Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Herne Hill and Tulse Hill area guide

Herne Hill and Tulse Hill area guide

Keep busy in SE24 with Time Out's guide to Herne Hill and Tulse Hill's best restaurants, bars, pubs and things to do

Brockwell Lido panorama final NGentilli 0907.jpg
© N Gentilli

Herne Hill has long been dwarfed by nearby Dulwich and Brixton. While always an attractive area, the pedestrianisation of the area in front of the station has created a focus for the area, which often felt mired by the constant traffic jam at its centre. Now, a charming collection of stores, comprised of a wool shop, butcher, baker, greengrocer, junk shop and bookshop has turned it into a destination. On Sunday's this area gets transformed into a brilliant food and craf market. And yes, you'll still find the obligatory kebab or fried chicken shop, but the restaurants in the area have caught up, too, with many offering delicious modern British cuisine.

Close by in Tulse Hill there are great pubs to be found, as well as a once-a-month street food market in nearby West Norwood. It's certainly worth visiting the boutique Tulse Hill Hotel, which is way more than just another Gastropub.

Mostly, though, the area is dominated by Brockwell Park, an attractive space with a BMX track, miniature railway, walled garden, community greenhouse and lido. Unexpected local features include the velodrome used in the 1948 Olympics, which still hosts races, club training and kids’ classes. The area's piece de resistance, however, is it's 50-metre lido, which can get overwhelmingly busy in the summer months.

RECOMMENDED: London by area

Things to do in Herne Hill and Tulse Hill

Brockwell Park
Attractions

Brockwell Park

An 84 acre and diverse park that lines Herne Hill, Tulse Hill and Brixton that often plays host to events.   

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Brockwell Lido
Sport and fitness

Brockwell Lido

This 50-metre pool is surrounded by art deco Grade II-listed buildings which house the Lido Café. 

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
See all things to do in Herne Hill

Bars and pubs in Herne Hill and Tulse Hill

The Railway Tavern (Tulse Hill)
Bars and pubs

The Railway Tavern (Tulse Hill)

A pub near Tulse Hill station that has loads of comfy sofas to relax in, a covered balcony, a big beer garden, indoor and outdoor games, a quiz night and open mic nights.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
First Aid Box
Bars and pubs Book online

First Aid Box

When your neighbourhood café serves cocktails worthy of Zone 1, you know the only way you’ll ever leave London will be in a box. But this Herne Hill newcomer – the second from the team behind Brixton’s Shrub and Shutter –  will even go so far as to help you keep the Grim Reaper at bay. Because, as the name suggests, it specialises in ‘cure-all’ drinks. A great fit for the area’s relaxed, thirtysomething inhabitants, First Aid Box’s white tiled walls, shelves of pseudo-pharmacological gear and menu with a medicinal theme suggest the snap of a latex glove, but it’s a concept lubricated by charming staff, upbeat music and flattering, flickering candlelight. Drinks make ample use of ‘shrubs’: spirits suspended in vinegar-based syrups that make for thrilling flavour bases. Updates of tried-and-tested classics include an aviation-style mix called Conscious Pilot (£8.50). Here, the rhubarb-infused gin lends the drink a subtle tartness that prevents the triple whammy of violette liqueur, violette shrub and violette droplets from delving too deep into granny’s knicker drawer. Elsewhere, the creamy exuberance of a Ramos gin fizz is given added depth with a shot of rich, earthy matcha-and-pistachio shrub. Both are served without gimmicks – though if it’s theatre you’re after, there’s a smoking cocktail served in a bell jar (£8), a cucumber sherbet in a bottle with a miniature cone of sorbet as a stopper (£9) or a vitamin C-laced bramble with a syringe of blood-hued Chambord (£8).But t

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online
Florence
Bars and pubs Book online

Florence

That the people behind the light, modern Florence care about beer is obvious from the phenomenal range on offer and the helpful tasting notes on all the pumps. In fact, as the copper vats just beyond the main bar show, they care about it enough to brew their own, and their fruity Dam Tasty Beaver and Bonobo beers are in no way overshadowed by the competition at the bar (Meantime Pale Ale, Duvel Green). A regularly updated menu (slow-roast lamb, white bean chilli and the like) is well matched by an imaginative wine list. Past the vats, a roomy conservatory with a table football table and an open kitchen leads to a capacious decked terrace and a separate children’s and garden room. Popular with all ages, and deservedly so.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
3 out of 5 stars
Book online
Blinder
Bars and pubs

Blinder

A bar-within-a-bar out the back of Herne Hill’s medical-themed First Aid Box, Blinder has got a run-down Prohibition vibe, with ladders hanging over picnic tables and a couple of wooden barrels placed hither and thither. Concessions to the concept consist of a few retro lamps on a covered billiards table, some pistols dotted about (as you do) and subtle flashes of copper. It’s more ‘budget garage conversion’ than gangster’s paradise. Equally charming are the cocktails themselves, served up by an attentive and well-informed barman. First up, the 28 Wrays Later: a three-rum concoction, shaken up with passion fruit seeds and pineapple. It was as sharply refreshing as it was heady, served in a ceramic tankard and crowned with a flaming passion-fruit shell. I was advised against the sweet house manhattan, so wangled a less cloying version from the bar. With a mezcal kick and orangey bitterness, it was a superlative tipple. The ginger and pineapple caipirinha, meanwhile, was zingy and tart. Bar snacks, too, were fab: from coriander-seed-flecked beef jerky (served warm, and undoubtedly the best I’ve had) to a dinky plate of greaseless soft-shell crab. It’s not especially cheap given its south London location – cocktails hover around the £10 mark, and three mouthfuls of crab are £8.50 – but it’s very well done. Blinder by name, blinder by nature.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
See all bars and pubs in Herne Hill and Tulse Hill

Restaurants in Herne Hill and Tulse Hill

Llewelyn's
Restaurants

Llewelyn's

A brilliant neighbourhood joint that with a serine interior that delivers in every department. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Park's Edge Bar and Kitchen
Restaurants

Park's Edge Bar and Kitchen

Vibrant and modern British spot that shows a deft touch with decent ingredients and cool global inflections. 

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Tulse Hill Hotel
Restaurants

Tulse Hill Hotel

Eating and drinking here is a fair whack above the usual gastropub with its Brit-meets-the-Med menu. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
The Lido Café
Restaurants Book online

The Lido Café

A light-filled and airy spot with a monthly menu designed with love, care and boundless enthusiasm. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
See all restaurants in Henre Hill and Tulse Hill

Hotels near Herne Hill and Tulse Hill

Rooms at The Tulse Hill Hotel

Rooms at The Tulse Hill Hotel

This handsome old nineteenth-century hostelry was refurbished in 2014 and has since won various plaudits as a ‘gourmet bolthole’ in a somewhat un-gourmet part of south London. Its unpromising location, on a traffic gyratory, is completely forgotten once you’ve flopped down in one of the nine large and attractively appointed rooms, with their excellent bathrooms with rain showers and Orla Kiely toiletries – but handy for getting to nearby Brixton and Dulwich in your car (parking available). Breakfast included.

Check prices
The Lilac Door

The Lilac Door

Located in London, The Lilac Door is a family-run bed and breakfast located 1 km from Dulwich Picture Gallery and 2.6 km from Crystal Palace Park. The property is set 5 km from Battersea.All units in the bed and breakfast are fitted with a flat-screen TV. Rooms are complete with a private bathroom equipped with free toiletries, while certain rooms will provide you with a seating area. Chocolates, water and a tea/coffee tray are provided.A Vegetarian, Gluten-free or Full English breakfast can be enjoyed in the breakfast area.Cycling is among the activities that guests can enjoy near The Lilac Door.Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey can be reached in less than 15 minutes by train from the property. London City Airport is 12 km away.

Check prices
Crystal Palace B&B

Crystal Palace B&B

Crystal Palace B&B is located in zone 3 in London, 600 metres from Crystal Palace Park. Free WiFi is provided and free private parking is available on site.The suite of rooms includes a private lounge with a sofa, table and chairs, and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. There is a private roof terrace with views of London and the property's garden. For your comfort, you will find free toiletries and a hairdryer.Central London is 7 miles from Crystal Palace B&B. Crystal Palace and its restaurants, shops and bars is 2 minutes' walk from the property. Gatwick Airport is 22 miles from the property.

Check prices
Church Street Hotel

Church Street Hotel

Craftsman José Raido is behind this attractive and original family-run hotel, near Camberwell Green. Funky bathroom tiles in the bright, high-ceilinged bedrooms, for example, come from Guadalajara, and are thus a perfect match for Mexicana such as imported film posters, while the bed frames were forged by José himself. The colours are as vivid as a Mexican sunset. Bathroom products are organic, as are the pastries and cereals served for breakfast in an icon-filled dining room that also operates as a 24hr honesty bar. You pay only £90 for a double with shared bathroom, which is a real bargain, and the hotel tapas restaurant, Angels & Gypsies, has been a big hit locally since opening in 2009.

Check prices

The perfect weekend in Herne Hill and Tulse Hill

Explore: Brockwell Park
Attractions

Explore: Brockwell Park

This large park is the perfect spot to take a picnic, with numerous areas to appeal to different tastes.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Shop: Herne Hill Market
Shopping

Shop: Herne Hill Market

Cure your Sunday hangover and visit this south London gem, which prides itself on responsibly sourced produce. 

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Eat: Llewelyn's
Restaurants

Eat: Llewelyn's

If you're after classic contemporary European dishes done beautifully then this is the spot for you.   

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Drink: First Aid Box
Bars and pubs Book online

Drink: First Aid Box

A theatrical neighbourhood bar that also serves inventive cocktails with thrilling flavour bases.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online