Tranquillity reigns in this south-facing, one-bedroom flat in Forest Hill, where the defining features of peace and light combine to create a haven in the city.
Forest Croft, Forest Hill, 1 Bed. Flat
THE LEGAL BIT
While we endeavour to provide accurate photographs, floor plans, and descriptions, these should be intended as a guide. Total floor plan measurements are sometimes rounded for ease, and distances are approximated. Purchasers should always satisfy themselves through personal inspection.
Perched upon the top of Forest Hill, this first-floor flat is worth the climb. Thanks to its position sitting aloft and facing southwards, sunlight streams into the living spaces, flooding them in natural light.
Due to the architectural eye of the current owner, every design element has been carefully considered, from stainless steel accents in the kitchen to the oak parquet that runs from the living room to the bedroom, creating a harmonious flow to the entire flat. It is also thoroughly in keeping with the building's Art Deco roots. The bedroom is surprisingly spacious, with a bank of built-in storage along one wall. The décor is neutral yet warm, inviting and in excellent order.
The serene communal grounds surrounding Forest Croft are an ever-changing backdrop and provide a buffer from the hum of urban life. There is also private off-street parking, giving an extra level of convenience.
Forest Hill is a jewel of South London. It is loved for its village feel, strong community and good transport links. There are enough pubs, independent stores and eateries to keep you occupied all year round, yet Forest Hill's crowning glory must be the Horniman Museum (voted the Museum of the Year 2022). With beautiful gardens and stunning views of the London skyline, it's a venue that hosts a wide range of events, from fairs and festivals to a weekly farmers' market.
THE OWNERS SAY
Forest Croft has been my little oasis on top of the hill for the past 9 years. When I decided to try to get on the property ladder those years ago, I’d never even heard of Forest Hill. The idea of not being on a tube line gave me palpitations. But a wise colleague told me to jump on a bus and go and look around, and I’m so glad she did.
The area is quiet, but not too quiet. It feels very much part of London but has its own distinctive identity. For me, South East London has a different rhythm. It is calmer, greener, and more open. You can see the sky!
The building is so peaceful, and the flat itself is bright and calming. The living room is bathed in sun for most of the day. In the summer, the grounds are green and leafy; you can sleep with the window open and hear only birds. The neighbours are lovely, and there is a real sense of community – most have lived here for a significant period with a mix of old and young.
As an architect, I felt a responsibility to leave number 21 in a better condition than I found it. My input has been light but targeted. Last year, I replaced the floor with something much more in keeping with the flat’s origins. I couldn’t have asked for more from my first home, but change is the only constant, and it’s time for me to move on. I will miss Forest Croft deeply.
POINTS TO CONSIDER
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC):
Current Energy Rating C. Potential Energy Rating C.
The property falls into Band B (£1,128 in 2023/24) in the borough of Lewisham.
Current monthly costs are approx: Electricity £60, Gas £60 and Water £41.
Share of Freehold (approximately 100 years left on the lease).
Varies between £2,000 and £2,600 per year, collected every six months.
In the building, there are 64 flats in total.
The current owner has replaced the flooring with square parquet and enhanced the lighting. There are also ongoing upgrades and improvements planned to the building, which the residents manage. So far, a security access system and fibre optic wiring have been installed, and the lift and all corridor doors and lighting have been replaced.
South London isn’t known for its transport connections, but Forest Hill bucks that trend. The overground gets you to Shoreditch in 25 minutes, while the train will contact you to London Bridge in only 14 minutes. Plus, you can reach Gatwick in under an hour door to door (head straight down to East Croydon on the train, change there, then straight to Gatwick).
The area is also very well connected by bus. The 197 will take you from the bottom of Taymount Rise to the heart of Peckham in under 20 minutes, should you need a fix of bao buns and IPA. If cosy pubs and Sunday roasts are your thing, the 185 or 176 will get you to Dulwich from the same stop in 10 minutes. You’re spoilt for choice.
Almost criminally little-known, the Horniman is one of London’s true gems. A beautifully eclectic, small but perfectly formed natural history museum and park gifted to the city in the Victorian era by Fredrick Horniman, the owner of the world’s largest tea company at the time. The gardens are stunning, offering incredible views over London. A Mecca for kids, it is open all year around, but it truly comes to life in the summer when music festivals and performances are held on the bandstand. Grab a takeaway pizza, go and sit on the grass and watch the sunset. There’s a charming little farmers market there every Sunday, only a 5-minute walk from the flat.
The owner is selling chain-free.
Explore South East London
This local gem is always popular, almost like a mini natural history museum. The museum itself houses an aquarium, thousands of stuffed animals including the ‘celebrity’ giant walrus, musical instruments and anthropological artefacts collected from around the world. In the beautiful landscaped gardens are a Butterfly House and an animal walk with alpacas, sheep and chickens. There are wide reaching views of the London skyline from the Bandstand and on Sundays local producers sell their wares here.
The local park has something for everyone - tennis courts for those feeling active, a playground for the smalls, and a terrific cafe to enjoy a drink afterwards.
Offering more than just delicious vegan and vegetarian food, this is an events space that is all about the community, serving young, old and everyone in between with music, yoga and baby classes.
Oh the joys of a local greengrocer! Pick up seasonal fresh fruit and veg as well as tips from the knowledgeable and friendly staff.
A grocery shop with a difference, Good Food was crowdfunded by 350 local residents in 2015. Their aim is to provide the community with decent, locally produced and fair traded produce, and boy, do they deliver. For cheese fanatics, the Real Cheese Club will keep you in delicious cheeses every month.