Things to do in Peckham by a Londoner
Ok so you won't find Peckham in your lonely planets guide or even in many of the things to do in London list. Peckham and things to do in Peckham is not what people think when they think of London. But Peckham is truly one of the most diverse parts of London and being and actual Londoner that visits different areas in my city not just zone 1 areas. I want to make sure you see all faces of London and not just the Instagram ones.
While planning a trip to London for a true taste of what life feels like, don’t forget to make a stop by in South East London.
Peckham is a diverse neighbourhood in the South East and is considered one of its most vibrant area filled with lots of eye catching places, quirky watering holes, eclectic restaurants and cool things to do in Peckham.
Although Peckham is not as popular as Notting Hill, Shoreditch or Brixton, in recent years Peckham has fast become the go to neighbourhood for young professional Londoners seeking cheaper rent but still wanting to be close to central London.
With these young professionals came the gentrification of Peckham - turning once disused building or train arches into modern multilevel event spaces like the Bussey Building Peckham, top notch bakeries and coffee shops, amazing art galleries, dance-the-night-away upscale clubs (rumoured as the best clubs in London) and trendy bars.
And with festivals such as the Jam on Rye Festival, where you get to try great street food and listen to music by top artist from around the world. Peckham is a fun place, artistically varied and there is never a boring moment when visiting this part of London.
This is not a hype - a visit to London is definitely incomplete without Peckham on your bucket list.
All this has made Peckham the place for Londoners in the know.
So, why not slide into one of the best restaurants in Peckham or visit one of Peckham’s rooftop bars for scenic views of London’s skyline? Trust me this is London like you’ve never seen it.
For more from my London travel guide series check out my best things to do in London, where to stay in London, bottomless brunch Shoreditch, things to do in Brick Lane, 4 day London itinerary and day in London.
Here are some of the best things to do in Peckham!
Things to do in Peckham
The awesome transformation of seven empty levels of a once-upon-a-time multi-storey car park into a creative, cultural and social hub, gave rise to what is now drawing crowds and giving more people a reason to visit the South East.
Peckham Levels is by far one of the finest places to visit in Peckham. Its existence gives opportunity for talented artists and entrepreneurs to display their works and visitors can have fun whilst learning by participating in over ten different art and craft classes offered.
You can feel free to engage by booking to be a part of one of the public classes held or make a reservation for any available studio for the day, have your creative time with family or friends and even throw your birthday party. Aside from arts and fun, the culinary line up is lit. Food lovers can swing by different restaurants and try out tons of amazing dishes from independent traders.
This all happens in one 90000 square foot space - day or night this place is always buzzing. Grab a drink and some food is one of the top things to do in Peckham London.
F1-F6 Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95A Rye Lane, London SE15 4ST
Bussey Building Peckham
Being saved from demolition by a community group "Peckham Vision" and the CLF Art Café, a simple reincarnation just made things better. This former arms manufacturing and cricket bat factory situated close to Peckham Rye rail station, just about 8 minutes from London bridge is now the centre of a growing cultural hub hosting live gigs, film screening and theatre shows, right in the bubbling Rye Lane.
The CLF Art Cafe and Warehouse Lounge, the Nines bar and restaurant, Rye Wax record store and café all housed in the same multi-level warehouse space "The Bussey Building" is dedicated to showcasing creativity in music, animation, film, theatre, dance, serving as the cultural and creative heart of Peckham. So, whether you want to down a couple of beers with your friends or rave and vibe to music banging till 6am in the morning, the Bussey Building Peckham is a venue for such unpretentious fun.
Block A, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST
South London Gallery
Nicely modelled next to Camberwell School of Art and having Goldsmiths towards the East, expect more from the beautiful world of art - South London Gallery. The South London Gallery (SLG) has gained its spot as one of the city's most important art spaces, particularly famous as one place where emerging young British artists can showcase their unabashed works of creativity and desirable talents.
65-67 Peckham Road, London, SE5 8UH
A visit to the Library that won the Stirling Prize for Architecture in 2000 should be a part of your list of things to do in Peckham. Peckham Library is a library and community building that hold so much knowledge as well as architectural creativity. The building is elevated to create a public space beneath and to remove the quiet reading space away from street level noise.
122 Peckham Hill St, Peckham, London, SE15 5JR
There are only a handful of cinemas that can evoke quite as much fun for movie lovers. The Peckhamplex is South Londons most loved cinema. Time Out - Love London winner in 2015 and 2016, the Peckham multiplex is south London’s most loved cinema once again. When it was recently threatened with redevelopment, two local advertising creatives even made a fake movie trailer to ‘Save the Plex’. It seems to have done the trick because the Peckham Plex lives on to make London movie goers happy with its rough-and-ready charm and bargain-basement ticket prices.
The latest blockbusters show for a mere £4.99 every day of the week, so you can catch 2019 movies at 1998 prices. Throw in community-minded events like #BlackPantherPeckham, which screened the Marvel movie for free for 200 young people, and it’s easy to see why the old favourite is so beloved: it’s got a big heart to go with the big screens.
95A Rye Lane, Peckham, London SE15 4ST
What once started in a humble garden shed has seen a rebirth and now lurks under the railway arches by Peckham Rye train station. Catch the nostalgic feeling on evenings and weekends as the Brick Brewery opens to serve its craft beer to tons of beer lovers. Serving up a wide selection of staple beers, seasonal and small run taproom exclusives, Brick Brewery spells quite a groove for visitors.
Brick Brewery, Arch 209, Blenheim Grove, London, SE15 4QL
While Peckham may not be the upscale or oh-so-popular neighbourhood in London, Peckham offers a different perspective from what people conjure about life in South London.
With Peckham, there is the rough Rye Lane with so much vibe and dance-till-dawn halls and clubs, late night chicken shops. But on the other hand is Bellenden Road which is far more complex and is rising up to become London's unexpected food haven with tons of fancy dining, classy restaurants, cafés and bars. Bellenden Road is the needle-in-the-haystack area of Peckham that portrays all that the now trendy Peckham stands for.
Places to shop and eat? Its all happening here in Bellenden Road! Glamorous boutiques selling gifts, homewares, grocery shops and convenience stores are all seen lurking this Peckham’s appeal.
Peckham Farmers Market
Everything from fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry to chutneys, artisan bread, jams and lots more can be seen in this market located in this diverse area of South East London. The Peckham market has been serving residents of Peckham, Dulwich and Camberwell for about 14 years now and is opened every Sunday from 9am through 1pm. It runs as a FARMA certified weekly affair offering fresh, home grown produce all under a covered roof with all produce fairly priced.
Peckham Square (Covered Market), Peckham High St SE15 5DT
Best restaurants in Peckham
Although it doesn’t sound like the trendiest and most appealing name in London, Peckham is renowned as one of the capital's most exciting dining pockets, with a tremendous number of restaurants and café for adventurous food lovers.
When it comes down to food, no one wants to set themselves up for a nightmare so its best to get familiar with the right spots to visit in this South East London neighbourhood. Here we have some of the best Peckham restaurants:
With mid-century furnishings and many modern European dishes, you can get your day started as Levan with freshly baked pastries and savoury toasted bread with gastronomically inviting toppings. Light dishes like potato, fig salad, chanterelle and Vacherin pie grace the lunch menu. While the evening/dinner candle light romantic sessions witness more of classical dishes for warm occasions.
Levan Restaurant Peckham address: 12-16 Blenheim Grove, Peckham, London SE15 4QL
Taco Queen Peckham
Formerly a bit of a local secret situated in the Bussey Building Peckham basement, Taco Queen is now in the spot light, judging from the consistent queues along Rye Lane for its mouth-watering menus.
The Taco Queen Peckham menus ranging from tacos and cheesy quesadillas served in kitschy yellow plastic baskets, cornflake-crumbed Baja fish, mulita steak and of course option for vegans are seemingly endless. For a spot that serves some of London’s best tacos its just has to be Taco Queen (I'm not even exaggerating! everyone I have brought their have lovers it and even end up bringing friends).
Taco Queen is a great place to grab a different type of brunch in Peckham. Go early if you want to get a table as the place is small and gets filled up fast.
Read More for the best brunch in London.
191 Rye Lane, Peckham, London SE15 4TP
Driving through a residential road east of Rye Lane, is one place that punches well above its weight. People travel from different destinations in London to eat at this taverna-style restaurant. The charcoal grill used to rustle up sweet prawn kebabs, pork and lamb adanas, courgette fritters makes for the unique and interesting taste. Egyptian stuffed quail, served with roast aubergine, tons of other interesting men makes any trip to Peckham Bazaar worthwhile. More than that, the list of organic wine is as ambitious as the food - try Peckham Bazaar today.
119 Consort Rd, London SE15 3RU
Peckham Refreshment Rooms
Think about food in a buzzy and colourful atmosphere - this Peckham diner is that. A little bar and restaurant, located in an art deco block around the back of Peckham Rye Station attracting Peckham’s art crowd. Also known as Bellenden Village, at first approach to this restaurant especially from the west, one might dismiss it as merely a street corner.
However, carry on with your exploration and you'll be greeted by rows of Afro-Caribbean hairdressers bubbling with laughter and ladies on the street offering to ‘do your hair’. Is there a restaurant somewhere?
In fact, this restaurant is situated in a place where you’ll least expected it and that's what makes the adventure worth while. A look further and you will find a nice restaurant where the seatings are basically high counters, more like the bar stools.
The Dine serves up affordable European food, that is simply delicious. Dishes range from around £6 to rarely more than £10 with an admirable wine list. Endless breakfast and weekend brunch options, classy evening menu for visitors. What more could you want.
3-4, 12-16 Blenheim Grove, London SE15 4QL
In all of London, Artusi remains one of the best Italian restaurants you can find. Both locally loved and visitors favourite Peckham Italian spot, the servings basically include some real good home-made special Italian pasta with simple ingredients. The menu is scribbled on large chalkboards on the walls of this Bellenden Road spot and you sure are in for a nice treat every day.
161 Bellenden Rd, Peckham, London SE15 4DH
Down an un-showy residential street off Queens Road you'll find this minimalist space, kitted out with pale wood, simple wooden tables (with cute shelves underneath for menus, cutlery and napkins), parquet floor, representing the most traditional and cozy style. Aside is one restaurant that attracts many to its humble shed. Their menu covers everything from oh-so-delicious styled delicacies to vegetables spoilers. Sundays are always the busiest with an exceptional menu to try.
Grab a spot at the bar for some nice gin cocktails. Swing by some spiced lamb tacos, golden beetroots, charred cauliflower with beer cheese and feta, fried capers, turnips, the sensational frizzle chicken served with cheesy grits and sauce (available on the menu at lunch and supper). Feel free to book ahead if you're planning to visit on a weekend especially as you don't want to miss out on all the goodness.
58 Peckham Rye, London SE15 4JR
These are just a few of the great places to eat in Peckham.
The Four Quarters
Situated at 187 Rye Lane London is a place that boasts unending sections with incredible collection of arcade games, whilst presenting fans of craft beer and whiskey with a treat of life. The four quarters is a must visit in Peckham. There is much more besides, like the “confession box” where you can confess the sins you must have committed down the intimate basement cocktail bar. Feel the retro that beclouds the atmosphere, knock back a fresh craft beer and bask in all the fun you can have.
187 Rye Ln, London, SE15 4TP
So, there you go try out some go these top things to do in Peckham London.
How to get to Peckham
What zone is Peckham in?Peckham is in zone 2 and you can travel by the following:
If you are travelling to Peckham by train, London Bridge station is only a 12-minute ride away.
P12, 132, 136, 295, 343, 484, 36, 37, 56, 78 and 171
If you are travelling to Peckham by Tube nearest stations are Elephant & Castle then a 171 and London Bridge to Peckham Rye or Queens Road Peckham (8 minutes walk from Peckham).
If you are taking the overground route catch the overground from Shoreditch High Street, Canada Water or Surrey Quays going to Claplam Junction and get off at Peckham Rye Station.
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