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Forest Hill


 Forest Hill Area Guide 




Forest Hill in south-east London is located between Dulwich and Sydenham. Forest Hill is one of those easy-to-miss spots that deserves’ a closer look. Situated on a sharp bend on the South Circular Road, Forest Hill, like so many other places in south London, is named after the Great North Wood that once covered much of Kent and Sussex.

Its three greatest assets are the Horniman Museum, housed in a landmark Arts and Crafts building, which has had £17 million spent on it in the past decade; the panoramas from its vertiginous hills — the views from the top of Canonbie Road are breathtaking; its transport links to central London via the suburban network to London Bridge and now to Canary Wharf and the City via the extended East London Line.

Forest Hill’s shops and restaurants are clustered around the station, and it is an area undergoing change with new independent shops, coffee bars and restaurants opening up. There is a Sainsbury’s and a cavernous Wetherspoons in the old Art Deco Capitol Cinema. Bunka is a small boutique chain selling women’s and men’s clothes which started life in Forest Hill but now has branches in Earlsfield and Balham while the Stag and Bow has an eclectic mix of vintage homewares and craft items and runs craft workshops.
Canvas & Cream is a new restaurant and art gallery which recently hosted an event at which Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson were the star guests. The Sylvan Post is a popular pub in the old Post office; and the Dartmouth Arms is the best local gastro pub.

Travel: The south circular road runs through Forest Hill. Forest Hill station (Zone 3 annual travelcard £1,368) is 15 minutes from London Bridge and around 35 minutes to Victoria. The East London Line connects with the City at Shoreditch and Canary Wharf with a change at Canada Water.

History of Forest Hill

Forest Hill was a wooded area with very few inhabitants until the mid-19th century. The Croydon Canal was cut through the area in 1809 but was not a commercial success, mainly because there were so many locks to go through. The London and Croydon Railway Company bought the canal and constructed their railway along more or less the same route in 1839. In 1846 the Company experimented with a new form of power. Trains from London Bridge to Epsom were pulled along by vacuum power - it was called the Atmospheric Railway.


Schools in the area:

 Forest hill school

Kilmorie Primary School

Dalmain Primary School

Perrymount Primary School

Brent Knoll School

St William of York Catholic Primary School

Townsend Montessori Nursery

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