Ok, so you won’t find Peckham in your lonely planet’s guide or even in many of the things to do in London list. Looking for 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 an actual Londoner that visits different areas in the city, not just zone 1 areas. I want to make sure you see all faces of London and not just the Instagram ones.
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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 to take in the sights and sounds of Peckham.
It is a diverse neighbourhood in the South East and is considered one of its most vibrant areas, filled with lots of eye-catching places, quirky watering holes, eclectic restaurants, and cool things to do in Peckham.
Tip: If you’re looking for more on London, then read this London travel tips guide.
Although Peckham is not as popular as Notting Hill, Shoreditch or Brixton, in recent years, it has fast become the go-to neighbourhood.
This is especially true for young professional Londoners seeking cheaper rent but still wanting to be close to central London.
With these young professionals came the Peckham gentrification. This turned once disused buildings or train arches into modern multi-level event spaces like the Bussey Building Peckham, top-notch bakeries, and coffee shops.
There are also amazing art galleries or dance-the-night-away upscale clubs (rumoured as the best clubs in London) and trendy Peckham 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 artists from around the world, what more could you ask for?
Peckham is a fun place, artistically varied, and there is never a boring moment when visiting this part of London.
This is not hype – a visit to the city is definitely incomplete without Peckham on your bucket list. All this has made this area the place for Londoners in the know.
So, why not slide into one of the best restaurants Peckham has to offer or visit one of the rooftop bars for scenic views of London’s skyline? This really is London like you’ve never seen it. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best things to do in Peckham.
When it comes to fun things to do, Peckham has plenty on offer. So, it could be quite the undertaking to narrow everything down to a small list. But that is why you are here, so read on below for a Peckham guide on what to do.
Market Place London Peckham
Looking for places to shop and eat in the Peckham area? Market Place Peckham is home to 30 independent boutiques and street food vendors.
Market Place London is a mixed-use development designed for small or emerging businesses across London, it offers a selection of mixed-use spaces in unique and dynamic settings.
The company aims to provide opportunities for the local community by removing impediments for start-up businesses and allowing independent businesses to begin or expand, immediately on high streets across the capital.
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 an opportunity for talented artists and entrepreneurs to display their works. It also means that 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 lineup is lit. Food lovers can swing by different restaurants and try out tons of amazing dishes from independent traders.
This all happens in one 90,000 square-foot space – day or night, this place is always buzzing. Grabbing a drink and some food here is one of the top things to do in Peckham London.
Location: F1-F6 Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95A Rye Lane, London SE15 4ST
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 eight minutes from London Bridge, is now the centre of a growing cultural hub. This space is now hosting live gigs, film screenings, 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 are all housed in the same multi-level warehouse space. “The Bussey Building” is dedicated to showcasing creativity in music, animation, film, theatre, and dance. This means it serves as the cultural and creative heart of Peckham.
Are you wondering, “what is Peckham famous for”? Well, the area is well-known for its rooftop bars.
So, whether you want to down a couple of beers with your friends or rave and vibe to music banging till 06:00 in the morning, the Bussey Building Peckham is a venue for unpretentious fun.
Location: Block A, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST
Nicely modelled next to the Camberwell School of Art and having Goldsmiths towards the East, expect more from the beautiful world of art – South London Gallery. It has been open for over 125 years and is free to the public to venture inside and take a look at the artwork and exhibitions inside.
The South London Gallery (SLG) has gained its spot as one of the city’s most important art spaces. It has become particularly famous as one place where emerging young British artists can showcase their unabashed works of creativity and desirable talents.
Location: 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. It is a real standout with its design and quite the contrast against the rest of the area it finds itself in.
Peckham Library is, of course, a library, but it is also a community-building that holds so much knowledge and architectural creativity. This library is unique and is an architectural photographer’s dream, with the interior sporting different pods for meetings and learning.
The building is elevated to create a public space beneath and to remove the quiet reading space away from street-level noise. At night, it lights up and shows off its colourful north-side and bright interior colours.
Location: 122 Peckham Hill St, Peckham, London, SE15 5JR
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There are only a handful of cinemas that can evoke quite as much fun for movie lovers. The Peckhamplex is South London’s 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 is a good thing that they did as this independent cinema is one of London’s most popular to visit.
It seems to have done the trick because the PeckhamPlex lives on to make London moviegoers 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. If you prefer the more independent films, then you’re in luck as you can find them here too – the wide variety of movie choices is amazing.
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.
Location: 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.
There’s a wide variety to suit all tastebuds, so don’t worry, you will find something.
Serving up a wide selection of staple beers, seasonal and small run taproom exclusives, Brick Brewery spells quite a groove for visitors. If you are out and about with a large group of friends, then this is a fun place to gather for an afternoon or an evening of some drinks.
Location: Brick Brewery, Arch 209, Blenheim Grove, London, SE15 4QL
While Peckham may not be the upscale or oh-so-popular neighbourhood in London, it offers a different perspective from what people conjure about life in South London. There is the rough Rye Lane, with so much vibe and dance-till-dawn halls and clubs and 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? It’s all happening here in Bellenden Road! Glamorous boutiques selling gifts, homewares, grocery shops, and convenience stores are all seen lurking this Peckham’s appeal.
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 open every Sunday from 09:00 through 13:00.
It runs as a FARMA-certified weekly affair offering fresh, homegrown produce under a covered roof with all fairly priced produce. The Flower Power Bakery is a must-try with their delicious goods, the perfect accompaniment to a coffee or tea from one of the other vendors in the market.
Location: Peckham Square (Covered Market), Peckham High St SE15 5DT
For all the yogis exploring or staying in the area, grab your yoga mat and take a walk to Yogarise, which is just off of Rye Lane. This yoga studio is set up in a cool old industrial structure, so not what normally comes to mind when you think of your typical yoga studio.
This is a great place to head to in the morning before a fun day of exploring. Keep an eye out for the “yoga this way” sign set amongst the incredible graffiti to find your way in. What better way to start off your day than getting into a good frame of mind and going through the different poses?
Location: Units b1.1 and b1.2, The Bussey Building, 133 Copeland Road, SE15 3SN
Peckham has become known as one of the creative hubs of London and the streets surrounding Rye Lane. Take your travel camera with you and get ready to snap away as you explore the little nooks and alleyways around the area. A cool feature is that local artists will even create their masterpieces on the walls for their local friends to enjoy.
Street art may not be everyone’s thing and also is not ideal for exploring when it is bucketing down outside. On those rainy days, you can visit one of the local art galleries, the Copeland Gallery or even the lovely MOCA London. Both host regular exhibitions for any contemporary art lovers looking to take in some of the new beautiful pieces.
Location: Rye Lane, London, SE15 5EY
If you are looking for some of the best craft brewed Sake in the country, then Kanpai should be at the top of your list of things to do in Peckham. This little brewery will take you behind the curtain and give you a little glimpse into how Sake is made.
Make your way to the bar, and you will find Sake is available in a variety of ways, even on tap with Sake from other breweries, both local and international, also waiting to be tried. Fear not for anyone who might not be a fan of this Japanese staple, there are craft beer and other drink options for those who prefer something different.
If you are feeling a little peckish, they have a small Kitchen, Kanpai Kitchen, opposite the taproom that brings the flavours of Osaka to Peckham with their amazing street food. So, grab your Japanese street food snack and head back inside the taproom to enjoy it with your chosen Sake.
Location: Unit 2A.2 Copeland Park, 133 Copeland Road, Peckham, London, SE15 3SN
Copeland Gallery Peckham
Copeland Park, located minutes from Peckham Rye station, is the area’s social and cultural heart by offering studios, workshops, and space to help creative enterprises thrive.
There is workspace for architects, graphic designers, and photographers in every type of building, from traditional industrial to neglected terraced homes. Studios and exhibit space are also available for painters, carpenters, textile makers, and ceramic makers.
Rye Lane Market
The Rye Lane Market is located centrally in Peckham, making it ideal for buying and selling goods ranging from basic necessities to the most fashionable items.
Hosting over 54 retail and specialist businesses, this stress-free pedestriansed shopping space is easy to nagivate on main street of Peckham.
Peckham Rye Park, Peckham Rye Common, and the surrounding area form a 113-acre open recreational grassland, ornamental and water gardens, as well as one lake and woodland.
There is also a kid’s play area and an older youngsters’ adventure playground with recently completed renovations. The location has significant historical and wildlife conservation relevance.
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. It is home to a tremendous number of restaurants and cafés for adventurous food lovers.
When it comes down to food, no one wants to set themselves up for a nightmare, so it’s best to get familiar with the right spots to visit in this South East London neighbourhood. Here are some of the best Peckham restaurants that you should look at visiting while in the area.
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. In the evenings, a candlelight romantic dinner offers a splendid setting to enjoy classic dishes.
Location: 12-16 Blenheim Grove, Peckham, London SE15 4QL
Formerly a bit of a local secret situated in the Bussey Building Peckham basement, Taco Queen is now in the spotlight, judging from the consistent queues along Rye Lane for its mouth-watering menus.
The Taco Queen Peckham menu includes tacos and cheesy quesadillas served in kitschy yellow plastic baskets, cornflake-crumbed Baja fish, mulita steak and plenty more. Additionally, the options for vegans are seemingly endless.
For a spot that serves some of London’s best tacos, it just has to be Taco Queen. This is not even an exaggeration, and everyone that has been there loved it and even ended up bringing friends. Taco Queen is a great place to grab a different type of brunch in Peckham.
Tip: It’s best to visit early if you want to get a table as the place is small and gets filled up fast.
Location: 191 Rye Lane, Peckham, London SE15 4TP
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Yadas Green Kitchen Peckham
Yada’s is a Peckham restaurant run by a Kurdish family that specialises in Kubba (rice patties stuffed with lamb and nuts).
Address: 104-106, Rye Ln, London SE15 4RZ
Prince of Peckham
The name alone tells you everything there is to know about the place: Bow Down. It’s a pub for South London, by South London.
Caribbean-inspired cuisine, exceptional beer, and big music are all available here, as well as indoor co-working areas.
Address: 1 Clayton Rd, London SE15 5JA
Coal Rooms Peckham
With an open kitchen that features a bespoke, coal-fired grill, Coal Rooms has become one of Peckham’s most popular restaurants.
They have developed South London’s finest seasonal cuisine, which is based on quality and locality. This, coupled with their social mission, has helped them become a restaurant that is close to the people.
Address: 11a Station Way Peckham, London, Se15 4RX
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, and courgette fritters makes for a unique and interesting taste.
Egyptian stuffed quail served with roast aubergine and tons of other interesting men make any trip to Peckham Bazaar worthwhile. More than that, the list of organic wine is as ambitious as the food – try Peckham Bazaar today.
Location: 119 Consort Rd, London SE15 3RU
In all of London, Artusi remains one of the best Italian restaurants you can find. It is both locally loved, and visitors’ favourite Peckham Italian spot. The servings basically include some really 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.
Location: 161 Bellenden Rd, Peckham, London SE15 4DH
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, and more. Or, tuck into 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.
Location: 58 Peckham Rye, London SE15 4JR
Situated at 187 Rye Lane in Peckham, The Four Quarters is a place that boasts unending sections with an incredible collection of arcade games. They also present 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 the drinks, like the “confession box” where you can confess the sins you have committed down in 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. These are just a few of the great places to eat in Peckham.
Location: 187 Rye Ln, London, SE15 4TP
Mike’s Restaurant Peckham
Roman style pizza by the slice in the heart of Peckham!
Mike’s is a laid-back pizzeria in Peckham that serves Roman-style pies, as well as a selection of side dishes and cocktails, beers, and wines.
The Copeland Park ‘cultural quarter,’ which includes the renowned Bussey Building, also includes Mike’s. The restaurant has both indoor and outside seating, with people able to eat in or take their food home.
Address: Unit 4.1 Copeland Park, 133 Copeland Rd, London SE15 3SN
If you aren’t sure how to get to this South London district, there are actually quite a few ways for you to make your way there. If you were wondering what zone is Peckham in, you will be happy to know that it 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. New Cross Gate and New Cross station are also a short walk away, so you are spoilt for choice. The Southern and Southeastern lines will take you to Peckham if you want to take the train.
Yes, taking the bus is pretty easy, and there are a number of different buses that you can take to Peckham. Make sure to jump on either the; P12, 132, 136, 295, 343, 484, 36, 37, 56, 78, and 171 buses, and you are on your way. The bus stops to look out for are Hanover Park, the Aylesham Centre, Peckham Bus Station, and Peckham Library.
If you are travelling to Peckham by tube, the nearest stations are Elephant & Castle. From there, you can then take a 171 bus and London Bridge to Peckham Rye or Queens Road Peckham (an eight-minute walk from Peckham). But, if you jump on either the Jubilee or Northern lines, you will find yourself near Peckham.
If you are taking the overground route, catch the overground from Shoreditch High Street, Canada Water, or Surrey Quays going to Clapham Junction and get off at Peckham Rye Station.
Peckham is on the up-and-up, and with it becoming a creative hub for London, there are so many things to do here that would suit a wide variety of tastes and interests. This area is full of street art to explore and also has some amazing brunch spots in Peckham for you to recharge in between exploring.
Sure this might not be the first area that comes to mind when wanting to explore London but it should be. So, there you go, which one of these top things to do in Peckham London are you going to do?