South East London’s Camberwell was once seen as a hidden gem. With its pretty period properties, bustling local high street and open spaces, South London residents have enjoyed the area for years. Now, with the introduction of the Overground, Camberwell is suddenly becoming a neighbourhood on everyone’s lips.
Those looking for convenient connections to Shoreditch and the heart of the City see Camberwell as an alternative to the more expensive East London postcodes. However, it’s not solely the transport connections that have seen Camberwell’s popularity rise.
On a Map
Located in South East London, Camberwell falls under the London Borough of Southwark and is in the SE5, SE15, SE21 and SE22 postcode districts. It is located 2.7 miles southeast of Charing Cross.
Camberwell’s first mention comes in the Domesday Book as Camberwelle. It is thought that the name derives from English Cumberwell or Camberwell, which means ‘Well of the Britons’. Other theories suggest the name might mean ‘Cripple Well’ to represent an area of the city where people were sent if they had a contagious disease.
Initially, Camberwell was also the parish church for nearby Dulwich and Peckham. Up until the mid-19th-century, it was frequented by Londoners for its rural settings; it was often seen as a place to escape and enjoy tranquil vibes.
Like much of South London, the arrival of the railway station in the 1860s transformed the area from a sleepy getaway to London neighbourhood, where it has remained a popular residential postcode up until this day.
The most recent census report indicates that the population of Camberwell is just over 15,000, with females making up 51 percent and males making up 49 percent. The average age is 32, which relatively young and points towards many professionals living in the area.
Living in Camberwell
Camberwell has plenty of character thanks to an array of period properties dotted all over the area. Camberwell Grove and Addington Square are known for their Georgian cottages, while Grove Park features terrace properties.
There are several modern developments in Camberwell, including Camberwell on the Green, Triangle Court and Wing. Sharers also find the area appealing, as many houses on the rental market are ideal for sharing.
One-bedroom apartments fetch around £1,350 per month, two-bedroom homes achieve in the region of £1,700, and three-bedroom properties average £2,150. Anything with more than three bedrooms fetches between £2,800 and £3,500, depending on the property size.
Denmark Hill is the main transport hub in Camberwell. The introduction of the Overground makes this particular area of South London well connected. There are trains to Shoreditch and the City that take just under 20 minutes, as well as services to Victoria in just 15 minutes. London Bridge and St Pancras are also reachable in less than 25 minutes. 15 separate bus routes pass through the town centre. Camberwell is located in Zone 2.
Amenities in Camberwell
For a relatively small area, there is a surprising amount of things to do - from artsy bookstores to wandering in the local common and a selection of independent restaurants.
First opened in 2015, Theo’s specialises in wood-oven pizzas and replicates some of the best tastes from Naples. The restaurant has won a plethora of awards, such as Time Out 2017 top London pizza restaurant and Time Out 100 best cheap eats in London 2017 and 2018.
Address: 2 Grove Ln, Camberwell, London SE5 8SY
Viet Cafe serves homemade Vietnamese dishes and is located near Denmark Hill. The menu consists of well-known street food, and all of the recipes are entirely homemade. Viet Cafe is a popular spot with locals and visitors.
Address: 75 Denmark Hill, Camberwell, London SE5 8RS
Described as ‘delicious food in the heart of Camberwell’, Brunchies is a Deli Bar that offers freshly made sandwiches, Sunday roasts and wide-ranging breakfast menu, all to the backdrop of a friendly and relaxing environment.
Address: 1 Valmar Rd, Camberwell, London SE5 9NG
Things to do in Camberwell
Myatt’s Fields Park is one of the many open spaces in Camberwell and offers 14 acres of land inside a Victorian park. The park is Grade II-listed and features a wildlife garden, playground, cafe, sports facilities and places for hire.
Keeping up with the area’s reputation as an artistic hotspot, Camberwell College of Arts provides members of the public with a chance to browse exhibitions by graduate students. Who knows? You could stumble upon the next Damien Hirst.
Rat Records is an ode to a bygone era in the music world. Open for more than 19 years, Rat Records stacks a large selection of pop, rock, African music, reggae, blues and jazz. In-store DJs are also on hand to soundtrack their browsing. The store’s popularity is so high that it even has its own merchandise.
Moving to Camberwell
An artistic reputation can go a long way, and Camberwell enjoys the status of one of the most creative postcodes in South London. If you want a neighbourhood with some flair, excellent travel links and an emphasis on community, it might just be time to move to Camberwell.
Main images credit: www.thetimes.co.uk