When planning a trip to London, Peckham is the last place people think to visit. This is quite sad as this South East London suburb is one helluva place to hang. If an area could personify the melting pot of cultures London is, then Peckham is the perfect example.
After spending years in obscurity, it has undergone a massive regeneration, cementing itself as the go-to place for Londons most hip locals. Derelict car parks and warehouses have been converted into all kinds of hidden gems.
From art galleries to bars, restaurants and cafes; and this is just the beginning. Arabella, our London local, spent a day exploring Peckham and she has a few tips to share.
London’s public transport network is nothing short of spectacular, so getting to places like Peckham is pretty easy. The south London suburb has two major stations, Peckham Rye and Queens Road, where you can alight from and begin exploring. However, we recommend getting off at Peckham Rye, due to its more central location.
What to do?
Phil Collins said he could feel it coming in the air, and you’ll be saying the same as soon as you step outside Peckham Rye station. Surrounded by street art and local traders, this area is rough around the edges, but it’s these imperfections which make it so perfect. With the help of our local insider Arabella, we spent the day scouring the Peckham streets to find those unique spots for you to explore, no matter what tickles your fancy.
Forget the Tate Modern, if you love all things artistic, then Peckham is the perfect place to go. As a matter of fact, the neighbourhood is like one big outdoor art gallery, sprayed with street art by some of the most talented creatives around.
It doesn’t stop there, just off Rye Lane is the iconic Peckham levels, a creative space which up until recently was a disused multi-story car park.
Along the walkway leading to this local hangout is some amazing art and this continues as you head inside. Each level is a different color, and when you reach the 6th-floor space you’ll see more. In the summer the rooftop is transformed into an art gallery with regular exhibitions run by a local art collective known as Bold Tendencies.
So you can marvel at some amazing creations to a backdrop of London’s iconic skyline. Just around the corner is the Copeland Park and Bussey Building. Another derelict space which was developed into a treasure trove of hidden gems. To start with there’s the CLA Art Cafe, a creative venue that champions all things artsy and local. Then you have the Copeland Gallery, another arts venue which holds regular exhibitions to satisfy your need for art. Oh and we forgot to mention, you can also catch a film at Peckhamplex, an independent local cinema.
Food and Drink
The benefits of being a melting pot are perfectly reflected in the food and drink that can be found in Peckham. If you’re a foodie then get ready to take your taste buds on a journey around the world. Firstly you have Peckham Levels, a car park which is home to many amazing vendors serving street-style food from fried chicken to chow mein.
Moving swiftly on to the iconic Mr Bao. This Taiwanese eatery is so good that people come from all sides of London and beyond to Peckham, just to chow some bao. It doesn’t end there, located inside a local pub called the Prince of Peckham are the resident foodies, White Men Can’t Jerk. They serve some amazing Jamaican food that will make you feel like you’re in the Caribean, not South East London. If however, you want to try something lovely and British, head down to Manzes to get some Pie, Mash, Liquor and Jellied Eels.
The area also has some amazing spots where you can grab a drink to wash down all of that amazing food. Recommended highly by our local insider, Arabella, is Brick Brewery, a microbrewery that started off in a garden shed in Peckham. Located a stone’s throw away from Rye station is their taproom, where they pull pints of the good stuff so delicious you’ll definitely be back for more.
This South London suburb isn’t all food and art, it has some amazing spots where Londons coolest night owls hangout and party Peckham style. The perfect place to start the night is the Montpelier Pub. This local boozer is the go-to place for Peckhamites looking for some fun. It isn’t just another place where you go to grab a pint, this spot also has live jazz music and 30 seater cinema round the back if you’re not looking to go on a big night out. If you are, then head over to the Four Quarters, the UK’s first American style arcades, which also has a licensed bar, so you can play some street fighter whilst sipping some a craft beer or scrumptious cocktail.
You can end the night there, but if you’re dancing shoes are on tight, there are two places you have to go. The first is Near and Far, a Florida style spot specialising in cocktails both weird and wonderful. So grab yourself a drink and if you’re feeling get under the disco ball and let the DJ serenade you with what he scratches. Another local spot you have to stop by to party like a true Peckhamite is the Prince of Peckham. Since opening their doors, this community pub has become the chosen spot amongst locals to get their groove on. So grab yourself a drink or two and dance late on into the night to the backdrop of live music or a DJ set.
If this hasn’t convinced you that Peckham is the perfect place to spend the day, don’t worry. Our local Arabella has created more detailed itineraries to help you uncover more secret spots for you to explore in Peckham. You’ll be able to follow in her footprints very soon through the Like Locals app, which goes live on both the App and Play Store on the 18th April. So stay tuned, we have plenty more surprises up our sleeves.