Area guide Bellenden Village

Bellenden Village, located in Peckham, is a charming area featuring a network of streets adorned with Victorian and Edwardian houses. The area’s central hub for dining, drinking, and shopping is Bellenden Road. Situated between Dulwich, Peckham, and Camberwell, the neighbourhood has a strong French influence and was named after the 7th Lord Bellenden of Broughton.

The area has a rich history of attracting creative types, including sculptor Anthony Gormley, who utilized to have a studio here and designed the street bollards of Bellenden. Fashion designer Zandra Rhodes also contributed to the area by creating the futuristic look of the local lampposts.

Bellenden Road has a more relaxed vibe than central Peckham, and it’s a popular spot for families and professionals looking to settle down. It’s also conveniently located within walking distance of both Peckham Rye and East Dulwich stations, making it simple to get to central London in just 15 minutes. However, with a plethora of popular restaurants, pubs, bars, and shops in the area, you may not want to venture too far from home.

If you’re looking for a quieter day out and want to support independent businesses, Bellenden Road is the ideal place to browse quaint bookshops, shop in tiny delis, and indulge in some delectable Persian and Asian cuisine.

"The Bellenden Road area is more than just a parade of local shops; it is home to lots of artists’ studios such as The Arches on nearby Blenheim Grove. This has been an artists’ community for over 20 years and includes ceramicists, jewellers, knife-makers and screen-printers"

Lou Smith, Local Artist – Captured on the Rye

Area Highlights

In the late 1990s, the Southwark Council collaborated with local artists to renew the Bellenden area and enhance its appearance. Now, you can see the results of this project as you walk around. Anthony Gormley designed unique bollards, Tom Phillips created beautiful lamps and wonderful mosaic shop fronts, and John Latham installed artwork on the front of his house and studio, called Flat Time House. This house has now become a centre for education and houses the John Latham Archive. Additionally, you may also come across the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) which is a project-based museum that curate’s exhibitions for virtual viewing or specific sites.

In the Bellenden area, there are a few notable places worth mentioning. One of them is the Bellenden Road Nature Reserve, which opened in August 2010. It is managed by the London Wildlife Trust and aims to promote sustainable gardening while engaging schools and the community about nature. Another place to check out is Review, an independent bookshop known for its friendly and informative staff. They have a good selection of dog-related books too. If you’re looking for some green space, Peckham Rye Park is nearby and offers a pond, a Japanese garden, a cafe, and a bowling green, as well as acres of space for sunbathing or snowball fights.

Fans of interior design will be thrilled to explore Frost, which offers a wide variety of mid-century modern, industrial, and reclamation furniture, lighting, and other unique objects. Alternatively, those wanting to spend less might prefer Worn Not Torn, a second-hand store that has a great selection of chairs, wooden crates, storage trunks, and more. Be sure not to miss the opportunity to indulge in some locally made artisan chocolates from Melange, and when it comes to dining out, try the Thai sharing plates at the Begging Bowl, the gastropub fare at the Victoria Inn, or the incredible Italian cuisine at Artusi.

Bellenden Village is home to two primary schools: The Belham Primary School and Bellenden Primary School. The area is also served by Cherry Garden School, which is popular for its special education services. The local Harris Academy schools are highly regarded, including a new boys’ secondary school located near Peckham Rye Park. Additionally, the prestigious independent schools of Dulwich are in close proximity.

From East Dulwich station, you can reach London Bridge in under 15 minutes. Alternatively, Peckham Rye offers quick routes to Victoria, Blackfriars, London Bridge, Canary Wharf, and Shoreditch – all in less than half an hour.