Two of south London’s smallest towns combine to make… well, not quite a superpower, but an area with quirky shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and well-connected transport links. Oh, and let’s not forget the affordable rental prices.
Both areas sit right next to each other and are essentially joined by the hip. Despite West Norwood having a southeast London postcode (SE27) and Tulse hill featuring a southwest London one (SW2), most people move between the two without even realising they’re in a different area.
West Norwood and Tulse hill have a bunch of popular neighbours too: West Dulwich, Dulwich Village, Herne Hill, Brixton, Streatham and Crystal Palace are all nearby. Plus, there are plenty of green spaces to add a tranquil vibe to surrounding areas.
On a Map
Situated in the London Borough of Lambeth, West Norwood and Tulse Hill are located just over five miles from Charing Cross. Part West Norwood sits on hilltops, meaning many properties have prominent views of the City of London and Canary Wharf.
Initially called “Great North Wood”, a name used for the hilly and wooded areas of Croydon, then “Lower Norwood”, the area eventually went on to become known as West Norwood in the middle of the 19th century. Norwood High Street contained the earliest reference to shops and has remained the central shopping hub of the area to this day.
Much of West Norwood was damaged during both World Wars. Today, many parts of SE27 have been declared conservation areas including the area around the cemetery, Lancaster Avenue and Rosendale Road.
Tulse Hill was formerly part of the Manors of Bodley, Upgroves and Scarlettes, though their exact boundaries are unknown. The name of the area originates from the Tulse family, who came into ownership during the 1650s. The area is so small that Tulse Hill Farm was the only building in the area.
Even as recently as 1832, Tulse Hill had very few buildings, especially when compared to neighbouring towns, West Norwood, Brixton and West Dulwich. Significant development of the area didn’t start until 1868, which coincided with the construction of Tulse Hill railway station.
The 2011 census shows that West Norwood and Tulse Hill have a combined population of just over 31,000. However, that number has undoubtedly grown over the years. There is a fairly even spread of men and women in both areas, with 51 percent female and 49 percent male.
Renting in West Norwood and Tulse Hill
The overwhelming majority of properties in West Norwood and Tulse Hill are homes from the Victorian era, many of which have been converted into flats. There is also a sprinkling of new developments, though regeneration hasn’t been as forthcoming as other areas - mainly due to the small size of both towns.
A one-bedroom apartment in West Norwood and Tulse Hill fetches around £1,100 per month, and a two-bed property achieves in the region of £1,480. Three-bed-and-up properties average between £2,200 and £3,000.
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West Norwood and Tulse Hill Travel
A local train station serves both areas. West Norwood station has direct services into London Bridge, Victoria, West Croydon and Clapham Junction. Tulse Hill station also has direct trains to London Bridge as well as St Albans in Hertfordshire. Local bus services are available, with routes to Brixton, Herne Hill, Streatham and Crystal Palace. The no.2 bus also goes to central London.
West Norwood and Tulse Hill Eateries
The Garden is one of West Norwood’s most popular restaurants and serves up authentic Italian cuisine. They use mainly Italian products, fresh vegetables and daily meat from the local markets. Enjoy an excellent range of pasta and sourdough pizzas.
Address: 31 Knight's Hill, West Norwood, London SE27 0HS
Just a stone’s throw away from Tulse Hill is where you will find Park’s Edge Bar and Kitchen, a restaurant that serves up British classics with a touch of modernity. Eat, drink, relax and enjoy great food at Park’s Edge Bar and Kitchen.
Address: 49 - 51 Norwood Rd, Herne Hill, London SE24 9AA
Grab a bite and enjoy a hot brew at Pintadera Cafe. There are freshly prepared main courses that include pasta, salads, ciabattas and paninis. Cheese and meat lovers will want to try the artisan cheese boards and a selection of cured hams and salamis.
Address: 50 Knight's Hill, West Norwood, London SE27 0JD
Things to do in West Norwood and Tulse Hill
Despite its small size, there are a fair few things to do in West Norwood, such as paying a visit to The Clockworks. This unique studio combines a museum, workshop, library, and meeting space all under one roof. The Clockworks offers a chance to explore a collection of artefacts, books and journals, all related to the story of electric time.
The former West Norwood library reopened its doors as a picture house, bringing a cinema to West Norwood for the first time in almost one hundred years. Catch the latest movies, or hire the venue out for your own private screening.
Founded in 1910, the South London Botanical Institute features a botanical garden and runs a variety of courses, workshops, school visits and events. Known as “the hidden little gem of Tulse Hill”, a visit to the gardens shelter tender plants and has themed beds and a new moss trail.
Moving to West Norwood and Tulse Hill
Good transports, a selection independent restaurants and cafes, and properties with charm provide West Norwood and Tulse Hill with their own distinct feel. If you’re looking for a quaint London postcode to call your home, either West Norwood or Tulse Hill should be on your list.
Main image credit: www.southlondonclub.co.uk