Dulwich Village is unique. It retains the feel of an unspoilt English Village thanks to The Dulwich Estate Governors who have protected the area from over development for over 400 years, resulting in a fantastic selection of high quality and well-maintained properties with a feeling of space rarely found in London. This strict control means that new homes are few and far between.
The Village has a 72 acre park at its centre and an excellent selection of private and state schools. It also boasts the oldest art gallery in Britain, The Dulwich Picture Gallery, and a number of great restaurants, shops, cafes and a great delicatessen that add to the village atmosphere.
There are a good selection of family homes; from the magnificent detached houses that run through the village from North Dulwich station to Dulwich College to the wonderful Victorian and Edwardian properties that dominate the village and its immediate surroundings.
A few delightful ‘rose cottages’ can be found discreetly tucked away in the heart as can a number of idyllic 1920’s/30’s houses with their abundance of light and space. Many properties have been renovated and extended to create fabulous contemporary homes.
Additionally, the vibrant East Dulwich and Herne Hill neighbourhoods that border the village are home to an array of independent shops, many organic and artisan, tasteful markets and plethora of restaurants and the elegant West Dulwich boasts a discreet affluence which is typified by the many delightful homes which occupy the area.
With its strong community spirit and greenery, it is hard to believe Dulwich’s proximity to central London
Did You Know
- The tollgate in College Road, Dulwich is the last remaining tollgate in London.
- Bell House in Dulwich Village was designed in 1767 for Thomas Wright, former Lord Mayor of the City of London. A Dulwich College boarding house for nearly 70 years the house was bought through Knight Frank in the summer of 2016 by an educational charity.
- Dulwich and Nunhead libraries were built using donations from the philanthropist and reformer John Passmore Edwards. There are only four such libraries still in use in the London area.
- Children’s writer Enid Blyton was born at number 354 Lordship Lane on 11th August 1897. The building is marketed by a Southwark Blue Plaque.
- Lordship Lane, East Dulwich's oldest street, is home to England’s only surviving ‘Concrete House’.
- The English actor and director Tim Roth was born in Dulwich.
- Former pupils of Dulwich College, Old Alleynians, include the Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, cricketing legend Trevor Bailey and novelist P.G. Wodehouse.
- Herne Hill is home to the Brockwell Lido, a grade II Art Deco style building built in 1937.
- Legend has it that in 1602 Elizabeth I and Sir Richard Bulkeley of Beaumaris picnicked by an oak tree in the Lewisham area. The tree subsequently became known as the Oak of Honor and the origins of the naming of the area Honor Oak Park.
- The Horniman Museum in Forest Hill was built by the architect Charles Harrison Townsend for the philanthropist and Victorian tea trader heir Frederick John Horniman to house his personal collection of natural history specimens and artefacts. The museum was donated to the people of London in 1901.
Architecture and property
Dulwich is host to a broad range of beautiful family homes from the pre-war, Victorian, Edwardian and Tudor eras. At its heart, the picturesque Dulwich Village is laced with wonderful flowerage and architecture and made up of an imposing patchwork of Georgian and Victorian architecture; large (3+ bedroom) family homes, mansion houses and spacious flat conversions line the bucolic, verdant streets.
Mid-century/modern housing is also a feature of Dulwich; which included ‘system build’ Wates houses and a cluster of HUF HAUS’s in the Village itself. The iconic HUF HAUS style fuses innovative architecture with the green landscaped environment which is then combined with the highest quality materials, precision craftsmanship and amenity.
Further to academic excellence, many of Dulwich’s schools are architecturally astounding; a feature matched by the local Dulwich Picture Gallery, churches and private manors. Dulwich College, The College of God’s Gift, is astonishingly beautiful having been the subject of impressionist paintings, and the location for many major Hollywood films. The main building was built by Charles Barry Jr, the son of the architect of the Houses of Parliament and previous Dulwich College architect, in an eclectic mix of Palladian and Gothic styles.
In East Dulwich, Lordship Lane is home to the unusual grade II listed building the ‘Concrete House’ a 19th-century building built by Charles Drake of the Patent Concrete Building Company.
Who lives there
With one of Dulwich’s main attractions being its proximity to some of the most outstanding high-achieving schools in the country, it is not surprising that the area is popular with families.
However there is also a lively crowd of young professionals who are drawn to the area by the relatively low property prices and catered for well by bustling areas such as Lordship Lane and the good transport links. Many families also choose to stay in the area after their children have left the family home so communities are attractive tapestries with a broad spectrum of appeal.
Rocca – great and simple Italian food including pizza’s cooked in stone-based ovens
Romeo Jones – a small café and Italian delicatessen serving premium coffee and delicious homemade cakes alongside a seasonal menu of breakfast and lunchtime favourites
Gail’s – artisanal, homemade breads, pastries and cakes and coffee made from hand-roasted coffee beans
Au Ciel Patisserie & Café - café and tearoom in Dulwich Village specialising in traditional French cakes, pastries and homemade macaroons and chocolates
The Dulwich Hamlet Junior School is the location of a great little Farmers Market on Saturdays.
Franco Manca – trendy sourdough pizzeria
The French House - bar and brasserie specialising in gigantic and flavoursome Alsatian specialities such as tartes flambées, choucroute and baeckeoff
Blue Mountain Café - popular local café renowned for its fresh coffee and hearty menu with distinct Caribbean flavours
Blue Brick Café – a diminutive former Victorian dairy now transformed into a vegetarian bistro
Brick House - sourdough bakery and café
Picturehouse & Café – Café and bar with great brunch menu
The North Cross Road plays host every Saturday to a buzzy, popular market providing gourmet food stalls, antiques, crafts and much more. During the summer months the market has an intoxicating atmosphere reminiscent of Portobello market, encapsulating East Dulwich’s propensity toward organic and independent food shops.
Rosendale Pub – pub with beer garden serving simple, seasonal and sustainable food
Gatronomia - a charming delicatessen selling a wonderful range of Italian foodstuffs
The Dulwich Picture Gallery is the world’s first purpose built public art gallery, founded in 1811 when Sir Francis Bourgeois RA bestowed his collection of old masters paintings to the picture gallery for public viewing. Contained within a truly impressive piece of architecture designed by Sir John Soane and located amongst charming surroundings the picture gallery has been called ‘The most beautiful small art gallery in the world’.
Belair house is an estate dating back to 1726, which today stands as a grand private manor located amongst the greenery of Dulwich’s Belair Park. Exhibiting a great selection of culinary delights coupled with a first-grade bar serving exquisite cocktails for enjoying out on the manor’s lawn until late in the evening.
Sports & Leisure
Avid golfers, cyclists, tennis players and swimmers will feel most at home in Dulwich owing to its great facilities including the Dulwich and Sydenham Golf Club, JAGS and Dulwich College sports clubs and the Paragon cycling club. The Herne Hill Velodrome was originally used for cycling events in the Olympics of 1948 and was recently saved for future refurbishment and extension.
Parks & Green Spaces
Dulwich Park is a beautiful and expansive 72 acre park with plentiful facilities including a boating lake, café, bowling green and tennis courts.
The Horniman Museum and Gardens boasts 16 acres of gardens with stunning views and an excellent natural history collection. With copious exhibits, displays and events, both the garden and the museum are an ever popular destination for residents and visitors alike.
Brockwell Park is a hugely popular 50 acre park located just off the North Dulwich Triangle and is home to the Brockwell Lido.
Underground (London only):
Dulwich is served by five local railway stations; North Dulwich, West Dulwich, East Dulwich, Sydenham Hill and Herne Hill – all less than approximately 15 minutes away from central London stations. North Dulwich and East Dulwich stations provide access to London Bridge and Herne Hill, West Dulwich and Sydenham Hill stations provide access to London Victoria.
The 37 provides a direct route from Peckham to Putney, via East Dulwich and Dulwich Village. The P4 provides a direct route from Lewisham to Brixton, with its access to the Victoria tube lines, via Honor Oak Park and Dulwich Village. The 12 provides a direct route to Westminster/Oxford Circus from the edge of Dulwich Village/East Dulwich via Peckham.
Dulwich is on the South Circular Road, A205, allowing easy access to Wandsworth, Clapham and the Woolwich Ferry. Herne Hill, A215, provides direct access to Denmark Hill and to the north.
Dulwich is home to some of the most outstanding high-achieving schools in the country; all exceptional in reputation. Dulwich College, James Alleyn’s Girl’s School, Dulwich Prep and Alleyn’s are located in the immediate vicinity and Dulwich Village Infant’s School, The Hamlet and Charter School are highly sought after state schools. A member of the prestigious Eton Group, Dulwich College is perhaps one of the most successful independent public schools in the country.