A leafy, south east suburb of London with a rich history and a diverse population, Sydenham is often overlooked as a place to live within the capital but makes for a lovely base and has plenty of amenities and facilities for residents. The Crystal Palace was re-located to Sydenham in the 1850s and along with it followed many affluent professionals who chose to stay in the neighbourhood.

HFS London has a range of homestay properties available in Sydenham and its neighbouring areas, spanning a range of homes and family types.

Where is Sydenham located?

Sydenham sits across three London Boroughs; Lewisham, Bromley and Southwark, and has an SE26 postcode. Forest Hill and Penny Vale sit to the north, Bellingham to the east, Penge and Croydon to the south and Crystal Palace to the west. The name ‘Sydenham’ screams suburbia, but it’s not as far out of the city as you may think… just a short drive or train ride into central areas.

What’s the typical accommodation type in Sydenham?

Sydenham plays home to a real variety of properties, so there’s no one main style here. Victorian houses and Edwardian terraces feature heavily as well as 50s and 60s designed flats. Lots of period properties have been converted into flats and apartments, and there’s some beautiful housing stock around to buy and rent.

Housing prices are on the up here, so HFS London is finding increasing numbers of families applying to be homestay hosts in order to help generate some spare cash to cover costs.

How safe is Sydenham?

A safe place to live, work and spend time, Sydenham is largely built around its residential streets and communities so there’s lots of amenities to service them. The streets around the train stations and the high street are always bustling, and there’s plenty of public and private transport to get you around if you’d prefer not to walk past dark.

What type of people live in Sydenham?

The residents of Sydenham are mainly families and young professionals, as well as some retired couples who have moved to the area for its greenery and facilities. The population here comes from a variety of a backgrounds and cultures, but all come together for community events and campaigns, including a recent protest to save their oldest and most cherished pub! The schools here are very active in the community, as are the local churches.

The population is slightly more female than male, and notable residents and previous residents include Rolf Harris, David Bowie, Jason Statham and Billy Zane.

What transport links does Sydenham offer?

Located in travelcard zones 3 and 4, Sydenham has great transport links connecting the suburb with the rest of the capital. TfL London Buses connect the area with Lewisham, Camberwell, Peckham, Elephant and Castle, Forest Hill, Croydon and Catford. Three rail stations also connect the district: Sydenham to the London Overground and on the Southern mainline to London Bridge, Victoria and Clapham Junction; Sydenham Hill for Southeastern mainline services to Brixton, Bromley and Orpington; and Lower Sydenham on the Southeastern mainline serving Charing Cross, Waterloo, Cannon Street and Lewisham.

What is there to do in Sydenham?

The community spirit and various community groups facilitate lots of ‘goings on’ in Sydenham, and the commercial amenities that have sprung up as a result mean there’s plenty to do without leaving the area.

Get green fingers at Alexandra Nursery

The Alexandra Nursery sells a great range of plants and garden furnishings with a superb café for a spot of tea and cake in between bargain hunting forays into the green! Unlike other ‘garden centre’ type retailers, it also plays host to talks, workshops and walks around the local area, and has lots on to suit children and families too.

Hunt for bats in Sydenham Hill Woods

A ten-hectare portion of countryside right in the city, Sydenham Hill Woods is an award-winning local nature reserve and is completely free to visit and explore. A range of conservation days happen here, so you can get your hands dirty if you time it right, but if not, a good walk round one of the numbered trails will wile away your afternoon. Bat walks take place periodically and can be booked online.

Taste the very best in cruelty-free cuisine

Veganism is on the rise in the UK, and Sydenham is home to a top vegan restaurant, The Calabash of Culture. Even if you’re very much a meat eater, their menu is worth a try and includes delicious treats such as sweet potato burritos with egg-free mayonnaise, lentil dhal, and lemon and lime raw ‘cheese’ cake. Why not treat your host family to lunch and broaden all of your culinary horizons?

Homestay in Sydenham

If you are an international student, intern or professional looking for homestay (“host family”) accommodation in Sydenham or close by, we would love to hear from you. Similarly, if you have a spare room in your Sydenham home and are interested in hosting international students, please do get in touch.