Forest Hill

Forest Hill

This leafy, hilly residential area known for its superb Horniman Museum boasts a set of quaint shops and cultural corners.

  • Parks
  • Low Crime Rate
  • Transport Links
  • 16.3k

    Population Density

  • £620592k

    Property Price (Avg.)

  • £1,405

    Rental Price (Avg.)

Average detached price£938,444
Average semi-detached price£1,034,436
Average terraced price£789,113
Average flat price£407,476
Average rental price£1,405
Travel zone3
Transport links
Surrounding neighbourhoods


The busy A205 South Circular Road cuts through the heart of Forest Hill, but the lack of a compact town centre doesn’t take anything away from the charms of this family-friendly neighbourhood. Take your pick between Dartmouth Road, London Road, Devonshire Road and Perry Vale for an intriguing array of cafés, delis, antique and lifestyle shops along with snapshots of Forest Hill back in time - including the Grade II-listed, community-run public library and the modern-meets-Victorian Forest Hill Pools leisure centre.

Brilliant bursts of street art betray the existence of a creative local community that flourishes among the area’s numerous parks and coveted Victorian properties - the latter going for a little higher than in many other south-east London neighbourhoods.

Check out why Forest Hill is worth the price tag, and the uphill battle to reach SE23’s most scenic spots, below!

Interesting Facts

  • The Croydon Canal used to pass through Forest Hill. However it had a troubled history up until it closed in 1836, including congestion due to the high number of locks, murders and drownings.
  • Forest Hill Pools opened in 1885, although the original building had to be demolished and replaced by a modern leisure centre. The original Victorian structure still welcomes visitors at the entrance.
  • Modern-day Forest Hill has many hidden gems - and a healthy dose of vintage. You’ll find the only art dealers in the country who specialise in Communist-era Polish posters here.


Forest Hill - Overview


University Hospital Lewisham is just a ten-minute drive from Forest Hill. The Ladywell mental health unit, part of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, is also based in the hospital.

Besides the surgeries serving the area, additional doctor and nurse appointments are available for anyone registered with a GP practice in Lewisham through the GP Extended Access Service.


Things to do

The wider area is spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor space - it really lives up to its name with a selection of parks, gardens and nature reserves. At the same time, an active community of artists leave their own mark on the area’s green canvas.

  • Take your pick of nature paths to explore - from the woodland and meadow of Albion Millennium Green to the Dacres Wood Nature Reserve.
  • Forest Hill’s crown jewel is none other than the free Horniman Museum and Gardens, named Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022. It has been standing on the same spot since 1901 and now houses more than 350,000 objects spanning anthropology and music. Its beloved gardens are a highlight of Green Chain Walk, a 50-mile route that takes you from the River Thames to Nunhead Cemetery.
  • The Horniman Market takes place every Sunday in the museum gardens. Buy a week’s worth of veg and other eco-friendly treats from a number of local producers while taking in the stunning views across the London skyline.
  • Don’t miss an artsy stroll along the colourful Havelock Walk, a cobbled haven for painters, printmakers, sculptors and beyond. You’ll get a chance to peek inside their studios during Open Studios weekends held twice a year.


Forest Hill - Attractions


The 19th-century suburb of Forest Hill developed around the local train station, which opened in 1839 (known as The Dartmouth Arms). The relocation of the much-visited Crystal Palace from Hyde Park to Sydenham in 1852 was among the events that encouraged the development of grand houses in the vicinity. Today, the local conservation area includes the Horniman Museum gardens, residential streets lined with Victorian, Edwardian and Gothic Revival properties, the town’s commercial centre, as well as more recent extensions, such as the library.

Some of Forest Hill’s most notable homes were built by local developer Ted Christmas. The playfully named “Christmas” houses in Forest Hill and Sydenham - some of which have been divided into flats - are known for their exceptional craftsmanship and distinctive period details. These Edwardian homes comprise the core of The Perry Vale and Christmas Estate Conservation Area. Other great architectural examples are the converted industrial mews houses on Havelock Walk and the attractive art deco flats designed by George Bertram Carter on Taymount Grange.

The addition of the local London Overground station in 2010 established new routes to north London and opened up fresh opportunities for the area.


Bellway’s Dacres Wood Court on Mayow Road offers sleek one, two and three-bedroom apartments - some of which are wheelchair accessible. The development is well designed for commuting professionals and young families, offering cycle parking and a children’s play area.

A stone’s throw from Forest Hill station, on South Circular Road, the six-storey, 100% affordable Waldram Crescent by Caerus Developments combines commercial


Education in the area

Rated as “outstanding”, Infant Stillness School and Kilmorie Primary School lie within SE23, with a great selection of primary, secondary and 16 to 18 schools available in neighbouring postcodes. The independent Rose House Montessori School, for pupils aged 2-11, and Brent Knoll School, for SEND pupils aged 4–16, also stand out here.

For more information about the performance of these schools, please visit


Places of worship

There are several options in the area, including Forest Hill Methodist Church and Centre, St George’s Church, Perry Rise Baptist Church, the Catholic Parish of Saint William of York and Living Springs International Church. Check out their websites for their Sunday services and other events, such as Baby Group and Painting for Pleasure held at Perry Rise Baptist Church. The Forest Hill Quaker Community also organises a well-attended Children’s Meeting every Sunday.

The Catholic Parish of Saint William of York offers live streaming on certain days for those unable to attend, while St George’s Church uploads its services to its YouTube channel every week.

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