Forest Hill is a leafy residential area with an abundance of nature reserves, woodlands and green spaces including the Horniman Gardens, Mayow Park, Dacres Wood, Devonshire Road, Blythe Hill Fields, Sydenham Hill Woods and the Horniman’s Triangle.
Forest Hill is one of the most elevated points of the Capital with many streets offering panoramic views of the City and North Downs in Kent.
Many families have lived in Forest Hill for decades and even generations, increasingly young families, young couples and professionals are moving into the area attracted by the relaxed feel, sense of community and busy arts scene combined with access to good schools and transport links.
Most of Forest Hill was developed after the railway arrived in the area in 1839 as the Dartmouth Arms, after the name of the local inn. The remaining architecture in Forest Hill is impressive and varied with a mix of traditional Victorian architecture from late 19th century houses to grand family homes and detached buildings.
One of our favourite streets is Wood Vale as it is a beautiful wide tree lined street with spacious imposing family homes with classical Victorian period features and expansive gardens directly backing onto a stunning nature trail in woodland.
Upper Sydenham is situated to the east of the Dulwich Estate and between Forest Hill and Crystal Palace.
Unnoticed by a number of people is the very pretty Sydenham Wells Park pretty much in the centre of the area. This part of Sydenham has a mixed stock of housing, but a significant number of between the wars properties particularly those overlooking the park in Longton Avenue.
There are still a small number of very large detached houses on Sydenham Hill and some very old houses almost hidden in Mount Gardens, just off Kirkdale and delightful cottages in Halifax Street again just off Kirkdale.
There is an unusually high concentration of highly sought-after state and independent schools in and around both Forest Hill & Upper Sydenham.
If you’d like to explore, we’ve rounded-up a representative list of the top state & independent schools in and around Forest Hill & Upper Sydenham.
Forest Hill Railway Station
Forest Hill Rail Station is situated in the London Borough of Lewisham on the South Circular Road (A205). The station is served by trains to London Bridge, London Victoria, Thameslink and also the London Overground.
Train times according to TFL are 12 minutes to Canada Water for the interchange with the Jubilee Line for Canary Wharf, 18 minutes to London Bridge, and 34 minutes to London Victoria.
Sydenham Hill Railway Station
Sydenham Hill Rail Station is in Travelcard Zone 3. The station is located in a picturesque spot just off College Road.
Four trains an hour go direct to London Victoria, via Brixton. Train times according to TFL are 7 minutes to Brixton tube station for the interchange with the Victoria Line, and 14 minutes to London Victoria.
The Horniman Museum
One notable historical resident of Forest Hill who has made a big impact on the area was Frederick John Horniman, Victorian tea trader, philanthropist and collector. On his travels abroad he acquired items relating to local cultures, and built a museum to house the collection.
The Horniman Museum and Gardens were formally opened to the public on 29 June 1901. The Horniman family continued to take an active interest in the museum donating objects and large collections of books to the library. In order to preserve his legacy, and in order to achieve his mission to ‘bring the world to Forest Hill’ and educate and enrich the lives of the local community, Frederick John Horniman eventually donated this museum and its gardens to the public.
The Arts Scene
Forest Hill has an emerging arts scene which gives the area a real buzz and is evidence of a creative local community.
Forest Hill has its own Fashion Week, and Havelock Walk is a cobblestone Mews near Forest Hill station where artists and designers have studios that are occasionally open to the public.
Canvas and Cream is a restaurant and art gallery that offers the public a chance to see new local talent. V22 at Louise House (between Forest Hill Library and Forest Hill Pools) provides support to local artists.