Everything you need to know about the Beckenham area
Beckenham has a lot to offer: green spaces, cool cafes, good schools, affordable housing, much of it period. There is a buzz about the place. And a real sense of community. Once people move here, they tend to make it their home for the long term, upsizing as their families grow. And with its proximity to London – only 20 minutes by train – it’s easy to see why so many families and young professionals are moving to the area.
Properties in Beckenham
Beckenham has a variety of house styles, all full of character, from spacious Victorian and Edwardian houses to 1920s flats. And on the side roads close to the High Street there are a selection of1930s semi-detached and terraced homes.
Claims to Fame
Beckenham has had its share of famous residents, including David Bowie who used to run his famous experimental Arts Lab Club from the Three Tuns pub. It is now a Zizzi’s but celebrates his work across its walls and tables.
Others include Enid Blyton, Bob Monkhouse, legendary cricketer W. G. Grace, car manufacturer F. Y. Wolseley and Thomas Crapper (inventor of the ballcock!)
The High Street
The high street is full of great restaurants, independent shops and cafes. And lots of good pubs, including the George Inn, which used to be the last coaching inn on the way to London.
And there’s no shortage of supermarkets, including a Waitrose directly opposite Beckenham Junction station and a large Sainsbury’s.
Things to do
The spa at Beckenham has a pool, which was once named the best public pool in the UK. It also has a gym with regular classes, a crèche and a multi purpose sports hall.
Breeze Yoga has four air-conditioned studios offering yoga, pilates and meditation. In fact they offer more classes than any other studio of it’s kind in the UK, with more than 80 classes taking place each week.
Beckenham Theatre Centre has a small studio and performs around 10 fringe performances every year. The Churchill Theatre is nearby in Bromley and it is part of the itinerary for many national touring productions.
And there’s lots to do with kids, both indoors and outdoors. Gambado has indoor soft play, carousel rides and dodgems. Deli Nene is a great café with a kids’ play area at the back.
There are lots of green spaces to explore. Beckenham Place Park has great walks and one of the few remaining ancient woodlands in greater London.
Kelsey Park has a lake, home to ducks and lots of other wildlife, and a large children’s playground. It also has tennis courts and mini golf.
Beckenham Green is a small park at the top of the high street where local residents put on events including regular farmers’ markets, concerts and festivals.
The South East London Green Chain walking route, which connects green spaces over 50 miles, also runs through Beckenham.
Trains: There are six local train stations serving London and South Kent: Beckenham Junction, Beckenham Hill, New Beckenham, Kent House, Clock House and Ravensbourne. Trains from Beckenham Junction to Victoria take 20 minutes and to London Bridge just over half an hour; New Beckenham to Charing Cross takes 25 minutes.
Roads: Beckenham is on the A222, A2015, and A234.
Buses: Local bus routes include 54 (to Woolwich), 194 (to West Croydon), 227 (to Bromley) and 358 (to Crystal Palace). The N3 night bus runs to and from Oxford Circus.
Trams: Tramlink services run from Beckenham Junction station to East and West Croydon and Wimbledon, as well as Mitcham Junction and Elmers End interchange railway stations.
Airports: Gatwick airport is less than an hour by car, and is easily accessible by train from East Croydon.
There are a lot of excellent schools in the Beckenham area, from the hugely popular Cator Park Montessori for pre-schoolers to the single-sex Langley Park secondary schools. In fact 60% of people buying a property in Beckenham say that this is their main reason for moving to the area.