Living in East Dulwich

By Kirsty Henderson

East Dulwich is part of Southwark Council and is sandwiched in between Brixton to the west, Peckham to the east and Camberwell to the north. None of these areas are known for being particularly nice, especially after dark, but East Dulwich is bit of a diamond in the rough. It's not as posh as Dulwich Village to the south but still has a village feel of its own.


Being south of the river, East Dulwich manages to stay affordable despite being a pretty upmarket place. There are very few estates or apartment blocks around and many of the streets are made of up large houses with big backyards.


South East London doesn't tend to attract working holiday makers the way that most parts of West London seems to. There are a lot of families but still a lively crowd of young professionals.

Pubs, Clubs and Entertainment

The East Dulwich Tavern overlooks Goose Green and is the most relaxed feeling pub in the area to grab a pint. There are tables out front with a wonderful view of a busy roundabout but it's better than nothing. It has a section upstairs to host a comedy night every couple of weeks for 8 that is a good laugh and does jazz nights as well. Black Cherry, The Bishop, and The Palmerston are a very short walk down Lordship Lane but these bars have a more uptight gastro pub type feel.

There are no major clubs in the area but Brixton and Clapham are only a short night bus ride away.


Goose Green is a small area of grass that seems more like a buffer zone between streets than a proper park but it does host the yearly East Dulwich festival for a weekend in May. Dulwich Park is far more substantial and impressive and can be found about 15 minutes walk to the south. This park has a pond, a running track, a lawn bowls club (members only though, I think), a pond and it rents out those sit down bicycle things which can turn a nice Sunday stroll into a death trap if you're not on your toes.

Shops, Restaurants and Takeaways

Fantastic restaurants line Lordship Lane and nearby streets including the renowned East Dulwich Deli which also has a stall in Harrod's. There are a handful of Indian restaurants, a Mexican place, and a great Thai joint on New Cross Road called Thai Corner. Don't be fooled by the fact that it looks like someone's living room - this place serves amazing meals for under 8 and is BYO to boot making for a cheap night out. But if you don't want to be rushed, make sure you make a booking.

Lordship Lane also has a Somerfields, Iceland, Budgens, and a large number of small corner stores. There's also a massive Sainsbury's to the north towards Denmark Hill if you need a more substantial shop.


Southeast London seems to have been neglected when the Underground was built and East Dulwich doesn't have a station. The closest is Brixton but that's still a 15 minute bus ride away.

Luckily, there are loads of buses serving Waterloo, Victoria, London Bridge. Unluckily, there are a lot of people to move to these areas during rush hour and getting on a bus at 8am and beyond is a struggle. It's not uncommon for a few to pass by before you'll be able to squeeze on. Most people who are heading into the city get whichever bus they can to Camberwell and then change to a more appropriate bus once there.

East Dulwich overland station is 14 minutes to London Bridge and, while the trains are busy, they're never so packed that you won't get on.

Good Points

  • lots of good restaurants and gastro pubs
  • good connections to Waterloo and London Bridge
  • relatively close to the city
  • nice area that is also affordable

Bad Points

  • no underground stations
  • buses to the city can be hard to get on during rush hour


Cheap rent means more money to spend at the pubs.

Gritty, cheap and international with loads of character.

Edgy, gritty and artsy area close to central London.

Camden Town
Full of punks, market stalls and a great canal.

Diverse area with everyone from yuppies to yobbos.

Decent shopping but the nightlife is a bit uninspired.

Earl's Court
In zone one but expensive and full of tourists.

East Dulwich
A posh area south of the river but still affordable.

Finsbury Park

Very nice area but expensive and the District line is crap.

Nice, safe, close to the city but not much nightlife.

Great transport links and near to the Thames.

Great transport links but a bit dodgy at night.

Green and pretty but a little bit on the dull side.

Shepherd's Bush
A lively, edgy, multicultural area in West London.

Edgy, creative and trendy with a great nightlife.

Stoke Newington

A bit rough around the edges but a great place for a curry.

West Hampstead
Well connected by transport but a little expensive.

Willesden Green
Cheap, full of travellers and well connected.

Nice area, decent nightlife and good transport to the city.

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