Southwark was one of the earliest extensions of settlement in London beyond the walls of the Square Mile and across the river, beginning back in the Roman period and is traditionally referred to as "the Borough" in order to distinguish it from the "Square Mile" of the City. The eastern part of the district, downstream of Tower Bridge, is generally referred to (and marketed heavily) as "the Pool of London", referring to the old docks and wharves of the area that have been reconverted into housing and retail areas. The western riverside portions of the borough of Southwark are covered in the South Bank district.
The Crystal Palace was a huge steel and glass building designed by Joseph Paxton to house the Great Exhibition, Prince Albert's brainchild for bigging up the British Empire to the rest of the world. It was erected in Hyde Park and closed in 1851. Parliament closely voted not to retain it as a permament feature in Hyde Park and it was later transported to the top of Sydenham Hill. The surrounding area, still known to many locals as Upper Norwood, is now known as Crystal Palace. The palace itself burned down in 1936 in still unexplained circumstances.
Dulwich has a number of recognised sub-districts, which include North Dulwich, bordering Herne Hill, Dulwich Village, which includes the traditional village centre, and is the home to the Dulwich Picture Gallery as well as James Allen's Girls' School, Dulwich College and Dulwich Park and East Dulwich which bounds Peckham and has a number of independent shops, restaurants and bars along Lordship Lane.
Lewisham is a largely residential borough of south inner London and includes some of the most run-down areas in the whole city. Alas, it contains the historic, more gentrified Blackheath, burial site of London's plague victims, now ideal for flying a kite. Catford is a major transport hub and shopping district.
Much of South London is poorly served by the tube network and this district is no exception away from the banks of the Thames. This makes use of overground rail services and the bus network especially important.
London Bridge is a main terminus for many south east suburban line rail services.
Crystal Palace is served by overland trains from two major London stations, Victoria and London Bridge. Direct trains also go south to West Croydon and Beckenham Junction. The tramline linking Beckenham Junction and Croydon is planned to be extended to Crystal Palace as a future development. If they happen then look forward to significant timelines into the 2010s.
North Dulwich and East Dulwich are both on the line from London Bridge to West Croydon.
West Dulwich is on the line from London Victoria to Orpington.
Lewisham is accessible via an overland train from London Bridge (10 mins) to New Cross, New Cross gate, Deptford, St Johns, Lewisham, Ladywell, Lee, Blackheath and Hither Green stations and by Docklands Light railway (DLR) from Bank and Docklands to Lewisham station (approx 25 minutes from Bank, 15 minutes from Canary Wharf).
Crystal Palace is well served by many bus routes and is served by a main bus station. For those who like to party late into the night in Central London the night buses N2, N3, N63 and N137 all run to Crystal Palace. N171, N136 and N47 all run through Catford.
Many bus routes go through Camberwell; as such, it can be a sensible place to aim for if you can't get a direct bus to where you're heading.
Crystal Palace Park, (Crystal Palace Pk rail station is adjacent to the park), . While the original Crystal Palace is no longer there, the 200 acre park is a lasting reminder of the grandeur of the scheme. There is a wide range of things to see and do, including a hedge maze, a sports centre with Olympic-sized pool, a boating lake, fishing, an athletics stadium and an open air concert bowl by a lake among other things. The park is a great place for a walk and also for cycling around. A significant attraction within the park is the Dinosaur Park. Large Victorian concrete and cast iron dinosaurs are scattered around widely. The dinosaurs, built by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins in the early 1850s to meet the emerging passion of wealthy Victorians for fossils and paleontology, were then unique. After falling into a state of disrepair in the 1980s and 1990s they were splendidly renovated using a Lottery grant in the early 2000s. The dinosaurs were designed by the Victorians on their idea of what one would look likeedit
Riverside developments. Developments of Shad Thames and Surrey Quays which contains numerous London Dock artifacts. Bermondsey St has undergone extensive redevelopment in the last seven years and it has been transformed into a highly desirable place to live and work.edit
St. Paul's Church, Deptford High St, SE8, ☎ +44 20 8692 7449 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Built in 1720, it has been called A remarkable example of English Italianate Baroque. Located a short walk from Deptford train station, which opened in 1836, and is reputedly the oldest railway station in London, and the oldest suburban station in the world to survive on its existing site.edit
Sydenham Hill Wood, Sydenham Hill, SE26 6ND (Forest Hill rail stn), (email@example.com), . A remnant of the great hornbeam and oak woodland that once traversed South London. Run as a reserve by the London Wildlife Trust. Some splendid old trees and healthy bird and insect populations.edit
Southwark Park, Gomm Rd, SE16 (tube: Rotherhithe), . A large, open and green park in an otherwise densely built part of London. Wide range of sporting facilities, a cafe, boating lake and an art gallery. edit
Rotherhithe's Nordic Churches, once an important place for Scandanivian dockers, the only trace of this legacy left is the Norwegian, Finnish (next to each other) and Swedish Churches. While not having regular services, you can go for traditional saunas at these churches.
Brunel Museum, Railway Ave, Rotherhithe, SE16 4LF (DLR station: Canada Water), ☎ +44 20 7231 3840 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 10:00-17:00 daily. A museum dedicated to the works of the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel including a major exhibition about the founding of the London tube system. Also a fine collection of Victorian industrial paintings on show.Free. edit
The Horniman Museum, 100 London Rd, Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ, ☎ +44 20 8699 1872, . 10:30-17:30 daily. Is a fine museum with an aquarium, collection of stuffed animals, wonderful collection of world musical instruments, with interactive information. A real hidden gem for those with an interest in the anthropology of African and Asian cultures. Pleasure gardens, are adjacent to the Museum, perfect for a picnic on a fine day.Free. edit
Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Rd, Dulwich Village, ☎ +44 20 8693 5254 (fax: +44 20 8299 8700), . Tu-F 10:00-17:00, Sa Su and bank holiday M's 11:00-17:00, closed M except bank holidays, Good Friday, 1 Jan and 24-26 Dec. One of London's lesser known treasures showcasing a magnificent collection of old masters, including works by Poussin, Claude, Rubens, Murillo, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Watteau, Gainsborough and many others. Originally assembled for the King of Poland in the 1790s, an alternative home was found for the collection of artworks in the "clean air of Dulwich" after the kingdom of Poland's partition and temporary disappearance as an independent state. The Gallery was designed by Sir John Soane and opened in 1817. A new extension recently completed by Rick Mather adds additional space to the compact gallery. DPG received the Museums and Heritage Award for Excellence in 2005 and was Winner of the Independent Award for Britain's Favourite Visitor Attraction. It also worth exploring the lush grounds of Dulwich College or Dulwich Park, both a scenic stroll away.£4, senior citizens £3, unemployed, disabled, students and children free, additional charge for special exhibitions. edit
Fashion and Textiles Museum, situated in the vicinity of Bermondsey Spa Gardens, is an intriguing museum with those for a passion for fashion.
Imperial War Museum, located in the former Bethelehem Mental Hospital (and the origin of the word Bedlam) in Southwark. Contains a vast array of military exhibitions including an eagle statue from Hitler's desk and replica-shell of Fat Boy, dropped on Nagasaki to end WW2.  Free entry.
Design Museum at Shad Thames, Southwark, SE1 2YD. 10:00-17:45 daily (last admission 17:15) (except 25-26 Dec). A must for anyone with an interest in modern and contemporary design. The permanent exhibition follows the change in British homes from the early 20th century until present day, which is constantly updated to include new design classics. There are temporary exhibits which run for 3-4 months. Recent exhibits have included Saul Bass, Peter Saville and Archigram. The museum also runs Designer of the Year which awards a prize to a person or organisation that has produced an impressive piece of design (past winner was Jonathan Ive, who designed the iMac and iPod). There is a small shop that has plenty of art and design books as well as designer goods to take home with you. £7, student or concession £4.
The Cumming Museum (Newington Library), 151 Walworth Rd, . Tue-Sat 10-5. The first gallery tells the story of the Cuming family and their collection the second gallery focuses on the history of Southwark and is split into three areas, settling here, a place to visit and world connections - the Southwark gallery looks at the people who have lived and worked here from Roman times to today the third gallery in the museum is the temporary exhibition gallery - our exhibitions change every four to six months.free. edit
Rangers House at Blackheath, maintains a large ceramic collection.
The Shard, 93 Tooley Street (immediately adjacent to London Bridge tube and railway station), . The Shard - London and Western Europe's tallest building. Opened in the Spring of 2013, the 72-storey pyramid shaped skyscraper has already become one of London's iconic landmarks. The public observatory known as The View from the Shard, located on the top floors is more than twice the height of the nearby London Eye and offers stunning views of the city and features a semi-outdoor promenade. The ticket prices have attracted some controversy (they are almost double the admission to the Empire State Building in New York, or the Eiffel Tower in Paris, for example) , but money can be saved by booking in advance online.Adults £25, children £18. edit
Dulwich Festival, . Local arts festival held annually in May.edit
Carnaval del Peublo, the less-famous sister of the Notting Hill Carnival, located in Burgess Park, it is the largest Latin American out-door festival in Europe.
Lewisham People's Day - Diverse summer festival hosted in Mountsfield Park, Catford, which attracts large crowds, though often some of the wrong kind. 
Telegraph Hill Festival, which runs throughout the Telegraph Hill ward from 15 March to 1 April.
Blackheath Heath Fireworks Display, every Guy Fawkes night (5 Nov) the Lewisham council put on a spectacular free fireworks display. In the past few years, crowds of over 100,000 have amassed so stake a good spot earlier. There is also a funfair and circus on the Heath.
Sands Film Studios, 82 Saint Marychurch St, Rotherhithe, SE16 4HZ, ☎ +44 20 7231 2209, . This film production company runs an informal cinema club which shows seldom seen and rare films. The club aims to disseminate a better knowledge of the history of world cinema. Club screenings are usually at 9PM every Tuesday. Attendance is free but you do need to join the club (also free and easily done by email - check the website).edit
St. Paul's, Deptford, one of the finest Baroque churches in the country, built in the 18th Century and often has classical concerts and organ recitals. John Betjeman is attributed as referring to the church as "a pearl at the heart of Deptford". Adjacent to the beautiful (and quite eerie at night) church yard is Albury Street, which contains some fine 18th century houses which were popular with sea captains and shipbuilders. Christopher Marlowe, (a contemporary of Shakespeare) was murdered in a nearby house, and buried in an unmarked grave in the churchyard of St. Nicholas, the ancient parish church. http://www.stpaulssinfonia.com/
Tsar Peter the Great Monument, which is located at the waterfront adjacent to Deptford Creek and paid for by the Russian government to commemorate the cultural exchange between two great seafaring nations (it could be argued that Deptford Docks inspired the birth of the Russian navy). The writer and gardener, John Evelyn (1620–1706) who lived at Sayes Court, (now unfortunately run-down and neglected) hosted the young, rowdy Peter the I (1672–1725) as a guest for about three months in 1698; during his naval apprenticeship on his great tour of Western Europe. Interestingly, Sir Francis Drake was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I aboard the Golden Hind in Deptford Docks too.
Camberwell is home to several art galleries including Camberwell College of Arts, the South London Gallery and numerous smaller commercial art spaces. The annual Camberwell Arts Festival is well supported. Jazz in the Crypt, for the discerning jazz crowd, is located below St. Giles Church, on Camberwell High St, and has seriously good acts each Friday night.  The Blue Elephant Theatre on Bethwin Road is the only theatre venue in Camberwell. 
The Broadway Theatre, Catford, hosts pantomime, stand-up comedy, serious dramas and off-West End musicals, often for a bargain price compared to what you would pay in Theatreland. It has a rather ornate art-deco facade and interior.  Likewise there is The Albany at Deptford, as well as the Brockley Jack which has an intimate theatre, seating only about 50 at the back of a rather nice same-named pub in Brockley. 
Beckenham Place Park, large picturesque park, were you can also play golf. Kent CCC are known to play Twenty20 matches here in Summer. Beckenham also has a nice weekend market.
Catch a match at Millwall or Crystal Palace F.C. These two rival teams have been somewhat yo-yo's of recent seasons, yet enjoy zealot-like support from fans in the rougher-parts of London, particular Millwall who have become infamously portrayed in several hooligan films. It should be fairly easy to purchase tickets for both The New Den and Selhurst Park respectively, though you'll want to sit in the home end, to be on the safe side. Near to Selhurst Park, is the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, which boasts an international athletics arena (which hosted some of the earliest FA Cup finals) and Olympic swimming pool. It is possible to watch the London Towers basketball team and London Olympians American football club too.
Bermondsey Antiques Market (New Caledonian Market), Bermondsey Sq (at junction of Bermondsey St/Long Ln, tube: London Bridge), . F 05:00-14:00. A very famous long-standing market wih attracts dealers from all over southern England every Friday morning. Antiques and collectibles from almost every imaginable genre. Used to be infamous for fencing stolen goods but that is no longer the case.edit
Deptford Market, Deptford High St, SE8 4AG. The old working-class area of Deptford still has a lively street market on Saturdays and Wednesdays. This is a real street market, it is neither trendy or touristy! Likewise, East Street Market in Walworth, which has a real mix of African-Carribean food stalls and antiques and oddities dealers. The birthplace of Charlie Chaplin is here, with several landmarks named after him.edit
Peter Layton and Associates (London Glass Blowing Gallery), 7 The Leathermarket, Weston St, SE1 (tube: London Bridge), ☎ +44 20 7403 2800, . A gallery, studio and shop which showcases contemporary glass pieces.edit
Lewisham Shopping Mall Tons of High Street chains and a fruit market outside too, plus H&M, M&S. TK Maxx and BHS department stores.
The area is home to two historic desserts, a particular kind of light lemony bread pudding called the Deptford Pudding. Similarly Crystal Palace, another area gives us the spectacular, fruity, layered jelly that is Crystal Palace Pudding. See if you can track them down!
Cafe East, 100 Redriff Rd, Surrey Quays, SE16 7LH (at the Surrey Quays shopping Centre). Wonderful Vietnamese food and if you like spicy authentic oriental food, this place is an amazing value.edit
The Sausage Man, worth it for the name alone! This is a friendly mobile German deli, under Lewisham Clock Tower, serving the best frankfurters and bratwurst this side of Cologne. 
Island Fusion, 57B Westow Hill, Crystal Palace, SE19 1TS, ☎ +44 20 8761 5544, . Caribbean food.edit
There is several large Turkish food/grocery stores in the district, which are open 24/7 and sell a whole range of (Net ar eastern) products including very good daily baked rolls and cakes. TFC along Bromley Road, and Turkish Food Express near the stations in Catford are great value as is its sister branch, TFC on Lewisham High St.
Vietnamese There are several authentic resturants in (V-Town) Deptford such as Le Gia (41-42 Broadway) or Dat Cang (236-238 Evelyn Street) and Cafe Mama Pho 
Los Toreros Tapas Bar, 35 Westow St, Crystal Palace, SE19 3RW, ☎ +44 20 8771 0087. Tapas and a wide selection of other Mediterranean food.edit
Catford Bridge Tavern is an up-market gastropub conveniantly located next to the Catford stations. Has a classy selection of gourmet food.
Pizza Express, 94 The Village (Dulwich), ☎ +44 20 8693 9333. Local branch of the popular up-market pizza chain.edit
The Yellow House, 126 Lower Rd, SE16 2UE (tube: Surrey Quays), ☎ +44 20 7231 8777 (email@example.com), . Informal Restaurant and bar serving modern pub type food and a range of wood-fired pizzas.edit
Maggies Cafe, Lewisham Hight St, SE13 7PA (tube: Lewisham DLR), ☎ +4420 8244 0339 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Down below platform 4 of Lewisham train station, is a charming Irish cafe, extremely popular with the locals, which can make it hard to get a table come lunch-time. A mixed clientele of City commuters and construction workers frequent this institution. They serve an all-day 'Make-your-own' fry-up for £6, where you can order what and as much as you like off a set-menu. Besides the traditional 'heart attack on the plate', they do pies, pastas, steaks and salads, as well as curiously good curries, owing to the fact that the eponymous Maggy being married to a Bangladesh chef. Good banter is delivered with free refills of tea and coffee. Make you sure you ask for the Specials and also try the infamous Irish Musturd.edit
Ichiban Sapparo - Catford Broadway, 1-min walk from Catford Bridge station, behind the Town Hall. A very good and bargain-priced (by London standards) Japanese resturant. On Monday-Thursday evenings (6-10pm) they serve £12 order all-you-can eat sushi and noodle dishes, which is freshly made by the experienced chefs.
Tai Won Mein noodle houses, Rushey Green, SE6 (Near Catford Bridge). Offers fantastic Chinese cuisine , well, large portions at least, at a budget price. They only take cash.edit
Pasha Kyrgyz Kazakh Restaurant at Hotel Pasha (see 'Sleep' section) in Camberwell. A sumptious interior complete with running stream, resplendid carpets and lounge area, with great food to match. The varied menu is authentic Central Asian-Turkic dishes, such as kebabs with also rather more unusual suprises. Reasonably priced dishes with large portions. On the weekend, there is live entertainment provided such as a sword-swallowers, traditional band and/or bellydancers. The hotel furthermore offers massages and a hammas (Turkish bath). http://www.hotelpasha.com/#
A2 Nigerian Resturant - interesting if you want to try something different. There is a few other African joints to try in the Catford area, such as Planet 68 on the other side of Rushey Green.
Mekan -next to the old Catford cinema, at the Gyratory. It is an excellent Turkish resturant, with a relaxed dining experience. Big generous portions.
Ministry of Sound, Gaunt St, . World famous nightclub with a reputation for strong DJ's. Re-opening spring 2012.edit
Old Salt Quay, 163 Rotherhithe St, SE16 5QU, ☎ +44 20 7394 7108. River-side pub with great views across the Thames. edit
The White Hart, 96 Church Rd (Cnr of Church Rd and Westow St), ☎ +44 20 8768 1001. M-Th noon-23:00, F Sa noon-midnight, Su noon-22:30. Really great pub with great mix of seating, specialist nights, interesting beers, great modern British pub food, and a nice outdoor area. Different nights including live music, quiz nights. Mixed crowd. Relaxed weekend day times, can get busy in the evenings. Decor is a mix of traditional, industrial/modern and quirky/shabby chic. Friendly staff.(533500,170457)edit
Bizonia - A gay communist/east-German-themed underground bar.
The Venue, at New Cross, is a night-club popular with the artsy crowd of nearby Goldsmiths University. It boasts 5-floors with a range of music from indie to techno, and houses famous cover-bands such as Bjorn Again, although it can be chavvy and is known to kick-off quite regularly. Lots of bohemian pubs are closeby where up-and-coming bands (Athelete, Bloc Party and Art Brut all started around here) and DJ's ply their trade, such as The New Cross Inn, The Hobgoblin and Amersham Arms. Also, try the Goldsmiths Union, for cheap student parties.
The Royal Oak at the corner of Tabard/Nebraska Sts, just 2-min walk from Borough tube station, serves excellent Harvey's beer as well as delicious food. Classy selection of traditional British pub-grub along with more exotic choices, such as swordfish or crocodile. Has routinely been voted CAMRA London Pub of the Year.
The Dog & Bell at 116 Prince St, Deptford SE8 3JD, is a quiet old-time boozer, with a fine selection of ales (usually 3 handpumps) and above-average meals. Features a billard table and sometimes morris-dancing. There is a quiz on Sundays, and a performing arts venue across the street, in a converted brick warehouse.
The Fox & Firkin in Ladywell, is a buzzing joint with the 20-something crowd, and has late opening times, as well as film nights and great live music. The Ravensbourne Arms across the road, is less-established but in a similar vein. A stone's throw away, is the Jolly Farmer which has a lot more beardy, grey-haired clientele, and hosts regular folk jam sessions and decent pints.
For a truly authentic Irish pub, try the Blythe Hill Tavern in Catford, where you'll be made to feel like a local, with warm service. Also, has good diddly-dee music if that's your thing. The Catford Bridge Tavern is a newly-refurbished up-market gastropub conveniantly located next to the stations, with 5 handpumps serving ales. The London & Rye is a cheap and cheerful Wetherspoons on Rushey Green named after a long-gone coaching inn, with a mixed crowd. The Goose on the Green, near the old village pump, is the oldest establishment in the area, and was a reputed drinking hole for Karl Marx, it is wonder if he would approve of today's working-class bunch who frequent it. If you fancy a quiet pint, the Catford Ram at the back of the Mews shopping precinct, serves yummy Youngs ale. There is also a few clubs such as Motown, The Spot and Riva.
Hotel Pasha, A rather unique place fronting Camberwell High St. It includes a central Asian restaurant, spa treatment and a shisha balacony, with views over the diverse neighbourhood below. http://www.hotelpasha.com/#
Southwark makes a good starting point for explorations further along the river Thames, whether upstream or downstream. Upstream (to the west) leads to the vibrant and artsy South Bank district.
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