Savouring the South: What are the top things to do in South London?

Would you believe that South London was once hidden beneath the waters? Yes, it’s true, a far cry from the bustling streets you see today! The story unfolds with the Grand Surrey Canal, weaving its way through the region in days long past.

But time has a way of reshaping landscapes, and South London is no exception. The result? The emergence of suburbs like Southwark, Richmond, and Brixton – buzzing hubs where locals and wanderlust-driven travellers unite. 

Now, South London is a treasure trove of experiences – ones that we’ll share with you today as we choose our favourite things to do here!

Explore the historic Greenwich Market

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Location: Greenwich Market, London, SE10 9HZ, United Kingdom 

Contact:  +44 20 8269 5096

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Greenwich Market has been around for over 300 years! Dating back to 1737, this market has witnessed centuries of hustle and bustle, evolving from a humble vegetable market into the vibrant hub it is today. 

We suggest coming here for an array of international cuisines that’ll have your taste buds dancing. From mouth-watering street food to artisanal treats and gourmet goodies, there’s something here to satisfy every craving.

Visit the iconic Tower Bridge

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Location: Tower Bridge Road, London, SE1 2UP, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7403 3761

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Built over 125 years ago, this bridge is a testament to Victorian engineering genius. The dual bascules (those massive lifting arms) were a groundbreaking innovation at the time, allowing tall ships to pass through. 

The Tower Bridge Exhibition is your ticket if you want to learn more about it. You can explore the Victorian Engine Rooms, learn about the bridge’s construction, and even stand on the glass-floored high-level walkways for jaw-dropping views of London.

Wander through the beautiful Battersea Park

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Location: Battersea Park, London, SW11 4NJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8871 7530

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Battersea Park is a lush green haven nestled amidst the urban chaos of South London. It’s like nature’s saying, “Take a breather, folks!” 

And if you fancy a taste of the Far East, Battersea Park has its very own Peace Pagoda. It’s a striking symbol of peace and tranquillity, gifted to London by the Japanese Buddhist order Nipponzan Myohoji. 

Savour fish and chips at The Golden Hind

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Location: 73 Marylebone Lane, London, W1U 2PN, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7935 2375

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The Golden Hind has been serving up this quintessentially British dish for over 100 years! That’s a whole lot of crispy history right there.

The secret to their mouthwatering fish and chips? Freshness and tradition. They’ve won awards for their dedication to quality, and you can taste it in every crispy bite. 

Not just a fan of the classic cod and chips? No worries! The Golden Hind offers a variety of seafood options, including haddock, plaice, scampi, and more. They even have vegetarian options for those who prefer to stay on dry land.

Stroll along the South Bank Promenade

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Location: South Bank, London, SE1 9PX, United Kingdom

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The South Bank is London’s cultural epicentre, home to a cluster of world-class institutions like the Tate Modern, the National Theatre, and the Royal Festival Hall. Art, theatre, and music aficionados, this is your playground.

And if you need a break, The South Bank is peppered with benches and seating areas where you can take a moment to soak in the scenery, watch the world go by, or simply enjoy a good book.

Explore the South London Gallery

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Location: 65-67 Peckham Road, London, SE5 8UH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7703 6120

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Established in 1891, the gallery has a rich history of showcasing groundbreaking contemporary art. It’s been at the forefront of London’s art scene for over a century, and it’s still pushing boundaries today.

What’s on display? Cutting-edge contemporary art, of course! The gallery hosts a rotating roster of exhibitions, featuring both emerging and established artists. You’ll find everything from paintings and sculptures to multimedia installations.

Attend a performance at Shakespeare’s Globe

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Location: 21 New Globe Walk, London, SE1 9DT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7902 1400

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Want to experience Shakespeare’s works as they were meant to be? The Globe is the real deal. From the thatched roof to the wooden O-shaped structure, it’s as authentic as it gets.

Unlike modern theatres, the Globe is an open-air venue. That means you get to enjoy performances under the stars (or clouds, because, well, it’s England). Rain or shine, it’s a unique and immersive experience.

The Globe is known for its top-notch productions of Shakespeare’s plays. The talented cast, period costumes, and period-appropriate music transport you back to the days of the Tudors.

Shop for vintage finds at Crystal Palace Antique Market

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Location: 58-60 Westow Street, London, SE19 3AF, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8653 0055

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Whether you’re into antique furniture, vintage fashion, retro homeware, or quirky collectables, this market has it all. It’s like a curated museum of the past but with price tags.

The beauty of vintage shopping is stumbling upon unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that tell a story. Each item in this market has its own history, and you can be the one to continue its journey.

Enjoy a meal at Franco Manca 

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Location: 4 Market Row, London, SW9 8LD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7738 3021

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Let’s start with the star of the show – the pizza. Franco Manca is renowned for making some of the best sourdough pizza in London. 

What’s the secret behind their incredible pizza? It’s all in the dough. Franco Manca’s sourdough is made from a 300-year-old Neapolitan recipe. It’s naturally allowed to rise for a minimum of 20 hours, creating a light, airy, and slightly tangy crust that’s pure perfection.

Go boating on Clapham Common

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Location: 46 Clapham Common West Side SW, London SW4 9AR, United Kingdom

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The boating lake is a serene sanctuary where you can leave the city chaos behind. The gentle ripples, the chirping birds, and the lush surroundings create an atmosphere that’s pure relaxation.

You can even keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife. Swans, ducks, and other waterfowl often visit the lake, providing a delightful encounter with nature right in the heart of London.

Visit the Imperial War Museum

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Location: Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7416 5000

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The Imperial War Museum is a living, breathing testament to the human experience during times of conflict. It houses an astounding collection of artefacts, documents, and personal stories that span from World War I to the present day.

Here, you’ll be immersed in the sights, sounds, and emotions of war. The museum’s exhibits are expertly curated to provide a visceral understanding of the impact of conflicts on individuals and nations.

Explore the beautiful Dulwich Picture Gallery

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Location: Gallery Road, London, SE21 7AD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8693 5254

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The gallery houses a remarkable collection of European Old Master paintings, dating from the 1600s to the 1800s. Unlike many museums, the Dulwich Picture Gallery organises its art thematically rather than chronologically or by artist. 

This approach creates intriguing connections between pieces and offers a fresh perspective on art.

You’ll find works by celebrated artists like Rembrandt, Rubens, Gainsborough, and Poussin, among others. It’s a veritable who’s who of art history. And, while famous artists take the spotlight, the gallery also houses lesser-known gems that deserve attention.

Attend a concert at Electric Brixton

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Location: Town Hall Parade, Brixton, London, SW2 1RJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7274 2290

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Electric Brixton offers an intimate atmosphere that allows you to get up close and personal with your favourite artists. No need for binoculars here, you’re practically sharing the stage!

The venue’s programming is as diverse as South London itself. Whether you’re into indie, electronic, hip-hop, or anything in between, you’re bound to find a show that tickles your musical fancy.

The cherry on top? Electric Brixton boasts a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the Brixton skyline. 

Sample craft beers at The Kernel Brewery

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Location: Arch 11, Dockley Road Industrial Estate, London, SE16 3SF, United Kingdom

Contact: 02 07231 4516

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The Kernel Brewery is proudly independent and fiercely committed to the craft. They do things their way, and that’s what makes their beer stand out in the crowded world of brews.

The brewery is all about experimentation. They produce a wide range of beer styles, from IPAs and stouts to saisons and sours. It’s like a flavour rollercoaster for your palate.

Admire the architecture of the Royal Observatory

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Location: Blackheath Avenue, London, SE10 8XJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8858 4422

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Perched atop a hill in Greenwich Park, the observatory offers panoramic views of London. It’s a picture-perfect location for admiring the cityscape and the River Thames.

Plus, the observatory’s Flamsteed House is an architectural marvel in itself. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, it’s a mix of Baroque and Classical styles. 

And while you’re there, you can even take a stroll in the observatory’s gardens. They’re a serene oasis where you can soak in the beauty of the architecture and the tranquillity of the surroundings.

Shop for vinyl records at Rye Wax 

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Location: 133 Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7732 3170

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Vinyl records are making a triumphant comeback, and Rye Wax is at the forefront of this revival. It’s a place where you can rediscover the warmth and authenticity of analogue sound.

​​Beyond the music, Rye Wax embraces the artistic side of vinyl culture. They often collaborate with visual artists and designers to create stunning album artwork and limited-edition releases.

Ride the London Eye

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Location: Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7967 8021

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If you think South London is all about the North Bank’s glamour, think again. The London Eye puts South London on the map, offering unrivalled views of landmarks like the Shard, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and beyond.

Unlike roller coasters that leave your stomach behind, the London Eye offers a leisurely ride. You’ll have plenty of time to soak in the sights, snap photos, and enjoy the scenery at a tranquil pace.

Enjoy a tranquil day at the Surrey Docks Farm

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Location: Rotherhithe Street, London, SE16 5ET, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7231 1010

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Surrey Docks Farm is all about sustainable, urban farming practices. They grow their own produce and raise animals, showcasing how city dwellers can connect with the land.

This farm offers educational programs and activities for both kids and adults. It’s a fantastic place to learn about where our food comes from and the importance of sustainable agriculture.

Explore Kew Gardens

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Location: Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AE, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8332 5655

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The gardens here have been around for centuries, with their origins dating back to the 18th century. They’ve witnessed botany’s evolution and played a pivotal role in it.

The iconic glasshouses are like botanical cathedrals. The Palm House, Temperate House, and Princess of Wales Conservatory house exotic plants from around the world, so be sure to see them if you like greenery.

Experience South African cuisine at Kudu

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Location: 119 Queen’s Rd, London SE15 2EZ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3950 0226

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South African cuisine is often called “rainbow cuisine” because it reflects the diverse cultures and flavours of the nation. At Kudu, you get to savour this kaleidoscope of tastes without leaving South London.

The mastermind behind Kudu’s tantalising dishes is Chef Patrick Williams, whose culinary journey has taken him from South Africa to London. He brings the authentic tastes of his homeland to every plate.

The menu changes with the seasons, ensuring that you experience the freshest, locally sourced ingredients at their prime. It’s like a new adventure with each visit.

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