This is Peckham but not as you knew it…

Peckham Space, Bar Story Peckham SE15

Everybody’s heard of it, but not always for its best bits. But Del Boy’s Peckham is fast disappearing—giving way to an area saying ‘adios’ to big, infamous estates and a warm ‘hello’ to strapping new townhouses to the north, boho Bellenden Road to the west, East London Line trains in the centre and big ideas about its future.

Peckham’s regeneration plans are well underway…
Is Peckham still a cheap place to live? Some of it is still substantially more affordable but this is a very diverse postcode. Bellenden Road is now incredibly pricey which shows you what a few quid and competent redesign can do for an area.

North Peckham is the traditional trouble-spot but the drab estates that previously began at the top of Rye Lane have been replaced by well-designed townhouses and apartments. An architecturally elite library was built (it won the Sterling Prize in 2000), a popular leisure centre alongside Peckham Space (a community arts space) and a new children’s play area were all added in the same vicinity. Both Bellenden and North Peckham’s transformative progress can be seen in Peckham Vision’s brilliant resource which also has the drawings for the new town square planned outside Peckham Rye station and addresses real problems the area has, such as crime and deprivation.

Further up the road the East London Line has hit Queen’s Road station and £££'s are about to be chucked at this part of Peckham, improving the station and bringing in new businesses. Have a look at the Peckham and Nunhead Area Action Plan.

Millions is also being hurled at regenerating Elephant and Castle, which will help Peckham's northerly quarter tremendously. We're talking about a real change happening in around 10-15 years' time. Already, Peckham's worst estates have been torn down and replaced with well-designed townhouses at the top of Rye Lane.

Do check out Peckham Vision who describe themselves as ‘a consortium of residents, artists and businesses, pioneering citizen action for an integrated town centre linking past, present and future for the benefit of all.’

What's Peckham's high street like?
SE15 is a vibrant area, with strong African, Caribbean and Chinese communities who have created some brilliant mini-marts. Shops along Rye Lane include Argos, Boots, Superdrug, Holland & Barratt, Primark and Clarks. Peckham's large multiplex cinema is possibly the cheapest in London, there’s a Morrison's supermarket, Lidl, an indoor market and monthly farmers' market. But my favourite thing about Peckham is that among the hustle, bustle and noise readily provided along the entirety of Rye Lane, you can get a thumping good cocktail there. Yep, you heard right. Swing a Cosmo from Peckham’s multi storey car park roof at Frank’s Campari Bar, or head across the street to Bar Story or Peckham Refreshment Rooms. The achingly hip crowd who frequent these bars then saunter on to The Bussey Building for all-night/late night music (fringe theatre and comedy shows held here are also excellent). If you’ve sought out New York’s underbelly and liked it, you’ll appreciate the after-hours ambience in Peckham.

How many artists can you spot?
Peckham's housing, studio and live/work space has been cheap for a long time. Add to this Peckham's proximity for Goldsmiths' and Camberwell art students and it'll come as no surprise to learn the area is a long-time artists' haven, with plenty of accomodating studios. Find them at The Arches , The Bussey Building, Space and Acme studios.

Bellenden Road has a smattering of destination independent shops including vintage boutique Threads , a great bookshop, cafes such as Petitou and Anderson & Co while restaurants include The Begging Bowl and Ganapati.

Peckham's housing stock and residents
Peckham’s bones are ancient; it was first mentioned as a hamlet in the Domesday Book (11th century). It grew into a thriving medieval market town due to its easy access into London via the Old Kent Road. From the 17th century, merchants and courtiers had homes here and When Daniel Defoe (the chap who wrote Robinson Crusoe) said Camberwell and Peckham had ‘some of the finest dwellings about London’ in the 1720s, he wasn't wrong. In fact, Peckham was once a holiday destination spot and writer Oliver Goldsmith is responsible for the widespread 18th century catchphrase, ‘it’s all holiday at Peckham.’ Yep, Peckham was a Georgian destination beauty spot for those who could afford it. So, what remains of its former glory? Holly Grove, Highshore Road, Consort Road, Blenheim Grove, Lyndhurst Way and Lyndhurst Grove have stunning Georgian, Regency and early Victorian properties while Elm Grove has some very unusual Victorian architecture.

Flat-hunters are in luck: most of the housing stock here falls into this category—a relatively whopping 3662 flats, maisonettes or apartments are found here compared to 998 terraced houses. If you’re after a semi or detached, get ready to look hard as there are just 370 and 142 respectively. Peckham was heavily bombed in WW2, explaining its mix of social housing and Victorian terraces.

Today there are a high number of social tenants (3257), while 952 rent privately and 1027 own their own home. Lone parent households are the majority type of household across Peckham ward.

Where to buy in Peckham
As the poshest bit is Bellenden Road, house prices around here are rather steep. If you’re able to afford it, it’s a great place to live and has established itself as a des-res location.

If you’re feeling plucky and don’t have cash to chuck at this corner of SE15, then look around Queen’s Road and the Nunhead-side of Peckham where homes are much cheaper right now. But with all that’s planned for Peckham’s future, we’ll wager these areas won’t stay cheap for long.