I hope you’ll find my Camberwell London SE5 Guide very helpful. I cover the best things to do in Camberwell, from attending the free art exhibitions at the South London Gallery to enjoying the beautiful parks. Buy a cute plant from the Nunhead Gardener, something adorable for yourself from Eleven.SE5 or pre-loved fashion from TTFN or Crisis. Stop off for a beverage and bite to eat at one of the cafes, or treat yourself to deli delights at Gladwell’s. With excellent eateries covering a wide range of cuisines and budgets, you’ll be spoilt for food choices. Camberwell has much to offer, from visiting the Edwardian Ruskin Park to pottering around the Camberwell Green Weekly Market on Saturdays. Read on to get the complete Camberwell area guide.
Best Things To Do In Camberwell
Walking around Camberwell is an excellent way to understand what the area offers. You’ll find it has different sides to it. On Denmark Hill, things feel busy and hectic, like an urban neighbourhood, but as you venture onto Camberwell Church Street, it has a village vibe with churches and pretty streets like Grove Lane. Camberwell Green is at the epicentre of the main Camberwell Roads. I recommend you explore Denmark Hill, Camberwell New Road and Camberwell Church Street, along with Grove Lane and Love Walk, which will give you a good overview. Take note of the magnificent architecture, including King’s College, the Maudsley Hospitals, the Leisure Centre, and the former London and County Bank. Here are the listed buildings in Camberwell.
The area is famous for the Camberwell College of Arts on Peckham Road. Next to the College is The South London Gallery, where you can see free contemporary art exhibitions and events. It encompasses a Gift Shop, South London Louie Café and the Orozco Garden, open on weekends. Continue along Peckham Road, where you’ll see free art exhibitions at The Fire Station.
Camberwell has ample green spaces, the most significant being Burgess and Ruskin. Burgess Park has an urban vibe with amenities ranging from play areas to a lake where fishing is permitted if you purchase a ticket and sporting facilities, including a 400-metre BMX national standard track. Make sure you visit Chumleigh World Gardens. There are two cafes; my favourite is the Clubhouse Cafe, which overlooks the Georgian and Regency Addington Garden Square, named after early 19th century Prime Minister George Addington.
As you enter Burgess Park from the Camberwell side, you’ll notice a butterfly mosaic on the wall of the Lynn Boxing. The mosaic pays tribute to the Camberwell Beauty, a rare butterfly in the UK. It was re-installed from the Samuel Jones Paper Factory on Southampton Way. Two were seen on Coldharbour Lane in 1748.
Ruskin Park is a prestigious and beautiful Edwardian Park with a bandstand and formal gardens. It’s named after the Victorian writer and naturalist John Ruskin, who grew up there.
Other green spaces include Myatt’s Fields, Brunswick Park, St Giles Churchyard and Lucas Gardens. Camberwell Green is a prominent patch of common land at the intersection of Denmark Hill, Camberwell New Road and Camberwell Church Street. On Saturdays, you’ll find the Camberwell Green Weekly Market open from 10 am until 3 pm.
If you want to keep fit or go for a swim, head to the Camberwell Leisure Centre. It boasts two pools, a state-of-the-art gym and a Café.
Others may want to spend their time in the Camberwell Library. Join in activities like Short Story, Creative Writing or Poetry Groups.
Best Shops In Camberwell
The best shops are on Denmark Hill. Pop into the Nunhead Gardener for house plants, pots, and gifts. Eleven.SE5 is perfect for adorable home accessories and fashion accessories. TTFN and Crisis are both brilliant for a pre-loved clothing rummage. Or purchase vinyl, merchandise and books at Dash The Henge, a genre-fluid independent record store on Camberwell New Road.
Delightful delis include Gladwell’s, which stocks Wine, Cheese, Fruit, Veg, Bread and Groceries. Also, check out Grove Lane Deli and Lumberjack.
You can shop at Butterfly Walk, a small shopping arcade with Morrisons, Superdrug, Holland and Barrett, etc.
Best Places To Eat In Camberwell
The best Cafes include the Love Walk Café serving breakfast classics like Full English, Omelettes and Sarnies with Burgers for lunch. The South London Louie at the South London Gallery has Yoghurt Pots, Sourdough Toasties and Cakes during the day. In the evening, they host supper clubs. The Cafe at Gladwell’s Deli has some nice Focaccia Sandwiches and Sweet Treats. For Artisan Bread, Cakes and Pastries, visit Irene Bakery. They also stock a carefully curated collection of Wines. Lumberjack is a must-visit café for Coffee lovers.
Camberwell has plenty of restaurants for lunch or dinner, including Good Neighbour (Wine and Small Plates), Momo (Japanese/Sushi), Noko (Asian/Street Food), Theo’s (Italian/Pizza) and Forza Win (Italian/Pasta). For cheaper eats, you may like Manayu (Asian), Nandine (Kurdish) or Viet Cafe (Vietnamese).
You’ll find plenty of pubs in Camberwell; many serve Sunday Roasts. Check out the award-winning gastro pub, The Crooked Well, The Camberwell Arms and The Sun of Camberwell.
Watch My Ten Things To Do In Camberwell Video
Helpful Information About Camberwell London SE5
Camberwell is in the London Borough of Southwark, with the central postcodes being SE5 and SE15. It lies in between East Dulwich, Herne Hill, Kennington and Peckham. Denmark Hill is the best station (Overground and Train) to explore the area. To learn more about the neighbourhood, refer to the Camberwell Society website, especially the Events and Activities page, which has some interesting walks, including the Black History Walk.
The Camberwell name refers to the Camber Well, which was said to be rich in mineral salts and iron, thus helping ailments. Springs and wells were on the southern slope of Denmark Hill/Grove Park. To learn more about history, read the Camberwell Wikipedia Page.
While you are in the area, you might be interested in these relevant articles:
Ten Things To Do In Camberwell
Ten Things To Do In Burgess Park
Forza Win Italian Restaurant Camberwell Review
Gladwell’s Grocery and Deli Camberwell Review
Eleven SE5 Lifestyle Shop Camberwell Review
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London.