Crystal Palace Area Guide

Who hasn’t heard of Crystal Palace! It conjures up images of the Great Exhibition or footballing glory depending on whether you are interested in History or Sport.

Crystal Palace is located at one of the highest points in London with tremendous views over the capital.  It is an area rather than a defined borough and actually straddles five London boroughs and three postal districts.  Crystal Palace shares a common border with Gypsy (Estate agents in Crystal Palace) Hill, Penge, South Norwood, Sydenham and UpperNorwood.

The Crystal Palace after which this area is named was, in its original form, a giant glass and iron exhibition hall in Hyde Park, home to the Great Exhibition of 1851. The palace was then dismantled and moved to Sydenham Hill in Bromley where it stood in varying states of neglect and disrepair until it burned down in 1936. It may never have survived Hitler’s onslaught as this part of London was one of the most heavily bombed in the UK during the Second World War.(Estate agents in Crystal Palace)

Named one of the best places to live in London in 2016, Crystal Palace rather cheekily seems to derive some benefit from all its immediate neighbours but that’s not to say it doesn’t have its own unique identity. Some say this is because it doesn’t form part of any of the five boroughs it borders so it has rather been left to its own devices.

Shopping Facilities, Restaurants and Leisure in Crystal Palace

The area known as Crystal Palace is based on a triangle of streets with breath-taking 360-degree views of London.  Crystal Palace’s shops, cafes and bars are in ‘the Triangle’ formed by Westow Street, Westow Hill and Church Road. Church Road is crammed with trendy vintage shops, quirky eateries and cafes with lots of independents and artisan bakers.  A lovely feature is the little blue plaques which appear in some shop windows and which name previous occupants and the dates they were there.(Estate agents in Crystal Palace)

Haynes Lane Market is well known for everything from antiques to plants and retro vinyl. Not to be missed is Crystal Palace Antiques & Modern which is four floors of antiques and collectables in Jasper Road, just off Westow Hill. Regular shops include a large Sainsbury’s and a small Budgens and Iceland.

Open space is there for those who want it with Crystal Palace Park home to everything from life-sized dinosaurs to an urban farm, boating lake and outdoor cinema. The 1960s listed National Sports Centre which sits in the middle of 200 acres of parkland has a public swimming pool, an athletic stadium, a gym, swimming pool and range of football pitches.

There is a real and distinct community vibe in Crystal Palace – witness how the local community spent eight years campaigning for a cinema, now successfully open as a four-screen venue in Church Road. Other activists and a campaign group have managed to re-open the historic subway that led first-class passengers from the then Crystal Palace High Level Station which closed its doors in 1954 to Crystal Palace itself. The subway is a listed marvel, a brick-vaulted under croft and opens for a few days to visitors each year.

Schools and Colleges in Crystal Palace

The Harris City Academy run by the education charity started by Lord Harris has an enviable reputation and provides top-class state education with traditional standards and values plus excellent results at GCSE. Paxton Primary in Woodland Road is the one primary school in the area which has been graded ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. There are four private schools including the famous Dulwich College and Alleyn’s.

Property Types and Demographics in Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace remains reasonably affordable, so it is popular with first-time buyers and young couples who are looking for somewhere vibrant and charming.  There is a wide variety of property ranging from large Victorian houses, twenties and thirties homes towards Beulah Hill, some sixties and seventies townhouses and a selection of purpose-built flats.

There are lots of period conversion flats which are a big draw for young couples with the average property price at just under £430,000 and the average weekly rental at £302.  Popular roads include Fox Hill in the Church Road conservation area and Belvedere Road which is nearby.  Camden Hill Road on the Gypsy Hill side has some smaller Victorian house and Harold Road between Central Hill and Beulah Hill features Victorian semi-detached properties. If you are after a large 1930’s semi then Eversley Road is the place to head for.

Transport Connections from Crystal Palace

Located in travel zones 3+4, over ground travel links are good with Southern operating a train from Crystal Palace to London Bridge every 30 minutes. Tickets cost between £4 and £9 and the journey takes approximately 28 minutes.

Crystal Palace is also served by bus routes from Crystal Palace Bus Station to Marble Arch every hour. Tickets cost around £2 and the journey takes approximately 45 minutes.

An annual travelcard costs £2076.

Crystal Palace has managed to fashion itself a rather unique identity, falling as it does outside the reach of five different boroughs and this is matched by its spectacular hilltop location with remarkable views over the capital.  It has a personality and character all its own and rather stands out amongst the South London boroughs that surround it.

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