Welcome to Beckenham, a South London town with a BR postcode that is well-connected to central London and has affordable rental prices. Not to mention a busy, yet somehow relaxed high street, plenty of restaurants, local bars and even a nightclub.
Once a quiet village of Kent, the area is now a prominent town in London and is proving to be a popular choice with both single professionals and young families. Good schools and excellent travel links are the driving factors, but there are more layers to the town Beckenham.
David Bowie, who lived in the area and once ran a folk night at a local pub, is a hero in BR3, while Crystal Palace, the Premier League football club, train on the outskirts of the area. Beckenham is a small South London town that packs a mighty punch.
On a Map
Beckenham is eight miles south of Charing Cross and comes under the London Borough of Bromley. It borders Beckenham Park and Bellingham, which is in the borough of Lewisham. It is also less than two miles from Bromley.
Unlike most London towns, Beckenham is a bit lighter on the ground when it comes to history. Artefacts were found at Holwood Park, and a Roman Camp was set up on Roman Road, which is part of the Beckenham district.
The primary church in Beckenham, St George’s Church, was built in the 12th century and the local manors were divided into small estates. Up until as recently as the 19th century, Beckenham remained a small village in Kent.
By the late 1800s, the area began to grow, with Shortlands, Clock House and Elmers End expanding the area. In 1965, it entered the Greater London Borough as part of the London Borough of Bromley.
Who Lives There?
Beckenham features a fairly even mix of families and single professionals. Affordable property prices mean that families can rent three-bedroom houses for much cheaper than other areas in the London postcode. According to the 2011 census, 82,000 people are residents in Beckenham.
Renting in Beckenham
While there are a few new developments dotted around the town, the majority of properties come in the form of period homes. From Tudor houses to 1960s purpose-built apartment blocks, those thinking of moving to BR3 have plenty of choice.
Expect to pay around £1,000 on average for a one-bedroom home. Two-bedroom properties fetch around £1,300 and three-bedroom homes achieve in the region of £1,800. Four and five bedroom properties average around £2,500.
When compared with other village type areas such as Hampstead and Blackheath, where one bedroom properties average £1,850 and £1,300 respectively, it’s easy to see the appeal Beckenham holds with those looking for a village-type area for less.
For a town that doesn’t have a London postcode, Beckenham is well-connected to central London and offers service faster than many of the areas closer to the capital. Beckenham Junction train station is the central transport hub and has direct trains to London Victoria in just over 20 minutes.
Altogether there are eight train stations in the area, with Beckenham Hill, New Beckenham, Clock House, Kent House, Ravensbourne, Eden Park and Elmers End joining Beckenham Junction. From these stations, residents can get to Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Victoria and St Pancras.
So many train stations for an area with less than 100,000 residents is somewhat unprecedented. And it doesn’t stop with trains: there is also a tram line that goes to Croydon and Wimbledon. All stations are in Zone 4, except for Eden Park, which is Zone 5.
For such a small town, Beckenham offers plenty of things to do for local residents. Bars, restaurants a nightclub and cinema make up some of the attractions in BR3.
Whether it’s a few cocktails to start your night or enjoying the grilled menu, Desperados Grill & Cantina has you covered. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, with steaks, BBQ and Fajitas the main attractions on the menu. There are also vegetarian options.
Address: 6 Station Square, Orpington BR5 1NA
Tapeo Cafe & Tapas is right bang in the middle of Beckenham High Street and offers a fine selection of tapas treats from the heartlands of Spain. The warm and inviting atmosphere is ideal for those who want to enjoy a few hours relaxing while enjoying tasty tapas.
Address: 142 High Street Beckenham, Beckenham BR3 1EA
One of Beckenham’s favourites, Burger Bubbles Bar has is the go-to place for burgers. Try their Tipsy-Tea menu, which takes an uncharacteristic approach to afternoon teas. Instead of just scones and jam, expect mini cheeseburgers, pulled pork and mini buttermilk chicken. Delicious.
Address: 1- 4 Southend Rd, Beckenham BR3 1SD
Things to do
The Odeon in Beckenham is a prominent feature, situated on the roundabout as you enter the area from Penge. It shows all the latest blockbusters and is within walking distance from most of the homes in the area.
Address: The, High St, Beckenham BR3 1DY
Bridge Bar has long been a favourite in Beckenham, with a bar upstairs and a nightclub downstairs that is open until the early hours of the morning. They play a mixture of the latest sounds and some 80s classics. Shake a leg on the weekend after a long working week.
Address: 2-4 High St, Beckenham BR3 1AZ
You can’t have a village town without green spaces to wander. Fortunately, Kelsey Park offers open spaces where you can enjoy a stroll. There is also a rose garden and mini golf for those who want to partake in some sporting activities.
Address: Manor Way, B
Moving to Beckenham
At first glance, Beckenham’s main draw is in its affordable rental prices. Peel back the layers, however, and you have an area that offers village vibes, yet manages to incorporate amenities often associated with larger towns. If you want a quiet town with plenty of things to do and good travel connections, Beckenham should be high up on your list.