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.