Exploring South London: Non-touristy places to visit

In a capital city the size of London, visitors are blessed with countless incredible things to do. From royal palaces and fascinating museums and galleries to spooky dungeons, West End shows and sky-high observation decks such as The Shard, the Big Smoke really does have it all.

With so much to see and do around the center and other parts of the city, South London is a district that often gets overlooked. But what people are missing out on is a bustling and vibrant area, filled with colorful street markets, great places to eat and a whole host of unique sights and attractions, away from the busy crowds around the center. Just because the tube doesn’t travel to all the best parts of South London, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t either! So, why not rent a car in London and check out some of these top non-touristy places to visit.

Photo from: pexels.com

Brockwell Lido – There might not be any proper beaches around London, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend some time soaking up the sun by the pool. Brockwell Lido is a refreshing, 50m outdoor pool, surrounded by stunning art deco architecture and the lovely Lido Café.

Photo from: severndroogcastle.org.uk

Severndroog Castle – Technically a folly rather than a castle, Serverndroog Castle is an 18th-century Gothic tower on Shooter’s Hill, south of Woolwich. It’s beautifully preserved and well worth a visit. From the top, you’re treated to spectacular panoramic views of your surroundings. It’s one of the highest points in the city, so you can take in the sights of London and beyond.

Beefeater Gin Distillery – Indulge in our current gin craze and learn all about the spirit’s distilling process on this self-guided tour of the Beefeater Gin Distillery in Kennington. It features interactive exhibitions and, of course, you get to sample some of the finished product at the end.

Peckham Levels – Get your creative juices flowing at the former multi-story car park that’s been transformed into a diverse art center. It’s a seven-floor space designed to help local creatives and small business to get inspired and grow. But it’s also a really cool place to hang out, with great bars, a music venue, and even a yoga studio.

Photo from: bethlemgallery.com

Bethlem Museum of the Mind – This fascinating art museum is located alongside the famous Bethlem Royal Hospital, the country’s first institution for the mentally ill. It features collections that focus on mental health and even has exhibitions of work created by ex-patients of the hospital.

Photo from: chislehurst-caves.co.uk

Chislehurst Caves – A lesser-known attraction in the south-east of London, the Chislehurst Caves are an underground network of winding passageways, covering 22 miles of Chislehurst. They’re actually man-made tunnels as opposed to caves, originally built for the mining of flint and chalk. Nowadays, visitors can venture inside on a mysterious guided tour.

Photo from: maltby.st

Delicious food – Depending on your tastes, there are loads of great places to eat in South London. If you’re into Asian cuisine, head to New Malden. The area is known as Little Korea and is home to some excellent traditional restaurants. Alternatively, if you’re all about sampling mouth-watering street food, be sure to visit the Maltby Street Market, open every weekend.

How much of South London have you explored before? Maybe next time you’re in the city, you’ll take time to break away from the tourist hotspots and discover a bit more south of the Thames.

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