Saunders 1865 | Moving to Blackheath

Moving to Blackheath

Just seven miles from the city, Blackheath is a firm favourite for its village-like charm and the famous medieval heath, surrounded by Victorian and Georgian houses.  It straddles two London Boroughs, Greenwich and Lewisham and has fast and efficient transport links.  The Blackheath Society tends to the area’s popularity by preserving and enhancing the strong community spirit.  The society is one of the oldest in the UK.  Blackheath attracts families, couples and young professionals with a variety of accommodation from large homes to high-rise flats, great schools and a vibrant social scene.

Putting Blackheath on the Map

Located south-east of the City of London within the London Boroughs of Lewisham to the west and Greenwich to the north, Blackheath is convenient for those looking for a quick commute, the seven-mile trip into the city can be made in just 12 minutes.  Driving is really not an option, with the infamous congestion and commuting taxes, but London public transport is fast and efficient.

RAIL

From Blackheath station, the overland trains take 12 minutes to reach London Bridge and 20 minutes to Charing Cross.  Other stations nearby include Kidbrooke, Westcombe Park, and Greenwich.  There is no tube station in Blackheath, the closest is North Greenwich on the Jubilee Line.

DLR

Connecting to Canary Wharf, the DLR station at Lewisham is the closest hub.  The light rail system also operates from Greenwich.  The Jubilee line connects Blackheath to the West End.

BUS

Many lines traverse through the area including the 53 to Whitehall and the 202 to Crystal Palace.  The N89 is a night bus which goes to Trafalgar Square.

BOAT

The Thames Clipper provides a quick link from Greenwich Pier across the River Thames.

BICYCLE

Cycling is becoming extremely popular.  The Royal Observatory, the 02 Arena and Canary Wharf are all on the Blackheath to Canning Town bike route.

THE AIRPORTS

London Heathrow is 23 miles from Blackheath, Gatwick Airport is 39 miles and London City Airport is 7.6 miles away.

The Areas

Picture perfect and age-old charm, Blackheath is one of the capital’s prettiest and friendliest neighbourhoods.  From shopping to entertainment, along with lovely green spaces, you won’t need to leave the area for any reason, except maybe for work.  Tranquil Vale is the name of the high street, and one will find the local butcher, a bakery, a florist and a greengrocer all next to the typical high street shops.

KIDBROOKE

One of the most popular London locations, Kidbrooke Village is made up of four areas, The Village Centre, Blackheath Quarter, Meridian Gate and City Point.  This innovative area has launched London’s new-look home, creatively combining towering skyscrapers, with shared communal spaces and a gym, along with four-story urban houses, with panoramic roof terraces instead of traditional gardens at ground level, as a replacement for semis and detached houses with large footprints.  Some of the areas are still under construction, with a planned 5,000 homes in total.

SEREN PARK GARDENS

Ideally located on the Blackheath border, adjacent to the Maze Hill station, and minutes away from Greenwich station, Seren Park Gardens is modern living at its best.  With communal gardens and a concierge, close to markets, shops, the Maritime Museum and countless restaurants, this development is well designed and popular.  Also close is the University of Greenwich and Greenwich Park.

BLACKHEATH

Dating back to the predominance of wealthy residents during the 18th and 19th centuries, large Georgian and Victorian houses border the 200-hectare heath.  Many have been converted into apartments with generous proportions, while the post-war Span houses, built to house baby-boomers and the like, have two and three bedrooms and access to a communal garden.

The Cator Estate, or Blackheath Park, proves popular with residents looking for large Victorian houses with sizeable gardens, or smaller terraced houses and cottages in the village.

Some of the better streets in Blackheath include Cardigan Place, Orchard Drive, and Foxes Dale, with the less expensive being Sunfields Place, Thelma Gardens and Flintmill Crescent.

New developments in the area include the following:

FALCONWOOD COURT

For those look for extra security, this gated complex is comprised of studio apartments and two-bed flats.  With convenient private access to both the station and the village, the residences are set in landscaped gardens.  They all have secure parking bays.

GROVE PLACE

This area is mainly compromised of family sized three bedroomed apartments with high-end, designer finishes.  Many have private terraces or balconies.

FORBURY

Just a half-mile away from the village, this development consists of modern one to three-bed apartments and a number of four-bed villas, situated on Lee Terrace.

Who Lives and Works in Blackheath

With a population in the region of 33,500, 74% of Blackheath residents were born in England.  Around 35% of inhabitants in the job market are professionals, with a further 21.6% associate professionals.  91% speak English, and 39% have a university degree.  A large number of people are employed locally in the retail industry in the local high streets shops and markets.

Blackheath’s proximity to Canary Wharf and the City of London attracts many professional commuters, including lawyers, bankers, salespeople, technical and IT personnel.

The Best Bits
  • Famous residents who hail from Blackheath include Hugh Bonneville, Richard Branson, Mary Quant and Jools Holland.
  • The car park of Blackheath railways station doubles up as farmers market every Sunday, selling fruit and veg.  Greenwich Market has around 120 stalls selling all sorts, including clothing, crafts, and antiques.
  • The heath, which is the main focal point of the area, is a true escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Any number of joggers, cyclists and walkers can be seen at any time of the day.
  • The heath is the venue for the annual Bonfire Night fireworks display and takes place on the nearest Saturday to November the 5th.
  • The local independent shops offer homemade and organic foods.
  • The main shopping centres are Tranquil Vale and Montpelier Vale. The Bookshop on the Heath is the go-to shop for rare and collectable  The two streets have a good mix of quaint boutiques and high street shops.
  • Blackheath Library caters for all, from coffee mornings to kids’ classes, and adult learning classes and a specialist language section.
  • Many claim that the name Blackheath was adopted after it was a plague pit for victims of the 1340s plague. However, the name actually came from the colour of the soil.
  • The Cutty Sark, next door in Greenwich, was named after a Scots word for an item of Victorian underwear. Taken from the Burns poem, Tam o’Shanter, the witch, Nannie, wears a cutty-sark.
  • Blackheath is the starting point for the London Marathon, first held in 1981.
  • It is also home to Blackheath Halls, a 600-seat concert hall. This is the city’s oldest surviving purpose-built cultural venue.  Jazz shows, opera, and orchestral performances are all still performed here.
  • Greenwich Park is one of the capital’s eight Royal Parks. Time starts at the Prime Meridian Line and Royal Observatory, along with the amazing views across the river to St Pauls Cathedral.  It is the oldest deer park in London.
  • England’s first hockey and golf clubs are both located in Blackheath.
  • The On Blackheath festival unites local residents and visitors annually, celebrating food, music and the arts.
  • The 02 Arena is in Greenwich. This massive station, with the second highest seating capacity in the country, has a number of restaurants and bars, a music club and a Cineworld  It also hosts concerts with big names in the music industry, such as Robbie Williams and Beyoncé.
  • The oldest known rugby club in England, the Blackheath Rugby Club, organised the world’s first international rugby match, between Scotland and England, held in Edinburgh.
  • There are stacks of pubs and restaurants, along with a microbrewery, Zerodegrees.
Bringing the Kids

A huge draw for families, Blackheath has masses of choice for local schools, both private and state.  The state schools work on a catchment system, so residing in the local area is imperative.  Nine primary schools nearby have been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, including Invicta, Brindishe Manor, Brindishe Lee and John Ball.  Amongst the senior schools, St Ursula’s Convent, a girls’ school, is ‘outstanding’ while Thomas Tallis and the John Roan School are rated ‘good’.

The Wildwood Montessori School is convenient for the little ones.

Faith schools include Christ The King Sixth Form School and St Thomas More Catholic School.

Independent schools and colleges charge fees and do not have to follow the National Curriculum, but do offer a wider range of subjects than state schools.

Blackheath’s private and preparatory schools are St Olave’s Preparatory School, the Pointer School, Blackheath Preparatory School and Greenwich Steiner School.  The International Baccalaureate is being offered by more and more independent, or private, schools, which is helpful for expat children.

The International Academy of Greenwich is the only international school in the immediate area, but there are a number of them throughout the London boroughs.  Places here are limited, so early application is advised.  There are many International Schools in London, catering to a large number of expats in this popular destination.  These schools allow expat students to continue with the same syllabus as they were previously studying and are particularly good for short-term postings.  These schools charge hefty fees.

In the vicinity, universities and higher education include Anglian College, Shooters Hill Sixth Form College, and Greenwich Community College.  It is a quick hop by public transport to the numerous universities in the capital.

Relocating to Blackheath

With great education opportunities and all the fabulous historic sites in London, Blackheath is a dream location for expats.  Away from the madness of central London, it has an excellent public transport system in order to reach the city within minutes.  With a true community spirit, an almost village-like atmosphere, great choices in accommodation from massive Victorian mansions to studio apartments, magnificent green spaces bordering the most famous river in the world, and enough cultural highlights to keep families busy every weekend this is an ideal location for both singles and families.  The schooling system may appear tricky, but using an expert relocation specialist will help allay your fears.

ABOUT THIS AREA

Beautiful Houses
Close to City
Family friendly
Good Schools
Great Transport
Parks
Pretty Villages
Suburban Living Near City
Average Monthly Rental - Blackheath
One bedroom £1,295
Two bedrooms £1,700
Three bedrooms £1,900
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