You know there’s an alternative London that a lot of people don’t know about?
London is the same as other big cities in the world (such as Paris, New York or Rome), and they are precisely “big” because of this: they never end. One can visit them again and again or even live in them without getting to know them at all and keep discovering new things every day.
Because of its location, its morphology and its history, the British capital is home to many tourist attractions (and not so tourist) that more or less everyone knows, in person or by hearsay.
Some are very old and others quite new (like Harry Potter’s Warner Studios in London, for example). But there is also a London… I will not say “secret”, but I will say “discreet”, within everyone’s reach but ignored by the majority.
Today we propose you to venture into 7 corners of alternative London that you may not know. Be careful, this does not mean that they are strangers to the public (we are in 2019 if you wait for something new you arrive a couple of centuries late), but they are out of the most common circuits. Have fun!
The most curious places in alternative London.
Culpeper Community Garden.
Gardens are an institution in British culture (if there is such a thing; it’s a joke…). In other words, they love well-kept parks, where flowers are harmoniously located and not one blade of grass protrudes over another.
They must be frequented to get to know the English better. And Hyde Park is very popular…
I almost feel guilty talking to you about Culpeper Community Garden, in the Islington neighbourhood, because it´s one of those places rarely or not all frequented by tourists. It is run by the neighbours themselves (which is relatively common in the British Isles) and is open to the public but not to bicycles, dogs or alcohol.
- Address: 1 Cloudesley Rd, London N1 0EJ.
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The garden was buzzing this lunchtime. Kids deciding whether to play hide-and-seek or 40/40, a couple making weekend plans, someone taking a work call, a group of knowledgeable gardeners discussing plants by their Latin names, people eating, people reading…. just as a community garden should be ?. #communitygarden #communityspirit #doingyourownthing #enjoyingnature #lunchtimeinthegarden
Petticoat Lane Market.
Camden, Portobello, Greenwich… They’re almost a must-see. Yes, all those flea markets are fine, but there are more tourists than items for sale. If you like to browse through vintage clothing (i.e. old or second-hand), take note of the next place; it’s not that it’s a secret, but it’s a flea market more authentic than most.
We are referring to the Petticoat Lane Market, which is located in Aldgate and is one of the oldest in the country.
Actually, there are two: if you go on Sunday you’ll go to Middlesex, any other day you’ll go to Wentworth. English stuff. In any case, it is a second-hand market as it should be, with mountains of strange things and unexpected treasures.
- Address: Wentworth Street, London E1 7AL.
Lewisham Micro Library.
Among London’s curious places, perhaps this one takes the cake (and it’s no small thing). It’s a phone booth… Wait, wait! We know you’re tired of seeing them, but this one (surely) isn’t. Read the title again: What are we left with, is it a library or is it a phone booth? Both! Isn’t it amazing?
Well, the Lewisham Micro Library no longer functions as a phone booth, of course. Today it is probably the smallest library in the world.
If you don’t know how this kind of sites works, you can take any book you want, but you should leave another one in return. As their motto says, “It’s not what you get, it’s what you leave behind”.
- Address Lewisham Way, London SE8 4DL.
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London public library | @dr_difilippo . . The Lewisham Micro Library has operated as a book exchange since 2013. As London’s smallest library, anyone can borrow a book provided they bring it back or leave one, and the idea has even been commended by Englands Prime Minister. . . . #london #cityoflondon #lewisham #lewishammicrolibrary #exploretocreate #cityphotography #urbanphotography #exceptionalalien #?#✈
Alternative London has always been home to artists and bohemians. And Soreditch is one of those neighbourhoods that have almost always been travelled from top to bottom by travellers and tourists. However, there is still room to discover new things in this popular eastern London district.
Netil House is part of that alternative London that many of us are looking for. A multifaceted space that includes housing, art workshops, restaurants, leisure, work and exhibition areas, all in one. If you like art but also enjoy the good life, take a walk around here. Who knows, maybe you’ll even stay and live…
- Address: 1 Westgate Street, London E8 3RL.
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Meet our beautiful home: Netil House. Now that the rooftop is open for summer we can enjoy some drinks while looking at the beautiful view over London. Proud to share this with so many other creative businesses around. Come and join us on our Open Day on the 20th of June! ? ?: @rayxvisuals
Queen of Hoxton.
Attention, Hipster friends and modern in general! Speaking of rare places, and without leaving Soreditch… We know that many travellers actively seek the roofs (more specifically the bars on the roofs) because you can drink something and enjoy the panorama at the same time in an informal atmosphere.
If it’s your case,Queen of Hoxton in a place you shouldn’t miss. Well, it’s a lot more than a rooftop. It may not have the best views of the city, but in terms of atmosphere, it’s hard to beat. Good music, good cocktails, very original events and even a kind of cine club. When you meet him, you’ll become a regular.
- Address: 1 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3JX.
Whether we like to go shopping or not, we have to recognise that it is a way like any other to delve into a city. Be that as it may, this is a special case, because it is not an ordinary department store.
Liberty’s, which is how this shopping center is known, is the oldest in the city (it was founded in 1875). It is located in the heart of Soho, and despite being a beautiful Tudor building, it mysteriously goes unnoticed by the vast majority. If you like shopping, you’ll like it, and if you like architecture, so will you. Everybody’s happy.
- Address: Great Marlborough St, London W1B 5AH.
Masala Indian Restaurant.
This site was recommended to me by a friend who has been living in alternative London for years and I could not be more grateful. It’s become a must-see every time I go and is proof that you don’t have to go far to find something authentic and truly worthwhile. In this case, a restaurant.
What’s more typical of England than Indian food? Not even five o’clock tea. Masala Indian Restaurant doesn’t look particularly glamorous, but the food is homemade and delicious. It’s in Earl’s Court and it’s not expensive at all (mysteries of life). They don’t have a website, which is always a good sign.
- Address: 4A Hogarth Rd, London SW5 0PT.
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