In and around Camberwell

Family in Ruskin Park

Camberwell is a diverse and vibrant area, with both a village and an urban feel. The creative scene varies from grassroots and community to postgraduate academic, from visual art to live music, with great food outlets and green spaces making it all the more attractive.

It is an up-and-coming part of south-east London where Georgian and Victorian buildings rub shoulders with modern housing.
Complete the picture with a sprinkling of leafy lanes and open spaces, the biggest – and most picturesque – of which is Ruskin Park and which King’s overlooks.

King's itself is situated on Denmark Hill, a busy road lined with a variety of shops and restaurants together with banks and a post office – handy for a quick trip during lunchtime or after work.

During the day, this is a lively area where people come to work, study and shop; in the evening it’s their home and where they enjoy their free time, whether it’s a night out at a restaurant or pub, or a session at Camberwell Leisure Centre, which has full gym facilities, a sports hall and a beautifully restored Grade II-listed swimming pool.

Diverse community

People are drawn here from around the world making Camberwell a typical inner city area with a mix of cultures and lifestyles. The medical community also has a strong presence – not just King’s College Hospital’s staff but those from the Maudsley, the UK’s leading provider of mental health services and part of King’s Health Partners.

There is a growing international student community including those studying at King’s College London, the Institute of Psychiatry, Camberwell College of Arts and Goldsmiths College.

Leisure and shopping

Nowhere is the area’s rich cultural diversity more apparent than in its shops and eateries, most of which are clustered around Camberwell Green. You’ll find standard high street shops and supermarkets plus many independent outlets offering everything from hardware and clothing to flowers and mobile phones. There are specialist food merchants with goods from around the world – China, Pakistan, the Caribbean, Africa, Greece, Turkey and many more.

Traditional cafes and public houses sit alongside restaurants, gastropubs and takeaways that cater to virtually every taste and pocket, around the clock. You’ll find useful links to listings for bars, cafes and restaurants in our guide to making the most of London.

Arts and culture

Camberwell is tipped to become the next arts boom area as rising rents in the currently fashionable districts of Hackney and Shoreditch force the creative community to seek a more affordable alternative.

Its thriving creative scene is centred around Camberwell College of Arts and the nearby South London Gallery, a contemporary gallery that hosts major national and international exhibitions. There’s also a respected summer arts festival held every June.

Local options for theatre and film include The Blue Elephant Theatre off Camberwell Road, which is a hub for emerging talent and new performance, while the Ritzy cinema in Brixton shows a good selection of independent and mainstream releases.