Bromley

The London Borough of Bromley

The former home of music legend David Bowie, this self-supporting borough is an ideal location for families and retired couples who are looking for country views and a café culture. So what’s it really like to live in Bromley?

“Ranked as one of the happiest boroughs in London in 2014, Bromley is a pleasant and prosperous area”

Moving to Bromley

Ranked as one of the happiest boroughs in London in 2014, Bromley is a pleasant and prosperous area, albeit rather quiet and indistinct. The unemployment rate here is one of the lowest in London, and the good schools, suburban ambience and access to the green expanses of the Kent Downs make it particularly popular with families and retired couples. Young professionals and students are in shorter supply here, with many preferring the more lively neighbouring borough of Lewisham for its better selection of restaurants and nightlife.

House prices in Bromley

Despite the limited transport connections (for London at least), Bromley is still a sought-after borough with residents attracted by the low crime rate and friendly community spirit. With an average property price of around £502,000 (as of September 2020), Bromley is in line with much of the rest of London and buyers willing to search around can discover some great deals. Across the borough, large Victorian detached properties are mixed with modern apartments, although around Bromley town centre it is more common to see terraced properties lining the streets. Beautiful cottages can be found in Bromley Old Town, but as stated above it is perfectly possible to find a modern flat to suit commuter needs in Bromley South, an area which is currently undergoing a £90 million regeneration project.

“For commuters to South West London, trains from Bromley South station take a little over 15 minutes to reach London Victoria”

Transport

Bromley may have its own cinema, theatre, shopping complex, and plenty of green space to keep its residents satisfied, but there’s a feeling of isolation from the bustle of London that stems from the lack of any underground Tube connections. As a result, a journey into the city can be more difficult from Bromley than from other boroughs, depending on which area you’re trying to reach. For commuters to South West London, trains from Bromley South station take a little over 15 minutes to reach London Victoria, whilst from Bromley North station, a shuttle service to Grove Park allows residents to hop on from here for a connection to the more central areas of Charing Cross and Canon Street. Other stations, including Shortlands and Bickley, also link to Central London as well as to other areas of the country.

In addition to the train, the west of Bromley has a tram system served by Tramlink. This offers services between stations including Biggin Hill, Croydon, and Wimbledon. Moreover, the borough has good road networks, with Gatwick, Heathrow, and London City airports all easily accessibly. Biggin Hill Airport is also located in the borough itself, although it is only available for business jets and private flying rather than commercial services.  For a more environmentally friendly mode of transport, Bromley has over 100 cycle routes with some going as far as the Waterlink Way in Lewisham.

Lifestyle

For residents who enjoy dining out, Bromley can’t compete with more central boroughs but still has a selection of successful restaurants which offer a variety of tasty Indian, Thai, British, Japanese and European cuisine. From the up-market Michelin-starred experience of Mediterranean restaurant Chapter One in Orpington to the heady aromas of Indian restaurant Pink Garlic on Chatterton Road, there is something to suit most tastes and budgets in this south-eastern borough.

Shopping is somewhat lacking in Bromley, although all the essentials can usually be found at the Intu Shopping Centre on Bromley High Street. Formerly known as the Glades Shopping Centre, it offers residents the opportunity to shop, eat and socialise under one roof, with a range of popular high street stores from Karen Millen and Kurt Geiger to H&M and MAC. There are also a number of quality, community-minded cafes dotted along the area, such as Lavender House Café, a family friendly independent coffee shop with a popular children’s play area.

For something a little different, the historic Charter Market fills the town centre of Bromley every Thursday, Friday and Saturday throughout the day. Serving the community for over 800 years and counting, the Charter Market has a number of stalls dedicated to tempting food, arts and crafts, jewellery and more. Occasional speciality markets also feature at different times throughout the year.

Food shopping in Bromley

Large branches of most major supermarket chains can be found in Bromley, including a Tesco Superstore on Homesdale Road and a large Waitrose on Burnt Ash Lane, as well as small local branches throughout the borough.

Health and sport

Bromley has a selection of gyms and fitness suites, ranging from well-known clubs such as TruGym, Nuffield Health and Virgin Active to council-run services including the Pavilion Leisure Centre and Darwin Sports Centre.

Alternative outdoor activities are in good supply, with a number of tennis clubs, golf courses and cricket clubs dotted around the borough. Meanwhile if you’re looking for something a little less structured, a weekend walk on the Kent Downs is highly recommended.

Culture

Bromley might not offer the same variety of entertainment as some of the other London boroughs, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still tons of things to see and do. One of Bromley’s most popular attractions is The Churchill Theatre, which not only offers weekly youth theatre classes for children aged between 4-21 but also hosts a range of dramatic performances, while for history fans the remains of a Roman estate can be found in Crofton.

“From the up-market Michelin-starred experience of Mediterranean restaurant Chapter One in Orpington, to the heady aromas of Indian restaurant Pink Garlic on Chatterton Road, there is something to suit most tastes and budgets in this south-eastern borough”

Schools and education

Families are frequently drawn to the borough for its good schools, many of which have achieved Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ status. The best primary schools in Bromley include St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, St James’ RC School, and Farnborough Primary School, while for secondary students Bullers Wood School in Chislehurst and Highfield Junior School in Shortlands are among the best schools in Bromley.

Among the independent schools, Bromley High School and Eltham College are both particularly sought-after, while for further education the borough is home to London South East College, Nash College of Further Education, and Bromley Adult Education College.

Safety in Bromley

Bromley is considered to be a safe area to live in London, and ranked as 6th safest among the London boroughs in 2013. The crime rate here is 65 crimes per 1000 people, the same as the UK average and significantly lower than the London average of 93 per 1000.

Green space

If you’re looking to relax, Bromley is one of the few boroughs in London blessed with scenic views of the countryside. On the southern border, the tumbling expanse of the Kent Downs is the perfect place for locals to enjoy spectacular views, rolling hills and open grassland. The only Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in London, it is a huge draw for residents who value a connection to the countryside. Other green spaces in the borough include High Elms Country Park in Orpington, which has Site of Special Scientific Interest status and boasts 250 acres of woodland and meadows, a nature reserve and a 150-acre golf course.

History

A market town since the 1200s, Bromley saw its fortunes transformed like many others with the arrival of the railway in 1845, creating a popular London suburb for commuters into the capital. Once the home of literary icon HG Wells, music legend David Bowie and evolutionary scientist Charles Darwin, Bromley is geographically the largest of all the London boroughs and sits on the periphery of London as a uniquely self-contained town.

How can OneDome help me move to Bromley?

As the UK’s first website capable of connecting the entire homebuying journey, OneDome does it all. We’ll help you find a home in Bromley, get a mortgage, and sort out all the legal steps needed to purchase your new home. With everything online and one place, you and everyone involved (agents, solicitors, mortgage brokers) benefit from total visibility over each step in the homebuying process. And when everyone gets improved visibility, you’ll find that the homebuying process goes much quicker than traditional homebuying methods. For more information on what OneDome can do to help your move to Bromley, get in touch with us on 020 3868 6262.

OneDome, everything you need to complete your move.

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