Touted as ‘South Central’, SE1 has long had a lot to offer – including the world’s easiest commute – but it took a while for the developers to notice…

Best Known For
The South Bank takes centre stage in SE1. The National Theatre, The Haywood Gallery, The Royal Festival Hall, Shakespeare’s Globe… such fantastic arts and culture right on the doorstep. SE1 is also home to the equally loved and loathed Elephant and Castle. It might not be pretty, but with the Northern Line, Bakerloo Line and Overground transport links all departing from Elephant & Castle station, it’s a commuter’s dream

Where Can I Shop?
Shopping facilities are still a little lacking – Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre is no shopper’s paradise – but on Walworth Road you’ll find the inimitable Baldwin & Co – part apothecary, part health-food store, all brilliant. Your best bet is to head for Bermondsey Street. It’s mostly restaurants and galleries, but it’s surely only a matter of time before more stylish boutiques like Bermondsey 167, Lovely & British and Igloo flower shop move in. Otherwise, the Tate Modern, the BFI and the National Theatre all have great gift shops, and for those into design, the Southbank Centre Shop is incredibly cool.

Gourmet Recommendations
You can’t take two steps along Bermondsey Street without bumping into an eatery worth shouting from the rooftops about: Jose, Pizarro, The Garrison, Village East, Zucca, Casse-Croûte… I hardly need to mention Borough Market, but if you haven’t paid a visit to its newest restaurant yet, the cacao-inspired Rabot 1745, you really must. Maltby Street Market is great for artisan bread, cheese and craft beer, but if you want high-end, complete with views, head for The Shard, which is now home to Oblix, Hutong and Aqua Shard.

Good Schools
Beormund Primary School, a small boys school for children with special educational needs, Snowsfields Primary School and Grange Primary School are all located in SE1 and rated Good by Oftsed, while St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, a small Roman Catholic mixed-gender primary in SE16, is rated Outstanding. In terms of secondary schools, St Saviour’s and St Olave’s Church of England School, a large girls school on New Kent Road, is rated Outstanding, as are the Notre Dame Roman Catholic Girls’ School in SE1 and the Harris Academy Bermondsey – both girls’ schools. Of course, Dulwich’s plethora of excellent independent schools are not far away.

The Property Market
Since word got out that the bulldozers were headed for the infamous Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle, the developers have pounced. Of course, The Shard delivers the most luxe of high-end living in SE1, with two-storey duplexes and seven single storey apartments on floors 53 to 65, but the prices (in May 2012 the price of the best duplex was set at £50 million) are spectacularly out of reach for most. The One Tower Bridge and Blackfriars Road developments come with a more realistic price tag – Cluttons has a two-bedroom penthouse apartment on sale in Walworth Road’s Strata tower for £1,750,000 – a snip!


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