Why it's great to raise kids in South East London

Why it’s great to raise kids in South East London

Some people might think we’re mad to bring up our daughter in South East London, in Zone 2, where everyday there can be moped muggings and robberies, often accompanied with the wailing sounds of police and ambulance sirens. That’s the truth. But it wouldn’t stop me from living here, or bringing up children here. I love living here and that’s why we’ve decided to stay put in Brockley, rather than move away to the quiet countryside, which is something at the age of 34 we are not quite ready for. Right now London has too much to offer us. So I’m putting hand to keyboard and letting you know why it’s great to raise kids in South East London.

There is so much to do….

And that’s a fact! There is never an occasion when you could be stuck from something to do, or somewhere you haven’t visited. I often fall into the trap of only visiting Hilly Fields Park or one of our local toddler groups, which is the easy option. However there is so much on your doorstep including the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill, swimming at Deptford Wavelengths, or taking a wander over to Greenwich Park to the National Maritime Museum or to see the views over the city. Plus there are so many parks, so many green and open spaces for your child to run around. There really is a wealth of activities and experiences for our children in this part of London, and that’s one of the reasons why I love living here.

Not to mention we are only 10 minutes from London Bridge on the train, so it’s easy to quickly pop to The Tate Modern or Borough Market for the afternoon.

The schools are good (or outstanding)….

As we’ve decided to remain put in SE4 I have had to turn my attention to primary schools as we will be applying for a place for our daughter next September. That seems far too early for my two year old. However on looking at the Ofsted status of the primary schools in the area, many are better than the primary schools in the villages we were considering moving to. Another reason to stay put.

We can easily head out for brunch or lunch, or early afternoon dinner….

Having a child means that your meal times are often thrown off balance a little. At the weekends we love going out for brunch as a family, where we will eat breakfast and my daughter will have her lunch. There are so many gorgeous spots in Brockley such as The Gantry, Parlez or Browns, and we love being able to do this, whilst watching the world go by.

You can order whatever you like and whatever time of the day…. 

This may make us sound like pigs, but my husband and I are not quite ready to say goodbye to ordering a takeaway online and it turning up on our doorstep. Or as I’ve recently found out, McDonalds now do delivery via Uber Eats. I love that we are able to do this where we live, and yes we probably would be able to do it elsewhere, but not with the choice that we have here. I guess that we just need to be more disciplined on a Friday night and stop falling into the trap of “not being bothered to cook”.

Our friends are here….

Last but not least, our friends are here. Once you have a child somewhere you instantly put down roots. Our NCT friends are here, my toddler group Mums are here, the nursery Mums are here. Of course if we moved elsewhere I’m pretty sure I would make new friends, however right now I’m not ready for the uncertainly of making new friends, or feelings of loneliness if we moved to an outlying village.

More importantly our two year now has friends that I think she can call “friends”. Although at the age of two I don’t think they have any concept of friendship, however I don’t think I have the heart to break that. But when we do need to move out of London, it’ll be even harder to break.

So those are all the reasons why it’s great to raise children in South East London. We love it here, and wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact it’s probably the same for any parent raising their children in another part of London or another city.

Claire x


  • Donna Ford

    Love this! Also used to live in Brockly but now in Lee and love bringing kids up in London! You haven’t even touched on the amazing galleries and museums in central and the multicultural environment that is normal to them. Would take a lot to make me leave London!

  • Sam - Stressy Mama

    Great post. I’m a bit the same with where I live. It isn’t particularly the best area, and prior to living here I would have said I’d never live here. But now I do and I wouldn’t change it. There is so much to do right on our doorstep that we would be stupid to move away. We are literally within walking distance of a lot of places. And, I totally agree that having a choice of takeaway is very important!! Haha x #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Naomi

    We might be moving soon and I’m terrified of started over all over again. I feel like this has voiced all the reasons I love where we are! #FortheLoveofBlog

  • Kirsty

    I can completely see why you have chosen to stay. City living isn’t for everyone but I like the idea of having so much on your doorstep. And schools are a big decision and if you have such good schools around you then why move. Sounds like it is where you need to be for now x

  • Rhian Harris

    Fair play that you are happy where you are. I loved living in London before I had a baby but once she was here, we decided it wasn’t where we wanted to raise kids, so have made the move out. I have to say that we are happier than ever where we are now, but it’s not for everyone. You need to find where ‘home’ is, and make the most of it when you do. It sounds like you do just that! #fortheloveofblog

  • fancypaperblog

    Sold I miss leaving near London. It was a big change moving back to the small town life and then further out into the actual country!! I would love to do a month of city life #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Chloe

    Hi, great to read that you are happy where you are, you can’t really argue with your points and one of the most importabnt facts that is where your friends are #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Cheshire SEN Tutor

    Loved reading this- looks like you’ve thought through everything. If you’re happy and your child’s happy then that’s the reason to stay isn’t it. Why move when you’re all happy! #fortheloveofblog

  • jeremy@thirstydaddy

    Its always great to love where you live and find yourself a part of a community. I hope that one day my daughter looks back on where we live with the same fondness that i do about where I grew up #fortheloveofblog

  • Lucy

    My OH is from SE London and always says how much he misses it. I think we could live there one day, especially as his family would be a huge help with the boys but for now we have to focus on where we are. It does sound like an awesome place to live! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Ali Duke

    I would love to be able to visit London more so I could take my daughter to all the museums more often. London does have a lot to offer, but we live on the south coast and it’s beautiful here. I don’t think I could ever mover anywhere else.

  • Kirsty HF

    Love your post even though I’m the complete opposite. I met and married a Londoner while in London and then we decided to move out to the country to start a family. Completely see it from your perspective and do sometimes pine for everything you’ve listed, but it’s a compromise isn’t it. I was raised in the countryside and I love the freedom it affords us. I know it’s not for everyone and completely respect that. We’re lucky in that I have my parents-in-law still living in London and it’s only an hour and a half door to door, so free accommodation, free babysitting AND I get to see all my friends. Best of both worlds really! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Tim

    Being close to friends is so important. And it’s great to be so close to central London, with all the diversity that the city has to offer to show to kids. #KCACOLS

  • The Mummy Bubble

    So many great reasons to stay right where you are. I would imagine the diversity of places to visit and where you can eat are such big positives, and the great schools are a huge thing too. Very jealous of your food delivery choices where you are, we are so limited even in Reading. Prezzo is as exotic as it gets! X #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Nicola

    I don’t blame you one bit, I would happily live in London. I love the busy atmosphere and the fact that there is so much to do. We live about an hour away on the train which at least means we can travel into London quite easily but I would like to be a little bit closer. I grew up in North London and would like to go back there. #dreamteam

  • daydreams of a mum

    Sounds a fab place to live , kids making friendships is so important too. I live away from ‘home’ but would never move back there as the kids have really lovely friendship groups here!! Never underestimate the need to get a takeaway delivered!!! #fortheloveofBLOG

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Spam prevention powered by Akismet