Part of my Making the Most of London series
It’s been dawning on me recently that I’m not so young any more.
It’s not the wrinkles and increasing number of grey hairs that are the biggest giveaway. Nope, it’s the way I choose to spend my spare time that is the real telltale sign.
Not so long ago (okay, quite long ago) (okay, probably a decade ago, in fact) a sunny bank holiday weekend would be the perfect time to sit outside a bar in Brick Lane, music blaring, cider in hand, the afternoon whiled away drinking with friends.
Nowadays, however, I can think of nothing more pleasant than taking a good walk through some beautifully maintained gardens, and boring my poor partner with the Latin names of all the nice plants and some “interesting facts” about their sexual reproductive systems (a sentence I say without even the tiniest smirk at the words “sexual” or “reproductive”…)
Luckily, quite one of the loveliest London park gardens is just at the end of my road and – provided your idea of a fun leisure activity is as middle-aged as mine – I heartily recommend a visit.
Peckham Rye is a large, flat, somewhat uninspiring expanse of green in Southeast London. But tucked away at the southern end is Peckham Rye Park; a series of beautifully planted and faultlessly maintained public gardens.
At its heart – and my favourite spot – is the Sexby Garden. The layout dating back to 1906, this is the secret garden of my dreams: pergolas dripping in wisteria lead to a central fountain, at each corner arbours provide shaded resting places, benches are tucked away in yew hedges, there’s a gentle buzzing as bees hum from plant to plant, the smell of the air takes me back to childhood in my Granny’s garden (it’s the fragrant Daphnes that are so heavenly) and the flower beds are planted in a formal(ish) way with clusters of vibrant tulips…
Most days, I push the pram over the cobbles and daydream that I’m back in Victorian times, about to come across a boy in a wheelchair… (Okay, if you haven’t read The Secret Garden that sentence might sound a bit wrong.)
The rest of the park is perhaps slightly less impressive to me, but still highly pleasing. I’m planning on frequenting the dog-free picnic area in the arboretum many times over the course of the Summer.
The “Japanese garden” looks like the sort of thing that would be described as an “English garden” anywhere else, but the stream through the middle always makes me stop and dawdle, looking for fish.
And the bowling green is as prim and proper as you could wish a bowling green to look.
It’s all looking particularly beautiful at the moment, with all the plants in blossom or close to it. The perfect place to wander and spend a few hours with my co-explorer…
If you’re in the neighbourhood (the SE15 / SE22 borders) then I do recommend popping in…
- If you’d like to see another city in the sun, take a look at my photos of my recent visit to Brighton.
- The UK a little too close by and boring? I’ve got a few from Hong Kong as well…
15 thoughts on “A stroll around Peckham Rye Park”
That photo of the water droplets on the leaves is truly something else.
How lucky for you and your little one to have such a beautiful place to explore so nearby! Lovely pictures. Immaculate bowling greens always make me want to put on some heels and run across them! Luckily I don’t own any!
Ha ha, I know the feeling. I always think I would slam the ball into the ground, as well…
I’m only in SE23 and must make an effort to visit
Oh definitely, it’s a mere stroll up the road!
I got to this post late. Wow, the pics are fabulous, especially the one with the dew drops. What kind of camera do you use?
Thank you so much! I use a Canon EOS 600D, which I really love, though I am hoping, perhaps, to upgrade it soon… My only issue with it is that what you see on the screen isn’t always what you see once you’ve downloaded to the computer, so you can never be quite sure you’ve got the exposure right at the time.
I used to live next to that park!!! I remember there being a good pub there but not so much about the garden?? Mind you I was 18 which may explain that…
Ha! How funny. There are a couple of pubs right on the park: the Clockhouse and the Herne. That’s on my side of it anyway, there might be more on the Nunhead side that I don’t know about…
It’s literally a two min walk from my house, so I’m guessing you were very close to where I live now!
I’ve been to Peckham Rye a couple of times but have never seen Sexby garden. So pretty!
Aah I love this place too! Great photos. I’ve recently realised how much I enjoy taking pictures of plants/flowers and spend a lot of my time in parks doing the same!
Oooh I am going to have check out the Sexby garden – I am a sucker for a secret garden. As long as there is a robin to show the way 😉 Have you been to the garden in Brockwell Park … another lovely one.
Thanks so much for sharing at #ourlondon …
Hehehe. There’s nothing like realising that you are behaving exactly as a woman of *coughsnortchoke* is supposed to. Lovely spot! That Sexby garden does indeed look like just the place for a good daydream. I wonder how easy it is to get to from us…
I had absolutely no idea that Peckham Rye was so beautiful, I know Peckham is uber cool these days, but one mention of the word Peckham and all I can think about is Only Fools and Horses. Oh well, lesson learnt, we’re going to plot a day out to soak up the beauty. Thanks so much for linking up with #OurLondon