With 32 boroughs, 270 Underground stations and too many parks, bars and cafés to count, it can be difficult to decide which parts of London to explore first. But aside from the usual hotspots, we want to shed a light on some of the more undiscovered gems that this beautiful city holds. It’s time to branch out from your familiar paths and use this insiders’ guide to discover new areas!
When the London 2012 Olympics came to an end and the athletes moved out of the Athletes’ Village, the swanky apartments that remained were transformed into new homes for Londoners to live in. As a result, the E20 postcode was born, and with it came a conga line of fantastic independent retailers, boutique shops, a school and exciting community-run events. Despite being one of London newest neighbourhoods, East Village already has a strong community feel and plenty worth seeing – especially as it boasts the impressive Olympic Park and Westfield mega-mall right on its doorstep!
Aside from being the birth place of nineties boy band, East 17 (who clearly loved it so much they incorporated the postcode into their name), Walthamstow has lots of lovely perks which you may not have already known about. Unlike its resident band members’ sense of style, Walthamstow now has a very trendy edge. There are artisan coffee shops popping up aplenty, craft beers served from Wild Card tap house and microbrewery and a weekly farmer’s market in the town square. The area even plays host to its own free music and arts festival, Walthamstow Garden Party, which, come July, will bring two days of music, theatre, comedy and craft to the grounds of Lloyd Park.
Croydon is currently going through a seriously vigorous transformation. Growing at lightening pace, this south London borough is currently being overhauled with a mass regeneration plan, turning it into one of the hottest places to visit. The plan includes installing a £1 billion shopping destination, welcoming new digital start-ups and, it’s even getting its own shipping container pop-up haven in the form of Boxpark Croydon. Definitely one to watch!
With places like Shoreditch and Brick Lane being so well known for their quirky treasures, the indie spots of Stoke Newington can often get overlooked. But have no doubt that this laidback spot of Hackney Wick is well worth exploring, especially for its strong presence of independent businesses. From café-come-gallery, Tina, We Salute You, to old-school denim shop, Mint Vintage, to testicle-serving restaurant, Testi – if you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary, head straight to Stokie!
This is just a handful of our favourite London gems, but next time you decide to go exploring – why not pay a visit to somewhere new? We promise you won’t regret it!