London is so big that you could spend your entire life in the city and never feel like you’re done exploring. For those that have seen the highlights of the city centre, there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path neighbourhoods in London that can keep you entertained. Whether you’re a first-time visitor to the UK capital or a long-time resident, here are five areas that are worth visiting.
Closest transport: Whitechapel (tube)
Over in east London, Whitechapel is not only one of the city’s most diverse neighbourhoods, but also has a wealth of historic and cultural highlights. The Whitechapel Bell Foundry is famous for being the birthplace of both London’s Big Ben and America’s Liberty Bell, and the Royal London Hospital is so famous that it has its own museum. Some of the best curry houses in London are located in Whitechapel, too. Tayyabs and Lahore Kebab House both attract people from all over the city for great no-frills meals.
Closest transport: London Fields (rail), Hackney Central (overground)
Also in east London, the neighbourhood in and around London Fields is a great place to explore. Close to Hackney and the famous Broadway Market, London Fields is known for its hipster crowd and lively nightlife scene. Good pubs and bars line the area around the park after which the neighbourhood is named, and new pop-ups crop up under the railway arches all the time.
Closest transport: Richmond (tube, rail)
Over in southwest London, Richmond is a posh neighbourhood with lots of good shopping and one of the city’s largest parks. Little lanes off the high street are packed with great boutiques, and the riverfront has a number of pubs with terraces that fill up on sunny afternoons. Richmond Park is famous for its deer, which have roamed the grounds since the days of King Henry VIII.
Closest transport: Brixton (tube)
South of the Thames, Brixton is one of London’s hottest up-and-coming neighbourhoods. Brixton Market draws people from all over the city on the weekends, and Brixton Village, an extension of the market, is home to all kinds of great restaurants and food stalls. Additionally, the Ritzy is a historic cinema with a great upstairs bar that features live music.
Closest transport: Hampstead (tube)
Up in north London, Hampstead may be off the beaten path, but it is one of London’s prettiest neighbourhoods. A little village next to a wild park, Hampstead has all the charm of the countryside with the advantage of being very close to central London.
The high street has great shops, and tucked away around hidden corners are great historic pubs like the Holly Bush. Don’t miss a chance to wander through the narrow streets and over to Hampstead Heath, where Parliament Hill has some of the best views of London.