Loved by residents and visitors, Lewisham is home to a diverse community, local history and great transport links. Here at Eastlondonlines we have complied a list of the top reasons to love Lewisham.
Whether the exhibitions are shown in galleries, on street walls or inside nightclubs, Lewisham is bursting at the seams with local art. Take a trip to Enclave in Deptford – an experimental artist-run infrastructure that aims to promote contemporary critical art practice, or to Canvas and Cream gallery in Forest Hill – an artist led contemporary art gallery promoting thought provoking art by emerging and mid-career artists. Or if you want to be the first to view the works of the next generation of great artists, then Goldsmiths is the place to visit, with ever – changing exhibitions from students past and present.
You’ll never go hungry in Lewisham with the amount of breakfast/brunch/lunch spots available at your fingertips. If you’re looking for good coffee; Out Of The Brew on New Cross Road is very much recommended, especially when the sun is shining and you can sit in the garden. But if you fancy something a bit greasier – then check out Brockley’s Rock SE4, with take away options ranging from the classic cod and chips to a Thai fishcake or a fillet of sea bass.
Good for quiet strolls, dog walks, an evening jog or a family day at the weekend, Lewisham is home to a vast selection of green spaces and parks, the perfect escapism from the bustle of city living. Whether you choose to walk the dog around the lake at Manor House Park, watch the kids swing from the play area of Honor Oak Adventure Park or enjoy a picnic with a view at Telegraph Hill Park, there’s so much to explore in the South East. In fact, if you’re around on fireworks night you have to check out the immense display in Blackheath, it’s spectacular.
Lewisham is the 15th most ethnically diverse local authority in England, two out of every five residents are from a black and minority ethnic background and this is etched into its history and personality. A recent illustration of this history and its resignation in Lewisham society is through the ’13 dead, nothing said’ exhibition at Goldsmiths. The collection of photographs taken by Vron Ware, document the 1981 Black People’s Day of Action.
On that day, thousands of Londoners gathered to march together in response to the tragic fire on New Cross Road that killed 13 black people but was unacknowledged in the media. The raw emotion that the photographs bring to surface in the borough represents the importance of the Black community in Lewisham.
Lewisham has a great local trade community, with a number of weekly or seasonal markets popping up around the borough. At the top of the list has to be the award winning Brockley Market, supporting local traders and producers and providing everything from artisan cheeses to beautiful flowers, every Saturday from 10am – 2pm. Alternatively, Horniman Farmers Market in Forest Hill is a great place to take the family on a Saturday morning, especially if you fancy a fix of history and culture at the Horniman Museum afterwards. A summer favourite for Lewisham though is the Street Feast Model Market. Ready for its return in April this year, the Model Market is a really cool place to hang out in the warm summer evenings.
While it might seem miles away from the centre due to the absence of an underground connection, the transport links in Lewisham are actually pretty good. The over ground runs all the way through Lewisham and New Cross into the East, connecting you to stations like Canada Water that host the Jubilee Line. Also, the 6-minute National Rail connection from New Cross Gate to London Bridge is not to be sniffed at.
Anabelle Denford, Advertising Assistant at Wired Magazine travels into central London from New Cross every week. Speaking to East London Lines she said: “As a professional in London living in Lewisham, I am able to pay out of central rent prices, yet still commute to work in under 30 minutes.”
You don’t have to walk very far to find a good local pub in Lewisham. The Fat Walrus in New Cross was voted Time Out favourite 2016. With friendly staff, good food, lots of beer and most probably a dog wandering around, how could it get any better? Or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous and fancy a cocktail, take a trip to Buster Mantis in Deptford, placed in between two railway arches, it offers half of its space to serving cocktails with a Jamaican twist and the other half as an exhibition space for local creatives. Talking to East London Lines about its Lewisham location, Gordon from Buster Mantis said: “We’d like to think we represent the brilliant diversity and eccentric personality of modern Deptford at its best. Our clientele is a fitting mix of young art students and old Jamaican men, proving once and for all that everyone loves a bit of rum and Sean Paul on a Saturday night.”
Overall, once you dig a little deeper than its bad reputation, it is clear that Lewisham is a great place to live, and there’s plenty more to see and experience beyond this list – we’ve even mapped some of our favourite Lewisham Locations for you.