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Living In New Cross: An Overview

Everything you need to know before moving to one of London's vibrant and fast-growing areas.

New Cross, in South East London, is quickly becoming a popular area to live in. With a great selection of properties, a variety of eclectic eateries and places to hang out or grab a drink, there’s something in New Cross for everyone. Plus, it’s just a short tube or bus ride into central London (or an hour's walk if you prefer), making it perfect for busy commuters.

So, if you’re thinking about moving to London and you want to know more about what living in New Cross is like, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out more in our complete New Cross area guide and discover all about what this fantastic place is like to live in.

What is New Cross like?

New Cross is a busy but vibrant area of South East London. Lewisham Way and New Cross Road are two particularly hectic roads, particularly at rush hour, but you can also hop on the overground to get into the centre of town in around 20 minutes.

New Cross is home to Goldsmiths, University of London, which specialises in creative and cultural undergraduate and postgraduate courses. That means there’s great energy about the area thanks to a plethora of international students, which naturally encourages exciting new businesses to open to attract the younger crowds. You’ll never be short of something to see or do, with creativity bursting from every corner.

Because it’s a slightly more affordable area of the city, New Cross is also attracting professionals who are seeking somewhere to live where the prices aren’t quite as astronomically high as they are in other areas. It’s also just a stone’s throw from Greenwich, Peckham, Brockley, Deptford and other southeastern districts.

Is New Cross safe?

Over the last 10 years, crime rates in New Cross have dropped dramatically, but they are still higher than the national average (much like the rest of London is anyway). Because of the university, there are a lot of students in the area, particularly during term times. The most common types of crime in New Cross are shoplifting and anti-social behaviour.

Transport from New Cross

If you work in the centre of London, New Cross is perfect for getting around. It’s the first station on the overground and trains are regular, with easy access to the DLR, District, and Hammersmith & City lines. There are also plenty of buses and a taxi rank, so access in and around the city is a breeze.

If you drive, the road networks are simple but can be slow during busy times, so account for this if you have somewhere to be.

Rather go on foot? If you walk at a steady pace you can get into the centre of the city in around an hour, which isn’t too bad.

What things are there to do in New Cross?

Thanks to the student population, you won’t be stuck for ideas when it comes to places to eat, drink and party in New Cross. Whether you like to throw some shapes and neck some shots or have a deep and meaningful chat over a craft ale, there’s something for everyone.

If you enjoy a quiet spot, Fordham Park is in the centre of New Cross, or Greenwich Park is just a short walk. If you fancy a spot of culture, Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art hosts regular exhibitions and is located on the university campus. Close by, Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum offer an insight into London’s fascinating maritime history.

If dancing like nobody’s watching is more your thing, The Venue nightclub is a fantastic place to let loose and attracts people looking for a fun night from across the city.

What pubs are there to visit in New Cross?

If you fancy a drink in New Cross, you’re definitely spoilt for choice. For old-school pub vibes, The Marquis of Granby has plenty of Irish influence. It’s also a popular spot with students, so prepare for it to be busy at weekends.

The Fat Walrus is relatively new but is regularly voted the best pub in New Cross thanks to a great selection of drinks, a modern menu, and a resident pub dog called Trouble.

For something a little livelier, The New Cross House offers drinks, handmade pizza and an art gallery, and is home to a drag act every Friday night. What’s not to love about that?

For more information about where you can grab a drink and have some fun, read our guide to the best pubs in New Cross.

What places are there to eat in New Cross?

Because New Cross is such a creative place, this sense of fun and experimentation extends to the food options, too.

Wakey Wakey is a vibrant cafe with owners who know a thing or two about breakfast. It has a wide menu so there’s something for every type of taste bud, with a few distinctly unique offerings, like the katsu benedict.

To embrace the artistic energy of New Cross, CORNER is an LGBTQ+-centric venue that offers cakes, snacks and drinks, as well as space for art exhibitions and performers.

Then there’s Chinway, which accurately describes itself as intimate and quirky. It has a varied menu with plenty to offer vegans and vegetarians, which you can’t miss thanks to the bright red telephone box-inspired front door.

Discover more fabulous food in the area in our guide to great restaurants in New Cross.

Living in New Cross with UNCLE

If you like the sound of living in a highly creative corner of London (12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen was a student at Goldsmiths) with fantastic nightlife and food, you can’t go wrong with New Cross.

If it sounds up your street, here at UNCLE we have a range of fully serviced apartments in New Cross. Check them out and see what New Cross can offer you.

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