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Moving to Walworth

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Monday 23 April 2007 9.47pm
My girlfirend and I are moving to London in the summer and have found a nice property in Southwark SE17. The actual road is Saltwood Grove which is in between Liverpool Grove and Mellow Street.
However, what i want to know is, what is the area like? I mean, is it safe? i acknowledge that i ofcourse have to be aware etc but im more worried about my girlfriend who will have to walk along Walworth Road on her own at times. If anyone has some valid and reliable information about the area or knows anywhere I can get information I would really appreciate your comments.
Thankyou very much
Rich H
Monday 23 April 2007 11.16pm
Hi Rich,

Welcome to the Forum. My specialist knowledge, as with a lot of other forum members, is of the SE1 area, but from what I know of Walworth, here is my two pennyeth:

- the Walworth Road itself is undergoing a multi-million pound transformation at the moment which will hopefully improve the streetscape and make it safer for pedestrians - it is a main road with an above average level of accidents. If you are buying, this should help values rise (as will the ongoing re-development of Elephant and Castle).

- shopping wise you have everything nearby both on the Walworth Road itself and at the popular East Street Market.

- transport links are pretty good.

- I would describe the area as exciting and a bit edgy. What does this mean? Well, it means that you need to take basic safety precautions, such as only walking in well light areas after dark, not dawdling and talking on your mobile at 2am on a Saturday morning, etc. and being aware of your surroundings. It also means that it's an exciting and vibrant place to be, with a melting pot of cultures and socio-economic classes. To me, it's what living in London is all about.

Where will you be working/commuting to?

Monday 23 April 2007 11.22pm
Hey Chris,
well i am going to do my masters at Southbank University but my girlfriend works at GMTV which is right near waterloo, that's why we have decided to live quite close to the area. I have been trying to do some research on the area and it basically blows hot and cold, some say its nice and others say its a right 'hood'.. i just dont want to live in fear really.. If not in Walworth, are there any other places you would recommend that are close by and perhaps 'safer'?
Thanks I appreciate this
Monday 23 April 2007 11.56pm

A couple of points in response -

- when people refer to an area as a ghetto/'hood, etc., take that with a large pinch of salt. Most people who refer to places in this way haven't even been there and consider their pokey little place in [INSERT NAME OF SUPPOSEDLY SMART/EXPENSIVE AREA] as the only place to live. I can happily say that after living in Marylebone for 4 years (one of the most expensive parts of London) and living in Bermondsey now, I much prefer the latter.

- crime statistics will probably tell you that Southwark and Walworth are higher than average, like they are in Bermondsey, but I think what really matters is how you feel in the area. If you feel safe and confident, that it what matters most. You will only know this by visiting the area and spending time there. I absolutely understand the concern you have for your girlfriend, so I'd suggest the both of you spend an afternoon/evening in Walworth and see how you get on. Also, talk to neighbours, see if they're friendly, ask what it's like at night, etc.

- in terms of alternative places, it really depends what your budget is like. SE1 is more expensive than Walworth, but you tend to be a bit closer to Central London. Try or and search by postcode to see what you can find. If you let us know your budget I might be able to give some more thoughts...

Monday 23 April 2007 11.58pm
I've lived here for over 20 years,
the only 2 times I've been attacked has been by security guards. Safe as house otherwise.
Tuesday 24 April 2007 12.42am
I think it sometimes depends on how you look. I hope those who are reading this are not taking this badly as I mean well and had suffered badly in the past. Despite London diversity, if you look 'rather foreign' (not white or black)it can be stereotyped and mistaken by a group of minority as a rich tourist e.g. the Japanese. Unfortunately, I'm not Japanese, not a tourist and certainly haven't got loads of money to spare. Living in a reasonably good area makes a difference to someone like myself unfortunately. I have been picked on during the day in not so good areas by groups of young kids. As with night time, we all have to watch our back wherever it is. Walworth Road is very busy street with terrible jam at the moment due to road works (part of regeneration project). However, you can get anything in the high street. So, it's a convenient location.
Tuesday 24 April 2007 5.43am
Liverpool Grove is absolutely smashing, so pretty. I agree with everyone here the Walworth Road is terrific (and once the traffic gets moving it will be more so, and when the improvements are done it will be even attractive). Shopping-wise it's absolutely great, you have East Street Market which as far as I'm concerned does away with any need to shop anywhere else. The buses go like mad and you're at the Tube in Elephant & Castle in a whiffy (once the traffic gets going again) and if I had any spare money I would BUY in the Walworth Road.
Tuesday 24 April 2007 7.47am
Go on the metropolitan police site and check mugging figures if you are worried about your girlfriends safety.

I would think that walworth road at a sensible hour would be fine. I would avoid the back doubles late at night and avoid taking short cuts through the Aylesbury Estate too. It's not a ghetto by any means, lots of decent people live there, but the design helps thieves.

Better still move to se1 next time if possible, it's smashing here and i have been here decades and never been mugged or burgled..
Tuesday 24 April 2007 9.23am
I've been living in Walworth for a year now, and several years in Peckham before that. I don't think the Walworth road area is particularly dangerous; during the day it's much the same as any other high street. In the evening, like Jan says, just take sensible precautions - stick to the main streets and well lit areas. It's a nice area and I feel it's got more of a community and a sense of focus to anywhere I've lived before. Of course, to some people it'll appear to be a bit of a ghetto, but usually the kind of people who think that are the kind of people who live in Barnes and don't go out after 7pm because the Daily Mail told them not to. Visit the area at various times of the day and make up your own mind!
Tuesday 24 April 2007 11.26am
I've lived there for 13 years and like its neighbourliness and convenience. Perhaps you could both try having a drink at the Beehive (not far from Liverpool Grove) which has nice seating outside to help get the measure of the place.
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