Where is it? The estate takes in 1500 acres of Dulwich village, West Dulwich, parts of Herne Hill and Sydenham

Who lives there? Comfortably off professional families who like being in walking distance of some of south London’s sought-after private schools.

History: about to celebrate its 400th anniversary, the estate is a charitable foundation, set up by the Elizabethan actor Edward Alleyn who left it as an endowment for a school. Today, there are seven schools that befit form his largesse, Dulwich College, James Allen’s Girls’ School and Alleyn’s School as well as four state schools. Many of the 5000 properties are now owned freehold, with 208 still in the portfolio but all owners have to seek approval for alterations to the external appearance of their property.

Heart: It is a proper village, complete with fin ger posts, post-and-chain fences and a mix of workmen’s cottages, fine Georgian villas and post war buildings. It offers pretty much every affluent suburb must-have: deli, farmer’s market, bookshop, cafes and a local annual festival.

Vision: ‘The Dulwich Estate has led the development of a vibrant neighbourhood’ says chief executive Simone Crofton, ‘I want to bring in the best independent shops, cafes and retailers across the estate and ensure we continue to inspire visitors and residents alike with a distinct experience’.

Why live there? Its exceptionally green, with 40 acres of allotments, 12 playing fields and 69 acres of ancient woodland, as well as the Herne Hill velodrome, a former Olympic venue, which now has a new pavilion.

Transport: North Dulwich Station in Zone 2 or West Dulwich and Sydenham Hill in Zone 3.

To rent: new two-and-three-bedroom flats in Croxted Road in West Dulwich are available through Pedder

To buy: a five-bedroom family house with a large garden is £2,595,000 through KFH.

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