Close to the city centre, has great transport connections, there are streets lined with independent bars and cafes, plus it offers fantastic views over London.
While Joseph Paxton’s architectural masterpiece may no longer be standing, the building’s district namesake, Crystal Palace, is an exciting up and coming area of London that is worth keeping an eye on.
Spread across Croydon, Bromley, Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth, Crystal Palace is a fantastic location to rent as prices are still relatively low compared to other areas of the city.
This hilly residential zone has everything you could need. Westow Street, Church Road and Westow Hill form what is known as the ‘Crystal Triangle’ – aka The place to be. Here you will find gastropubs, unique shops and some great cafés.
On a Map
Crystal Palace is within the London Boroughs of Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham.
History of Crystal Palace
Photo credit: www.wikimedia.org
Crystal Palace gained its name from the building designed by Sir Joseph Paxton for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Before this time, it was known as Sydenham Hill and was largely a natural oak forest. In 1936, the Crystal Palace burned down and the site became Crystal Palace Park and eventually incorporated the National Sports Centre. Over time residential housing was built and it is now a mix of Victorian, mid-war and modern architectural styles.
Getting to Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace has excellent transport links with London city centre. There are plenty of train stations located within the area with London Overground trains taking you straight into the city. Bus connections are also plentiful or get some exercise and take your bike on the London Cycle Network.
Cost of Living in Crystal Palace
At the start of 2015, rental prices in Crystal Palace were over 40 per cent cheaper than the London average. We suspect this is going to change as people recognise this great opportunity, so you had better start your search early.
Crystal Palace is popular with families and young professionals looking for a slightly larger space for their money.
In 2015, the average rental price for a home in Crystal Palace was £1,300 per month.
Restaurants and Bars
Born from a school fete smoothie stall discussion, The Exhibition Rooms deliver gastropub eating at its best. The restaurant draws on the historic importance of the Crystal Palace and offers seasonal menus featuring the freshest ingredients. Throughout the week you can also make the most of their special dining offers such as Steak Tuesdays and 3-courses for £21.50 on Thursdays.
Address: Westow Hill, Crystal Palace, SE19 1TX
Phone: 0208 761 1175
Fusing French and Algerian cuisines, you are guaranteed a happy belly by the end of your meal at Numidie. Famous for their cous cous dishes with merguez sausages, harissa spiced vegetables and tender lamb shanks;3 this is a must-try for anyone who likes a bit of spice in their life.
Address: 48 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace, SE19 1RX
Phone: 0208 766 6166
Come for the eight ales on tap and stay for the 1950s pinball machine, Westow House is a reliable local pub that also does a mighty good burger. They are proud of their impressive beer selection and even run ‘Beer Geek’ Thursdays when you can sample five different beers for just £20. A fun and affordable way to find a new favourite tipple.
Address: 79 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace, SE19 1TX
Phone: 0208 670 0654
Vegetarians and pescetarians get excited – Domali Café serves hearty, homemade food that goes beyond your usual vegetarian options. We recommend coming here for lunch to try their fantastic salads and build-your-own sandwiches. If you don’t mind joining the queue on a weekend morning, their eggs benedict is definitely worth waiting for.
Address: 38 Westow Street, Crystal Palace, SE19 1RX
Phone: 0208 768 0096
The concept behind the Crystal Palace Market is simple – beautiful, locally sourced ingredients cooked simply and to perfection. If you like your fish then this is the place to come – their menu includes whole sea bass, plaice, scallops, yellow fin tuna and sardines, and that’s just naming a few. We also love their blue cheese and truffle burgers.
Address: 3-7 Church Road, Crystal Palace, SE19 2TF
Phone: 0203 475 7080
Rated as one of the best restaurants in Crystal Palace, Joanna’s is a neighbourhood favourite. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and Saturday brunch, expect homely cooking with class. The smoked haddock fish cakes are fantastic while Joanna’s Hamburger with crispy bacon is one of the best burgers in Crystal Palace. Try and book ‘Table 99’ – a private booth table for six that has become highly sought after by regular diners.
Address: 56 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace, SE19 1RX
Phone: 0208 670 4052
Things to Do in Crystal Palace
Escape the noise of London in the Victorian pleasure gardens of the Crystal Palace Park. This was the home of Sir Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace after the 1851 Great Exhibition. Sadly the amazing building burned down, but the park continues to impress with beautiful gardens, a maze and a collection of dinosaur sculptures. Commissioned in 1852, these full-scale dinosaur models were crafted by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and have received a Grade I heritage listing.
Stand back and admire the impressive structure of the 719ft broadcast transmitter built around 1956 amongst the ruins of the Crystal Palace. Thanks to this iconic piece of engineering, many Londoners are able to enjoy television and radio. Perhaps even more useful is that if you ever get lost, look for the tower and it will bring you back to Crystal Palace. On a clear day, you can even spot the transmitter from Alexandra Palace located in the north of London.
Get fit or take up a new sport at the National Sports Centre. Located within 200 acres of parkland, you won’t feel like you’re trudging to a busy city-centre gym. They offer a wide programme of classes and sports, including outdoor netball, football and athletics, plus there’s a swimming pool and climbing wall.
For more information about memberships and joining classes, visit the National Sports Centre’s website.
Address: Ledrington Road, Crystal Palace, SE19 2BB
Phone: 0208 778 0131