Published: 11/01/2019 By Jane RobathanEast Dulwich is one of the most desirable spots in south east London. But you may be surprised to hear that Brockley has significantly beaten its rather posh rival in online search figures for some time. It remains one of the most popular enquiries across south east London today.
SE4 is perfectly positioned for commuters, has excellent schools, a conservation area and remarkable parkland at Hilly Fields. Views are spectacular from the park's summit, which is flanked by beautiful homes and has an esteemed, Hogwarts-esque girls' school plum in its centre.
Roy Brooks once said, "As the artists have already moved into Peckham it is only a matter of time before they are followed by the fringe professions, stage, telly and advertising - with the Chelsea type of married intellectual snob breathing on their necks...." Today, we think Roy's comments ring as true for Peckham as they do for Brockley, New Cross, Deptford and Nunhead. Goldsmiths' and Camberwell postgrads have been setting up studios in these areas for some time. Arthouse film clubs, off-beat exhibitions and pop-ups, cabaret, comedy and theatre are rife in these areas if you know where to look.
Every July, around 30-40 artists open their studio doors to the public for Brockley Open Studios. Independent cafés, shops, restaurants and bars have flourished too, highlighting the demographic supporting them. If you haven't visited Brockley Market, make sure you do, it's intensely good.
Brockley is in Zone 2 and has London Overground links, enabling commuters to be in the coolest parts f London's East End in minutes. It's also halved travel time to north and west London via a swift change at Canada Water.
Two of south east London's most oversubscribed secondary schools are local: Prendergast is the school at Hilly Fields while Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College falls just outside Brockley's border in New Cross. With the wind behind you and a couple of years' piano lessons, kids stand a reasonable chance of getting a place at Askes' from here. Both schools dish out music scholarships for their exemplary associated departments. Primary schools are all very good and include St John's, St Mary Magdalen and Myatt Garden.
Being surrounded by posh spots has helped highlight Brockley's best points; its conservation area is particularly lovely. There's still work to do, shops to be let and areas to tidy up—but Brockley is an interesting spot with an engaged community that deserves everyone's attention.