Start your visit in West Dulwich at the junction of Park Hall Road and Croxted Road taking time to explore the many independent shops.
Walk east down Park Hall Road which continues into Alleyn Park and from the road you will get amazing views of Dulwich College. If you are in term time and if you book in advance, it is possible to visit The James Caird, the whaler in which Ernest Shackleton (an old boy of the College) travelled 800 miles to South Georgia in 1916 to raise the alarm and organise a rescue for 22 men stranded on Elephant Island.
Circle round Dulwich College and walk south west up College Road to the toll gate. This one-mile stretch of road is private and has London’s only working toll gate. It has been in operation on and off since 1789. One of the original toll gate signs is well preserved giving the prices for “Beasts, Sheep and Lambs”.
Retrace your steps back down College Road and opposite the College Road entrance to Dulwich College take a small detour down Pond Cottages, a picturesque cluster of houses next door to the mill pond.
Back on College Road and continuing to head northwards take a left down Lovers Walk, a charming ancient path linking College Road and Gallery Road. Across Gallery Road take a stroll round Belair Park before heading back down Gallery Road to the Dulwich Picture Gallery. From here follow the second half of the suggested 3-hour itinerary, but do include a visit to Christ’s Chapel as you head back into the village from Dulwich Park and take time to hear about the history of Dulwich at the listening post in the gardens of the chapel.