Lewisham Area Guide (Based on Actual 2023 Data)

Lewisham Area Guide (Based on Actual 2023 Data)

The London Borough of Lewisham is situated in the southeast of London. It encompasses a number of distinct areas, including the bustling shopping district of Lewisham town centre, the cultural hub of Deptford, and the leafy residential neighbourhoods of Blackheath and Forest Hill. The borough is known for its rich diversity, green spaces such as Beckenham Place Park, and its historic landmarks like the Horniman Museum and Gardens, plus the Grade II listed Lewisham Clock Tower. This guide will provide you with all the information you need, whether you’re living, visiting or investing in Lewisham. It includes the latest data from official government sources.

What’s it like to live in Lewisham?

Lewisham is one of the most diverse and multicultural boroughs in London. It can also be relatively affordable, though several areas (such as Deptford) are undergoing significant development and house prices are likely to continue rising. 

One of the standout features of Lewisham is its abundance of green spaces, such as Hilly Fields, Ladywell Fields and the expansive Beckenham Palace Park, which provide a welcome escape from the urban environment.

The borough has a diverse range of shops and markets, from the large shopping centre at Lewisham Station to the independent stores and boutiques in areas like Deptford and Brockley.

Lewisham is also home to cultural and artistic venues, such as the Broadway Theatre, which hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, and the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

Like many boroughs in the south of London, Lewisham is connected by rail and overground services, rather than the underground. Lewisham Station is a hub for trains and buses, offering direct connections to a range of destinations across London and the southeast. The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) also runs through Lewisham, providing a link to Bank Station. There are many National Rail and Overground services that stop at stations throughout the borough, including Deptford, New Cross, Brockley, Catford and Sydenham.

This guide provides an overview of important statistics about the borough and how it compares to other boroughs in London.

How much does it cost to buy a house in Lewisham?

Properties in Lewisham on average cost £462,198.27, ranking the borough as the 8 most affordable borough in London, according to data from HM Land Registry

Buying a property in Lewisham is below the London average in cost, making the area a generally more affordable option in the capital, though this varies depending on the area.

How much does it cost to rent in Lewisham?

The cost of renting in Lewisham is generally in line with the London average. According to data from the ONS:

  • A studio costs on average £889 per month to rent which ranks 16 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A one bedroom property costs on average £1,133 per month to rent which ranks 13 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A two bedroom property costs on average £1,394 per month to rent which ranks 12 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A three bedroom property costs on average £1,708 per month to rent which ranks 13 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A three bedroom property costs on average £2,364 per month to rent which ranks 13 as the most affordable borough in London

How many people live in Lewisham?

There are a high number of dwellings in Lewisham compared to most other boroughs. According to the latest data from the Ministry of Housing, it has 130000 in total, ranking 8 of London boroughs by number of dwellings.

According to data from the ONS:

  • 19.0% of households are owned outright
  • 32.7% of households are being bought with a mortgage
  • 22.8% of households are rented from the local authority of housing association
  • 22.8% of households are privately rented

Is Lewisham a good place to live?

Although determining whether an area is a good place to live is subjective, we can use data on personal wellbeing collected by the ONS through the Annual Population Survey as an indicator to compare boroughs:

  • Lewisham ranks 25 of 32 boroughs in terms of life satisfaction (i.e. ‘how satisfied are you with your life?’)
  • Lewisham ranks 11 of 32 boroughs in terms of ‘worthwhile’ (i.e. ‘to what extent do you feel things you do in your life are worthwhile?’)
  • Lewisham ranks 13 of 32 boroughs in terms of happiness (i.e. ‘how happy did you feel yesterday?’)
  • Lewisham ranks 27 of 32 boroughs in terms of anxiousness (i.e. ‘how anxious did you feel yesterday?’)

What schools are in Lewisham?

In total Lewisham has 95 schools, which are broken down into:

  • 63 state primary schools
  • 14 state secondary schools
  • 10 independent schools

Some of the primary schools in the borough include Brindishe Green School, St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Primary School, and Myatt Garden Primary School. At the secondary level, some of the most highly regarded schools in the borough include Prendergast School, Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College, and St Dunstan’s College. For further education, Lewisham College is a popular choice, offering a range of vocational and academic courses to students of all ages.

For a breakdown of all schools in the area and their latest ratings, search Ofsted’s reports.

Is Lewisham polluted?

According to data from the GLA and TFL Air Quality:

  • Lewisham ranks 16 of 32 boroughs in terms of lowest NO2 concentration
  • Lewisham ranks 16 of 32 boroughs in terms of lowest PM2 concentration
  • Lewisham ranks 15 of 32 boroughs in terms of lowest PM10 concentration

What is the employment rate in Lewisham?

The employment rate in Lewisham is 81.4% which ranks 2 of 32 boroughs in terms of highest employment rate.

Employment rate is important to know for those considering moving to the area, as it can provide an indication of the job market and economic opportunities available in the borough.

Is Lewisham a wealthy area?

The average income in Lewisham is £41,100 according to data from HMRC. This ranks 21 of London’s boroughs (ranked by highest average income). 

On the whole Lewisham isn’t considered as a wealthy area, although areas such as Blackheath and Forest Hill are regarded by some as more affluent. Due to development in the borough over the past 10 years, Lewisham has been attracting more professionals, impacting house prices for both renters and buyers.

Is Lewisham a religious area?

Like the rest of London, Lewisham is a diverse area with a mix of cultures and religions. According to the ONS:

  • 47.8% of the resident population identifies as Christian
  • 6.9% of the resident population identifies as Muslim
  • 2.5% of the resident population identifies as Hindu
  • 0.0% of the resident population identifies as Sikh
  • 0.0% of the resident population identifies as Jewish
  • 4.2% of the resident population do not identify as religious

How large is Lewisham?

Lewisham is 35.1 km2, making it the 21th largest borough in London.

Its population is estimated as 323,421 according to data from the GLA, ranking it 12 as the most populous borough.

Its population per km2 is 9,201, ranking it 13 as the most populous per km2 borough.

Is Lewisham safe?

According to data from the Metropolitan Police Service, in the last two years there were:

  • 16,277 total reported crimes and 50.33 total crimes per 1k of the population, ranking Lewisham as 11 of boroughs with the least total number of crimes
  • 1,137 total reported burglaries and 3.52 total burglaries per 1k of the population, ranking Lewisham as 21 of boroughs with the least number of burglaries
  • 1,205 total reported cases of criminal damage and 3.73 total cases of criminal damage per 1k of the population, ranking Lewisham as 14 of boroughs with the least number of cases of criminal damage
  • 631 total reported drug related crimes and 1.95 total drug related crimes per 1k of the population, ranking Lewisham as 11 of boroughs with the least number of drug related crimes
  • 670 total reported robberies and 2.07 total robberies per 1k of the population, ranking Lewisham as 15 of boroughs with the least number of robberies
  • 375 total reported sexual offences and 1.16 total sexual offences per 1k of the population, ranking Lewisham as 10 of boroughs with the least number of sexual offences
  • 6,850 total reported thefts and 21.18 total thefts per 1k of the population, ranking Lewisham as 7 of boroughs with the least number of thefts
  • 5,156 total reported violent crimes and 15.94 total violent crimes per 1k of the population, ranking Lewisham as 15 of boroughs with the least number of violent crimes

What public transport options does Lewisham have?

The underground does not serve Lewisham, but the borough is home to many rail and overground stations, including:

  • Lewisham Station (National Rail)
  • St Johns Station (National Rail)
  • Ladywell Station (National Rail)
  • Crofton Park (National Rail)
  • Hither Green Station (National Rail)
  • Lee (National Rail)
  • New Cross Station (National Rail and London Overground)
  • New Cross Gate Station (National Rail and London Overground)
  • Brockley Station (National Rail and London Overground)
  • Honor Oak Park Station (National Rail and London Overground)
  • Forest Hill Station (National Rail and London Overground)
  • Catford Station (National Rail)
  • Catford Bridge Station (National Rail)
  • Sydenham (National Rail and London Overground)
  • Lower Sydenham (National Rail)
  • Bellingham (National Rail)
  • Beckenham Hill (National Rail)
  • Grove Park (National Rail)

These lines connect the borough to destinations across London and the southeast, including central London (including Charing Cross and Cannon Street), Kent, and Sussex.

In addition, the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) stops at Lewisham, providing connections to Bank.

There are also several bus routes that operate in the borough, including:

  • 47: From Catford to Shoreditch
  • 54: From Woolwich to Beckenham
  • 108: From Lewisham to Stratford
  • 136: From Grove Park to Elephant & Castle
  • 185: From Victoria to Lewisham
  • 199: From Canada Water to Catford
  • 225: From Canada Water to Hither Green
  • 284: From Grove Park to Lewisham
  • 484: From Lewisham to Camberwell

What places are in Lewisham?

Lewisham includes a number of distinct places and neighbourhoods. Lewisham town centre is a bustling area with a mix of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions, including the Broadway Theatre and Lewisham Shopping Centre. Deptford is a creative hub with a variety of independent shops, galleries, and music venues. Blackheath is an affluent residential area with a village-like feel, while Forest Hill is a leafy suburb with a number of parks and green spaces. Other areas within the borough include Catford, Ladywell, Brockley, and New Cross.

What is Lewisham famous for?

There are a range of cultural activities, landmarks and venues that Lewisham is known for, such as:

  1. The Horniman Museum and Gardens – this popular museum features a diverse range of exhibits, including natural history displays, musical instruments, and an aquarium.
  2. The Lewisham Clock Tower – a Grade II listed structure that serves as a local landmark and is situated in the centre of Lewisham town.
  3. The River Thames – Lewisham is located along the Thames, providing residents with scenic riverfront views and recreational opportunities.
  4. The Deptford Market Yard – a vibrant shopping and dining destination that features a variety of independent shops and restaurants.
  5. The Blackheath Fireworks – an annual event that takes place in November and draws large crowds to Blackheath Common for a dazzling fireworks display.
  6. The Albany Theatre – a cultural centre that hosts a range of live performances, including theatre, music, and comedy.
  7. The Lewisham Arthouse – a former library building that now serves as a community-run art space and studios for local artists.
  8. The Brockley Max Festival – an annual arts and music festival that takes place in various locations throughout the borough.
  9. The Lewisham People’s Day – an annual festival that celebrates the borough’s diverse community with live music, dance performances, and family-friendly activities.
  10. The Lewisham Shopping Centre – a popular indoor shopping mall with a range of high street retailers and restaurants, located in the heart of Lewisham town centre.

What boroughs are next to Lewisham?

Lewisham is bordered by several other boroughs: