17 London towns that Kent likes to claim as its own

It’s fair to say that London has a lot of disputed ground, from Croydon to Epping Forest there are places in the capital that the Home Counties like to claim as their own.

But, aside from non-existent Middlesex, Kent is probably the worst at pretending towns that are definitely in London are part of their county.

They’re in a London borough, have TfL travel services and are covered by the Met Police, but still Kent pretend otherwise.

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Mostly the places were once in Kent, just like back in the day the City of London was London, but in the London Government Act of 1963 the areas were absorbed in the capital.

It seems the Kentish just haven’t got over it.

Here are 17 towns and cities that are definitely in London, not Kent.

Woolwich

Sitting on the banks of the River Thames, Woolwich became part of the London metropolitan area in the mid-19th century. Given its very London postcode – SE18 – there’s no debate here.

Greenwich

One of the most famous areas of London, home to the Greenwich Meridian and the Cutty Sark, as well as an exclusive Royal Borough of London, SE10 is firmly in the capital.

Ask anyone in the UK if it’s Kent and they’ll laugh.

Bexleyheath

Bexleyheath became the administrative base for the London Borough of Bexley upon its formation in 1965.

It’s an important hub for TfL bus services, with good links to other areas of London such as Bromley, Lewisham, Orpington and Crayford.

Sidcup

The ancient district allegedly had its name derived from Cetecopp, meaning “seat shaped or flat-topped hill.”

With a London dialling code – 020 – and in the borough of Bexley this is firmly in the capital.

Shooters Hill

Shooters Hill is the highest point of South London, reaching to an astonishing 432ft – making for incredible views across London (and Kent, a bit further away).

Belvedere

Known for the Belvedere explosion of 1864, Belvedere is also one of the many districts that London added to our growing city.

The fact that it’s covered by the Met Police proves where it really is.

Biggin Hill

The views from Biggin Hill might look remote – but it’s still London
(Image: Keely Latham)

Biggin Hill was an ancient parish in Kent but by 1965, London County Council was replaced by Greater London Council and Biggin Hill became officially part of South London.

It also has an airport called London Biggin Hill Airport.

Beckenham

When historically part of Kent, Beckenham was a tiny village, with the vast majority of its land being rural. Timber merchant John Cator and his family began to build villas which resulted in a rapid increase in population between 1850 and 1900, from just 2,000 to 26,000.

Next to Bromley, and in the borough of Bromley, it was also made officially London in 1965.

Petts Wood

Most of Petts Wood was built in the early 20th century as a high quality estate in an extremely rural setting, just a short trip away from the big city.

Just 13 miles away from Central London, being in the London Borough of Bromley and with the UK parliament of Orpington this suburb is unarguably London.

Chelsfield

Chelsfield was delegated to the London Borough of Bromley in 1965.

It might be very near the border with Kent, but it’s firmly on our side.

Erith

After the London Government Act, Erith became part of the London Borough of Bexley.

It’s far enough north of the borough to be on the south bank of the Thames and protected by the Met Police it’s clearly London.

Welling

The London town is referred to as a ‘major district centre’, and is just over 10 miles from Charing Cross, the traditional centre of London.

It’s also very well served by TfL buses – why would they put that effort in if it’s not actually London?

Danson House is a beautiful attraction in the London Borough of Bexley
(Image: Georgia Gardner)

West Heath

Served by three Transport for London bus services, KentLive described West Heath as being ‘tainted by London in the past century’, so even the Kentish really think of it as London.

Plus it does have the London postcode NW3.

Thamesmead East

Its name derived from the location of the district, Thamesmead was once in Kent but is now classed as South East London – they’ve even got the SE postcode to prove it.

Plumstead

This district jumped on the London bandwagon in the mid 19th century.

Situated in the Borough of Greenwich there’s no doubt Plumstead is London.

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Abbey Wood

Combine the fact it’s got a postcode SE2, is in the boroughs of Greenwich and Bexley and is looked after by the Met Police and it’s clear the neighbourhood is part of the capital.

Chislehurst

Most famous for its endearingly historic caves, we’ll admit Chistlehurst was actually once a Kent town. However, in 1965 it was split between the boroughs of Bromley and Bexley.

My London – Bromley