Nunhead area guide - tell us what it's like

Discussion in 'Nunhead' started by Nick Barron, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. sdp

    sdp Lives for South East London

    OK, OK, I know... I'm getting fat. :eek:
  2. Peckham Wry

    Peckham Wry Respected Local

    I've lived in Nunhead (close to border with Peckham) for five years and it's continually grown on me.

    It's a quiet, villagey backwater yet fairly central (zone 2, unlike Greenwich or Forest Hill), and that's its appeal. If you want noisy traffic and bright lights, look elsewhere.

    It's very easy to get into central London from Nunhead (trickier getting back late at night until you've got the hang of trains.

    Nice local shops on Evelina Road near Nunhead Green, including traditional baker, fishmonger, grocer, butchers etc. - like going back in time!

    Few trendy pubs/bars or cafes, but the ever-popular delights of Lordship Lane in East Dulwich are close. Lots of green space within walking distance, including the cemetery (has to be seen), Peckham Rye, Nunhead allotments, Telegraph Hill Park, which has panoramic view over London + tennis courts.

    Nunhead's only major drawbacks are

    1) there's no big supermarket within walking distance (but if you have a car or an Ocado account then that's not an issue.)
    2) there's no free cash machine
    3) there's no post office (they all shut down).
  3. Head Nun

    Head Nun Respected Local

    Nunhead's very quiet for zone 2 but that's fine with me - if you want more buzz or shops and bars and stuff there's plenty of options a shortish hop away. I really love living here.

    The All Saints Cemetery, Peckham Rye and One Tree Hill are wonderful open spaces and there is a great community spirit here, with a nice mix of people from all walks of life (lots of 'creatives'). I have the nicest neighbours I've ever had in London so would say that people are pretty friendly from my experience!

    Transport links are great once you get used to them. I tend to use the buses more and think they're generally okay, but the 'Thameslink' train is a great way to get up north quickly, and now carries on up from Blackfriars Bridge to Farringdon and St Pancras, next stop Paris!

    You have the choice of cheap shops in Peckham, not cheap shops in Dulwich, nice coffee places, good post office at Forest Hill Road (it's not Nunhead but it's not far either!), not too far to good pubs. Fresh air and quiet, what more could you want?
    sathlondonshona likes this.
  4. Ravedog

    Ravedog South Eastern Guru

    Agree with that. This is the loveliest and greenest neighbourhood we ever lived in. And the fact that there are no large supermarkets, petrol stations etc adds to the charm of the place, as well as keeping noise and air pollution down. In Newlands, away from Cheltenham Rd, there is hardly any traffic to speak of, so you wake up to the sound of singing birds and tinkling bottles in the milkman electric cart (ok, plus the odd shouting fox and airplane). I also prefer the cheaper Nunheads pubs, cafe and shops, than the trendy SE22 ones. Oops, am I finally getting old?
    JenWren and Stuart like this.
  5. Stuart

    Stuart South East Crusader

    How do you mean you're in Newlands?

    I know what you mean about the lack of traffic for a London area though - Nunhead's the only part of zone 1/2 that doesn't have a major A road running through it. Just look at the map - we're fantastically insulated from London's traffic by two reservoirs and two cemeteries.

    Trains from Nunhead: 13 minutes to Victoria or the new Blackfriars Bridge station, and you can always find a parking space by the station (still free!), plus relatively low levels of crime, and it's beautifully quiet, peaceful and green.

    And if you want a bit of class, try the absolute gem that is Frog on the Green on Consort Road. Don't think I will try to describe the tower of extravagant meringues, or the chocolate cake, I might get over excited! Their warm chorizo and potato salad is a must-have too.
  6. Ravedog

    Ravedog South Eastern Guru

    Between the Aquarius golf club (on top of the Beechcroft reservoir) and Athenlay Rd, that's how the area and estate was/is called? Thanks for the gastro-tip BTW!
    SE15 Mick likes this.
  7. chocolatecav

    chocolatecav Fountain of Southern Knowledge

    The parking situation may be changing as we have heard that LB Soutwark want to introduce parking restrictions near the stations.

    One of our neighbours told us about it and it is posted on the lamp post outside the Hollydale Tavern. Another scheme so council can extort money from its residents so they can waste it.
  8. Kazimierz

    Kazimierz Respected Local

    Take a photo of it?

    My 2pov: We moved here in March 2010, and had never even heard of the place. We were looking at plenty of places in East Dulwich and then, on a crazy day when we viewed 20 properties in a single day (!), one of the agents showed us 2 places on Ivydale Road (and one on Kirkwood) and we put in an offer on one of them straight away. Even though all our friends responded with 'where the f**k is Nunhead?!', we've managed to entice them over and even got some of them thinking about moving to the area.

    Like all areas it has its down sides (the empty retail units in the Lane for one, the pitiful Green for two), but for anyone thinking of moving to Nunhead, you'd be living by a fabulous beautiful old Cemetery and a fabulous beautiful park at Peckham Rye. The variety of open spaces are a real bonus I think, esp for London. No shortage of parks to run around!

    As for social life, most of the the pubs are good and the little shops special, specially Ayres for bread and cakes, Sopers for fish and AG Flowers for, er, flowers. You get so much more for your money round here, both in retailing and property.

    Also, we have one of the best doctors surgeries in London in Nunhead Grove. I really rate Dr Roe and Dr Ackland but then I've never been to fond of male doctors!

    We don't use Nunhead station much as we're nearer Crofton Park and Brockley stations, so a new tube line almost on our doorstep! It's not even the end of the world if you miss the last train home as a mini cab from Central London costs £20... Also Greenwich and Blackheath are ten mins away too.
  9. Hipsta

    Hipsta Respected Local

    Not to mention in the way of careering cars :D

  10. We're looking to buy a house in the area and just wanted some general info. Like a lot of people we can't afford East Dulwich - that would be the ideal location really, so looking in the areas around Peckham Rye (how expensive??) and obviously Nunhead. We're in SE23 at the moment but we have outgrown our two up, two down.

    With Nunhead I'm a bit confused as to where the 'centre' would lie - is it to the top of Peckham Rye then right a bit?

    One of the houses we're looking at is on Ivydale Road - down near the bottom end that looks almost closer to Honor Oak Park station, an area I'm more familiar with.

    My main thoughts are that this part of Nunhead looks quite residential - and that to pop out for a pint of milk might take some time! But - I'm saying this having not really walked around there.

    What are the closest pubs / shops to this bit of Ivydale Road? Are the shops/bars on Lordship Lane a massive trek?

    I don't mean to sound lazy - but one of things we would like is to be sort of close to a few amenities! i.e. 5 minutes to a corner shop for necessities then other things within a 10-15 minute walk for the big shops, cafes and bars for example.

    Thanks in advance for any help or advice.
  11. five foot ten

    five foot ten Member

    I think the 'centre' of Nunhead is really Evelina Rd and the green. You've got the Nuns Head pub, the butchers, Ayres the bakers, Sopers the fishmongers and the lovely new deli, Bambuni. Also a very friendly greengrocers, florist and the small supermarket.

    These shops are a brisk 10 min walk from the southern end of Ivydale, but there are at least 3 corner shops down that end of Ivydale and I can't think of anywhere that is more than 5 mins from any of these. If you have kids, the school is thriving and you are near the Cemetery, Peckham Rye and One Tree Hill which are lovely green spaces. Depending where you are I'd say Lordship Lane is about a 25 min walk, but 5-10 away if you hop on the 484 bus

    We moved here about 10 years ago, and haven't regretted it for one moment. Transport connections are surprisngly good (aside from the 2 hour evening Victoria blackspot)

    The area really does have a lovely feel, definitely have a look around.
  12. Doug

    Doug Super-South-Easter

    I agree, centre of Nunhead has got to be the village green.

    If you're looking for a quieter, more residential area, then best to focus your attention south of Nunhead station.

    There are some really nice Victorian terraces north of Evelina Rd, but as a general rule of thumb, they're not as large as the properties on Ivydale. A benefit of living north of Evelina Rd is that you're closer to Queen's Rd Peckham station, which is a much better connected station than Nunhead (approx 8 mins into London Bridge, every 10 mins). Also there are plans to invest quite a bit of cash on it in prep for when it's added to the East London Line at the end of next year.

    In summary, if you are looking for a large property in a quiet residential area, Ivydale Rd is ideal for you. If you are looking to be better connected and nearer to shops, then head north.

    Hope this helps
  13. pembroke pete

    pembroke pete Fountain of Southern Knowledge

    that describes exactly the decision we made - we decided to go near nunhead station so that we are near the shops/centre of nunhead, near nunhead station, 10 mins walk from queens road (and the trains to clapham coming soon), and 15 mins ish to brockley if you want to head over that way ... the houses are smaller, so you have to not mind that. One thing to watch is that some of the houses near the station only have a single third bedroom if the bathroom is upstairs - which I think is more of an issue than the house itself being a foot narrower or whatever it is
  14. Ravedog

    Ravedog South Eastern Guru

    If you want absolute quiet nights, hardly any traffic, lots of green on your doorstep like One tree hill, Brenchley gardens, Rye park and Nunhead cemetery, as well as 10 minutes walk to Honor oak overground and high street, Camberwell new cemetery and its recreation grounds, then I would recommend the triangle between Ivydale Rd south side, Athenlay road and the Aquarius golf club.
    You also get a few shops and cafes just steps away - including a new one opening next year, see sathlondonshona thread here - and (N)343, 484, P12 buses in Ivydale/Cheltenham road. Nunhead station is still not far, while Forest hill road shops and pubs are also only 10 minutes walk through Brenchley gardens and its lovely views.
    Oh, nearly forgot; no parking restrictions either and a lovely neighbourhood.
  15. Have you been to Telegraph Hill? If you come out of Nunhead Station it is to your left. It's a small area (perhaps one square mile) of wide tree-lined streets with great Victorian houses, some of which have been converted into flats. The park itself is in two parts, bisected by Kitto Road, and was completely refurbished by lottery money a few years ago.

    I live on the Hill, towards the Nunhead side, so am a 5 min walk to Nunhead station (including the Londis next to the station for a pint of milk), a 7-10 min walk to Nunhead green for the shops (fishmongers, butchers, bakers, pubs etc) but also a 7-10 min walk to both Brockley and New Cross Gate stations that are now on the revamped East London Line.

    There are lots of lovely undiscovered areas around SE London, but in my opinion you can't go wrong on Telegraph Hill. So much so that some people even think it's Nunhead!

    Good luck!
  16. Park Fluid

    Park Fluid Local

    Well, leaving aside corner shops, in terms of slightly bigger sets of shops you are either going to be walking to the shops on Nunhead Lane & Evelina Road, shops in Brockley, shops in Honor Oak Park, or shops in Peckham Rye/Dulwich. So basically, if you look at a map and look where the stations are then hey presto - shops too - you can't go wrong ...

    I would say living near Nunhead station does give you a great set of shops - and depending on which side of it you live, you can also walk to Brockley or Queens Road Peckham for regular fast trains to London Bridge.
  17. 4onthefloor

    4onthefloor Fountain of Southern Knowledge

    What kind of ‘bigger’ shops are you talking about, supermarkets or clothes type shops?

    Supermarkets: if I’m in the car I drive to the Sainsburys over on Dog Kennel Hill in East Dulwich or I get the train back from work at London Bridge stop at New Cross Gate use the Sainsburys there then get the bus back home from there.

    Saying that you can get almost everything you ever need food wise around Peckham Rye and Nunhead Green. I said almost!

    You should use Google Street View to get to know the area and find where all the shops and pubs are. I used it loads before I moved to the area. I don’t think you’d find yourself cut off where you’re proposing to live unless you’re used to living right in the thick of it.

    There are loads of little corner shops dotted all around the Ivydale area, so if you had to walk more than 5 minutes I’d be surprised. The shop on Athenlay has a surprisingly wide selection of stuff for a shop that size - I popped in this afternoon not expecting to find soya milk, only to find there was a choice of four variations!

    They also have a cash machine, although the fee is £1.75 per transaction. The downside is they close relatively early for a local convenience store - 9pm - although there are two further stores very close-by:

    The one on Inverton Road opposite the building site does Oyster cards and top-ups and is open till 10. Then there is the one on the corner of Ivydale and Cheltenham roads, opposite the cafe - that also has a cash machine (£1.65 fee) and is open till 11.

    If you don't mind being on a bus route then I can vouch that the southern leafier end of Ivydale is certainly a very nice place to live, with various green open spaces nearby, and Nunhead, Brockley and Honor Oak stations are all 10-15 mins walk away.
    Ravedog likes this.
  18. Head Nun

    Head Nun Respected Local

    About 5 years ago or so there was a full page article in the Times' property section solely about Nunhead which was very positive too and basically said that it was somewhere where clever, trendy and witty people should go and live. Having said that it's still a rare occurence to come across a black cab driver who knows exactly where it is. :rolleyes:
  19. Nunhead Nancy

    Nunhead Nancy Fountain of Southern Knowledge

    I was walking past the famous 'flipping' house of Ivydale Road one Friday evening a few months ago and as luck would have it, Jacqui Smith, her husband and their young son were just unloading their car looking very much like they'd come to stay for the weekend.

    Clearly the ensuing expenses scandal hasn't put the Smiths off Nunhead!
  20. MC Turtle

    MC Turtle Member

    We are currently just off Bellenden Rd but have been looking at a property by the Nunhead Cemetery, however I have heard that Nunhead Grove, Tappesfield Rd and Daniels Road are a problem areas with conmen, gangs of kids and general trouble. Can somone confirm if this is true please? We'vd been considering Nunhead as the property is generally cheaper than the Bellenden part of Peckham.

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