The Ultimate Guide to Living and Working in Southwark
Welcome to our ultimate area guide to living, working and visiting Southwark! In this guide we cover everything from commuting times and what lines to take on the underground, to house prices, to the best schools in the area, to where to stay overnight and the best place to catch a cocktail. Use the links below to skip between the different sections!
A borough of inner London, Southwark is home to some of London’s most iconic landmarks such as The Shard, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe and Borough Market. Thought to be the oldest part of South London, the borough borders the City of London and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets
What is the population of Southwark?
As of 2018, the Office of National Statistics reported that Southwark was home to over 317,000 residents.
Crime in Southwark
The borough of Southwark is among the top 10 most dangerous locations in London and as of 2020, had a crime rate of 100 crimes per 1,000 people. Crime Rate state that in 2020, Southwark’s crime rate was 12% than that of the overall London rate which sat at 87 crimes per 1,000 residents.
Crimes such as bike theft, general theft and drug possession are common in Southwark and are identified as issues for the area.
Living in Southwark
With its close proximity to some of the best schools in the capital and diverse property portfolio its not surprising that Southwark is a popular place to live.
Is Southwark a Nice Place to Live?
Just south of the Thames, the borough is one of London’s most desirable areas thanks to it’s schools, transport links and leafy, green areas.
House Prices in Southwark
As a very desirable area, property prices here are not as affordable as other parts of the UK or even London. The average price for a property in Southwark is current £784,988.
What is the average house price in Southwark?
On average the price of a detached house in Southwark is £961,598. (2021).
Southwark Property Prices by Property Type
|Property Type||Average Price|
Renting in Southwark
Much like buying a property, to rent in Southwark you can expect to pay premium, London prices.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Flat in Southwark?
To rent a flat in Southwark you can expect to pay £3,073 per calendar month on average, according to Home.com.
Rent Prices in Southwark by Property Type
|Property Type||Average Rent|
What Neighbourhoods in Southwark are the Best?
Gentrification has seen different parts of the borough updated and become a part of the modern metropolitan city that London is known to be. The old warehouses of Shad Thames have been converted into modern apartments perfect for those with a larger budget who want a view overlooking the River Thames and for an even bigger price tag a view Tower Bridge.
Peckham, although a previously deprived area, is becoming popular with the younger generation of Londoners as they look for an up and coming area to live in. With bespoke bars and restaurants, this is a place that young couple look to centre their life in, to enjoy what London has to offer whilst they still have some sort of disposable income.
Schools in Southwark
Southwark is home to a surprisingly high number of schools that hold an ‘Outstanding’ rating from Ofsted, which unsurprisingly makes the area very popular for families.
There are many primary schools within the Southwark catchment area, most of which hold an ‘Outstanding’ rating from Ofsted. The most popular primary schools within Southwark are Riverside Primary School, and Peter Hill which boast 100% of children achieving expected levels in English and Maths.
View a map of all of the primary schools here.
If you live in Shad Thames, the surrounding primary schools of Snowfields, Tower Bridge, St Joseph’s Roman Catholic, Riverside and St James’ CofE, all cater for children aged 3 – 11 and have received at least a ‘Good’ rating from Ofstead.
As a resident of Peckham, you fall into the catchment area of Harris Primary Free School, St James the Great Roman Catholic Primary, Johne Donne Primary and St Mary Magdalene CofE, which range in start ages but cater for children up to 11. Harris Primary Free School is one of the only free schools in the area and is not limited by the national curriculum, as such they are informed by the national curriculum but have adapted their curriculum to include practises that promote citizenship, mental help and life skills.
Top Primary Schools in Southwark
- St Joseph’s Roman Catholic
- Boutcher CofE
- High Myddelton
- The Cathedral School of St Saviour and St Mary Overy
- Riverside Primary School
- St Joseph’s Catholic
- St Clement Danes CofE
- St Peter’s London Docks CofE
- Bigland Green
Catering for children aged between 11- 18 the secondary schools in Southwark are known for their academic standard with all but one receiving an ‘Outstanding’ rating from Ofsted.
For children with a particular interest in history or visual and performing arts, you might want to enrol them to Pimlico Academy where these subjects are a specialist. As the only specialist history institution in the country, education is at the centre of their curriculum, and they strive to not only build academic intelligence but also emotional intelligence.
Top Secondary Schools in Southwark
- The Grey Coat Hospital
- Sacred Heart Catholic School
- Pimlico Academy
- Art Walworth Academy
Colleges and Sixth Forms
The two institutions that offer education specifically for teenagers aged 16 – 19 within Southwark are King’s College London Maths School and Harris Westminster Sixth Form.
In partnership with King’s College London, the King’s College London Maths School looks to provide those with a talent for mathematical, physics, economics and computing the necessary skills to study mathematical courses at university. They have a very selective admissions policy and often attract gifted students from across London, so to gain admission an applicant will be invited to partake in a mathematics aptitude test followed by an interview. Find out more about Kings College London Maths School.
The Harris Westminster Sixth Form is also selective of their applicants, where an admissions test and interview must first be conducted before an enrolment is offered. With a range of different courses, specialities, and pathways, this is the perfect place to begin a journey onwards to university. Find out more about Harris Westminster Sixth Form.
There are numerous independent schools in the Southwark vicinity, which start at a range of different ages but will usually cater for children somewhere between 7 and 20 years old.
As one of the leading academic schools in the country, Westminster School has connections to some of the best universities in the world and provides both boys and girls with an unmatched education. Boys can enter the school as early as 13 through numerous feeder schools, including the Westminster Under School, whereas girls and boys can apply for admission at age 16.
Should you wish to board a child, the fees are just shy of £14,000 per term and for day the fee is slightly lower at £9,603 per term.
There are scholarships available for those who are academical or musically gifted, were 12 are chosen every year. The school terms these as the Queen’s Scholars and can fund up to 80% for the full boarding fee.
City of London School for Girls
Divided into 3 main sections, the lower school of years; 7 and 8, the senior school of years; 9, 10 and 11 and the sixth form; of years 12 and 13, the school caters for girls aged 7-18 and aims to provide them with an education that allows them to succeed in life, both mentally and professionally.
The school has a rigours application process where applicants must first successfully complete a numerical, verbal, and non-verbal skill assessment followed by a second assessment which consists of an English and Mathematics paper and a remote interview. If a child is successful through the assessments, they shall be offered a place for enrolment.
Top Independent Schools in Southwark
- Westminster School
- City of London School for Girls
- City of London School
- DLD College London
Southwark Transport Links
Southwark is extremely well connected to all of London, Kent, Sussex, coastal areas, and nearby locations. With four main rail stations, London Bridge, Southwark, Borough and Elephant and Castle, easy bus links and central location to many attractions it’s easy to hop on the underground, national rail, bike, walk or catch the bus to all nearby locations.
A great option to get across the city and to the surrounding areas, Southwark, and London Bridge offer access to the Jubilee line with London Bridge, Elephant and Castle and Borough offering Northern line services. Both the Jubilee and Northern line are a part of the Night Tub service, offering 24 hours services in and out of central London on a Friday and Saturday.
London Bridge is also a major trainlink point for trains across London and the South, giving access to a multitude of different services.
Southwark Station: Access to the Jubilee Line
Hop on the Jubilee line to get into Central London via Waterloo and onwards towards Canary Wharf and Stratford. From there you can access numerous lines to get to anywhere in the city or the surrounding areas.
Key Destination Travelling Times
- Bond Street: 6 minutes
- Canary Wharf: 8 minutes.
- Stratford: 20 minutes
London Bridge Station: Access to the Jubilee Line, Northern line, Southeastern and Thameslink.
Taking the Jubilee line from London Bridge carries you into Central London via Waterloo and offers further destinations of Canary Wharf and Stratford whereas the Northern line offer destinations such as South London, Banks, and Kings Cross St Pancras.
Key Destination Travelling Times
- Canary Wharf: 6 minutes
- Bond Street: 9 minutes
- Bank: 1 minutes
- King’s Cross: 10 minutes
- Charing Cross: 8 minutes
- Ashford International: 1 hour and 11 minutes
- St Pancras International: 15 minutes
- Gatwick Airport: 29 minutes
- Luton Airport Parkway: 45 minutes
- Brighton: 1 hour and 4 minutes.
Elephant and Castle Station: Access to the Northern line, Bakerloo line and Thameslink
From Elephant and Castle, you can hop onto the Northern line and Bakerloo line which will take you to destinations like Oxford Circus and Paddington Station whereas Thameslink will take you above ground northbound through Central London and towards Peckham and Wimbledon.
Key Destination Travelling Times
- Bank: 4 minutes
- King’s Cross: 13 minutes
- Oxford Circus: 10 minutes
- Paddington: 18 minutes
- Peckham: 10 minutes
- Wimbledon: 29 minutes
There are many bus routes in Southwark that go towards Central, Southern and Eastern London, making it easy to commute and travel around the nation’s capital.
Into the City
Take the 63 and you’ll reach Blackfriars, Farringdon and King’s Cross or take the 17 which will take you through St Paul’s to reach the centre of the city.
Looping through St Paul’s, Chancery Lane, and Holborn to get to Waterloo is the 521 whereas the C10 comes from Canada Water through Southwark and into central London, passing Tate Britain, Pimlico and Victoria.
If you want to head into East London, taking the 149, will you be travelling towards Liverpool Street and further to Shoreditch, Hoxton and Dalston. Whereas if you want to pass Bank or Old Street you can get on either the 21 or the 43 with the latter which also goes on towards Islington. To reach Shoreditch High Street and Bethnal Green, hop on the 388 which will get you there via Liverpool Street.
The A2 runs through most of Southwark and is the major route towards the South East of London which gives you access to Kent whereas the A3 serves cars going in the opposite direction heading out wards Clapham.
If you travel over Tower Bridge on Tower Bridge Road, you not only then have access to the city but also to locations to the East and North East.
Top Tip: Travelling via Tower Bridge allows you to avoid the congestion charge zone.
Like most modern cities, the borough of Southwark has taken the initiative to encourage the use of more sustainable modes of transportation through the implantation of rentable bikes and creating bike pathways.
Santander Cycle is a system of rentable bikes that allow you use a bike to get to a nearby location for a fraction of the cost of taking the bus or driving. To hire a bike, it is £2 for unlimited journeys up to 30 minutes (within a 24 hour period) or for longer journeys it is £2 per every 30 minutes with a maximum of 24 hours.
Different pathways have been introduced to create a network of cycle pathways for commuters and leisure riders to enjoy. Travel between Blackfriars Road and Tower Bridge or Waterloo and Greenwich via Southwark.
Situated alongside the River Thames, it makes sense to travel by boat. Thames Clippers offer boating links from London Bridge City Pier and Bankside Pier to all of the key London stations including Westminster and Waterloo to the west and Canary Wharf, Greenwich and the O2 to the east. Payable by contactless or oyster the boat rides run every 20 minutes.
A hotspot for tourist thanks to local attractions such as Tower Bridge, The Globe Theatre and Tate Modern if you decided to visit Southwark then you definitely won’t be disappointed.
Attractions in Southwark
The Shard, Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and formerly London Bridge Tower are all names referring to the tallest building in the UK. Standing at 309.6 meters tall with 72 storeys, this skyscraper not only hold a 26-floor office complex but also a retail arcade, 3 restaurants, a 5 star hotel and spa and the UK highest viewing gallery.
Restaurants & Bars
Dine at the Aqua Shard, Oblix and Hutong for an unforgettable dining experience where 360o view of London can be see from the 31st and 32nd floor. We recommend a trip here on a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary so that you can savour every part of the evening and have a truly remarkable view of the nation’s capital.
Ting, Gong, Sky Lounge and BAR 31 are all extraordinary experiences where you can quite happily sip the night away on a cocktail or two whilst you take in the stunning sights. We recommend booking ahead to avoid disappointment, especially if you are looking for a nibble or two whilst you have a drink.
A night in the clouds. Staying at the Shangri-La Hotel offers all a sense of luxury as they relax watching London go past. From sprawling suites to city view rooms, this hotel isn’t budget friendly but it’s definitely worth the price. The Shangri-La is actually one of our recommended places to stay in Southwark, read more about staying there below.
The View from The Shard
Located on floors 68, 69 and 72 with 360o view of London with views up to 40 miles, this viewing platform is almost twice the height of any other viewing platform in London. Tickets for the attraction begin at £32 and move upwards depending on what you would like to include in your package, add digital souvenir photos or a glass of champagne for £12.50.
Home to the UK’s national collection of modern and contemporary art, both British and International, Tate Modern (Tate) is an institution that houses a network of 4 different art galleries. With artwork from famous artists such as Louise Bourgeois; famous for her large-scale sculpture and installation art, Yayoi Kusama; whose contemporary installations and artwork has gained critical acclaim and Pablo Picasso; a world famous Spanish painter renowned for founding the cubist movement.
General admission is free but special exhibitions and events do have a chargeable fee.
A reconstruction of The Globe theatre, the Elizabethan playhouse that William Shakespeare wrote his plays. The original theatre was built in 1599 but was destroyed in a fire in 1613, the theatre was then rebuilt the following year but was then demolished in 1644. This recreation of The Globe was opened in 1997 and houses all of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays, with acts occurring daily.
Immerse your self of a time period long passed, where elaborate costumes, dramatic entrances and professional actors retell the work of Shakespeare on stage and through climactic poetry readings. To book tickets to attend the performances, readings or take a tour you will need to contact their booking office.
Top 10 Things to Do in Southwark
- Borough Market
- The View from The Shard
- Shakespeare’s Global Theatre
- Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garrett
- Tate Modern
- Clink Prison Museum
- Southwark Cathedral
- Golden Hinde
- Bridge Theatre
- The Shard
Shopping in Southwark
If you’re looking for some local shopping, Southwark has everything you could ever dream of at a few locations dotted around the borough.
Are you a foodie? The world famous and oldest food market in London, Borough Market is home to over 100 stalls all filled with tantalising treats that are sure to please even the fussiest of eaters. From fruit, bread, cheeses and rare street food delicacies, your taste buds will explode from all the potential flavours.
If you are book lover, or someone that truly loves the most wonderful time of the year, then a visit to Hay’s Galleria is a must! The Riverside Bookshop is home to some of the most brilliant, and we use the term in praise, bookworms around. This little independent is home to a treasure trove of classics, novels, tearjerkers, and thrillers alike, if you dig around the shelves you are sure to find some gems. Whereas a trip to The Christmas Shop is an absolute for those who celebrate Christmas in July. Home to everything Christmas, magical and snow 365 days of the year, this is the perfect place to visit to nab some fabulous decorations for the upcoming festive season.
Bermondsey Antique Market
According to the Bermondsey Square website, the antique market held here is one of the top five antique shopping spots in Europe as decided by Secret Escapes. Selling everything from cutlery, furniture, china, jewellery and secret hidden gems, be sure to lock your purse up tight as you walk through as there is sure to be something that shouts out at you to buy!
The market is open every Friday from 6am to 2pm, but we suggest getting down there early to find the real treasures.
Maltby Street Market
An experience that must lived and cannot be described is the Maltby Street Market. Colourful flags, ropes and banners line the streets that hide one of London’s best kept secrets. The food found on this street is to die for and definitely will satisfy any passing visitor. From frozen ice cream rolls and brownies to steak and duck dishes, these mouth watering dishes will make it so that you reach the end of the market with empty pockets and a full stomach. To find out more about the Maltby Street Market on their website, or head over to their Instagram to grab a sneak peak at some of their concessions.
Boutiques at Bermondsey Street
Located on one of the oldest streets in London you find some of the trendiest bars, restaurants, and shops in all of London. Unusual and curiously delightful boutiques line the chain free streets, where if you are looking for stylish Menswear then a trip to Bermondsey 167 is a must. Not only was the shop founded by previous Burberry designer Michael McGrath, but they also sell a range of top quality lifestyle homeware, art, and accessories.
If you’re a big supporter of hand crafted gifts, then a trip to Bermondsey Fayre will see you pick up a thing or two in a shop that “sells things made with love”. Not only can you great some great sustainable, ethical and upcycled gifts but they also run regular Yoga classes to help promote physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.
Lovely and British is quite possibly the most British shop in all of London, find here charming British made products and collectables, from wooden figurines from some of London’s most iconic figures to gifts that perfectly portray the British sense of humorous sarcasm.
Vinegar Yard Flea Market
If you’re looking for vintage finds at bargain prices without having to rummage, then this is the place to visit. With multiple vintage stalls with vinyls, upcycled clothing, books and quite possibly anything else you can imagine, this is a hotspot of trendsetters that can’t be missed!
The Best Places to Grab a Drink in Southwark
A must do after a day at Borough Market is to visit Bedales of Borough Market. A fabulous place to grab a drink, whether a cocktail, beer, glass of wine or a mixer, their range of choice is unmatched offer the perfect end to a day of shopping.
The Old School Yard is home to what can only be described as an adult disco, with old school tunes, cheap drink and just pure fun for those looking for a night of boogieing without the club feel, this is the bar to be on a Friday or Saturday night. You can even book a karaoke or Wii room for free, if you spend enough on drinks, but we assure you that you will as you sing, dance and play the night away.
Perfect for after work drinks, Cubana is as the name suggests Cuban-styled and offer a wide range of cocktails, beer and generally just alcohol. But you aren’t just limited to drinks here, find an array of delicious Cuban food that will make your mouth water! Happy hour runs until 8pm and it is often pretty busy so expect a little bit of a wait if you go round this time.
Top 10 Places to Eat in Southwark
- Fine Foods
- Richard Haward’s Oysters
- Tom Simmons – Tower Bridge
- Flat Iron Tooley St
- Boro Bistro
- Honest Burgers Borough
- Tower Tandoori Restaurant
- Restaurant Story
- Monmouth Coffee
Staying Overnight in Southwark
With one of the most luxurious hotels situated in Southwark on the River Thames and a range of different overnight options to suit any budget, you can easily find a bed for the night whilst you explore Southwark and London by day.
Shangri-La The Shard, London
The capitals highest hotel, the Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard boasts an “unparalleled connection with London” which is arguably true as the offer truly spectacular views of London and Tower Bridge. Experience luxury, style and comfort whilst still feeling connected to the area’s rich character. With a Travellers Choice Award for 2021 and over 4,000 reviews on Trip Advisor a night here is going to cost you at least £489 a night for a standard room for their ‘Iconic City View Room’ you can book for a mere £953 per night.
Hilton London Bankside
A Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Winner for 2021, this well known Hotel brand is the perfect place to rest your head after a busy day exploring Southwark. With an average rating of 4.5 from nearly 3,000 reviews, this hotel come strongly recommended by customers. Stay for business or pleasure, there is sure to be a room that is perfect for your needs.
Ibis Styles London Southwark
A very quirky hotel which is sure to leave an impression, this hotel has received an average rating of 4 on Trust Advisor and has been awarded a Travellers’ Choice award for 2021. Coming highly recommended for its location, pricing and overall value, this wouldn’t be a bad place to set up camp for the night.
Need a Locksmith in Southwark?
When moving into a new home changing the locks is vital as you never know how many keys are out there and risk the keys falling into the wrong hands. Arrange for an Southwark Locksmith to come and fit a new lock the day you get your keys to provide you with peace of mind. We at Keytek® Locksmiths Southwark provide a professional local mobile Locksmith service complying with British Standard and Home Insurance policies to ensure your home is as secure as can be! What’s more is all our customers benefit from a FREE home security check on site to ensure your home is as secure as can be!
There are many other things you need to consider when moving home so check out our Moving Home Checklist to help you along the way! If you’re considering improving the security of your home further still, checking out our Ultimate Guide to Home Security here!
View our Keytek® Locksmiths Southwark page to find your local Locksmith today or call us on 020 3727 5976!