While Dulwich is still in London, as you stroll down these quiet streets you almost feel like you are no longer in the capital. The land was once orchards and woodland and these days it has a pleasant country feel and most gardens will have at least one fruit tree.
Although it was badly damaged during the way, this old Victorian suburb has undergone a lot of gentrification in recent years. It is now blessed with some of the best independent shops and boutiques in London as well as some lovely green spaces. The neighbourhood has a welcoming and laid back feel and it is a popular place for families with children to live – especially since there are many great primary schools in the area. Dulwich has a fun, youthful feeling and the area around Peckham Rye has become one of the most interesting spots in London with plenty of shops and places to eat.
Why not take a day out and explore this London district? There are many things that you could do on a day out in Dulwich, such as:
Relaxing in Dulwich Park
Take the little ones to the park for a day of running around and exploring in this tranquil green space. The park offers a large children’s playground and a boating lake where you can hire a pedalo big enough for the entire family or a traditional rowing boat. This is also a great place to get active and there are many sporting facilities here including tennis courts, bowling greens and outdoor table tennis. If you are looking for a place to sit down on the grass for a while and enjoy a picnic and a leisurely chat, this is the ideal spot.
Have a Pint in the East Dulwich Tavern
This laid back and friendly pub overlooks Goose Green and has a wonderfully welcoming atmosphere. There are outdoor tables where you can sit in the sunshine on sunny days, and also a section upstairs where you will find comedy nights and live jazz music throughout the week, so check the schedule to find out what is going on when you are there.
Admire the Art at Dulwich Picture Gallery
A great art gallery in the heart of Dulwich Village, it offers regularly changing exhibitions and it only costs £6 for entry. It was the first purpose built public art gallery in the world, founded in 1811 by Sir Francis Bourgeois. The gallery is a vibrant cultural hub that hosts some of the leading exhibitions in the UK, including an impressive collection of Baroque masterpieces. The building itself is also quite impressive and there is a welcoming café with large glass windows and tasty food where you can stop and contemplate the artwork you have seen.
Work Out at the Dulwich Leisure Centre
This family friendly recreation centre is located right at the heart of the community and offers a great place to get in shape and have fun. It boasts a state of the art gym, group exercise studios, a 25m swimming pool, a café and a crèche. There are classes available here, including yoga, dance and other active pursuits.
Learn about History at the Horniman Museum
The Horniman Museum and Gardens is one of the best attractions in Dulwich, founded in 1901 by Frederick John Horniman – who had inherited his father’s business, “Horniman’s Tea”. With this enormous inheritance he was able to afford to start collecting treasures from all over the world, including rare musical instruments, cultural artefacts and specimens of natural history. The collection of this remarkable museum focuses on natural history, anthropology and music and also includes an aquarium. The museum is free to enter and often hosts a number of concerts, festivals, shows, workshops and activities.
How to Get to Dulwich
To get to Dulwich and enjoy a day out in this lovely area of London you can catch the train from London Bridge on the overland to East Dulwich or Peckham Eye. The East London Line will also be extended here with links to the city, as well as Canary Wharf via the Jubilee Line and Canada Water. Making Dulwich a great place to explore and take the family.
Image credit: image used with Creative Commons licence and courtesy of Herry Lawford.