It’s been four months since I lasted visited my favorite city (and home away from home). Family, friends, and strangers often ask me for recommendations on sites to see and places to go that are off the beaten path in London when they are traveling. I decided to compile a short list of my favorite places in London – some are off the beaten path, others are worth battling tourists to see.
1. Borough Market
2. Explore Greenwich
Get out of the city (but not too far out!) and breath in the port-town air. Greenwich is home to the Maritime museum and Naval College. This is also a prime filming destination for period films, so keep an eye out for Daniel Radcliffe or the likes of other big-time celebs.
3. Camden Town
Immerse yourself in real punk-culture and head to Camden. Walk the Camden Towne Market. Try street food from various countries (some of which I had never even heard of). Camden at night, while not the safest borough, is a lively one. For my birthday I chose to go to The Blues Kitchen for dancing. I would recommend not going for the sake of dancing but for the incredibly talent of vintage rock n rollers. The band changes each night but the theme remains the same, Vintage Rock. The venue is small so if you are not a crowd lover, I highly recommend reserving a table.
4. Lesser-Known Theatres
One of the most beautiful and unique things about being in London is the immersion to art culture. Look up lesser-known plays from smaller theatres. The talent DOES NOT suffer. I once saw a play called ‘Every One’ at Battersea Arts Centre. The actors were incredible. The play was dynamic and moving. The venue was quaint and intimate. Get off the West End and venture to smaller venues. Also, check reviews from TimeOut London before hand, this is a great source for information regarding theatre, art exhibits, film, and more.
5. Brick Lane
Brick Lane is a great off-the-beaten-path destination for travelers who want a more authentic London experience. The street art in this district is amazing, unlike a city filled with gang tags, artists have made the city come alive in color and beautiful murals. If you like vintage clothes shopping, this will be your heaven. There are many well-known shops that carry authentic vintage clothing (though, if you think vintage = cheap…think again). Search for Beyond Retro, a vintage shop with a sixties vibe store-front.
If you happen to find yourself in the city I fell in love with – first, congratulations. Second, don’t let any of these amazing sites pass you by, even if dear Liz invites you to tea.