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8 places to check out around Gardens and Portland House

By UALHalls 02 Apr 2023

Hi! I'm Aliya and I’ve been living at Gardens House for 6 months and have explored my surroundings a lot in the past couple months.

I’ve grown to love this area and the variety of experiences it has to offer. Here are some of my favourite ways of filling my days with productivity and happy hormones, while surviving college life!

1. Treat yourself to great food 🍕

During the time I’ve lived at Gardens House, I’ve realised there’s more than plenty of great food options within a 1-mile radius.

Right outside of Gardens House, there’s Culture Lebanese Cuisine, a cozy restaurant to have great fresh kebabs and shawarmas.

Well Mix Oriental is a 5-minute walk and has great affordable food options as well - you should try the salt and chilli chicken popcorn!

Theo’s pizzeria, 5 minutes away, is famous in London for their stone baked pizza. There are tons of other meal options on the entire street leading to Camberwell Green, including KFC, Morley’s, Mcdonalds’s, Shawarma Joints, Enish, and so much more!

2. Get a workout in 🧘‍♀️

There are a couple gyms around Gardens House. My favourite one is EasyGym near Camberwell Green, a 10-minute walk away!

There’s also a newly opened boxing club, Bronx LDN which is just a 5-minute walk away. They have great classes throughout the week to participate in your leisure time!

There are cycle docks nearby to find rental cycles easily. On a sunny day, my favourite past time is to walk up the hilly road opposite Gardens House and enjoy the beautiful views of Denmark Hill.

3. Thrifting 👗👢

Although there are stores like Primark very close by, you may want to switch it up.

10 minutes away you can visit charity stores like Traid in Peckham, Royal Trinity Hospice and Crisis in Camberwell. You will find great fashionable pieces, home decor, and books!

4. Relax and study in a cafe! ☕️

I love studying in the Camberwell College cafeteria, but some days you just need a change of environment.

I enjoy working or relaxing in Maloko, a very hip restaurant and cafe. They also serve great fresh smoothies which!

You can also visit the Lumberjack Cafe, get a loaf cake and work in the pretty wooden basement area.

Toad bakery is right opposite Gardens House and you may find people lined up in the morning to grab some of their freshly baked items. Grabbing a cookie and reading a book seated outside Toad bakery before college is always a great idea.

5. Get Groceries 🍊

There are plenty of options to get affordable grocery items to help you survive in college.

Sainsbury’s is right next to Gardens house and it’s quite convenient since it’s open every day until 11 pm.

You also have Lidl, Morrisons, and Poundland in the Aylesham Shopping Centre, a 10-minute walk, as well as in the Camberwell Shopping Centre, which is a 15-minute walk away.

Both of these shopping centres also have Boots, Holland and Barrett, and Superdrug.

There are also local and international stores that sell pantry and fresh items of all cuisines, on both of the streets leading to these centers. There is also a great Asian supermarket 10 minutes away, near Peckham.

6. Visit the South London Gallery and Café 🎨

If you’re looking for inspiration and want to go to an art gallery, you can visit the South London Galleryright next to Gardens House. They have different artist’s work exhibiting throughout the year and also sell exclusive work made by these artists.

Enjoy your time in their outdoor seating and at the South London Louie Cafe inside the gallery.

7. Pubs 🍻

It’s easy to experience the proper British nightlife by grabbing beers in one of the local pubs like Hermits Cave, Stormbird, or The Tiger, all within a 10 to 15 minutes' walk away.

Or my favourite, the Fox on the Hill, an old, beautifully lit and large Wetherspoons with great outdoor seating, a 10-minute bus ride away.

8. Go to a park 🏞

A great way to unwind in London is to visit one of its pretty parks.

Lucas Gardens is 2-minute walk from Gardens House and the St Giles churchyard is a beautiful place to spend time around dogs and squirrels.

Burgess Park, a 20-minute walk away, is extremely lively, has a skating area, a lake, tiny hills and a very happening environment. It’s the perfect scenic route to take on a long walk. And you can also go fishing! 🎣

If you are thinking about applying to Gardens House or Portland House, or any of our halls and would like more information about the local areas, please contact our team.

You can call us on +44 (0)20 7514 6240 or email us at