First recorded in AD862 as Bromleag, Anglo Saxon for a ‘woodland clearing where broom (a shrub) grows’, it’s quite fitting Bromley remains one of the leafiest areas.

It was chosen by the Bishops of Rochester to be their base for visitors to London, and Bromley Palace (also known as Bishop’s Palace) was built in the 12th century and remained their residence until 1845.

Originally part of Kent, the town became part of the London Borough of Bromley back in 1965. Probably its biggest appeal is that it’s an easy commute into London or Kent. In fact, Bromley South has recently been revealed as the busiest station in the area with Office for Rail and Road data revealing 5.5 million entries and exits into the station in 2022-23.

Great British Life: David Bowie played a gig at Chislehurst Caves which now offers lamp-lit guided toursDavid Bowie played a gig at Chislehurst Caves which now offers lamp-lit guided tours (Image: Chislehurst Caves)Popular with both professionals and young families, mixing both city and countryside life, it’s been home to many well-known famous faces including H.G. Wells, Charles Darwin and singers Billy Idol and David Bowie, who lived in Plaistow Grove for most of his childhood and played gigs around Bromley, including at Chislehurst Caves, ( which is now a tourist attraction in its own right. First dug for chalk used in lime burning and brick-making for the building of London, it opened to the public in 1900. As well as being an air raid shelter and a concert venue, today a lamp-lit guided tour gives a fascinating insight of the history of these mysterious passageways.

Around the town there’s a fine collection of buildings so do look up to see properties from the Art Deco and Arts and Crafts movements. Bromley Old Town Hall, built in 1907, has also undergone major regeneration and is home to Clockwise ( which provides contemporary private offices, shared workspaces and meeting rooms with membership plans to suit flexible working. Modern living sees homes for all budgets and there’s a selection of top-rated schools, a good sense of community while those aforementioned good transport links are the icing on the cake.


Great British Life: The stunning old courthouse is now home to Dorothy and Marshall The stunning old courthouse is now home to Dorothy and Marshall (Image: Key & Quill)

Eating and drinking 

Taking pride of place in the renovated Bromley Old Town Hall, Dorothy and Marshall ( can be found within the stunning old courthouse which has been lovingly restored back to its former glory. Delicious traditional British classics, made with local ingredients, are on the menu and there's a stunning bar with a bespoke list of cocktails created by mixologist Cyan Wong. The sun-soaked hidden terrace is perfect for apéritif drinks or snacks in the summer. Another favourite of ours is Bank House Chislehurst. Offering a mix of modern European cuisine and traditional British fare, in a relaxed atmosphere. There's a large vibrant bar area on the ground floor offering cocktails, draft beers and an eclectic wine selection, while upstairs there's a cosy dining room with a small sun terrace for the summer. Chef Stuart Gillies was CEO of The Gordon Ramsay Group for seven years and before that, earned international acclaim as chef at Michelin-starred restaurants around the world - and you can quite literally taste his talent!

Passionate about good Indian food? Cinnamon Culture ( has a set menu offered from Sunday to Thursday with two courses priced £22 and three for £25. Bromley has a taste of Jamaica right on the doorstep with Rhythm n. Thyme ( and dishes include special jerk and curry goat. And, if you fancy a juicy steak then specialist steak restaurant and cocktail bar, Cow and Pig ( is your go-to!


Great British Life: Brama Hotel stands in the landmark building of Bromley Old Town Hall Brama Hotel stands in the landmark building of Bromley Old Town Hall (Image: Brama Hotel s)


Positioned at the heart of the town within Bromley Old Town Hall, a night at Brama ( is an invitation to experience more than just an overnight stay. With 23 bedrooms, all offering stunning design and comfort, enjoy connection, collaboration and community in a landmark building that was once at the centre many of the area’s historic moments. Dating back to 1874 and set on the edge of Chislehurst Common, The Crown ( underwent a major renovation last year. Seven boutique rooms, some with private balconies, offer stunning views over the common and comfort is key here. Each of the en-suite rooms has a luxury pocket-sprung mattress, Drench shower, Roberts digital radio and Nespresso coffee machine, while the Imperial Crown feature room also boasts a roll top bath. As well as a range of dining options, Bromley Court Hotel ( also has a choice of rooms to suit, from cosy to deluxe as well as accessible rooms and suites, there’s various events to enjoy, too. Hotel guests have free use of the gym facilities, free tea and coffee and there’s also electric car charging facilities. Book direct for the best rate.


Great British Life: East Street is home to shops and eateries in the townEast Street is home to shops and eateries in the town (Image: Jonathan Wilson/Getty Images)


Retail favourites such as Zara, M&S and The Body Shop are based at The Glades shopping centre ( but there’s also many independents nestled between. Try Bunka for fashion, homewares and gifts, while Partica leads the way in the latest party props for occasions such as birthdays, in fact, parties of all kinds. Charity organisation, Ada and Albert helps give children and families in the Bromley community a better start…so you can make a difference in 2024. And, if you’re set to tie the knot this year, Bromley Brides is a beautiful boutique to spot the perfect wedding gown. Don’t forget about the market which has been at the heart of the community for more than 800 years. Each Thursday, Friday and Saturday, throughout the day, the High Street welcomes an array of stalls providing a range of products. Want to set up your own stall? Visit for trader information.

Great British Life: Church House Gardens has a play area perfect for families and their children Church House Gardens has a play area perfect for families and their children (Image: Getty Images)

Exploring the town

As the greenest borough in London (there’s 2,585 hectares of public green spaces) even those living in Bromley have been surprised by the hidden greenery...there’s seven parks with Green Flag status! For families Church House Gardens has extensive ornamental gardens with a lake and children’s play area, and the historic Glassmill Pond is one of the oldest features in the town, while at The Pavilion, there’s a state-of-the-art bowling alley, leisure pool, gym, soft play area as well as bar/restaurant.

Theatre thrives here. From the quaint Bromley Little Theatre ( to the eclectic programme offered at the Churchill Theatre ( March performances include 2:22 A Ghost Story, the new stage phenomenon which has taken the West End by storm, and, popular Strictly Come Dancing judge, Anton Du Beke and his friends, take to the stage on March 24. As a site of outstanding international significance, the former home of Charles Darwin is also close by in Downe. Down House is a unique place in the history of science and evolution and visitors will step into the very rooms where Darwin worked and lived. Run by English Heritage, opening dates and information can be found at


Three of the best cafes in Bromley

Although Unico’s journey begins in Bologna, Italy, its unique gelato is very much part of Bromley. There’s every delectable flavour you can imagine!

Where: 75 High Street.

Keeping with an Italian theme, Taste-Bud is family-run with an Italian twist. Café menu staples sit beside Italian coffee and Taste of Italy nights also prove popular.

Where: 39 Chatterton Road.

Freshly baked pastries, cake, and exceptional coffee are café staples and it’s just what 1917 Chill Café offers either inside or in the covered courtyard garden.

Where: 19 Widmore Road.