In this second post of the Snapshots of London series, I explored south London’s Camberwell, as well as a couple surrounding neighbourhoods, including Brixton and Elephant and Castle. South London is home to many university campuses and accommodations, from the Great Dover Street Apartments to the University of the Arts London Camberwell location.
While south London doesn’t have as many transport links as there are north of the river, I’ve always loved south London for its diversity and character, though I may be biased as I’ve always lived below the river. I also really appreciate how much green space there is, as south London is awash with commons and lidos where you can go for long walks and even jump in for a swim!
Though not many students will explore around these parts, more and more university activity will probably take place here, since central London is becoming too pricey and overpopulated, as I mentioned in the first Snapshot of London post. Luckily, there’s just as much to see and do in South London as anywhere else – here are some of the locations I visited during my excursion!
STOP #1: Elephant and Castle
Elephant and Castle is an up and coming neighbourhood, located quite close to central London, only one stop south from Waterloo on the Northern Line of the Underground. As I used to live close to this area when I studied abroad, I’m a frequent visitor to Elephant and Castle. Personally I love it there!
The University of the Arts’ London College of Communication is located right across the street from the Tube station, as well as the King’s College Julia Markham accommodation, and the infamous Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre. Though a bit run down, you can find anything you need in the shopping centre and at the top, there’s a very cheap bowling alley that’s perfect for a night out with friends! Additionally, there’s a great Colombian restaurant next to the station as well, if you’re interested in getting your salsa on. Something for everyone!
With tons of students milling about, cheaper prices than central London, and great food from all cultures, Elephant and Castle is a great place to be, especially since it is so close to both central and south London.
STOP #2: Imperial War Museum
My next stop was to the Imperial War Museum, a mere 10 minute walk away from the Elephant and Castle Tube Station. You may have thought that all the best museums of London were all in central London on the north bank of the Thames, but you’d be wrong. The Imperial War Museum is housed in an impressive building, and is even more impressive on the inside! All of the exhibits, spanning artifacts and information from the first World War all the way to conflicts in the present day, are very interesting and engaging. There’s plenty to learn, and when you’ve had enough, the museum is surrounded by a beautiful park and gardens to go and have an ice cream in.
STOP#3: Camberwell College of Arts
After finishing up at the Imperial War Museum, I headed down to Camberwell, where I explored the area around another one of the University of London’s campuses, the Camberwell College of Arts. It seems fitting that the College of Arts is located in Camberwell, as it’s an area known for being creative and artsy, and the South London Gallery of contemporary art is even located directly next door as well! I found the neighbourhood to be quite scenic, full of beautiful Georgian houses and well manicured parks, like Myatt’s Fields, pictured below. This year, Peckham, a neighborhood directly down the road, was voted as the best place to live in London, and since Camberwell is next door, I bet it’s just as great!
STOP #4: Denmark Hill
From Camberwell, I strolled through a few quiet streets until I found myself in Denmark Hill, where King’s College has a campus for students studying sciences, medicine, and dentistry, next to the King’s College Hospital. Up the street, I found one of King’s student accommodations, Champion Hill. Champion Hill is located a 10 minutes walk from the Denmark Hill Campus and Denmark Hill transport station, and the residence is on a pleasant road with tons of trees and flowers around.
Although it may feel like Champion Hill is quite far south from the hustle and bustle of Zone 1, it’s actually only a 45 minute bus ride to King’s Strand Campus and a 30 minute Tube ride to Guy’s Campus. I imagine it’s quite nice to live at Champion Hill, where you’re close to the city centre to go out in, but are also able to come home to a quiet residential area and relax.
STOP #5: Brixton
Finally, to cap off my day in south London, I went to Brixton, a colorful district that is one of London’s major cultural centres, and home to the late, great David Bowie. As you can see from the photos below, over a year and a half after his death in early 2016, fans continue to lay fresh flowers at this mural of Bowie, which is located right across the street from the Brixton Tube Station.
With a population majority from the Caribbean, Brixton has the best jerk food I’ve ever had! Brixton is also known for its eponymous market, with tons of food stalls selling everything from Thai food to Eritrean food, and stands where you can pretty much but anything you need! With lots of pop up food markets and music venues and clubs, Brixton’s a great place to go out dancing after a nice meal as well. If you’re about in Brixton Village, definitely head over to Fish, Wings, and Tings and try their curried goat and codfish fritters – your stomach can thank me later!
Here’s a map of where I was in south London!
Thanks for tagging along on the recap of my day out in south London! We’ll be getting more Snapshots of London out to you soon. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about Camberwell or student accommodation in south London.