Southwark Area Guide (Based on Actual 2023 Data)

Southwark Area Guide (Based on Actual 2023 Data)

Southwark is a borough in south-east London, located just south of the River Thames. It includes a diverse range of areas, including Dulwich, Camberwell, Peckham and Bermondsey. Known for its famous landmarks such as Tower Bridge and the Tate Modern, Southwark offers a vibrant cultural scene, a lively food and drink scene, and numerous transport links to central London. This guide will provide you with all the information you need, whether you’re living, visiting or investing in Southwark. It includes the latest data from official government sources.

What’s it like to live in Southwark?

Living in the borough of Southwark can be a diverse experience, with its different areas having a range of amenities and attractions for residents.

Southwark is home to some of London’s most famous landmarks and cultural attractions. For example, the borough includes the iconic Tower Bridge, the Tate Modern and the Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. There are also numerous parks and green spaces throughout the borough, such as Burgess Park and Peckham Rye. In addition, Southwark is known for its lively food and drink scene, with Borough Market, Bermondsey Street, the Bermondsey Beer Mile, Maltby Street Market, Deal Porter Square Market and North Cross Road Market just a few of the destinations for food and drink.

Southwark can be an expensive place to live, particularly in areas like Dulwich and the developments close to the River Thames. However, there are also more affordable areas, such as Peckham and Camberwell, where it is possible to find properties at a lower price point.

Southwark benefits from underground, overground and rail stations throughout the borough. Key stations include London Bridge, Bermondsey, and Elephant and Castle, while areas in the south of the borough are generally served by overground and National Rail services. There are also a number of bus routes serving the borough, as well as cycle routes and bike-sharing schemes.

Southwark has a wide range of schools catering to children of all ages and abilities, including state-funded primary and secondary schools, academies, and independent schools. Some of the most highly-regarded schools in the borough include Harris Academy Bermondsey, St. Saviour’s and St. Olave’s Church of England School, and Dulwich College.

This guide provides an overview of important statistics about the borough and how it compares to other boroughs in London.

How much does it cost to buy a house in Southwark?

Properties in Southwark on average cost £558,387.33, ranking the borough as the 20 most affordable borough in London, according to data from HM Land Registry

Some of the most expensive areas of Southwark for buying a house include Dulwich Village, East Dulwich, and the riverside developments around London Bridge and Tower Bridge. On the other hand, there are also more affordable areas where it is possible to find properties at a lower price point. Some examples of these areas include Peckham, Camberwell, and Walworth.

How much does it cost to rent in Southwark?

According to data from the ONS:

  • A studio costs on average £1,130 per month to rent which ranks 26 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A one bedroom property costs on average £1,402 per month to rent which ranks 23 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A two bedroom property costs on average £1,792 per month to rent which ranks 26 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A three bedroom property costs on average £2,249 per month to rent which ranks 23 as the most affordable borough in London
  • A four or more bedroom property costs on average £3,285 per month to rent which ranks 26 as the most affordable borough in London

How many people live in Southwark?

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Housing, it has 139000 in total, ranking 6 of London boroughs by number of dwellings.

According to data from the ONS:

  • 11.5% of households are owned outright
  • 26.7% of households are being bought with a mortgage
  • 33.6% of households are rented from the local authority of housing association
  • 33.6% of households are privately rented

Is Southwark a good place to live?

Although determining whether an area is a good place to live is subjective, we can use data on personal wellbeing collected by the ONS through the Annual Population Survey as an indicator to compare boroughs:

  • Southwark ranks 30 of 32 boroughs in terms of life satisfaction (i.e. ‘how satisfied are you with your life?’)
  • Southwark ranks 31 of 32 boroughs in terms of ‘worthwhile’ (i.e. ‘to what extent do you feel things you do in your life are worthwhile?’)
  • Southwark ranks 30 of 32 boroughs in terms of happiness (i.e. ‘how happy did you feel yesterday?’)
  • Southwark ranks 30 of 32 boroughs in terms of anxiousness (i.e. ‘how anxious did you feel yesterday?’)

What schools are there in Southwark and are they good?

In total Southwark has 120 schools, which are broken down into:

  • 74 state primary schools
  • 19 state secondary schools
  • 12 independent schools

There are a range of schools in Southwark. At the primary level, there are numerous state-funded schools, including both community and voluntary-controlled schools, as well as academies and free schools. Some examples of primary schools include Charles Dickens Primary School, John Donne Primary School, and St. John’s Walworth Church of England Primary School.

At the secondary level, Southwark also has a number of state-funded schools, including both comprehensive schools and academies. Some examples of secondary schools include Harris Academy Bermondsey, Ark Globe Academy, and St. Saviour’s and St. Olave’s Church of England School.

In addition to these state-funded schools, there are a number of independent schools in Southwark, catering to children from preschool age up to 18 years old. Some examples of independent schools include Alleyn’s School, James Allen’s Girls’ School and Dulwich College.

For a breakdown of all schools in the area and their latest ratings, search Ofsted’s reports.

Is Southwark polluted?

According to data from the GLA and TFL Air Quality:

  • Southwark ranks 27 of 32 boroughs in terms of lowest NO2 concentration
  • Southwark ranks 25 of 32 boroughs in terms of lowest PM2 concentration
  • Southwark ranks 25 of 32 boroughs in terms of lowest PM10 concentration

What is the employment rate in Southwark?

The employment rate in Southwark is 80.0% which ranks 3 of 32 boroughs in terms of highest employment rate.

Employment rate is important to know for those considering moving to the area, as it can provide an indication of the job market and economic opportunities available in the borough.

Is Southwark a wealthy area?

The average income in Southwark is £53,400 according to data from HMRC. This ranks 9 of London’s boroughs (ranked by highest average income). 

Southwark has areas of affluence, such as parts of Dulwich and the riverside developments around London Bridge, though it is a diverse borough with a range of incomes and backgrounds. According to Trust for London, Southwark is inline with the London average for some poverty indicator metrics.

Is Southwark a religious area?

Like the rest of London, Southwark has a mix of cultures and religions. According to the ONS:

  • 50.5% of the resident population identifies as Christian
  • 5.8% of the resident population identifies as Muslim
  • 0.0% of the resident population identifies as Hindu
  • 0.0% of the resident population identifies as Sikh
  • 0.0% of the resident population identifies as Jewish
  • 2.4% of the resident population do not identify as religious

How large is Southwark?

Southwark is 28.9 km2, making it the 24th largest borough in London.

Its population is estimated as 334,826 according to data from the GLA, ranking it 11 as the most populous borough.

Its population per km2 is 11,601, ranking it 9 as the most populous per km2 borough.

Is Southwark safe?

According to data from the Metropolitan Police Service, in the last two years there were:

  • 26,996 total reported crimes and 80.63 total crimes per 1k of the population, ranking Southwark as 27 of boroughs with the least total number of crimes
  • 1,711 total reported burglaries and 5.11 total burglaries per 1k of the population, ranking Southwark as 27 of boroughs with the least number of burglaries
  • 1,390 total reported cases of criminal damage and 4.15 total cases of criminal damage per 1k of the population, ranking Southwark as 22 of boroughs with the least number of cases of criminal damage
  • 1,063 total reported drug related crimes and 3.17 total drug related crimes per 1k of the population, ranking Southwark as 28 of boroughs with the least number of drug related crimes
  • 1,455 total reported robberies and 4.35 total robberies per 1k of the population, ranking Southwark as 30 of boroughs with the least number of robberies
  • 566 total reported sexual offences and 1.69 total sexual offences per 1k of the population, ranking Southwark as 26 of boroughs with the least number of sexual offences
  • 13,838 total reported thefts and 41.33 total thefts per 1k of the population, ranking Southwark as 27 of boroughs with the least number of thefts
  • 6,657 total reported violent crimes and 19.88 total violent crimes per 1k of the population, ranking Southwark as 24 of boroughs with the least number of violent crimes

What public transport options does Southwark have?

There are numerous public transport options available in Southwark, with connections to other parts of London via tube, overground, rail and bus services.

The London Underground covers the northern parts of the borough via the following stations:

  • London Bridge (Northern and Jubilee lines)
  • Southwark (Jubilee line)
  • Bermondsey (Jubilee line)
  • Borough (Northern line)
  • Elephant & Castle (Northern and Bakerloo lines)
  • Kennington (Northern line)
  • Canada Water (Jubilee line)

The Overground also serves many parts of the borough with the following stations:

  • Canada Water
  • Rotherhithe
  • Surrey Quays
  • Peckham Rye
  • Queens Road Peckham
  • Denmark Hill

As well as the hub station of London Bridge, which is one of the busiest stations in the UK, there are several rail stations in the borough, including South Bermondsey, Elephant and Castle, Denmark Hill, North Dulwich, East Dulwich, West Dulwich, Sydenham Hill, Nunhead, Peckham Rye and Queens Road Peckham stations.

Southwark has a variety of bus services available that connect the borough to other areas in the capital, such as the 21, 63, 78, 172, 188, and 343. These buses operate throughout the day and into the evening.

Finally, Southwark is located along the River Thames, and several river bus services operate in the area, connecting various destinations along the river.

What places are in Southwark?

There are several distinct areas in the borough of Southwark, each with their own unique characteristics and attractions. This includes:

  • Bermondsey: Located on the south bank of the River Thames, Bermondsey is known for its industrial history and its trendy food and drink scene. Bermondsey Street is a popular destination for cafes, bars, and restaurants.
  • Borough: Centred around Borough High Street, the area is known for its historic buildings, including Southwark Cathedral and Borough Market. It’s also home to the famous London Bridge and the Shard.
  • Camberwell: Camberwell is a diverse neighbourhood, known for its green spaces, including Burgess Park, and its vibrant art scene.
  • Dulwich: Dulwich is a leafy, residential area located to the south of the borough. It’s known for its upscale shops and restaurants, its art gallery and its prestigious school.
  • Elephant and Castle: Elephant and Castle is a busy area located in the heart of Southwark. It’s known for its bustling shopping centre and its proximity to several major universities.
  • Peckham: Peckham is a diverse area known for its lively nightlife, trendy bars and restaurants, and vibrant street art scene.
  • Rotherhithe: A residential area located on the south bank of the River Thames, with a rich maritime history and home to the historic Mayflower Pub.

What is Southwark famous for?

Southwark is one of London’s best known and most visited boroughs, with cultural attractions such as:

  1. The Shard – The iconic glass tower that dominates the London skyline is located in Southwark and is the tallest building in the United Kingdom.
  2. Borough Market – One of the oldest and largest food markets in London, Borough Market offers a wide variety of fresh produce, artisanal foods, and international cuisine.
  3. Tate Modern – Housed in a converted power station on the banks of the Thames, the Tate Modern is one of the world’s most visited modern art museums.
  4. Tower Bridge: One of London’s most recognisable landmarks, Tower Bridge is a suspension bridge that spans the River Thames and connects Southwark to the City of London.
  5. Peckham Levels – A former car park turned creative hub, Peckham Levels is home to a variety of independent businesses, from food and drink to fashion and art.
  6. Southwark Cathedral – This historic church dates back to the 12th century and features stunning Gothic architecture and intricate carvings.
  7. Shakespeare’s Globe – A replica of the original Globe Theatre, this iconic venue hosts performances of Shakespeare’s plays throughout the year.
  8. Imperial War Museum – Located in a former psychiatric hospital, the Imperial War Museum offers an insight into the history of warfare and conflict.
  9. The Clink Prison Museum – Visitors can explore the grisly history of one of London’s most notorious mediaeval prisons at this unique museum.
  10. Camberwell College of Arts – A world-renowned art school that has produced some of the most influential artists of the past century.
  11. The Old Vic Theatre – One of London’s most famous theatres, the Old Vic has hosted performances by some of the world’s greatest actors and directors.
  12. The Globe Tavern – A historic pub located next to Shakespeare’s Globe, the Globe Tavern was a favourite haunt of the playwright and his contemporaries.
  13. Bermondsey Street – A charming street that is home to some of Southwark’s best restaurants, cafes, and shops.

What boroughs are next to Southwark?

Southwark is bordered by several other boroughs: