Crystal Palace is a residential area, south east of London and part of the London Borough of Bromley. The area was named after an enormous glass structure, ‘The Crystal Palace’, which was built for the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, 1851 and then relocated near to Sydenham Hill, where it remained until 1936, when it tragically burnt down. The area sits about 8 miles from Central London and includes one of the highest points in London and therefore offers amazing views over the capital. Two television transmitter masts make the area a landmark location, and they can be seen from many parts of London.
Crystal Palace: one of the truly high points of London
Crystal Palace has become increasingly popular with families, young couples and professionals who can commute to London’s financial district within 20 minutes.
There’s plenty of green spaces including the huge and wonderful 200 acre Crystal Palace Park, https://www.bromley.gov.uk/crystalpalacepark right on the doorstep, (the home of the only Grade 1 listed dinosaur sculptures in the world!) however the area does have an urban feel to it, making it an attraction to first time buyers and young families. The area was actually voted the best place to live in London in 2016. The area at the top of the hill is known as the ‘Crystal Palace Triangle’ and is comprised of three streets. There’s an eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, bars/pubs, interesting independent home interiors, retro, arts and crafts shops, and also a vintage/antiques and a Farmers’ Market in Haynes Lane.
Rail: At peak times, there are direct trains from Crystal Palace and Gipsy Hill stations to Victoria up to six times an hour and to London Bridge up to seven times an hour. There is also the Overground train line, which takes just 24 minutes to Canary Wharf (via Canada Water and the Jubilee line) and you can get to Highbury and Islington in 40 minutes.
Road: Crystal Palace is less than 40 minutes from the M25, and just 15 minutes from the A23 leading into London or to the M23 towards Gatwick Airport and Brighton by the sea!
Bus: To and from Crystal Palace bus station, including numbers 3 (to Oxford Circus), 122 (to Plumstead), 202 (to Blackheath), 227 (to Bromley North), 249 (to Anerley), 322 and 417 (to Clapham Common), 358 (to Orpington), 363 (to Elephant and Castle), 410 (to Wallington), 432 (to Brixton), 450 (to West Croydon), 931 (to Lewisham). Night buses N2, N3, N63, and N137 run from all over London to Crystal Palace.
There are many impressive Victorian villas (some converted into flats) and Victorian terraced houses, alongside mid-war terraces and modern blocks of flats.
- Average property price in Crystal Palace: £411,768
- Average rental price in Crystal Palace: £1396 per month
One of the reasons many families gravitate to Crystal Palace is because of the quality of primary and secondary schools.
Both primary and secondary schools are rated highly by Ofsted and are very popular.
For example, Rockmount Primary School (ages 3 -11), the Harris City Academy (ages 11 -18) and the Harris South Norwood Academy (11-19) are sought after.
If you are looking for independent schools, these include Dulwich Prep Cranbrook, Dulwich College, James Allen’s Girls’ School and Alleyn’s School.
Things to do
- Not only are there dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park, there are also events including The Crystal Palace Festival https://crystalpalacefestival.org in the summer months. This is a community run arts, heritage and culture festival with eclectic music, comedy, theatre, fun family workshops, sport, food and drink and much more
- Upper Norwood Library Hub https://www.uppernorwoodlibraryhub.org is a well-established multi-purpose community and performance arts space alongside a professional library service. Events/activities include book clubs, reading groups for children, author talks, theatre, exercise classes, (e.g. Barre, Yoga) and choir groups
- The Crystal Palace Museum https://www.crystalpalacemuseum.org.uk tells the story of the magnificent Crystal Palace Building constructed around 1880, and showcases exhibits, original artefacts, photographs and documents
- The Crystal Palace National Sports Centre https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/london/crystal-palace/crystal-palace-national-sports-centre# features a gym, exercise classes, sports hall, climbing walls, indoor/outdoor football, an athletics track, a dance studio and trampolines, crèche, squash and tennis courts for the local community
- There is an interesting art deco building at the heart of the Crystal Palace triangle, housing an Everyman cinema https://www.everymancinema.com/crystal-palace
- Apart from the independent shops in the triangle, there is a Sainsbury’s supermarket with a large car park https://stores.sainsburys.co.uk/2131/upper-norwood. At weekends, Crystal Palace Food/Farmers’ Market is held in Crystal Palace Park on Sundays as well as the Farmers Market in Haynes Lane on Saturdays
- A family-friendly website, SE19Kids https://en-gb.facebook.com/SE19Kids/ has lots of activities, camps etc for children in the area