Welcome to Sydenham
Our area guide for Sydenham offers a brief overview of the town and its attractions, properties, schools, history, council tax and public transport links.
Sydenham is an up and coming, vibrant town in South East London (SE26) with a fantastic community spirit and an interesting history. Situated between Dulwich to the north and Penge to the south, Sydenham has a diverse range of local residents with artists, musicians and city professionals living side by side. The town has an annual arts festival that brings all of the creative people together to form a fantastic community event. Sydenham is a very family orientated area. Sydenham, together with Forest Hill 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.
Sydenham has a mix of high street names and independent shops/boutiques. It is the one-off family businesses that really give Sydenham its buzz, and these retailers are enthusiastically supported by local residents. Try Billings - an independent fishmongers with an in-house butcher. The high street is also bursting with delicatessens, bistros and cafés like Blue Mountain and Sugar Mountain (an ice cream parlour and retro sweet shop). Sydenham also has a monthly street market, a regular stream of pop-up shops, the Kirkdale bookshop and gallery, the Orange Blossom bridal boutique, beauty salons, hairdressers, banks, a Post Office and supermarkets, including a large Sainsbury’s.
There are a vast number of attractions in Sydenham and the surrounding areas. Children can play in a variety of open spaces and the award-winning Crystal Palace Park, with its famous dinosaur sculpture is very close by. Crystal Palace Park, Wells Park and Mayow Park have a variety of facilities including an athletics centre, a farm zoo, lakes, football pitches, basketball and tennis courts, children's playgrounds, a putting green, a bowls club, a maze, a mini railway, a motor racing track, a boating lake and duck ponds. The parks often host circuses, fairgrounds, markets and fireworks displays. The town also has a leisure centre and library. Sydenham tennis club offers squash and croquet, and Sydenham Hill is home to Dulwich & Sydenham Hill golf course. On the borders of Sydenham are Dulwich Art Gallery and the Horniman Museum, with its beautiful landscaped gardens.
Sydenham Food and Drink
There are many local eateries for all tastes, ranging from local cafés to the renowned fine dining of Joannas. Locally there are many gastro pubs including The Dolphin, The Bridge House, The Dulwich Woodhouse and the Beltwood on Sydenham Hill. On the Hoof is a new bistro on Sydenham Road already a firm favourite with locals while Cherry & Ice is a brilliant ice cream parlour and coffee shop along the same road. Don't miss Fig & Pistachio - a French café on Kirkdale Road - a Shirin - a deli/sandwich bar with a Persian owner and plenty of Middle Eastern influences.
Sydenham started out as a small settlement, known as Sippenham until the 18th Century. The scene was almost rural, with a handful of cottages in the woods and animals grazing on the land. The town’s first taste of fame came in 1640 when water springs were found. Crowds flocked to the town believing the natural waters had medicinal properties. Growth accelerated in the 19th century after the introduction of the canal in 1801, although the only surviving stretch can be seen in Dacres Wood Nature Reserve. The railway opening in 1840 sealed Sydenham’s place on the map and many gas companies came to base themselves in the town. However, Sydenham’s zenith came in 1854 when the ‘Crystal Palace’ was built in what was known as Sydenham Park (now called Crystal Palace Park). Exhibitions, concerts, conferences and sporting events were held at the Crystal Palace until it burned down in 1936. Sydenham was a very affluent area in Victorian times and the Robinson Jackson office is actually located on the site of the former Cobbs department store, which people travelled miles to shop in.
Sydenham Property Market
Sydenham has a very diverse housing market from one-bedroom ex-local authority flats to five-bedroom or more detached residences that can change hands for more than £1 million. Some of the most sought after properties are the attractive Victorian houses and converted flats that form part of the huge Victorian mansion buildings. Due to its diverse housing market, the town attracts a varied range of people, mostly families and young professionals, who chose Sydenham for its strong commuter links.
Sydenham Council Tax
Sydenham falls under both Bromley and Lewisham councils. The latest Bromley council tax charges can be found here:-
The latest Lewisham council tax charges can be found here:-
The following schools serve the Sydenham area:
- Adamsrill Primary School
- Eliot Bank Primary School
- Haseltine Primary School
- Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School
- Kelvin Grove Primary School
- Our Lady and St Philip Neri RC Primary School
- St Bartholomews's CofE Primary School
- St Michael's CofE Primary School
- Alexandra Junior School
- Sydenham High School for Girls
- Sydenham High School for Girls
- Forest Hill Secondary School
- Sydenham Secondary School
The closest hospitals to Sydenham are Kings College Hospital London and Lewisham Hospital.
Sydenham Transport links
Sydenham 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: 15 minutes to Canada Water; 21 minutes to London Bridge; 25 minutes to Shoreditch; 42 minutes to Highbury & Islington and 21 minutes to Victoria. Sydenham is also well served by buses.
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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.