Welcome to Forest Hill

Our area guide to Forest Hill offers a brief overview of the area and its attractions, properties, schools, history, council tax and public transport links.

Area Guides

Forest Hill Overview

Forest Hill is in the SE23 postcode and lies to the north of Sydenham and to the east of Dulwich. It has been a well-kept secret among residents like interior designer Linda Barker but the arrival of the East London Line Overground in 2010 created a new focus on Forest Hill. The rail extension directly links the town to Canada Water, Hoxton and Highbury & Islington - providing a much-valued South-North London link. Forest Hill, together with Sydenham and Kirkdale, is a Portas Pilot Town - with the SEE3 group steering the town's retail direction, using the funds awarded to create more business and awareness for local traders.

Forest Hill Shopping

Lifestyle boutique Bunka has spread its wings and opened in Forest Hill, after successfully plying its trade in trendy Earlsfield and Balham. Likewise Dapper is an interiors shop where the owner Douglas hand-picks individual home-ware items for sale. Sugar Mountain is the go-to shop for traditional sweets, ice cream and artisan produce; The Butchery is famed for its seasonal and 'nose to tail' style of butchery, while Finches is great for outdoor sports equipment. Doopoo Doopoo is a new gallery and boutique full of affordable arts and products, while The Fitting Studio is worth a mention for its fantastic stock of lingerie and excellent customer service.

Forest Hill Attractions

The widely-renowned Horniman Museum is Forest Hill's premier attraction, with its world culture, natural history and music collections. The adjacent 16 acres of immaculate gardens and on-site aquarium are not to be missed. The arts scene in Forest Hill is thriving and residents can get 'hands on' with a range of craft courses run by quirky haberdashery store Stag and Bow. The Montage is a friendly art gallery with regular events and an in-house coffee shop - well worth a visit. The Hob award-winning pub is more than just a watering hole. Check out its regular programme of comedy, live music and quiz nights. Regular SE23 events include a food fair, a fashion week and a film festival.

Forest Hill Food and Drink

Residents can be found in The Tea Pot, Berries, Canvas & Cream or St David - all respected coffee shops with a refreshing brew and slice of cake always on offer. The Dartmouth Arms is a recommended gastro pub on Dartmouth Road, while on the same stretch of street is the Sylvan Post - a quirky pub in an old Post Office, serving food as well as drink. The Hill Lounge Bar & Kitchen is a diverse destination, with a DJ booth and dance floor complementing the bar and extensive menu - which features everything from afternoon tea and roasts to speciality pizzas and Caribbean delicacies. The All In One pub is a family favourite as it has a decked garden area and a children's playground. For a taste of the exotic, visit Babur - an award-winning Indian restaurant on Brockley Rise.

Forest Hill History

Forest Hill, as its name suggests, was a sparsely-populated place until the mid-19th century. The name Forest Hill was actually invented by a developer in the 1790s when just 15 houses were built - a moniker to reflect its character of a woody hill. More accelerated development occurred in the 1840s, when the train station's name was changed from the Dartmouth Arms to Forest Hill, and in 1869 when the Croydon Canal was created. The relocation of Crystal Palace to neighbouring Sydenham also prompted new luxurious homes to be built in the western area of Forest Hill.

Forest Hill Property market

Dartmouth Road is the heart of Forest Hill activity so homes within walking distance of this destination are highly desirable. The Honor Oak part of Forest Hill is a mini-village within the town, and its friendly atmosphere make it a hit with young professionals and families alike. Coveted roads include Westwood Park, Tewkesbury Avenue, Devonshire Road, Ringmore Rise, Perry Vale and Canonbie Road, where you'll find a mix of large Victorian and Edwardian houses - some divided into flats - as well as 1930s properties and purpose-built apartments.

Forest Hill Council Tax

Forest Hill is in the borough of Lewisham, and the council tax valuation details can be found here


Forest Hill Education

Primary schools

  • Christ Church CofE Primary School
  • Dalmain Primary School
  • Fairlawn Primary School
  • Holy Trinity CofE Primary School
  • Horniman Primary School
  • Kilmorie Primary School
  • Perrymount Primary School
  • St William of York RC Primary School
  • Stillness Infant & Junior School

Secondary schools

  • Forest Hill Secondary School

Forest Hill Hospitals

The closest hospitals to Forest Hill are Guy's & St Thomas' Hospital, and Lewisham Hospital

Forest Hill Transport Links

Forest Hill is well linked to central London, South London and Surrey by rail and road. Many popular commuter destinations can be reached in less than 40 minutes, with journey times of: 11 minutes to Canada Water; 14 minutes to London Bridge; 22 minutes to Shoreditch; 36 minutes to Highbury & Islington and 36 minutes to Victoria. The South Circular runs through Forest Hill for easy road access to and from central London.

For a FREE valuation or general advice contact your local branch today

All of our branches are open until late, even on Sundays.

To make sure we turn enquiries into viewings, we are available 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. Our longer opening hours are a huge advantage when selling a property. Ask a member of staff to show you their diary on a Sunday and you’ll be amazed by the number of appointments.