Unexpected South London green spaces & Views
Streatham to East Dulwich
Short walk Rookery to Sydenham Hill Station – 3 miles
Medium walk Rookery to Horniman Gardens – 4 miles
Full walk Rookery to East Dulwich Station – 8.1 miles
The Rookery l Kingswood House l Dulwich Woods l Green Chain Walk l Horniman Gardens l Nunhead Cemeteries l Views of London & North Downs
The Rookery, Streatham
A fascinating, hilly walk from Streatham meandering through leafy parks and the cemeteries of South East London with amazing views across the capital and the North Downs. It takes in nine open spaces including the popular Dulwich Woods, Horniman Museum Gardens (don’t miss the animal section) and the gothic Nunhead Cemetery, one of the so called “Magnificent Seven” London cemeteries.
You will also see the Grade II listed Kingswood House, former home to “Mr Bovril” and pass “The House of Dreams”, an eclectic personal art museum and artist’s home.
The route starts at Streatham Rookery Café at the top of Streatham Common. The path follows the wide track and ascends to the top of Beulah Hill and then heads steeply down along roads and into Norwood Park. After passing through Gipsy Hill, you enter the Kingswood Estate and descend on steps down to Sydenham Hill Station with more steps and up over the platforms to exit via the footbridge. From here, the route isn’t suitable for pushchairs as Sydenham Hill and Dulwich Woods can be very muddy underfoot in winter.
Please note: There is diversion route in place here to leave the woods, as Cox’s Walk footbridge is currently closed.
After this, the route is a mixture of quiet roads and open spaces including Horniman Gardens and Nunhead Cemetery before finishing at East Dulwich train station.
WHY NOT TRY
This walk can be split into three sections.
Short walk Rookery to Sydenham Hill Station 3 miles / 4.8km
Medium walk Rookery to Horniman Gardens 4 miles / 6.4km
Full walk Rookery to East Dulwich Station 8.1 miles / 13km
Green chain walk
Stretching from the River Thames to Nunhead Cemetery, the Green Chain Walk spans fields, parks and woodlands across 50 miles (82km), split into 11 sections. It’s possible to walk to Eltham Palace, Severndroog Castle, the Thames Barrier and more. Our route follows the Green Chain Walk for 3 miles from Sydenham Hill Woods to Nunhead Cemetery.
Streatham Station Thameslink & Southern Trains. The station is 15-20 minutes walk from the Rookery Café at the top of Streatham Common.
Please note Streatham has three stations so don’t confuse it with Streatham Hill or Streatham Common Stations.
Many! There are public toilets at the Rookery Café, Norwood Park, Sydenham Hill Station, Horniman Gardens , Old Camberwell Cemetery and Peckham Rye Park.
ALONG THE WAY
54 Kingswood Rd, London SE20 7BN
The house was built in 1811 by William Vizard, a well-connected solicitor. The house was extended in the 1890s by John Lawson Johnston, the inventor of Bovril. He became known as Mr Bovril and because of its castellated features Kingswood was known locally as Bovril Castle. It is now owned by the local council for community use.
Horniman Museum & Gardens
100 London Rd, London SE23 3PQ
Grade II listed museum and gardens which opened to the public in 1901 and were designed by Charles Harrison Townsend. The museum has displays of anthropology, natural history and musical instruments, and is known for its large collection of taxidermied animals. The Horniman was awarded Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022.
Linden Grove, London SE15 3LP
Nunhead Cemetery is one of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries established in a ring around the outskirts of London It is perhaps the least known but arguably the most attractive of them all. The formal avenue of towering limes and gothic gloom of the original Victorian planting gives way to paths which recall the country lanes of a former age.
FOOD AND DRINK
The Rookery Café
Streatham Common South, London, SW16 3BZ
Small café with tasty all-day brunches, warming drinks, kids’ meals and plenty of cake. Takeaway or eat in.
Loads of choice for cafés, restaurants and pubs along Gipsy Road and Gipsy Hill.
Peckham Rye Park
Café with coffee, locally sourced food and handmade bakery items. There is a wide range of vegan and vegetarian dishes & an authentic pizza oven.
Large choice of restaurants, cafés and bars along Lordship Lane.
East Dulwich Tavern.
1 Lordship Ln, London SE22 8EW
A large popular pub know as EDT by locals. Wide spanning beer selection, delicious comfort food, and a welcoming atmosphere.
The White House, Norwood Grove
Old Camberwell Cemetery
Streatham green spaces loop
Rookery cafe loop – 4.3 miles
The Rookery l White House & Norwood Grove l Biggin Woods l Spa Woods l Streatham Common l
An easy loop walk through some well and lesser known highlights of Streatham covering the Rookery, Norwood Grove, Biggin Woods and some more tucked away green spaces. Paths are mainly paved or tarmac and easy to follow. Norwood Grove and Streatham woods can be muddy in winter.