London, a sprawling metropolis of diversity, home to interesting spaces and experiences beyond the iconic landmarks. To truly live like a local and uncover the city’s unique charm, let’s explore the spaces cherished by Londoners. From bustling food markets to hidden local hangouts, green spaces, and independent gems, this guide will help you immerse yourself in the authentic spirit of London.
Borough Market, Native Bankside:
Nestled beneath the arches of London Bridge, Borough Market is a haven for food enthusiasts. This historic market, dating back to the 12th century, hosts an array of stalls offering fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, delectable street food, and more. Join the locals in savouring flavours from around the world, exploring unique ingredients, and embracing the lively atmosphere that defines one of London’s oldest and most beloved food markets.
Leather Lane Market, Native King’s Wardrobe
For a more intimate culinary experience, head to Leather Lane Market. This bustling street market has existed for over 100 years and displays an array of tasty food stalls selling a delicious mix of international food, alongside other local shops, market stalls, tasty cafés, restaurants and quirky coffee shops.
The Local Spot
Little Venice, Native Hyde Park.
Directly north of Paddington is the tranquil pocket of London affectionately known as Little Venice. With picturesque canals and narrowboat cruises travelling between Little Venice and Camden Lock, Little Venice is perfect for a romantic stroll with loved ones.
Mercato Metropolitano, Native Mayfair.
Mercato Metropolitano is a converted church that is home to a collection of sustainable, authentic food, offering two floors of worldwide cuisine. Mercato Metropolitano brings diverse food practices and ingredients from different countries and cultures into urban spaces. The building hosts a rooftop terrace, wine cellar, German craft brewery and community hub, and its historic architecture makes it a one-of-a-kind attraction to visit.
Go A Little Further
Experience the tranquillity of nature without leaving the city by venturing to Richmond Park. Just a short journey from central London, this grand and open green space offers a respite from urban life. Roam freely among the roaming deer, explore ancient woodlands, and savour panoramic views of the Thames Valley.
For a dose of wilderness, head to Epping Forest on the outskirts of London. This ancient forest, steeped in history, provides a serene backdrop for walking, cycling, or simply strolling through nature. Escape the urban chaos and immerse yourself in the woodlands, discovering hidden ponds, meadows, and centuries-old trees.
Big N Small
Barbican Conservatory, Native King’s Wardrobe.
The Barbican Conservatory is a glass-roofed, leafy sanctuary which features tropical plants and trees, birdlife and exotic fish. In the centre of London, a short walk from its financial engine in The City, you’ll find a hidden gem of a secret garden, an enchanting conservatory with over 2,000 species of tropical wildlife. Escape from city life into this extraordinary haven.
Young Vic, Native Bankside.
The Young Vic is the country’s leading home for younger theatre artists, especially directors. They present seasons of work by new directors in tandem with productions by some of the world’s great directors. Its intimate auditorium, built cheaply with a rough, light-industrial feel, reinforced by low prices, creates the perfect atmosphere for enjoyable live theatre.
Whether indulging in culinary delights, unwinding in local spots, connecting with nature, or supporting the local independents, London offers original experiences that go beyond the typical tourist trail. By living like a local, you’ll discover the hidden gems that are part of London’s vibrant tapestry.