Dulwich Village – Weekend Travel Flash
Just south from more edgy Brixton and Peckham lies picture-perfect Dulwich Village. Period houses, rose cottages and Victorian and Edwardian mansions are scattered around this quiet and peaceful part of London. It is hard to believe that London Bridge Station is only a few stops away. In Dulwich Village, with it’s attractive High Street, the world famous Dulwich Picture Gallery and Dulwich Park, London seems something from a different world.
The High Street
We visit this part of town on a beautiful Sunday morning, and start in the High Street where even the restaurant chains like Pizza Express and Café Rouge are situated in the most beautiful buildings. Who says that restaurant chains have to look dull and boring?
Not only the restaurant chains look slick. It is the entire area that reminds us of these clean and green university towns on the East Coast of the United States (not that either of us has ever been. We base our opinion purely on memories from TV shows and movies). Surprisingly enough, Dulwich does have a famous college, but there will be time to visit it next time.
The Outdoor Gallery
The scent of fresh flowers coming from Bartleys flower shop on the corner almost convinces us to stock up on our interior decoration supply. Instead, the bright colours at Dulwich Outdoor Gallery next door lure us in.
We find a collection of murals painted by some of the top street artists alive today. They based their work on the Baroque era paintings that can be found in Dulwich Picture Gallery. I am intrigued by the ‘simplicity’of Stik’s work. He paints stick figure-like people as street art, and I have seen some of his work in East London. If you are interested in doing a tour of the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery, please find a map here (no guarantees that all the art is still there of course!).
After a little browse at the Dulwich Outdoor Gallery, we make our way towards the Picture Gallery. On our way, we come across Christ’s Chapel: a stunning chapel with large extensions on both sides. Picture opportunities aplenty here in the Village!
The Picture Gallery
The Picture Gallery is just on the other side of the Chapel, and displays some of Britain’s leading exhibitions. With works by Poussin, van Rijn, and Rubens, you can spend quite a few hours inside. Likewise, The Gallery is a great location for a coffee or lunch break, as it features a gorgeous cafe and park outside.
However, we decide to enjoy the sunshine as long as it decides to stay with us. A tour of the Picture Gallery is on the agenda for next time. Instead, we quickly cross the street and enter Dulwich Park. The park covers 29 hectares and has some lovely gardens, a boating lake and a pavilion. Weather permitting, this is a great picnic spot. Finally, we sit down with a latte at the pavilion’s terrace. We are also slightly tempted to try out the paddle boats nearby! They look like great fun!
It is time for us to leave, but we find that this area in South London is a great location to escape the bustling city. And even though it is not big, there is enough to see and to do for us to spend some hours.