There are a wealth of village areas in London, an impressive feat for a dense city with a population of nine million. Yet, despite the capital's large numbers and endless shiny high rises, the village life is easily attainable. Enter Chelsfield, where you can find a slice of village living in southeast London.
Located to the east of Orpington, Chelsfield feels like it's a million miles away from the The Big Smoke's hustle and bustle. When, in reality, it's just a thirty-minute-plus train ride to the centre of London.
So if you're looking for idyllic, tranquil living with close connections to inner London, it's time to move to Chelsfield. In our latest London guide, we're bringing you everything you need to know about the BR6 postcode.
On a map
History of Chelsfield
Chelsfield first appeared in the Domesday Book in 1086, where it was referred to as Cillesfelle, which meant "land of a man called Cēol". It formed an ancient parish before becoming a civil parish in Kent.
The parish stretched as far as Orpington, becoming part of the Bromley Rural District in 1894. Then, in 1965, it was transferred to Greater London and became part of the London Borough of Bromley.
Who lives there?
According to the 2011 census, Chelsfield has a population of 14,500. The median age is 47, which is older than many other areas in and around London. Currently, renters in Chelsfield only account for 26% of homes – though the number is growing.
Renting in Chelsfield
There's plenty of rustic charm to be found in Chelsfield, with Victorian cottages and other period properties available. If you're a fan of older homes (often with a modern twist), Chelsfield will certainly intrigue you.
One-bedroom homes average in the region of £1,000, two-bedroom properties achieve £1,200, and three-bedroom houses go on the market for around £1,400. Homes with four or more bedrooms start from around £1,600.
Chelsfield station is run by the National Rail and has services to Charing Cross via Orpington and Lewisham. You can also change at Orpington, which has trains to London Victoria, Brixton and Herne Hill in south London.
The Five Bells
Another village pub favourite, The Five Bells has all the hallmarks of a country pub and is a great place to enjoy a few drinks or some classic grub. They even make afternoon teas, just in case you're feeling fancy.
Scala is a Mediterranean bar and grill on the high street where you can enjoy contemporary style food mixed with traditional flavours. And when you've finished tasty Mediterranean treats, head to the bar for a few classy cocktails.
Perhaps the de facto local in the area, The Chelsfield is a popular pub for all the family – and your dog. Expect a warm welcome from the staff, whether you're stopping by for a pint or to enjoy a scrumptious Sunday lunch.
Things to do in Chelsfield
Bask in the great outdoors at Lilly's Wood, an open space with plenty of woodland that's perfect for a scenic stroll. From big bushy trees to lush greens, Lilly's Wood blends in perfectly with the village vibes on offer in Chelsfield and is a great place to go for a walk with a little furry friend.
The View Point
Appreciate the London skyline from the View Point in Chelsfield and bask in sweeping sights of the capital. Located on Chelsfield Common, the View Point was restored so that visitors can soak up impressive views that include Bromley Town Centre and the Crystal Palace mast.
Just outside Orpington is where you will find Hewitt's Farm, a family-run business that grows local produce and lets you pick your own fruit and vegetables. The farm has been a going strong for more than 40 years, making it a true staple of the community.
Moving to Chelsfield
Live the country life in Chelsfield without compromising on proximity to the busyness of the city. Peaceful village settings, local shops and restaurants and plenty of open spaces make Chelsfield a popular choice with any renters looking for the quiet life in London.