Coombe is located between the green spaces of Shirley (Addington) Hills, Lloyd Park, Ballards and Coombe Wood. It is unusual in this part of South London as it has barely been urbanised and has retained its collection of large houses fairly intact. Its rural character is maintained by the woodland aspect of the road and an old cattle trough at the junction of Coombe Lane and Oaks Road. Tramlink, however, runs through Coombe. Coombe Lane, the continuation of Coombe Road, is the principal road. Conduit Lane is an ancient unpaved route that is now a woodland path.
There was an estate at Coombe as far back as 1221, recorded as being held by Richard of Coombe. In Elizabethan times, it was known as Broad Coombe. In the 17th century, it was owned by the brothers of William Harvey, who first described the circulation of blood.