The battle of North vs South has raged on since we can remember (no, this is not a Game of Thrones reference) and if you live in south London, I’m sure you’ve been questioned as to why you’d choose to live somewhere so far away, and so far from a tube stop. However, rising rents have encouraged young people to look further afield to Zone 3 south and beyond. But it’s not all doom and gloom - there’s plenty to enjoy south of the Thames, from parks and recreational spaces, to pop-up bars and restaurants. Here are our 10 reasons why going south is definitely a smart move.
There’s much more green space and parks south of the Thames - among the best parks are Crystal Palace Park, Wandsworth Common, Brockwell Park and Richmond Park. Perfect for jogging, autumn walks, and spotting loads of cute dogs.
It’s no secret that the further away you travel from zones 1 and 2, the cheaper the rent gets. But for those who have always lived in the inner city, don’t panic - areas in zone 3 such as Streatham and Tooting are only 20-30 minutes away from central London.
The wave of gentrification has truly transformed some areas (for better or worse) - forget Dalston, but areas south such as Peckham, New Cross and Brixton are attracting young creatives and professionals to the area, in search of more affordable nightlife and culture.
If you’re a fan of food markets and pop-ups, you’re in luck - other than the main favourites such as Borough Market, Lewisham Model Market is ever-popular with hipster types, and the Street Feast festival was a huge success last year. There’s also a wealth of famers markets, where you can buy lovely fresh produce - be sure to check out Brockley Market, and Crystal Palace Food Market for fruit, veg, and butcher’s meat.
Nightlife is booming
With more and more nightclubs and bars closing in London, social butterflies are heading south - due to more space, there are less council restrictions which means that there are loads of places to stay out until the small hours.
More garden space
With all that extra space, it’s no surprise that more people in south have access to a garden, than those who live north. On average, 20% of north Londoners have a garden, but that’s less than the 26% south.
Ditch the tube
Interesting fact: only 10% of underground stations are located south of the Thames. This means south London is served mostly by overground and rail stations, as well as the hundreds of bus routes leading into the city. A great way to see London, and to get an extra bit of Vitamin D.
Lower crime rate
It’s not surprising that the further you head out of the inner city, the more the crime rate goes down. You’ll find many of the safest and lowest-crime boroughs are south - with Richmond-Upon-Thames being the number one.
Museums and culture
Looking for a culture fix? You don’t need to go with the masses in central London to see art, history and design exhibitions - we highly recommend the National Martime Museum in Greenwich, The Horniman Museum in Crystal Palace, and The Dulwich Picture Gallery. You’ll also find plenty of pop-ups and independent cinemas - be sure to check out The Roxy in Brixton for indie cinema and documentaries.
Escape the traffic jams and congested high streets, in favour of fresh air. With less crammed-in development and building works, the air is less dusty and you’ll see the benefits to your skin and hair. It’s also easy to love the tree-lined streets and grassy commons - it makes the morning commute a little more enjoyable.