Moving to Rotherhithe
Are you moving to Rotherhithe? With its rich maritime history and proximity to London, Rotherhithe is fast becoming a popular residential and commuter hub. With everything that the city has to offer right on the doorstep, this area is ideal for business people, culture seekers and families alike. Compared with other suburbs it is quiet with lots of green spaces and great views of the city.
Our free, in-depth Moving to Rotherhithe report includes info on:
• The best areas to live
• The good schools
• The average monthly rental prices
• The excellent public transport system in the city
Putting Rotherhithe on the Map
This historic district, previously known as Redriff, is located on the south bank of the Thames on a peninsula of sorts. Incorporated in the borough of Southwark and situated south-west of the capital, Rotherhithe forms part of the Docklands area.
One of its finest assets are the excellent transport links.
- It has been part of the London Overground network since 2010 and provides good links to the rest of the city. The Jubilee Line is also handy for commuters. The former Rotherhithe underground station has been rebuilt as an over ground stop, taking passengers north to Highbury and Islington via the city and south to Crystal Palace and West Croydon. It is a quick train ride to Stratford and Canary Wharf, or in another direction, to Waterloo and London Bridge.
- There is an abundance of bus routes travelling in all directions.
- A ferry connecting Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf works well for those employed in the Docklands area.
- For those brave enough to venture into the city by car, the Rotherhithe Tunnel is an option.
- The Docks and Rotherhithe have a high density of cycle lanes, with routes including Rotherhithe Street, Greenland Dock, the ecological park and the Albion Channel.
With an almost Somerset feel, and very family orientated, the village encompasses the streets close to St Mary’s Church and the station. With extremely high-end warehouse conversions and revamped, smart flats, this area has real character. The Mayflower Pub in Rotherhithe Street is located near where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America in 1620. It is the only pub in the UK that is licenced to sell both English and American postage stamps. There is a commemorative plaque to the Rotherhithe resident and captain of the Mayflower, Christopher Jones, on one side of St Mary’s Church along with a statue of him in the churchyard.
Reasonably priced compared to the Docklands area, it is more expensive than other districts in South London. Rental flats are the least expensive, but the penthouses overlooking the Thames are exceptionally pricey. The cobbled streets and old Wharf buildings, Docklands views, upriver to Tower Bridge, downriver to Canary Wharf and across to London’s iconic skyline, are fabulous. This area is ideal for those who work in the city, but need to escape the hustle and bustle at weekends and after-hours. The village is located near the entrance to the tunnel.
A haven for students, with quick access to the universities on the other side of the river, more and more people are moving to Canada Water, which offers reasonably priced flat rentals. While it is not one of London’s party areas, it is great for youngsters seeking a more peaceful atmosphere in which to study. The quick trip to Canary Wharf, with its multitude of great pubs and restaurants, make the area popular with younger professionals too. With a choice of the ferry, the underground from Canada Water station or a quick drive through Rotherhithe Tunnel, entry to the city is convenient and fast.
This bustling district, full of character and history, has changed beyond recognition with the advent of gentrification. The old leather tanneries centre left behind a legacy of industrial buildings ripe for loft conversions, the penthouses in Shad Thames sell for a king’s ransom, with former council blocks – now right-to-buy and close to Southwark Park – being sold and rented at much more affordable prices. There is also a variety of original Georgian properties, previously home to local dock workers.
It is easy to walk to work in the city and has lovely riverside ambles with views including the Globe Theatre, Southwark Cathedral and the Oxo Tower. The area around Maltby Street is a food mecca.
There is ample green space, and great primary and secondary schools, some rated outstanding by Ofsted.
It is home to Millwall Football Club’s stadium in Zampa Road.
Previously known as the Surrey Commercial Docks, which had become derelict before being closed down, there were fewer than 6,000 people living here in 1981, with most of the docks being filled in. Thereafter, in 15-year regeneration project, more than 5,500 new townhouses and flats were built, along with waterfront homes around Greenland Dock. The area is home to South Dock, London’s largest marina. The parks and woodlands, and the network of canals formed part of the peaceful residential backwaters, and after the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre opened the entire area adopted the name Surrey Quays. The best areas are Greenland Dock, Maple Quays and Lavender Road. Generally, the southern half of the peninsula is known as Surrey Quays.
A new town centre and regeneration project is underway, along with revamping the tired shopping centre. Literally, hundreds of new residences are planned in up-market developments.
The area attracts professional people, along with students and buy-to-let investors.
Who Lives and Works in Rotherhithe?
The population is made up mainly of professional, business, media and public service employees. The population is around 15,000 people and is a diverse, multi-cultural society. Surrey Docks and Scandinavia have historic links, and the area is home to a thriving Scandinavian community, with both Norwegian and Finnish churches on either side of the library on Albion Street, and a Swedish church a little further away. A mix of Scandinavian-owned cafes, hostels and shops are located in the same area. It is also a popular area with the many South African and Chinese people living in London. All a far cry from the shipbuilders and shipwrights that used to live in Paradise Row.
Michael Caine and Max Bygraves were born here. Princess Margaret met Tony Armstrong-Jones, her future husband, in a house in Rotherhithe.
The Best Bits
For peace and quiet away from the city noise and traffic, but minutes away from the business districts of the capital, Rotherhithe offers history, good public transport and plenty to do for families and commuters.
- Minutes away from many London landmarks.
- Southwark Park, dating back to the 1869, a Green Flag Award-winning park with a sports centre, bowling green, tennis courts, football pitches, art gallery, kids’ playroom, a café and a bandstand that regularly hosts event.
- Brunel Museum houses the Brunel Engine House, which showcases the career of England’s most famous engineer.
- St Mary’s Church was built between 1714 and 1747, has a gallery and a magnificent organ with a carved and gilded case which dates back to 1764.
- The Russian Dock Woodland was originally a dock for importing timber from Russia, Sweden and Norway. Another Green Flag Award winner, it features a series of ponds and channels providing habitats for herons and kingfishers. Dock features that have survived through the centuries include mooring chains and wall capstones.
- The Thames Tunnel was, when it opened in 1843, described as the Eighth Wonder of the World. On opening day 50,000 people each paid a penny to walk through the tunnel, under the river. It was the most famous visitor attraction in the world.
- The Scandinavian Midsummer Market takes place annually in June on Albion Street.
- Stave Hill Ecological Park. This artificial mound on reclaimed land has breath-taking views of Canary Wharf and the docks.
- Bermondsey Square antiques market every Friday morning.
- Borough Market on Saturday morning is especially popular with foodies.
- Surrey Docks Water Sports Centre accommodates windsurfing, kayaking, raft building, power boating and sailing.
- The Seven Islands Leisure Centre has one of the largest swimming pools in the capital.
- International and local restaurants and traditional pubs provide evening entertainment, with quiz and music nights. The Mayflower pub is the oldest along the River Thames.
- Surrey Quays Shopping Centre has a number of small retailers along with the big-name brands. The leisure complex has a bingo hall, cinema, bowling alley and a number of restaurants and cafes.
Bringing the Kids
Rotherhithe is a great place to bring up children, with lots of open, green areas and highly-rated Ofsted public schools.
- There are over 70 public primaries and 20+ secondary schools in the borough, all of them working on the catchment system. Many of them have religious affiliations, but none charge fees.
- Lewisham Southwark College offers further education, mainly used by people from Lewisham, Greenwich and Southwark.
- London offers a host of universities, with a profusion of subjects.
- The London Christian School is the only private school in the area, but there are a further nine within a 3-mile radius. These are fee paying schools.
- For those wishing to further their children’s education in the International School system, there are around 14 international schools in London. Places are limited and fees are high.
Relocating to Rotherhithe
With its long maritime history, architecture and character, the residents have a strong sense of community and the area feels far away from the vibrant capital city across the river. A good choice of accommodation, dependent on budget, ranges from top-end warehouse and loft conversions to apartments and Georgian terrace houses. Rental costs are pretty low compared to other Dockland areas. Transport links are excellent, which is great for commuters, shoppers, and those seeking an evening’s entertainment in the city. A well-educated workforce and good schools make this an excellent, quiet are for expats and their families, with theatres and a vibrant nightlife in the capital nearby. The complicated rental system in the UK may be hard to navigate, and choosing accommodation in the correct area in terms of your children’s schools may also pose a problem. Using an area relocation agency, with a good knowledge of the district, will provide peace of mind throughout this tricky process.
Average Monthly Rents in Rotherhithe