Living in New Cross: travel links, parking, schools, best streets — and the average cost of monthly rent

Approaching via either of the two train stations or the traffic-choked main road, it can be easy to miss the vibrant cultural scene in New Cross.

But a closer look at this youthful area, anchored around Goldsmiths, University of London, reaps rich rewards.

The lowdown on New Cross

The college has spawned a huge proportion of London’s creative output over the years, from the Young British Artists to rockers Blur and Klaxons. 

Music, fashion and art are a big deal around here and there are plenty of opportunities to strut your stuff in grungy-cool pubs, watch the latest hot-ticket band in a small, sweaty venue or catch a show by a next-big-thing artist.

Who lives there? The area is dominated by some of London’s hippest students – after graduation many of them move on to nearby Deptford or Brockley. 

Parking in New Cross

A residents parking permit costs £120 a year.

Crime in New Cross

Crime is above the London average in New Cross with 12 crimes per 1,000 residents. The top reported crimes are violence, harassment and theft. 

Fitness clubs in New Cross

Our featured New Cross renter Jon Calton says the best gym in the area is Pulse at Goldsmiths University; it’s large and well equipped, with a selection of classes, for a “bargain” £35 a month. There’s also Retreat Yoga Studio on New Cross Road.

Average cost of renting in New Cross

Property size Average monthly cost
One-bedroom flat £1,174
Two-bedroom flat £1,500
Two-bedroom house £1,566
Three-bedroom house £2,103
Four-bedroom house £2,645

Source: Rightmove

Best New Cross streets to live on

Families looking for homes within an easy commute of the City head to the area around Telegraph Hill, for pretty streets and great views within a 15-minute walk of New Cross station, says Richard Trafford, area manager at Your Move.

Students go for the streets branching off New Cross Road where there are three- and four-bedroom period house shares. 

New Cross travel links and accessibility

“The area’s got so many transport links, it’s one of the main things we loved about it,” says Jon, who says he can be at his desk in the City in 20 minutes on a train from New Cross station — a five-minute walk away — two stops to Cannon Street.

There are also plenty of buses into central London and throughout south London.

Best schools in New Cross

Haberdashers’ Aske’s is rated “outstanding” by the Ofsted watchdog for primary and secondary schooling. Ilderton Primary School and Lucas Vale Primary School also receive Ofsted’s top rating.

Supermarkets and food markets in New Cross

There’s a Tesco Express, an Asda, a Costcutter and a Londis in New Cross Road and a large Sainsbury’s close to New Cross Gate station.


“New Cross has not yet had that wave of gentrification money ploughed into it, so there isn’t that coffee culture and street life you get in other areas, especially with the main road cutting through it,” says Trafford.

What the locals say:

‘Vibrant area with great transport links’

“We love it here”: Jon Calton and his partner Alvaro pay £2,300 a month plus bills for their three-bedroom flat in New Cross (Adrian Lourie)

Size, location and a good landlord are the three pillars of London renting. A happy tenant can usually count on having two of the three but a full house is a rarity.

For IT consultant Jon Calton, 51, and his partner, Alvaro, living in a purpose-built rental block in New Cross run by professional landlord company Uncle has the lot.

“We’ve lived here for two-and-a-half years and we’ll be here until we’ve saved enough for a deposit to buy a place, probably two to four more years. We love it,” says Jon. “The area’s vibrant, there’s lots of trendy bars, Greenwich is only 20 minutes away if you want something more refined but we like the earthiness of New Cross, there’s quite a spirit here.

“The flats have good noise insulation, loads of storage and if you have a problem it gets fixed quickly. Every day they don’t fix it, you get a free day’s rental. 

“We’ve got a brilliant relationship with the resident manager, she’s mad as a fruit bat but she will even drop parcels to our flat if we’re not going to be able to pick them up before they close. It’s a really personal treatment.”

Jon and Alvaro pay £2,300 a month plus bills for their new build three-bedroom flat, which Jon says is a competitive rate for Zone 2. 

“We’ve got a huge, three-double-bedroom flat, I’ve got a room for my crafting, Alvaro has a room he can use and it feels like a real community. People say hello when you pass them and at New Year we all go up to the roof terrace with bottles of champagne and have a bit of a party.”

Shopping in New Cross

The Word Bookshop in New Cross Road stocks academic titles for the local student population alongside bestsellers and a selection of Jon’s handmade cards.

Eating and drinking in New Cross

Jon favours The Rose pub for a Sunday roast, The Fat Walrus, and The New Cross House for its “great menu, quizzes, film nights and nice vibe”.

The Red Lion Coffee Co is on the ground floor of Jon and Alvaro’s block of flats. It serves great coffee, cakes and pastries and is another local stockist of Jon’s cards.

Culture in New Cross

Thanks to Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross is positively bursting with culture, from art shows at galleries including Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art and hARTslane experimental art project space, to gigs at the Amersham Arms and New Cross Inn.

There’s also a Curzon cinema at Goldsmiths.

Green space in New Cross

Fordham Park, next to Jon’s flats has a kids’ play area and is popular in summer. New Cross Gate Cutting is a wildlife park. Telegraph Hill is the area’s largest green space, with great views over London.

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