Spring seems to have arrived before winter has begun. It may be a result of global warming, but it is helping me to adjust to climes this far north. Without any rain forecast between midday and late-afternoon, it was a great opportunity to explore parts of London that I have never been. With Peckham being the new Hoxton (where I currently live), it seemed like a great place to start exploring South of the River.
Peckham, known for its grittiness, was not what I expected at all. Starting at Peckham Rye Station (a breezy 20 minutes from Hoxton on the Overground), I ventured onto Rye Lane (pedestrians and buses only), but busy with everyone gathering produce from the numerous veggie stands. Whole dried fish hang from doorway markets as well as so many fresh vegetables that I have never even heard of. It was like stepping into another world, but in a good way. Such a vibrant market street. More so than Hoxton, which feels like it is on the way out with hipster cafes popping up recently.
From there I wandered past the award winning Peckham Library (stunning building!), would have gone in, but there was a protest happening out front. Made me fall in love with the place even more. Next onto Bellenden Road packed with bakeries, cafes, bookstore, bike shops — a lovely relaxed feel. Then through the neighborhood, slightly elevated feel with much more open skies than in flat East London. Peckham Rye Common was a treat, wide open spaces leading into gardens with ponds, snowdrops and blossoming trees.
From Peckham Rye Common, it was a lovely uphill stroll (then down) to Dulwich Park. One thing I love about English parks, is that they all have yummy cafes. Feeling cold and weary from wandering in the grey, stop in and have a coffee and cake anytime. It’s amazing.
Dulwich Village was a bit pretentious with chain store type restaurants. But, East Dulwich, particularly Lordship Lane, was spectacular. An independent butcher with a line around the block, tonnes of cafes, pubs, restaurants, a great goodwill shop, and everything you would need. It is only a five minute walk or so from Bellenden Road in Peckham. Easy to get to and I will be back!