Once known as Penceat, meaning 'edge of wood', Penge lies on the borders of Bromley, Lewisham and Croydon and a mere 7 miles south-east of Charing Cross. With great transport links (mainline train to Victoria in 17 mins and Brixton in 8 mins, Overground to Shoreditch in 28 mins or the 176 bus to Tottenham Court Road), it's easy to see why this once forgotten suburb is now attracting a whole host of house hunters.
Cost of living
The average costs for buying and renting are:
1-bed flat £187,000
2-bed flat £248,000
3-bed house £423,000
The council tax bands for Penge are:
A £898.18 B £1,047.88 C £1,197.57 D £1,347.27 E £1,646 F £1,946 G £2,245.45 H £2,694.54
Penge offers a great range of state primary and secondary schools as well as some fantastic private schools in nearby Dulwich. Check out the Schools Guide for a handy list of top-performing schools in the area.
Noted in Victorian times for its 25 pubs to the square mile, Penge has a plethora of drinking spots ranging from gastropubs such asGoldsmiths Arms to Bridge House which offers a theatre upstairs. If you're looking for a bite to eat, check out Sicilian Art which offers authentic (and huge) Sicilian pizzas or Cafe Casbah for what's been rated on Tripadvisor as 'a gold nugget in Penge'.
It'd be tricky to write about Penge and not mention the nearby Crystal Palace dinosaurs - a collection of over 30 statues created by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins (1807-1894) in the years around 1854. The park is open daily and completely free to visit.
Time Out pays homage to an unusual family hotspot - Alexandra Nurseries - and rightly so. An independent garden centre offering a brilliant vintage shop and cafe which is great for parents and children alike.
Penge also has a great selection of parks and playgrounds such as Royston Field and Alexandra Recreation Ground.
What they say:
"Penge is on the up...families are moving in their droves from Dulwich. Crystal Palace is just up the road with its Dinosaur park and a fantastic range of gastro pubs. There's a great arts and music scene plus a really active cycling group... Penge rocks!" Gareth Baker - local resident and Dad of two.
So if you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life but still be within easy access of central London, take a look at what SE20 has to offer.