London is a totally diverse and international city, which, if I’m honest is what makes the best areas of London so special. These are all filled with a huge mix of amazing cultures and yummy food, too. That being said, it can be hard to whittle down some of the best things to do in Peckham when there’s so much choice.
This is why I wanted to share a few of my favourite haunts that I’m hoping you’ll love.
Funnily enough, all our harping on about our love for London didn’t go amiss with the gang at Visit London who recently got in touch to ask if we’d like to share with them some of the best things to do in Peckham that we love. You can imagine how excited I was about this! I mean, London means so much to us and there are SO MANY places to explore here.
Anyway, I’m gonna stop rambling on now and get right to it. The neighbourhood I’d chosen was Peckham. It’s such a fantastic yet under-rated part of our city and I just wanted to show you some of my favourite haunts and gaffes you should visit in Peckham.
Take a look, below, at some of the best things to do in Peckham.
Why visit Peckham?
“Now, why Peckham?” I hear you ask.
Well, remember I said about London being shaped by its amazing neighbourhoods? This is no more apparent than in places like Peckham. Perched in the south-east of London, it’s an area of London that doesn’t always get the recognition it most definitely deserves but there really is a whole heap of the best things to do in Peckham that are amazing to explore.
Places like Shoreditch, Covent Garden and Notting Hill get lots of attention but there are so many arguably more interesting spots to explore in London if you’re willing to scratch beyond the surface. (In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that Shoreditch was one of those “less shiny” before it became the gem that it currently is).
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Londoner or simply a Londoner-at-heart, you’re bound to find so many cool, exciting and the best things to do in Peckham that you’ll love.
1.) Try some jellied eels at M. Manze
Perched on Peckham High Street, M. Manze is London’s oldest (and still family-owned) pie and mash spots in the city. If you’ve got a hankering for a taste of old London, this is the place you have to go.
Just make sure you try some jellied eels too! Like it or loathe it, it’s a part of London that you just have to try. For what it’s worth, it sounds scarier than it actually tastes and is easily one of the best things to do in Peckham if you want to explore the cities foodie history.
2.) Gorge on Jollof Rice at Agrobeso African Cuisine
Remember I said about London having a tasty mix of foods? Well, Agrobeso African Cuisine has some of the tastiest Jollof Rice and meat stew you’ll ever taste. It’s one of the best things to do in Peckham if you want to taste some of the best Nigerian food south of the river.
Here, it’s the food that does the talking, so pop inside, order up and tuck into their delightfully spicy dishes. If you’re up for even more of a culinary adventure, try their pounded yam or eba with a stew. You don’t get much more Nigerian than this. 😍
If it’s busy, pop over to Nim’s Kitchen. There’s no seating here but there’s still a fair bit of delicious food up for grabs here so you’ll do quite nicely here.
3.) Dine at the Peckham Refreshment Rooms
This is one amazing spot you should definitely visit for brunch or lunch that’s a short stroll from Peckham Rye Station.
As soon as you enter you’ll be greeted with some proper British favourites. The bubble and squeak dish is uh-mazing! It’s an old-school recipe of vegetables; potatoes and sometimes meat that’s griddled fried and served piping hot.
Traditionally, it was a ‘leftovers’ meal that people used to make as to not waste food and has now somehow become a meal of its own.
4.) Enjoy a cocktail at Peckham Levels
Follow the neon coloured signs from Rye Lane and head into the multi-coloured corridor that leads to the Peckham Levels.
Inside you’ll find everything from foodie hotspots joints, art, restaurants and even cocktail bars that sit all within this old car park. now, it might sound strange, but trust me when I say this is one of the best things to do in Peckham for a tipple or two.
Just a stone’s throw from Frank’s (below), you can definitely squeeze in both in one evening so be sure to arrive with your friends and a penchant for a fun night out in Peckham.
5.) Watch the sunset from Frank’s
In the summer months, Frank’s opens its doors for all of us to soak up views of London alongside many-a-tasty tipple.
Situated on the roof of a car park (it actually looks sexier than it sounds), Frank’s is a brilliant spot to watch the sunset over London, all whilst sipping on some Pimm’s, sangria or local brews.
As the day creeps into the night, Frank’s becomes a buzzing little spot with a totally mixed crowd and is one of the best things to do in Peckham if you want a friendly gettogether with mates.
6.) Find some vinyl and local brews at Rye Wax
This place is always a surprise to me. Like, from the outside, Rye Wax doesn’t seem like much but rest assured, it’s one of those joints that just oozes atmosphere.
Best of all, Rye Wax is filled with vintage vinyl that you can buy, loads of retro board games to play and a live DJ who seems to always play the best songs that you’ve never really heard of.
It’s a great little spot and one of the best things to do in Peckham if you love vinyl.
7.) Explore the South London Gallery
Possibly, one of the prettiest and intimate galleries in South London, The South London Gallery is open most days (except Monday) and is totally free to enter.
This Victorian space is one gorgeous spot that you should definitely explore when in the area, especially as their residencies change quite quickly.
No visit is ever the same so snap up a visit when you can.
8.) Get the heart racing at The Yard
Okay, I want to be that guy that says ‘I love the gym’ but I’m not. That being said, the Yard in Peckham has opened a really cool CrossFit centre that’s situated not too far from the Copeland Gallery. If you’ve got a hankering for a workout, this is the place to go.
On the other hand, if you’re hankering for some cake, you might wanna give this place a miss and trot on over to the Refreshment Rooms instead.
This is easily one of the best things to do in London if you’re a fitness fanatic. That being said, you’ll hate it if not!
9.) Head to K-ink for some of the best tattoos in the city
Yup, you might leave London with an obligatory keyring and a London Bus fridge magnet, but if you want something a little more permanent you should pop into K-ink.
The resident and guest team at K-ink invest in their art and create some of the prettiest tattoos you’ll find. Now, I still haven’t plucked up the courage to get a tattoo myself but this is the place I always see (and hear good things about).
If it’s your thing, just make sure to book in advance and plan enough time for the sessions you need. No one likes a half-finished ink job.
10.) Go thrift shopping at TRAID Peckham
Nestled on Rye Lane, TRAID Peckham is a cool thrift store that really focuses on iconic pieces that’ll catch the eye. Looking for 1980’s shell suits? Vintage Varsity Jackets? Glitter slippers? This is the place to go.
Just don’t blame me when you leave with a bag full of clashing and totally cool but garish outfits.
11.) Grab some Nollywood classics from Rye Lane Market
Heading to Rye Lane Market is an experience in itself and a great little spot if you’re looking for some of the best spices, plantains and even a good deal on Nollywood films.
I swear, they had like 200 different titles to choose from when I was there. So, if Nollywood is your thing, you’ll definitely want to take a gander here.
12.) Find some art at MOCA London
The Museum of Contemporary Art London is one beautiful spot that most visitors don’t realise is actually in Peckham. Well, that’s my excuse for not knowing until I’d visited like 3 times.
Only a few minutes away from Peckham Rye Station, it’s filled with a cool mix of installations that are constantly changing and eye-popping-ly beautiful.
Just make sure you plan your visit around their opening times of Thursday, Friday (2 pm – 6 pm) and Saturday (12 pm – 4 pm).