The London Borough of Bromley is the largest borough in Greater London when it comes to the area it occupies. It covers 59 square miles or about 153 square kilometres. However, with a population of a little under 325,000 people, Bromley is far from being the most populated borough in the English capital. There are a few reasons for that. As a start, a massive part of the borough’s land falls within the Metropolitan Green Belt. In other words, Bromley is home to a wide range of parks, open spaces and conservation sites and not only to residential areas. Secondly, many of the districts in this part of London have a very agricultural heritage and were developed only after the arrival of the railways or even after that. Still, that does not mean that Bromley is a countryside region because there are a number of busy and well-developed districts on its territory.
The area’s rural heritage
Bromley is located on Greater London’s border with Kent’s Sevenoaks and Surrey’s Tandridge which is why it is incredibly leafy. It is estimated that around 30% of the area occupied by the borough is made up of farmland. No other London Borough can beat this score. The borough is often divided into a southern and northern side. The latter tends to be more built-up than the former but both have their own village-like gems.
Petts Wood, for example, is one of the greenest suburbs in the borough. The name of this area means “Petts family’s wood.” In the past, the Petts used to own a big part of the land in the area. They worked in the field of shipbuilding and they used the timber from the nearby wood. The wood is still here and it is nearly four times larger than it used to be. That is because it is now a protected area that also features Edlmann Wood and Hawkwood Estate.
St Mary Cray BR5 is among the many areas in south-east London that developed with the arrival of the railways. That happened in the late 19th century and it quickly led to a population boom in this tiny district. Despite its small size, St Mary Cray is known for having the oldest football club in London and the biggest communities of Irish Travellers and settled Romani people.
There are a few localities in the London Borough of Bromley that continue to remain practically under the radar. One such spot is Plaistow which borders with the Borough of Lewisham. Even the arrival of the railway network did not manage to stir this countryside-like area.
If you are planning to relocate into one of Bromley’s more rural areas, make sure you are well-prepared. It is good to hire a team of vetted movers in Plaistow BR1 who know the region. While this locality has witnessed some slight urbanisation over the past few decades, many Londoners still mistake it for Newham’s cosmopolitan district that bears the same name. Also, use the services of a local removals firm in Petts Wood BR5. Otherwise, you risk getting lost in the area’s lush surroundings.
The urban side of Bromley
Orpington is one of the busiest and most urbanised areas in Bromley. The town offers a fast commute to central London and it has a nice high street which features a number of great shops and restaurants. Nevertheless, this urban area is not completely disconnected from its countryside roots, since it has a wide range of open spaces and a village-like market. Hiring a speedy team of professional movers in Orpington BR5, BR6 is often necessary since the area can get quite busy on certain days.
Along with Hayes, West Wickham BR4 is the only suburb in the southern part of the borough that is more built-up. Most of the properties in the area were constructed during the 1930 and they enjoy a high demand among home seekers since they are big in size and they have spacious gardens.
Even though a great part of the London Borough of Bromley has a rather rural character, there are still plenty of fascinating attractions and landmarks that can be seen on its territory. Of course, many of them are parks or nature reserves like Crystal Palace Park, Hayes Common, Keston Common, Scadbury Park, as well as High Elms Country Park. Other must-see sights in the borough feature:
- Down House
- Crofton Roman Villa
- Chislehurst Caves
- Crystal Palace Dinosaurs
- Crystal Palace Museum