There are many parts of London which the visitor would be unlikely to see, but have fascinating history and heritage. Separated by the Thames, south London is often ignored. From Borough market and Bermondsey, through Camberwell, Dulwich, Elephant, to Kennington, Lambeth and Shadwell, and up to Vauxhall and Waterloo, south London has much to offer the visitor. There is a series of walks in South London, please get in touch for more details.
Elephant and Castle. One of the most unloved places in London, the Elephant and Castle deserves more than a shuddered glance from from the inside of a car or bus. This is your chance to see why the area inspires such loyalty, and affection in its populace. Away from the notoriously busy junctions, the Elephant walks to a different rhythm. Georgian terraces, a nightclub that is a global phenomenon, the Cinema Museum, and great coffee courtesy of the thriving Latin American community will remind you what Sunday mornings are all about.
Walworth, Old and New. Discover a series of hidden artists' studio only a few minutes from the centre of London, Bring your cash to enjoy the special Open Studios weekend. Terence Conran raves about it, and Keith Richards came here for a bespoke guitar. There’s a café or a pub for lunch. Unless you fancy Thai food, in which case, there is a nearby restaurant. In summer the walk ties in with Open Gardens Weekend, so make a day of it and enjoy our green spaces on the edge of the city.
The Kennington Walk. Also knows as Princes and Paupers. This walk around lovely Kennington that takes in a rare spirit door, Rural Economy, Charlie Chaplin and the worst disaster of the Blitz in Lambeth. There’s an Indian restaurant that is patronised by MPs of all parties, and it finishes conveniently close to a friendly pub that serves food. We get to spend time in a park, walk through a Farmers’ Market, find out where Pierce Brosnan started his acting career, and shiver to tales of public executions. What more could you want?
Denmark Hill and Camberwell. Called ‘the Belgravia of South London’ by The Builder magazine, Denmark Hill, once home to John Ruskin, is close to central London and manages to retain a whiff of the countryside away from busily commercial Camberwell Green. Most of this walk is behind the scenes, The Denmark Hill and Camberwell you might have suspected existed, but had not yet explored. More than one person has consulted the estate agents after finishing this walk. There are pubs galore, including one celebrated for its Sunday lunch, so afterwards why not make a meal of it.
Fair Maids and Philanthropists. This walk was created for Southwark Council to celebrate International Women’s Day. It’s much too good to keep to a once a year slot. It is set in North Southwark, going from Blackfriars Bridge Road to Borough via Bankside. You’ll have heard of some of the women I imagine, but others, no less remarkable, such as Janet Johnson whose pioneering work with children is still having an impact half a century after her death, seem to slipped through the cracks of history. Come along to learn about and celebrate them. We’ll be near Gordon Ramsey’s new gaff, but as he is not the right gender for this walk, he won’t get more than a mention. Let’s hear it for the girls!
Viva Vauxhall. Vauxhall is so much more than a transport hub and multi-lane pedestrian nightmare. Think Lily Savage, pleasure gardens, James Bond, community spirit, hymns ancient and modern. Throw in a garden designed with the help of Dan Pearson, mosaics hidden in railway arches, alpacas, and cake, yes lots of cake. Maybe even Welsh rarebit and real tea served in cosy-covered teapots. Yum!
Waterloo and the Cut. narrative required