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21 best things to do in Peckham

August 23, 2019
Best things to do in Peckham: Bussy Building and Copeland park

Peckham is in the London Borough of Southwark in Southeast London. It’s surrounded by East Dulwich, Nunhead, Camberwell and Bermondsey.

It’s been described as the new Shoreditch but actually I think it’s better than that. The chains haven’t quite moved in yet and Peckham Vision have campaigned for redevelopments to be meaningful rather than multiple new build flats. This is why Peckham has become home to an eclectic mix of hipsters and old Nigerian communities where rooftop bars and shops selling dried fish sit side by side.

Here are 21 of the best things to do in Peckham.

Peckham Levels

Peckham Levels began life as a multi-storey car park. It was saved from dereliction and opened in 2018 as workspace and cultural destination. It includes a street food market, bars, yoga studios, hairdressers, as well as co-working spaces. Every level is painted a different colour and as a result there will be at least one influencer photo shoot happening on the stairs.

It’s situated on Rye Lane and the entrance is to the side of the cinema.

best things to do in Peckham: Peckham Levels

Bussey building and Copeland park

Bussey building started life as a cricket bat factory over 100 years ago and was used as an air raid shelter in WW2. The entrance is next to Kahn’s department store on Rye Lane.

It was saved from demolition by Peckham Vision and now the building and surrounding area play host to rooftop bars, nightclubs, yoga studios, art galleries, co-working, gyms and even a sake distillery.. You name it, this place has it.

Copeland park also has regular vintage markets and is home to Peckham Festival in September each year.

Peckham Rye common and park

Yes, Peckham has a bustling high street but it’s also incredibly green. It’s really important to me to be close to nature and I love having so many green spaces on my doorstep.

The biggest park in the area is Peckham Rye common. It’s 113 acres of grassland, playgrounds and ornamental parks. It’s about an 8 minute walk maximum from Peckham Rye train station. East Dulwich and Nunhead stations are also reasonably close by.

The adventure playground is suitable for kids of all ages and includes zip wires, mini trampolines and a water play area amongst other things.

The cafe does a decent pizza and is also licensed so there’s something for everyone.

PeckhamPlex cinema

I can’t believe there is a cheaper cinema anywhere in London than the PeckhamPlex. All tickets are a fiver to see any film including new releases. I think you may have to pay an extra pound for 3D.

I genuinely think the last time I paid £5 to see a film was Titanic in the 90s.

Where to eat in Peckham?

Peckham is a foodie’s paradise and I have made it my mission to try ever single restaurant – purely in the name of research you understand…

I would advise booking on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday because Peckham does get really busy – especially if you’re a big group.

To be honest, I could have given another 6 or 7 recommendations because there are so many brilliant restaurants. However, in the name of keeping things concise, here are some of my favourites.

Mr Bao

Mr Bao is a Taiwanese style restaurant on Peckham Rye specialising in bao, steamed buns and other asian dishes. There’s something for everyone on the menu including vegan choices. The staff are really helpful and always so friendly to my 2-year old.

They’re also opening a bar next door and by the looks of things, it’ll be opening soon.

Miss Tapas

Miss Tapas is an amazing, laid back tapas restaurant on Choumert Road offering authentic Spanish food and wine.

Fun fact, Miss Tapas is the wife of Mr Bao, no really… I’ve even bought pottery from Mr Bao’s Mum (she’s amazing FYI).

The Begging Bowl

The Begging Bowl is probably one of Peckham’s best-known restaurants. It’s on boujie Bellenden Road, which is home to some great boutiques, restaurants and street lamps designed by Antony Gormley.

The Begging Bowl specialises in modern Thai food. It’s fresh, utterly delicious and well worth a visit.

Persepolis

Persepolis is a Persian cafe and shop on Peckham High Street. It’s no frills, cheap and does great food.

The shop sells Middle Eastern groceries including herbs and spices. It’s also BYO at night and has a private dining area for groups.

Yadas

At first sight, Yadas looks like a disused railway arch but appearances can be deceiving….

It specialises in Kurdish food and is super tasty. The restaurant is BYO and has very reasonable pricing. You don’t pay a corkage charge, which makes it a great place to go as a group.

It’s so cool that every time I go, I feel like I’m in Berlin.

Coal Rooms

The Coal Rooms is just outside the entrance to Peckham Rye train station. It’s in one of the old railway station buildings and offers a range of fish and meat cooked over a charcoal grill. Their Sunday lunches and brunches are legendary, but I actually love their midweek dining menu. Make sure you try their Fatboy potatoes.

Best bars in Peckham

Frank’s Cafe

Frank’s cafe is one of the best-known rooftop bars in Peckham. It’s situated on top of Peckham Levels and has stunning views over the City.

It only opens during summer and is so worth a visit.

El Vermut

Technically, this is in Nunhead but a) it’s one of my favourites and b) it’s on the Peckham borders so therefore I think it can be included.

It specialises in Vermouth but also has other great Spanish wines along with cheese and meats.

Peckham Springs

Peckham Springs is underneath the railway arches just by Peckham Rye station on Blenheim Grove. They sell cocktails, craft beers, food and put on events such as plant markets and record fairs.

Four Quarters

Four Quarters or as it’s known locally, the arcade bar is on Rye Lane. It has old arcade machines as well as a range of craft beers. Its a fun place and there’s usually a DJ on at weekends downstairs.

Where to shop in Peckham

DKUK

DKUK is a hairdressers with a difference: haircuts are in front of art. They charge gender neutral pricing based on length and complexity of the cut.

Find DKUK on Queen’s Road Peckham.

Little Sister

Little Sister is a vintage shop in Holdren’s Arcade on Rye Lane. It’s the last shop towards the back. Go there for reasonably priced and well-curated vintage fashion.

D.A.Y

D.A.Y is a Scandinavian inspired boutique on Bellenden Road. It sells a range of Scandinavian designers and has both women and men’s clothing.

Sage Flowers

There wasn’t a florist in Peckham and so I would have to go to East Dulwich if I wanted to buy flowers (I know, #firstworldproblems). This is why I was really pleased when Sage Flowers opened on Rye Lane. The women that own the shop are really friendly and run the occasional workshop so it’s worth keeping an eye on their instagram.

Traid Peckham

It might seem a bit odd to include a charity shop in a list of recommendations, however, Traid Peckham is really worth a mention. They have a great range of clothes and I always manage to spot something. It’s cheaper and more sustainable than buying new so I feel I can treat myself.

Art galleries

South London Gallery

The South London Gallery is on Peckham Road and has a rotating collection of contemporary exhibitions. There’s also a great cafe and beautiful garden to relax in.

Copeland Gallery

Copeland Gallery is in Copeland Park and has a variety of exhibitions on from photography, to alternative degree shows to sculpture. It’s free to get in and worth keeping an eye on.

How to get to Peckham

Peckham has two railway stations: Peckham Rye and Queen’s Road Peckham. They’re about a 10-15 minute walk away from each other. It’s also served by numerous buses and Nunhead and East Dulwich stations are also about a 15-20 minute walk away.

Peckham Vision

To find out about the incredible work of Peckham Vision, please visit their website or their pop up space in Holdron’s Arcade.

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