From the London Eye and Big Ben to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, London is full of iconic landmarks, all of which are hugely popular with tourists and locals alike. But if you are looking to get off the beaten path and experience a different side to the UK capital then check out our guide to hidden gems in London.
1. Pop Brixton: a village of shipping containers
Where? 49 Brixton Station Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8PQ, UK
Why go? To experience a very hipster hotspot.
Top Tip: Check out their free gardening workshops every Thursday and Saturday.
Pop Brixton is a hidden gem in the south of the Uk capital – a short underground journey away from the more touristy areas. Home to a community of independent retailers, restaurants, and street food startups, this village of shipyard containers is oozing with charisma.
Whether you’re looking for a bite to eat, a few cocktails or some trendy garms, this hipster hotspot has it all. It’s just a few minutes away from the famous Brixton Academy, one of London’s leading music venues, making it the perfect spot to grab a drink before your gig or show.
Visiting London with friends? Have a look at our guide to the best things to do in London as a group.
Maltby Street Market
Where? Maltby St, London SE1 3PA, UK
Why go? For artisan food and drink.
Top tip: Maltby Street Market is open 9am-5pm on Saturdays and 11am-5pm on Sundays.
If you’re looking for a ‘not for tourists’ spot in London, second on our list of hidden gems in London is the quaint Maltby street market. Burrowed away beneath the Victorian railway arches of the Ropewalk, this secret foodie paradise is teaming with artisan eateries and food stalls.
Although this market is not completely secret, Londoners love it because it’s usually less busy than some of the more touristy spots, including Borough market and Camden market. If you’re looking for a taste of London without as much hustle and bustle, then this is the place for you.
Where? F1-F6 Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95A Rye Ln, London SE15 4ST
Why go? For loads of cool activities and street-food style restaurants.
Next on our guide to secret places in London is another hipster hangout: Peckham Levels. Despite being situated in a regenerated multi-storey carpark, this hidden gem proves that refurbished old buildings can be as cool and creative as fancy new ones. Over the last few years, the old carpark has evolved from housing cars to housing independent enterprises and cultural spaces. What was once a gloomy eyesore is now a hotbed of tasty food, cool workspaces and live music.
Plus, they do lots of cheap ‘budget’ foods so grab a £5 mid week lunch or attend a quick yoga class to unload any travel stress.
Neal’s Yard: a colourful courtyard in the centre of London
Where? Neal’s Yard Covent Garden London WC2H 9DP
Why go? For super cool Instagram selfies and adorable cafes.
Who knew that central London could be so picturesque and quirky? Neal’s Yard is much loved by London locals but is little known to tourists and visitors – even though it is just a few minutes walk from Covent Garden. Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of London’s main shopping district, this vibrant courtyard is home to cute bookstores, health food shops, and adorable cafes.
Complete with classic Victorian buildings and hanging flowers, this photo-friendly courtyard is the perfect place to grab that all-important holiday selfie … say cheese!
Where? Kingly St, Soho, London W1B 5PW, UK
Why go? For loads of independent eateries cafes and bistros.
Last but not least on our guide to hidden gems in London is the awesome Kingly Court located in Soho. Once the epicenter of swinging London way back in the 1960s, this three-story mini-mall is now a concentrated hub of culinary expertise.
Although not entirely secret (some of these secret restaurants can get busy at weekends) this courtyard is a haven for fantastic food that offers a perfect respite from the boisterousness of central London.
Popular with the trendsetters and fashionistas of Carnaby Street, this alfresco dining area is a one-stop shop for great food and drink. From Middle Eastern Kebabs and stone baked Pizza to Peruvian Ceviche and hand made Sushi, Kingly Court has it all.
You can find the courtyard just off Carnaby Street, approximately 3 minutes away from Oxford Street and Piccadilly station.
Let’s Sum Up
You’ve now had the insider’s guide to “secret London” and hopefully have some great hidden gems that you can stick on your must-visit list.
Whether you are looking for a unique part of the city to explore, an unusual cafe or a hidden bar, there’s plenty of places to choose from. Stick on your best disguise and get exploring this vibrant, city of mystery.
Planning your trip to London? Find out more about Clink78 and Clink261, or visit our group accommodation page to find out more about our rates and best deals.