Dulwich is a delightfully picturesque and scenic area of some 1,500 acres, and is generally recognised as an oasis of greenery and traditional architecture in south-east London.
Dulwich is an area steeped in history. The name Dulwich (Dilwihs), meaning ‘Marshy Meadow Where Dill Grows’ was first recorded in 967 AD.
The manor of Dulwich was owned by Bermondsey Abbey from 1127 to 1538. Edward Alleyn, a successful Shakespearean actor, bought the manor of Dulwich in 1605 and founded the “College of God’s Gift” to provide education for “12 poor scholars” and almshouses for “6 poor brethren and 6 poor sisters.”
Today Dulwich is home to one of the last ‘villages’ in London. Words commonly used to describe Dulwich Village are picturesque, quaint, charming, historic and scenic.
Housing stock is made up of handsome Georgian homes to Victorian and Edwardian family homes, as well as homes from the 1920’s and 1930’s including the chocolate box pretty Roseway cottages. There are also a few post war and modern developments scattered throughout the Village area and wider Dulwich area.
Distinctive aspects of Dulwich Village include the hanging baskets from cast iron posts, traditional fingerpost signposts, white wooden posts, and the Old Graveyard in Dulwich Village.
Dulwich Village benefits from a selection of small independent and boutique shops. Dulwich enjoys close proximity to the centre of the London (approximately 5 miles from Trafalgar Square) yet with the peacefulness and serenity of a leafy Home Counties parish.
West Dulwich is the part of Dulwich to the west of where Dulwich College is situated and has some very attractive residential roads and a small shopping parade at the junction of Park Hall Road and Croxted Road.
The area has always been sought after for its good range of housing stock with some of the largest houses in the area in Alleyn Road and Alleyn Park and smaller (although still quite large in some cases) Edwardian and Victorian houses in many of the surrounding roads.
There is also a very good selection of more modern developments, mainly built by Wates in the 1960’s and 70’s, some just off Alleyn Park, and a large development between Rosendale Road and Croxted Road. Pubs include the Alleyns Head and the Rosendale, and there are more shops on Rosendale Road.
West Dulwich is particularly attractive to families due to the proximity of the schools, the good shopping facilities and the transport links.
The Dulwich Estate
One of the reasons Dulwich has such a unique and distinctive character has a great deal to do with ‘The Dulwich Estate’.
The Dulwich Estate is a registered charity and runs the Scheme of Management which has a great deal of influence and what can and can’t be built in Dulwich.
Dulwich has an unusually high concentration of highly sought-after state and independent schools.
If you’d like to explore, we’ve rounded-up a representative list of the top state and independent schools in and around Dulwich.
Trains to Central London
Dulwich is an oasis of calm in South East London yet is a mere 5 miles from Central London. It’s two railway stations provide good links into Central London, the City, Docklands and beyond.
North Dulwich Railway Station
North Dulwich Rail Station is just outside the Village on Red Post Hill and is served by trains operated by the Southern train network.
It is on the boundary of Travelcard Zone 2 and Travelcard Zone 3. Trains travel from here to London Bridge, and also stop at Peckham Rye for the interchange with the Overground to Canada Water.
North Dulwich station is the nearest station to Dulwich Village, but also serves those living in parts of East Dulwich, and those living in the North Dulwich triangle, which is the area between Herne Hill station and North Dulwich station.
According to TFL, trains times are 18 minutes to London Bridge, and 5 minutes to Peckham Rye station for the interchange with the East London Line for Canada Water. Trains also run direct to West Croydon via Tulse Hill and to Beckenham Junction via Crystal Palace.
West Dulwich Railway Station
West Dulwich Rail Station is east of Croxted Road and opposite Belair Park. It is in Fare Zone 3, and the station and all trains are operated by Southeastern.
The station is 5 miles from London Victoria.
Train times according to TFL are 5 minutes to Brixton tube station for the interchange with the Victoria Line, 12 minutes to London Victoria and 2 minutes to Herne Hill for an interchange with the Thameslink services.
Museums & Galleries
Dulwich Picture Gallery – The world’s first purpose-built public art gallery, and according to The Telegraph, ‘One of Britain’s most beautiful galleries‘
Horniman Museum – ‘An inspiring, surprising, family-friendly‘ museum, galleries & 16 acres of Gardens
Dulwich Festival – Each Spring: music, literary & theatre events, Artists’ Open House, walks and fairs
More About Dulwich
Dulwich Park – A beautiful 76 acre park containing a café, boating lake and numerous sporting facilities.
Dulwich & Sydenham Hill Golf Club – ‘Founded in 1894. The course, designed by the great Harry S Colt, is set among mature oaks on the slopes of Sydenham Hill, overlooking Dulwich College, and enjoys a deserved lofty status among the capital’s golfing elite. The City is just 5 miles away, and the outlook from the 19th bar, and its terrace balcony, offers the most stunning panoramic views across the whole of London.‘
Dulwich OnView – An online magazine ‘Celebrating People & Culture of South London‘
Dulwich Society – Aims ‘to create the sense of community that one would hope to find in a good village, to increase awareness of local history and the character that make Dulwich special, to foster an appreciation of open spaces and trees, to introduce the people who live and work here to each other, and to help them to enjoy the atmosphere and life of Dulwich.‘
Dulwich Community Website – Local business and services listings.