This is Bexley

We asked residents to tell us what it’s like to be part of Bexley - to be born here, to move here, to work here, or to bring up their children here. 

Their experiences and opinions, shared with us and you, bring our story of Bexley to life.

Bexley - The place

Our residents tell us that Bexley is the best of both worlds - modern, but with a rich history, close to the centre of London and a green, safe, and friendly place to be. 

We are a borough in the South East of London, bordering Greenwich, Bromley and Kent. We’re on the Thames and are the 7th largest borough by area, home to 250,000 people. 

We’re a historical part of London, with objects found dating back to the Stone Age. The Roman road, Watling Street, is still our main artery today. The Domesday Book referred to our area as Bix, and for a long time was open countryside. We retain much of that countryside feel today but we welcomed becoming part of London in 1965.

We’re proud of our well-preserved history. Watching the sunset at Lesnes Abbey (which housed Augustinian monks in the 12th century) is a must-do. Taking the kids to Hall Place (a 16th century home of the former Mayor of London) is a brilliant day out. Or what about getting your 10,000 steps in at Danson House (an 18th-century historic mansion and official outdoor cultural space) or taking in the culture at the Red House (built by William Morris, the famous artist, in the 19th century). Our history makes Bexley so special.

And some of our more modern residents have included Kate Bush, Delia Smith, Lennox Lewis and Jo Malone.

Bexley - The people

We are a diverse and growing borough. By 2030 our population will be over 260,000 and almost 300,000 by 2050. Almost 25% of our population is Black and Asian Multi-Ethnic. 30% of our residents are young people (under the age of 25) which makes us the 15th youngest borough in London.

Many residents who are born here choose to stay, while new residents choose to move here to make the most of becoming part of an attractive and well-connected part of London.

Bexley - The best of both worlds

Bexley is one of the greenest places in London, with over 100 parks and 1100 hectares of Green Belt Land. Despite our country-feel, it’s quick into London for a culture buzz, and easy into Kent and Europe (via the Eurotunnel and ferry). In the future, we’ll have even better and quicker transport with Crossrail and a Docklands Light Railway extension.

Our residents tell us that they like being part of one of the safest boroughs in London. We are one of the most affordable too - families tell us that they move here from other parts of London because they like the friendliness and the mix of high performing grammar and secondary schools. Residents tell us that we are well located for an easy commute into London and Kent. We’re proud of having the highest recycling rate in London and also proud of our high standard of living, as one of the least deprived places in London.

We know we have some challenges too. As a borough, we need to get healthier and more active. We also have an ageing population, and we need to ‘level up’ aspirations and outcomes across our different groups and parts of the borough.

Our residents in their own words

Bexley is unique in the fact that it is so close to London, but you also feel like you are part of the Kent countryside”

East Wickham resident

Bexley's green spaces and cultural sites and venues are special and make Bexley an attractive place to be”

West Heath resident 

Overall, it is a beautiful borough”

Belvedere resident 

There are some very intriguing and beautiful bits, also there is huge potential for it to develop into an amazing place, the riverside in Erith can be out of this world, Lesnes Abbey, Danson and more”

Belvedere resident 

My most significant memory is lazy summer holiday days spent as a teenager at the outdoor swimming pool in Danson park”

Crook Log resident 

I enjoy all the walks across Footscray Meadows and around Danson Park plus there are lovely restaurants and bars around in Sidcup, Bexley village and Bexleyheath”

St. Mary’s and St. James resident

I love walking through Lesnes Abbey Woods and seeing daffodils and bluebells in the spring”

Belvedere resident

More stories about Bexley from our residents

    Matt’s Story

    Matt’s story

    Matt is a fairly new resident in Bexley, having moved from Richmond to Abbey Wood where he has now lived with his husband Will for two years. Making the most of the beauty of our green spaces, Matt lives in a quiet street with a great community feel. Living there means he can also keep his London identity, which is important for him.

    Matt is an Educational Psychologist in Bexley working with children across the borough, where he now enjoys a much more relaxing commute cycling up and down the “deceiving hills of Bexley”. He enjoys helping the young people he works with, mentioning how special it feels when he experiences “the moment when the child realises someone is listening to them”.

    Being part of a community is a big deal for Matt - having socially distanced D-Day celebrations in his street last year, arranging mutual cat sitting with neighbours, as well as playing Dungeons and Dragons with his local friends every week. It is the feeling of togetherness in Bexley that feels stronger than in other places he has lived.

    Matt lives right on the edge of Lesnes Abbey Woods, saying that “Lesnes Abbey was a saviour during lockdown”. Lesnes Abbey has also had a more personal impact on Matt and his husband during their time in the borough. During Covid, Matt’s wedding was postponed but instead they had “went to the Abbey with a bottle of champagne and watched the sunset” to celebrate the day. In a time where spirits could have been low, the Abbey had delivered happiness, and lasting memory, with natural beauty.

    Jane's Story

    Jane’s story

    Jane has lived in Bexley for over 16 years, moving from Leytonstone in East London where she grew up. She now lives in Belvedere with her husband and 3 children, each of which have grown up in the borough. She loves the variety of architecture throughout the borough and its affordability compared to other areas of London, and she still discovers hidden roads and areas with beautiful properties every day. Jane loves the beauty of the borough during the holiday seasons, especially the lights at Christmas

    Jane works as a service manager in Children’s Services and has put in a lot of time and hard work progressing her career, continuing to do so through training. Outside of work, she loves to bake and sing, regularly singing with her local church choir – and she makes a good rum cake.

    She feels that there is a good community spirit where she lives. One of her favourite memories of living in Bexley is the yearly bouncy castle she arranges on the green for her child’s birthday party. All the neighbours come out for this and end up in her house for slushies. She also loves when the snow comes, as all the children sledge in her garden.

    Jane also enjoys the “attractive eating-out options in town, without needing to worry about parking”, as well as the green areas around Bexley including Lesnes Abbey woods and Danson Park.

    If Jane could improve Bexley in any way, she would love to see Erith waterfront becoming more like Richmond upon Thames, as well as improving our rail stations to have a bit more of a buzz about them –“Bexley has so much potential to build on.”

    While Jane grew up in East London, Bexley is the place she now calls home for her family, “If I won the Lottery I would always choose to live in Bexley.”

    Charlotte's Story

    Charlotte’s story

    Charlotte is a Data Analyst in the city and has lived in Bexley for 2 years, having moved from Waterloo to her “forever home” in Belvedere. Charlotte and her partner enjoy the “slower pace of life away from the hectic central London” and the natural environment offered in Bexley, especially being near the river and Lesnes Abbey. Charlotte likes that in Bexley she can keep having her city life alongside the country living.

    Bexley has offered Charlotte the opportunity to leave the busy city and unwind “where at the end of the day it is nice to get out and relax, where you have somewhere nice to switch off”. The mixture of country living, and city life is a major reason why Charlotte has been looking to get more involved in her community that is “more welcoming and friendly” than other parts of London. She’s enjoyed finding new places to eat especially the “lovely places in Bexleyheath” as well as helping local restaurants during the pandemic and is looking to meet new people through pub quizzes and other local events.

    During lockdown Charlotte and her partner explored the natural beauty of the borough by walking through Lesnes Abbey a few times a month, they loved “watching it change through the seasons, especially seeing daffodils and bluebells in spring”.

    As a fan of the theatre and music gigs, the quick link to London is great for entertainment. Charlotte hopes to see more local community events and performances as this would be the cherry on top of the Bexley cake.