Mentioned in the Domesday Book, Peckham Rye is also the site, in the 1760s, of artist and poet William Blake's visions.
One was of "a tree filled with angels, bright angelic wings bespangling every bough like stars". Today this beautiful, big green triangle betwixt East Dulwich, Peckham and Nunhead is composed of a newly restored Victorian park and the original and historic Common.
The Park itself features a number of different areas, among them ornamental gardens (the peonies, fragrant roses and vine covered pergolas are simply beautiful), flowing streams, woodland and a lake.
It has been awarded Green Flag status for two years running. There are dog free areas, picnic tables in the American garden and, since 2007, a super cafe (Cafe on the Rye) doing very good cakes, coffee and juices. Some areas have been left to go "wild" and the meadow plants are a mecca for wildlife. For parents with youngsters to exercise, the park offers pretty much everything, even a one o'clock club. Check out the organised football clubs like Athenlay who use the park for training. Early birds will witness the ‘boot camp’ phenomenon, a group of adults that pay to be shouted at by large ex-military men while running around the park.
A couple of interesting historical facts: during World War II, part of the Common became a Prisoner of War camp for Italian prisoners. And Peckham Rye is also Cockney rhyming slang for "tie" (as in necktie). Amazing.