Walking Tour

1 Creekside

This cobbled street running parallel to Dept-ford Creek is lined with galleries and artists'

studios with regularly changing art exhibitions, including Art in Perpetuity (§§ 8694 8344; www.aptstu dios.org; 6 Creekside SE8) and Creekside Artists (§§ 8297 2053; www.creeksideartists.co.uk; 8-12 CreeksideSE8).

2 Laban

What is acknowledged as the largest and best equipped contemporary dance school (p313) in Europe is housed in an award-winning £23-million plastic-clad building (2003) at the northern end of Creekside designed by the same architects who did Tate Modern. Highly innovative are the turf-covered mounds of debris cleared from the site in the forecourt.

3 Statue of Peter the Great

This intriguing statue (end of Glaisher St SE8) commemorates the four-month stay of Tsar Peter I of Russia, who in 1698 came to Deptford to learn more about new developments in shipbuilding. The original party dude, Peter stayed with diarist John Evelyn and his drunken parties badly damaged the writer's house.

4 St Nicholas Church

This late-17th-century church (@ 8691 3161; Deptford Green SE8) contains a memorial to playwright Christopher Marlowe, who was murdered in Deptford in a tavern brawl at the age of 29 in 1593. The fight supposedly broke out over

WALK FACTS

Start New Cross rail station End Deptford rail station Distance 1.5 miles Duration Two hours

who was to pay the bill but it is generally believed that Marlowe was in the employ of the Elizabethan intelligence service.

5 Albury Street

This delightful street is lined with Georgian buildings that once housed Deptford's naval officers, including (it is said) Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton. Notice the exquisite wood carvings decorating may of the doorways. To the south is the baroque St Paul's Church (@ 8692 7449; Mary Ann Gardens SE8), built in 1730.

6 Deptford Market

This colourful market (@ 8691 8725; Deptford High St SE8; S 8.30am-3pm Wed, Fri &Sat) is held in the centre of Deptford three days a week. Southwest is the Albany (@ 8692 4446; www.thealbany.org.uk; Douglas Way SE8), a busy arts and community centre with comedy, music and theatre productions.

SOUTH LONDON

Eating p270; Drinking p293; Shopping p234

Londoners still talk as if the Thames was the huge barrier between north and south that it was in the Middle Ages. In fact, the psychological gulf between the two banks is as wide as ever; most people in North London (and that's most Londoners) refuse to believe there's anything of importance across the river. But it really isn't so grim down south. In recent years even former North Londoners have discovered there's something rather pleasant about the more affordable property prices and relaxed lifestyle of the river's former B-list side (referring, of course, to the number of place names beginning with that letter such as Bat-tersea, Brixton, Balham and so on).

Anarchic and artistic Brixton is without a doubt the most interesting area. Besides coming here to go clubbing, to a attend a gig at the Carling Academy Brixton (p308) or to catch a film at the historic Ritzy (p316), probably the best way to taste the area's Afro-Caribbean flavour is to visit Brixton Market (p242).

Clapham has long been the flag-bearer for South London style, with upmarket restaurants and bars lining its High Street since the 1980s. Attention has started to focus more recently on Battersea, with its magnificent park and the announced conversion of the monolithic Battersea Power Station. Kennington has some lovely streets lined with Georgian terraced houses, so it can only be a matter of time before the gentrification of 'Little Portugal' - its southern extension of Stockwell - begins.

Lambeth can boast both the episcopal seat of the Church of England and one of London's finest museums.

top picks

SOUTH LONDON

■ Battersea Power Station (p201)

■ Carling Academy Brixton (p308)

■ Imperial War Museum (below)

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