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Peckham: South London’s Answer to Urban Cool

Peckham is south London’s answer to trendy Hackney: a once down at heel corner of the capital that has risen like a phoenix from the ashes to become a hipster heaven.

Peckham: South London’s Answer to Urban Cool

While other areas south of the river have had their cutting-edge blunted by gentrification, Peckham’s creative endeavours have helped it remain razor-sharp. Rye Lane – the beating heart of what has become one of London’s coolest neighbourhoods – is a multicultural melting pot of activity, where rickety shop fronts, intriguing kiosks, and crowded arcades host everything from Chinese supermarkets and Afro-Caribbean barbers to radio stations and craft beer shops. 

Scratch Peckham’s surface and you will quickly unearth its creative underbelly amongst the regenerated railway arches, looming warehouses, and a former multi-storey car park. You will also discover the attractive Victorian housing stock that lines quiet residential streets on the edge of the action.

Transport links

  • National rail: transport to and from Peckham relies on two railway stations: Peckham Rye (zone 2), which whisk passengers to London Bridge in just 10 minutes, Victoria (12 minutes), Blackfriars (14 minutes), and St Pancras (24 minutes); and Queens Road Peckham (zone 2) which takes just eight minutes to reach London Bridge.
  • Overground: Both stations also offer Overground services that connect with Canada Water – where commuters change for Canary Wharf – and Shoreditch High Street for the City.
  • Bus: Popular bus routes include: 12 to Oxford Circus via Elephant and Castle, 36 to Queen’s Park via Victoria and Marble Arch, 63 to King’s Cross via Blackfriars and Farringdon, 78 to Shoreditch via Tower Hill, and 171 to Holborn via Waterloo.

Property scene

The Victorian era dominates the property scene in Peckham, with terraced streets joined by a smattering of Edwardian and Georgian properties of various sizes.

Average property price in Peckham: £506,061 (average flat price is £442,612, average house price is £833,069)

Average rental price in Peckham: £475 per week (£277 – £785 per week rental price range)

Schools

  • Primary: John Donne Primary School and Angel Oak Academy are both Ofsted rated “outstanding” primary schools in the local area.
  • Secondary: the Ofsted “outstanding” comprehensive schools in the area are: St Thomas the Apostle School (Roman Catholic school for boys, ages 11 to 18 with girls in the sixth form), Harris Boys’ Academy (ages 11 to 18), Harris Girls’ Academy (ages 11 to18), and Sacred Heart Catholic Secondary School (co-ed, ages 11 to 18).
  • Private: The Villa School and Nursery (co-ed, ages two to seven) is in Peckham. Several private schools can be found in the wider Dulwich area: Alleyn’s School (co-ed, ages four to 18), James Allen’s Girls’ (ages four to 18), and Dulwich College (boys, ages seven to 18 with a co-ed nursery and pre-school for ages 0 to seven).

Things to do

  • Cinema: catch a film at the unbelievably cheap – and charmingly rough around the edges – local institution Peckhamplex.
  • Frank’s Cafe: open during the summer months, Frank’s is a popular Campari bar that has been plonked on an empty car park rooftop and affords stunning sunset views over London – and is accessed via a much-photographed pink staircase.
  • Open space: Peckham Rye Park and Common is a 113-acre sprawling expanse of grassland that is also home to an ornamental and water garden, a lake and woodland, a children’s playground, and a café.
  • The arts: South London Gallery in Peckham Road is a leading contemporary art gallery; Bold Tendencies is a summer arts programme held on the upper floors of the multi-storey car park; and The CLF Art Café in the Bussey Building hosts a variety of events.
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