Brockley Area Guide
Brockley - Property For Sale and Rent
Whilst many areas of London have seemingly transformed overnight into almost unrecognisable neighbourhoods crammed with swish new developments of residential towers and completely revamped shopping and leisure quarters, leafy Brockley - and its southern district Crofton Park - has quietly evolved, largely retaining the creative vibe and community-driven, village-like atmosphere it has possessed for decades.
Sandwiched between New Cross, Lewisham, Catford and East Dulwich, it remains relatively overlooked compared to many nearby areas. Property prices increased here when London Overground arrived in 2012, triggering an influx of quirky cafés, bars and restaurants, artisan bakeries and independent stores like the popular Brockley Deli and ‘family lifestyle store’ Gently Elephant. But none of the change has been overwhelming, fortunately.
In recent years the area’s gastronomic scene has come on by leaps and bounds. Brockley Market, on Saturdays, has great street food, and some of the best restaurants include The Orchard, which as well as a friendly drop-in cafe, has an impressive restaurant menu too. Unfussy Masala Wala offers down-to-earth traditional Pakistani cuisine, while Meze Mangal is a large, very popular and well-established Turkish restaurant, with its hearty fare enhanced by its traditional wood oven. The Babur is perhaps Brockley’s most outstanding restaurant, if not one of the best Indian restaurants in the country. Every dish is a completely new take on that continent’s cooking.
For a coffee, head for the highly-rated Browns of Brockley cafe opposite Brockley Station, or The Brocca next door.
There’s plenty of choice in Brockley and Crofton Park if you’re after good nightlife. Brickfields, for example, is a cosy cocktail bar attracting a relatively young clientele. You can sample some craft beers at the London Beer Dispensary or microbrewery The Brockley Brewery. Then there’s the Rivoli, a rare surviving example of an intact 1950s ballroom, complete with a wonderfully kitsch deep red interior that has attracted some high-profile acts as well as holding lots of popular local events.
With Camberwell College of Arts and Goldsmiths, University of London both nearby, it’s not surprising that the area enjoys an artistic reputation. It has its own fringe theatre, the Brockley Jack, which regularly stages innovative new writing, and each summer local artists put on a popular open studios event. There’s also the thriving Brockley Max performing arts festival each year and the Brockley Street Art Festival has spawned numerous colourful murals around the area.
Considering the area’s artistic bent, it’s perhaps not surprising that notable residents have included the likes of musicians Kate Bush, John Cale, Athelete, Mica Paris and Gabrielle, fashion designer John Galliano, novelist David Lodge, comedian Spike Milligan, opera singer Willard White, poet and playwright Kate Tempest, and actor David Haig.
The area is increasingly favoured by young professionals, but with its mix of privately owned and housing association homes it still brings together contrasting cultures and people from all walks of life.
This corner of south London boasts some lovely open green spaces, such as Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries, Blythe Hill Fields and Hilly Fields. The latter has a great view of the city, and its streets make up a conservation area of attractive, wide, tree-lined avenues, and the large, detached Victorian properties, Arts and Crafts-inspired homes and smaller terraced cottages here are always in demand. St John’s is another conservation area, primarily made up of streets of early Victorian houses.
Overall, Brockley and Crofton Park remain one of the best-preserved and most coherent Victorian suburbs in inner London and, unusually, have examples of almost every style of mid- to late 19th century-domestic architecture from large Gothic Revival properties to little traditional cottages.
As for schools, Prendergast girls’ comprehensive is ever-popular, several primaries and secondaries are rated ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED, and other excellent schools, such as Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College, are nearby.
The area is well-connected too, transport-wise. Brockley station on the Overground has trains to Shoreditch High Street and Highbury and Islington, and London Bridge takes just 12 to 16 minutes. From Crofton Park station you can reach Blackfriars in 22 minutes and St Pancras in just over half-an-hour.
All in all, if you want an easygoing slice of real London that’s packed with fine attributes, you don’t need to look much further than Brockley and Crofton Park.
Local Information and Property Activity
369 Brockley Road,