The south-east community of Brockley is often referred to as an ‘urban village’ and has a great community feel for a neighbourhood in a city the size of London. Brockley feels like a leafy suburb; rare for the capital; and can offer some light relief to the hustle and bustle of more central areas… despite being so well located and linked to the rest of the city! It’s rightly considered a hidden jewel by estate agents, so you may not find much information about online – and those who live there would very much like to keep it that way!
If you’d like to consider more whether Brockley should be your temporary home for your stay in London, read on. HFS London has host families available in Brockley, its surrounding districts and similar neighbourhoods, so you choose from a whole variety of places within which to make your mark and pitch your base.
Where is Brockley located?
Brockley is in south east London and has an SE4 postcode. It’s a fairly small district, 5 miles south east of Charing Cross. To the north of Brockley sits New Cross, to the east St John’s, to the south Ladywell and to the west Nunhead.
What transport links does Brockley offer?
Brockley is connected to the rest of the capital by the London Overground rather than Underground and sits in travel zone 2, although some national services run by Southern Rail also pass through the station. Trains to London Bridge take just over 10 minutes. Nearby St John’s and Elverson Road stations are also in zone 2, but nearby Crofton Park is in 3 – so avoid this unless you have to use it, as it could make your travel costs more expensive.
Lots of Transport for London buses serve Brockley, and you’ll have no issue getting hold of a minicab should you need one. The green nature of the area also means that you’ll see a few cyclists, so its worth borrowing a Santander Cycle if you’re that way inclined!
What is there to do in Brockley?
It may feel more like a leafy suburb than an up-and-coming neighbourhood, but you won’t lack for things to do in the immediate area. There’s no ‘centre’ to the area as such, so exploring will capture your imagination. The residents here have plenty going on, even if they don’t want the rest of the city to find out about them!
This award-winning farmer’s market takes place every Saturday morning and is an absolute treasure chest of organic, unusual and high-quality ingredients. Families can often be spotted here drinking up inspiration and splashing out on food to eat for dinner later that night, which makes for a great opportunity for you to do some shopping with or for your host family!
Good Thymes Supper Club
A monthly supper club that happens in a resident’s home, the Good Thymes Club makes for a good way for you to meet locals and have a nose around their properties. Every month is themed differently, and all of the food is home-cooked by the hosts.
The Rivoli Ballroom
The only in-tact 1950s ballroom in the whole of the UK, the Rivoli is so famed for its original décor that it’s often used as a filming location for TV and movies. There’s still events on every few weeks including discos, pop-up film screenings and jive parties, so make sure to nip by while you’re in the ‘hood.
What’s the typical accommodation type in Brockley?
The neighbourhood is dominated by two conservation areas, each of which has a different feel. The Brockley conservation area contains mainly Victorian houses; but not just the townhouses lining busy roads you see elsewhere in London. Instead, this includes large detached period properties along wide, tree-lined roads that wouldn’t look out of place in countryside retreats! The Brockley conservation area also houses quirkier period properties around the Hilly Fields park and some small terraced cottages. The St John’s conservation area plays home to the more typical Victorian flat-fronted townhouses that are considered quite common in the capital.
You may spot some of Brockley’s more unusual and countryside-style homes in specialist architecture and home and garden interest magazines and publications.
How safe is Brockley?
You won’t find Brockley as busy as more central areas of the city, but this in many ways is a good thing. The area is considered very safe by city standards, even despite it having seemed to avoid mass gentrification, and crime here is primarily petty. In many ways it doesn’t feel like you’re in a big city at all! The district is quiet at night but there are always people around at the train station, and its location means that there are plenty of private and public transport options should you prefer not to walk.
What type of people live in Brockley?
Brockley has a bit of an artsy reputation, and there is a growing community of academics and intelligentsia living in Brockley, as they studied at the local universities and liked it so much that they settled there. The population is highly educated and often fairly well off, as this isn’t a cheap area to live in. Notable residents of Brockley have included Emily Davison, John Galliano, Kate Bush and John Cale – so it’s easy to see the creativity having filtered through!
Homestay in Brockley
If you are an international student, intern or professional looking for homestay (“host family”) accommodation in Brockley or close by, we would love to hear from you. Similarly, if you have a spare room in your Brockley home and are interested in hosting international students, please do get in touch with us.