brockley, but ended up moving to Sydenham after realising you get quite a lot more for your money, better transport links and a useful high street.
Pretty much identical story for us, although we moved from Brixton rather than Hackney.
It took us a long time to move, as two buyers pulled out of our flat: about a year-and-a-half all in all. It was a very instructive year-and-a-half because It was really quite amazing how fast house prices escalated to essentially rule-out certain areas. We went from having offers accepted on 4-bed houses in first Brockley then Crystal Palace to not being able to afford either area a few months later... and houses in Honor Oak Park didn't really crop up that often.

We are very happy with our place, off Venner Rd. One of the reasons why we picked it was that we could not have begun to have afforded the £90,000 more that we'd have to have paid to have been as close to Forest Hill or Brockley stations as it is to Sydenham/Penge East.

If anyone, whether new to the area or not, with kids anywhere around 3 yrs old ever fancies meeting up for a playground trip or anything, do send me a message...
Last edited by monkeyarms on 26 Feb 2016 12:28, edited 2 times in total.
senewbie
Posts: 7
Joined: 22 Feb 2016 00:03
Location: East Dulwich

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by senewbie »

Another round of such helpful advice and information. Thank you. This alone makes me feel like Sydenham is the place to be!

We'll take a walk tonight around the neighborhood. Still a bit worried about the dark streets off the high street to be honest but will have to walk around to see how we feel.

We keep hearing that there were maybe more not so nice characters by the station until a couple of years ago but that the area seems to have cleaned up recently. Do others feel that way?

Thanks again!
Mayowthorpe
Posts: 111
Joined: 30 Jul 2014 07:16
Location: Sydenham

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by Mayowthorpe »

My wife has lived on and off in Sydenham since 2007, and we have both lived here since 2014.

We have never had any issues walking home at night; from Penge East, Lower Sydenham or Sydenham stations.

I have never seen any odd characters hanging around any of these stations at night either.
Pally
Posts: 1478
Joined: 2 Aug 2014 05:38
Location: Sydenham

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by Pally »

I walk down high street regularly after dark. Relatives do the same down Newlands and Venner. We don't feel unsafe and there are usually people around. We tend to Sta on the main roads (high street; Newlands) until our own actual turning
mosy
Posts: 4095
Joined: 21 Sep 2007 20:28
Location: London

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by mosy »

If you mean Sydenham station, I have lived virtually next door for a number of years and I've not noticed anything I'd worry about, just people going about their business whatever time day or night. Also, the area around the station is quite well lit, with a lot of credit going to the 24/7 taxi office for its lighting (plus space inside to sit - have I already mentioned that?).

I can only speak for myself of course, although there is an area-based crime stats website somewhere - I'm sure someone will know the URL link address for it.

To be honest, all back streets seem to have dismally poor lighting in any street in the Lewisham borough in which Skanska has been commissioned to install new lampposts. Energy-saving dim lighting seems to be the order of the day, so that won't change any time soon whether we like it or not. In theory that could mean a million places for someone to jump out from but I take the view that opportunist crooks have better places to be than stand for hours on a deserted street in case a target of value just happens to pass by. Only you can decide for yourselves of course.
dodo2
Posts: 3
Joined: 26 Feb 2016 14:34
Location: sydenham

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by dodo2 »

We moved from ED during the summer as we could not believe the difference in prices; even though our new house is only 2 miles away from our opld one.

Like some of the others having access to the Southern Line (as well as the OG) is great great as we can literally leave it to the last few minutes- which isn't always a good idea!

Pretty sure restaurant operators will start to look at Sydenham given the prices that they are being asked in ED and Peckham. In the menatime they are only 15 mins away by car; which is nothing if you think about it!
stuart
Posts: 3395
Joined: 21 Sep 2004 10:13
Location: Lawrie Park
Contact:

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by stuart »

I have been mugged once ... in Dulwich!

My girls as teenagers were quite comfortable coming home from central London at all hours alone on the 176 - which, if you haven't twigged is a 24/7 service obviating the need to persuade taxis to go south of the river after midnight. The 176 also covers Forest Hill and even Penge if you wish to extend your search.

That's if you haven't been frightened off by the infamous Penge bungalow murders :)

Stuart
RJM
Posts: 134
Joined: 2 Jan 2016 15:30
Location: Sydenham

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by RJM »

rod taylor wrote:As a local resident I'm delighted that so many people are moving into the area because they have realised how much more they can get for their money here. :roll:
Well, we moved because a) we could afford the size of house we wanted here, b) it has decent commuter links for both of us c) the high street has a good range of properly local shops and restaurants etc on it d) it has facilities that mean we think we can live here for a long time, think about having a family etc. a) might have been the deciding factor, but all the other stuff was important too. As new local residents, I would hope we bring something to the area or will do in the future, even if one of the reasons we bought here isn't popular with existing residents.
Bunty
Posts: 198
Joined: 11 Jul 2013 17:49

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by Bunty »

Transport links in Sydenham are so much better than FH. Having the additional line at Penge East gives access to Victoria and Blackfriars but also the other way to Bromley South and beyond. I have lived off Kirkdale, Lower Sydeham and now by Venner. Spoilt for choice with parks and local shops but FH, and CP all walkable or short bus ride. You do get more house in Syd compared to other two.
Mayowthorpe
Posts: 111
Joined: 30 Jul 2014 07:16
Location: Sydenham

Re: Sydenham vs Forest Hill

Post by Mayowthorpe »

senewbie wrote:All such helpful information. Venner Road hasn't been mentioned but there seems to be a fair amount of properties that come out on that road over time. But given it's right by the train track and the housing stock types being quite a mix, any thoughts on how that road feels after dark would be great. Also, does anyone have thoughts on Silverdale on the opposite side since that seems to lead you to most of the streets between Sydenham station and Mayow Park.

Thank you!
Silverdale and the Thorpes are fine. I have walked along Silverdale and through the Thorpes at night many times, and while its quiet at night (which is the main reason for living there); the lighting is sufficient and my wife and I have never felt unsafe.

There is a post from 2011 about a mugging on Bishopsthorpe, which was a big deal at the time as it was very unusual:

https://sydenham.org.uk/forum/viewtopic ... hopsthorpe

Given these events are rare in Sydenham, it probably tells you that the area is no less safe than any other area in London. I actually feel more safe in Sydenham, as I saw more questionable characters when living in East Dulwich!

Like other posters have said, you should always have your wits about you when in a city such as London; but South London is nowhere near as bad as people north of the river make out :-)
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