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Where Are The Best Places To Live In South-East London?

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Where Are The Best Places To Live In South-East London?

Live By The River From The Picturesqe London Bridge To The Beautiful Greenwich Village: These Are The Best Places To Live In South-East London!

South London is such a big place to live we had to split this article into two parts to cover our favourite places to live! This article is a guide to living in South East London but you can read all about living in South West London right here, for more information and areas to live in!

South East London is an area with so much potential for anyone looking to move there. Neighbourhoods are either very close to or very well connected to the city centre. Much of the area towards the South East of London is along the waterfront of The River Thames, with many fantastic converted warehouse properties and newly built apartments, offering fantastic accommodation options with incredible views of the city from the river.

South-East London is diverse, colourful and full of character across multiple neighbourhoods. The further you move East, while you are moving away from the city centre, you have some fantastic and charming neighbourhoods to choose to move into!

The Best Areas To Live In Central London South-East London


The embankment along the River Thames

Distance to city centre: 0.7 miles

Main Train Stations: London Waterloo  

Area description: Riverside- city centre

Notable features: Major connection point for the city of London, fantastic riverside leisure and local landmarks, big home for the arts in London.

Rent: ££££


There are very few neighbourhoods that can boast such close access to the centre of the city in London as Waterloo. This area is busy. Filled with people making their way through the city in all other directions and yet, just around the corner at Lower Marsh, you’ll find one of the most vibrant streets in Waterloo. Packed with fantastic restaurants and bars that are always filled with locals and people passing through the area.

There is no shortage of sights to see living in Waterloo. You are, after all, just across the river from the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben! The Southbank area contains more London icons such as The London Eye and Millennium Bridge and indeed thanks to the impressive view, there is no shortage of excellent bars and restaurants along the riverside embankment. 

The embankment is particularly popular with Street Performers, especially during summer, but it isn’t the only place for art and performance in Waterloo. You may sample the delights of London’s theatre or film scene at the Old Vic or BFI, both located just a short stroll away from Waterloo’s main station. 

There are many options for accommodation in Waterloo. You can find luxury apartments by the riverside, with some fantastic views of the city but, the option for more residential and spacious houses is still present further away from the river in quieter streets. The area is ideal for anyone wanting to travel and work easily either in the city centre or other parts of the city. Additionally, the area is an ideal choice for families with so many options for fantastic schools nearby!

Living in Waterloo means you benefit from the best of everything in London. You’re as close to the centre of the city as you could be. Right next to one of the largest stations in the whole city with unlimited potential for transport around London and, outside of it. Living in Waterloo is the type of London life that everyone dreams of having.

Distance to city centre: 3.8 miles 

Main Train Stations:  Surrey Quays Rail Station & Surrey Quays Pier

Area description: Riverside and Converted Docklands

Notable features: Amazing new build and converted apartments with river views, brilliant green spaces and parks, and quick access to the financial district at Canary Wharf. 

Rent: £££


Rotherhithe is a district of South London that was radically redeveloped 30 years ago to modernise the area. Whilst you can see the remains of the shipping industry that dominated the area, particularly around Surrey Docks, Rotherhithe today is rich in modern apartments with fantastic views of both the river and the city. It is also one of the best areas to live in London to make the most of taking a water taxi to other parts of the city!

Away from the waterside, there are plenty of newer builds and converted warehouses that have been made into excellent places to live! Neighbourhoods like Surrey Quays and Canada Water are fantastic for living in, thanks to great transport links to the centre of the city and has excellent bars, restaurants and shopping centres.

Areas like Greenland Dock are popular with locals living in Rotherhithe on the evening and weekends thanks to the many bars and restaurants that run around the old dock. Stave Hill is one of several major green spaces in the area and has a brilliant ecological park contained inside it with views of London landmarks as far away as Wembley stadium on clear days without clouds!

Rotherhithe is an excellent area for anyone wanting to move to a part of London that is close to the city centre but not overwhelmingly busy. There is plenty to do in this part of South-East London and it is very easy to get to areas like central London and Canary Wharf for work. There are many accommodation options suitable for individual movers and families to make moving to this part of London appealing for everyone.


Distance to city centre: 4.2 miles

Main Train Stations: Peckham Rye Railway Station

Area description: Characterful town in South London

Notable features:  Fantastic Local Markets, vibrant and diverse culture, great affordable accommodation

Rent: ££


Peckham is one of the more remote and disconnected areas of South East London but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming incredibly popular in the last ten years for younger people to move to! Peckham has always been famous in the UK for being the home of one of the country’s most popular television comedies; Only Fools & Horses but, Peckham today is very, different to when the show was first broadcast in the 1980s!

Peckham has always been a very diverse area to live in, with a significant number of people living in the area coming from African countries, which can easily be seen from the many restaurants and bars you will find around leading to Peckham being known as “Little Lagos”. You’ll find plenty of food options from Africa, Asia and South America in Peckham, although the Peckham Levels pop-up restaurant court is a good place to go to try more modern and experimental food!

Whilst we talk about Peckham Levels, it would be a good time to mention that Peckham is full of bright, vibrant and impressive artworks. Both on display in galleries and pop-up spaces like Peckham Levels but also, out on the street and on the sides of buildings like at the Peckham Arch. Even the Peckham Library looks eye-catching and colourful! Peckham is a great place to move if you’re looking to be surrounded by some more creative and artistic people.

Accommodation options in the area are significantly cheaper than in other parts of London as it is further away from the city centre and slowly modernising. There are very nice (and large) townhouses by Peckham Rye Common to live in that are more suitable for families or by greener spaces than the busy high streets of Peckham. It is an area worth considering for anyone looking to live in a characterful and re-emerging neighbourhood in London that everyone will instantly recognise as soon as you say you live there!


Greenwich maritime college with Canary Wharf in the background

Distance to city centre: 7.5 miles

Main Train Stations:  Greenwich Railway and North Greenwich Underground Station

Area description: Docklands and Riverside

Notable features: Beautiful historic buildings and homes, fantastic local culture, relaxed style of living

Rent: £££


Greenwich is the farthest district to the east of London that is on our list but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked as a place to live in London! The area has so much to offer anyone thinking of moving there, as well as some fantastic local heritage and history that makes it an interesting and engaging part of South East London to live in.

Previously, Greenwich was one of the most important shipping spots on the River Thames, for all boats that came up river into London. The area became extremely popular to live in during the 18th century, with many fantastic homes and houses being built, including impressive buildings like the Old Naval College, Queen’s House in Greenwich Park and Trinity Hospital.

Greenwich has many beautiful Georgian and Victorian homes all over the town centre to live in. There are more modern developments such as Millennium Village and newer built waterfront properties, but living right by Greenwich Park (one of the largest green spaces in the whole of London) in historic neighbourhoods like Blackheath is equally appealing to living by the riverside with views of the water and the city!

Greenwich is a fantastic place to live. It has a rich history and riverside culture so if you’re a fan of rowing then this is a brilliant place to continue your hobby with dozens of races on the river during the year! It has excellent local options for eating and going out, day or night, as well as great schools and places to shop. There are fantastic public transport links to the city centre and the rest of London from the main train station to make Greenwich, overall, definitely one of the best places to live in South London!

Elephant & Castle

Riverside at Richmond Upon Thames

Distance to city centre: 1.6 miles 

Main Train Stations: Elephant & Castle                  

Area description: Modernising South London Suburb

Notable features: Excellent affordable housing and public transport links to central London, diverse and independent neighbourhoods

Rent: ££

Elephant and Castle, is just a short distance from the city centre but, it is incredibly affordable to live in and as a result, becoming more and more popular to live in. Elephant and Castle has a reputation for being one of the most underrated areas to live in the whole of London, with great transport links and close to busier areas such as Southbank and Borough, you’re never far away from anything!

The district is a fast-developing part of London for people to live in. Housing in the area has experienced a massive boom from redevelopment and the properties are significantly more affordable than some of the ones you will find closer to the river in Vauxhall or, Battersea and Wandsworth Town.

The area is also experiencing its growth in local culture, with independent bars and restaurants starting to appear all over the district. Night-life in this part of the city has always been famous thanks to the presence of one of London’s most significant nightclubs: The ministry of Sound. Now, with pop-up outdoor and covered markets such as Mercato Metropolitano, the area is starting to become increasingly diverse and desirable for all kinds of people to live in and experience.

 The area of Elephant and Castle has fewer attractions but there is more than enough in the area to make it ideal for living.  Living here, you will find yourself incredibly well connected to the centre of the city with the added benefits, of living in a much calmer and quieter neighbourhood.

Distance to city centre: 5.7 miles

Main Train Stations: Denmark Hill   

Area description: Charming Village-like area in South London

Notable features: Charming green spaces, beautiful houses and historic buildings, fantastic schools

Rent:  ££


Dulwich is an interesting part of South East London that stands out thanks to its distinctly village-like feel to the local area. There are many green spaces and larger houses from the 17th and 18th centuries here and when combined with the more independent nature of many of the shops, restaurants and pubs across the area, it feels distinctly less like London!

This does, of course, make Dulwich an ideal place to live for anyone looking to live in a quieter, less city-like part of London. Areas like Dulwich Park are particularly pretty to live by, as is living on Denmark Hill with views looking over the rest of London and in Dulwich village itself, you will find plenty of charming houses to live in.

The buildings of Dulwich are particularly beautiful, even the schools are fantastic to look at, so it is no wonder they chose to film certain locations from the Harry Potter films here! Schools like Dulwich college are among some of the finest educational establishments in the entire country. Parents will find no shortage of amazing places to live and ensure their children get the very best education the country can offer!

All Saints Church in West Dulwich is a particularly beautiful church that’s worth visiting thanks to its amazing Gothic Architecture. Dulwich Village also has a reputation for the arts and literature. The Crown and Greyhound public house used to be a popular spot for many poets and writers, including the legendary author Charles Dickens who would frequently stop by the pub for a drink on his way in and out of London!  

Dulwich has good transport links to the rest of London and the city centre as there are many train stations across the district that connects to services travelling into and out of central London. It is a particularly brilliant area for families to live in thanks to the excellent housing options, although the quieter and village-like approach to living in the area is perfect for anyone looking to live a life outside of the city-centre of London!


Brightly coloured doors in Islington

Distance to city centre: 3.1 miles.

Main Train Stations: Bermondsey Underground Station. 

Area description: Riverside close to the city centre

Notable features: Fantastic local markets, brilliant variety of local restaurants, great transport links to the centre of London

Rent: £££

Bermondsey is not the most famous area in the city but, when it comes to Living in South London, few places are as welcoming and, excellent value to live for being so close to the city centre. Bermondsey has a reputation for fun, there are many independent bars, micro-breweries and restaurants located within the main part of the neighbourhood that has affectionally been dubbed as the “Bermondsey Beer Mile”.

Bermondsey also has its beach on the bank of the River Thames which is incredibly popular during the summer and a fun place to spend some of the warmer days in the city! The area is also particularly famous for the many outdoor markets, the most famous of which is arguably, Maltby Street Market. Whilst you are very close to the river, Bermondsey is not lacking in Green spaces with nearby Southwark Park, a particularly open and beautiful space for exercise and relaxation in the summer.

Accommodation options in Bermondsey are fantastic. There are multiple properties located close to the river as well as further south of the district of various prices and sizes, from luxury riverside apartments to large townhouses located on quieter side streets. The diversified living options make moving to Bermondsey perfect for anyone, single working professionals, couples and, families. The area is home to some fantastic local schools as well which makes it even more suitable for families thinking of moving to the area.

Bermondsey is right next to Borough, allowing residents to make the most of the fantastic transport links from London Bridge station both into and out of the city. Commuting to work from Bermondsey in central London is very easy, which only increases the appeal of living in such a diverse and characterful area, even more!

Distance to city centre: 1.8 miles

Main Train Stations:  London Bridge

Area description: Riverside close to the city centre

Notable features: fantastic accommodation options, iconic local landmarks, brilliant variety for eating out locally

Rent: £££ 

The area around two of London’s most iconic bridges is a fantastic place to live. Life by Tower Bridge and London Bridge is all about living close to the action but still having a little bit of space away from all the fun happening in the city. You’re just a short walk across the river from the centre of London, living in an area where there is always something interesting happening. 

The neighbourhood of Borough is famous for its local markets and bars. Borough Market is one of the area’s biggest attractions when it comes to shopping locally, a massive indoor and outdoor area with many fantastic sellers for food and much, much more! The main high street outside of the market is also incredibly good for more traditional shopping and dining.  There are many fantastic bars and restaurants in the local area, including one with stunning views at the top of The Shard (London’s tallest building). 

There is no shortage of fun things to do in Borough but, if you’re not happy walking across the river, you can always jump on a tube or, train, from London Bridge station to reach just about anywhere in the city. Having such good transport connections is also a bonus for anyone who is thinking of travelling around for work.

There is a fantastic selection of high-end, high-rise apartments with very good views of the river and quieter, cosy accommodation, away from the main Highstreet. Local schools in the area are fantastic, making it a really good choice for anyone thinking of moving to the city with their family but, not wanting to live right in the city centre!

What About The Rest Of London?

Intersection at Grosvenor Gardens by Victoria station

For more recommendatians for living in South London, see the second part of this article where we cover areas and neighbourhoods you can live in the South West of London.

Alternatively, if you wish to read more about living in other areas of London, feel free to browse through our list of area guides on our blog.



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