London Guide: Ten Things To Do In Deptford. This part of South East London was once home to the first Royal Dockyard established by Henry VIII back in 1513. You’ll come across the anchor on the High Street which is a reminder of Deptford’s heyday. Today, you can bag yourself a bargain at the traditional street markets, hang out at Deptford Market Yard and explore the creative hub of Creekside. If you’re unfamiliar with this London SE8 location, my Ten Things To Do In Deptford List might tempt you to visit.
His and Hers Street Art on Victorian Buildings by Art Mongers
Ten Things To Do In Deptford List
10 Things To Do In Deptford List:
- Bag yourself a bargain at one of the traditional Deptford Markets
- Socialise and shop at Deptford Market Yard
- Unleash your creative side in Creekside
- Explore the urban waterway at Deptford Creek
- Be at one with urban wildlife at the Creekside Discovery Centre
- Instagram graffiti along the Creekside disused railway arches
- Admire the beautiful Baroque architecture of St Paul’s Church
- Discover the dockyard history of Deptford
- Relax at one of the Green Spaces in Deptford
- Connect with the community at The Albany or Deptford Lounge
Ten Things To Do In Deptford Details
Deptford Markets: Browse the myriad of market stalls on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9.00 am until 5.30 pm. On Deptford High Street you will find veg, fruit, fish, bedding, household items, and inexpensive clothing. Douglas Way comprises of secondhand goods and you’ll find hot food in Griffin Square. Deptford Market has been in existence since 1872 as a cattle market for Smithfield’s. In 1893 it transformed into a general market which is pretty much as it is today.
Deptford Market: Deptford High Street, Douglas Way, and Griffin Square
Deptford Market Yard: Fourteen restored railway arches host independent eateries, cafes, and shops. Some of these include: Little Nan’s the eccentric cocktail bar and afternoon tea parlour with chintzy interiors. If you fancy Caribbean street food then you should try Mama’s Jerk. The Tapas Room is perfect for sharing small plates with friends along with a few glasses of Spanish wine. Fill up on brunch at the Dirty Apron. Craft beer enthusiasts will appreciate the Taproom SE8. First thing in the morning you might want to stumble into Lomond Coffee. Treat yourself to succulents and cacti plants from Forest. Get your hair restyled at The Box and stretch out at Yin Yoga. The arches surround a public square with benches for alfresco dining. The Deptford Train Station is located there. Look out for the historic blue plaque for the Deptford Station Carriage Ramp. A short walk away you will find more railway arches at Resolution Way with a cocktail bar and a few other interesting places to investigate.
Deptford Market Yard: Market Yard, SE8 4BX
Aside from the eateries and bars located at Deptford Market, you should also seek out other dining spots, cafes, and coffee houses. Deptford has a few Vietnamese restaurants offering tasty and reasonably priced pho and noodle dishes. You will also find a couple of Vietnamese supermarkets in the vicinity. For traditional pie and mash head to Manze. The Waiting Room is a coffee bar serving veggie food. Isla Ray serves brunch, lunch, coffee, and cocktails. Marcella is perfect for Italian cuisine. Stockton is a café kitchen serving brunch and small plates plus a few burgers in the evening with cocktails. The Job Center can help you out with a few small plates and drinks. Deptford Does Art is a coffee bar which has a gallery space in the basement. You can also get your caffeine fix from The Coffee Room and The Drip.
The Job Centre: 120-122 Deptford High Street, SE8 4NP
Creatives Spaces in Creekside: Near Deptford Creek, you will find a number of creative hubs such as Cockpit Arts which helps craftspeople with studio space and business assistance. The Fuel Tank is a business centre with office and studio spaces for rent. Art Hub Studios is ideal for artists who want to rent a studio and take advantage of the gallery and facilities – printmaking, ceramics, and woodwork. The Artworks Creekside provides workspace to creatives and commercial businesses with a café and bakery on site. Art in Perpetuity Trust (A.P.T) is a charity promoting the value of creativity through visual arts by providing assistance to artists. Goldsmiths University in New Cross is quite close which explains the abundance of artist studios. Nearby is the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Have a wander around Creekside, especially Creative Street, to soak up the vibe.
Fuel Tank: 8-12 Creekside, SE8 3DX
Deptford Creek: Investigate Creekside where you will come across Deptford Creek. The River Ravensbourne is a tributary of the Thames. There is a small footbridge behind the Fuel Tank building where you will see an art installation with the words High / Low which is a solar-powered landmark synchronized with the tide by Shona Kitchen and Dominic Robson.
High / Low Art Installation: Deptford Creek Behind Fuel Tank Building
Creekside Discovery Centre: Being surrounded by concrete in London can get a bit much at times. Find out more about urban wildlife at the Discovery Centre which is perfect for all ages. If you’re lucky you might spot a Chines Mitten Crab, Heron, Cormorant or Kingfisher. Activities include low tide walks through Deptford Creek, exploring local wildlife and more.
Creekside Discovery Centre: 14 Creekside, SE8 4SA
Railway Arch Graffiti: In Creekside near the small Deptford Creek bridge you will come across a line of railway arches. These are covered with street art and graffiti.
Creekside Graffiti Railway Arches
St Paul’s Church: This is an absolutely beautiful Baroque church set in lovely grounds. The church is located off Deptford High Street, if you are walking down this road you will stop in your tracks when you catch sight of this magnificent building. It was designed by Thomas Archer and built between 1712 and 1730. Portland stone was used for the construction. Striking features include four giant Tuscan style columns and the cylindrical tower with a steeple. The area around the church is conservation area which includes the church and the Grade II* listed houses on Albury Street.
St Paul’s Church: Crossfield Street, SE8 3PD
Deptford Dockyard History: The history and population of Deptford were associated with the docks established by Henry VIII in 1513. The Deptford Dockyard was the first Royal Dockyard which was in existence from the 16th century up until the late 19th century. It attracted the likes of Peter the Great to study shipbuilding. The docks are connected with Sir Francis Drake, Sir Water Raleigh, and Captain Cook so as you can see, this area is steeped in nautical history. Look out for the anchor on Deptford High Street at the junction of Deptford Broadway which acts as a reminder to the Dockyard heyday. The anchor was given to Deptford by Chatham Dockyard in 1988. It was taken away rather suddenly by the council because of anti-social behaviour including street drinking and loitering in the vicinity. After a public outcry, the anchor is back again! Deptford you can read the information on the Naval Dockyards Website and Wikipedia.
Anchor: Deptford High Street, Junction of Deptford Broadway
Deptford’s Green Spaces: There are quite a few patches of greenery and small nature reserves in Deptford and nearby. These include the St Paul’s Churchyard Gardens and Sue Godfrey Local Nature Reserve which is at the back of St Paul’s Church. Seek out Deptford Park, Brookmill Park and Nature Reserve, Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden, Broadway Fields, Margaret McMillan Park, Caroline Turner Gardens and Twinkle Park.
Deptford Park: 23 Scawen Road, SE8 5AE
The Albany or Deptford Lounge: If you’ve just moved to the area, a great way to get to know others is via community activities. The Albany on Douglas Way has workshops for musicians and dancers along with other creative classes. The Deptford Lounge on Griffin Street includes a public library, computers, study area and rooftop ball court with a café on site. Join the Wavelengths Leisure Centre which has a swimming pool, fitness studio and a play zone for kids.
Deptford Lounge: 9 Griffin Street, Deptford SE8 4RJ
Ten Things To Do In Deptford Information
The Timberyard Housing Project
Deptford is named after a deep ford on the River Ravensbourne. The area lies on the South Bank of the River Thames in South East London with the postcode of SE8. It is bordered by Brockley and Lewisham (south), New Cross (west) and Rotherhithe (northwest), Greenwich (east) and Isle of Dogs (northeast). You can reach this part of London via Deptford Train Station or walk from Greenwich.
It’s certainly an interesting part of London to explore. It’s a combination of authentic London with the markets and the Pepys Council Estate with pockets of gentrification like Deptford Market Yard and new apartments being built at The Timberyard. Mixed in with this you have the conservation zone including the stunning St Mary’s Church. Deptford is gradually evolving and is worth checking out if you want to do a bit of urban exploring. To see more photographs take a look at my Love Deptford London Pinterest Board. I hope you enjoy your visit.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London.
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