7th-10th Floors Multi-Storey Car Park, 95a Rye Ln., Peckham
Bold Tendencies founder Hannah Barry is responsible for much of Peckham’s transformation into a culture—and counterculture—hub. At this point there are few corners of this diverse, buzzing neighborhood that Barry and her organization haven’t touched. Take the parking lot: The rooftop you walk over is covered in undulating lines of weather-reflecting paint by artist Richard Wentworth. The once-grimy stairwell has been transformed by Simon Whybray into a trippy, bubble-gum-pink tunnel. The Derek Jarman roof garden converts drab concrete into a lush, landscaped escape. And we would be remiss not to mention the multistory orchestra, a collective of accomplished musicians hosting folk and classical performances in unexpected places (like that parking lot).
25 Broadway Market, Hackney
This market is an East London staple and has been around forever—but it’s possibly better now than it’s ever been. Saturday mornings belong to Broadway for Londoners living from Hackney to London Fields. Dozens of vendors, stores, and stalls sell something for every taste and budget. Come for breakfast, come for lunch, come for groceries. Food and trinkets aside, this is some of the best people-watching in London.
South London Gallery
65-67 Peckham Rd., Peckham
Somewhat off the beaten path, the South London Gallery is in a stretch of South London—straddling Camberwell and Peckham—that is known for pushing the envelope. It’s a multifunctional space that has created a community with its interactive programs (for adults and kids), a garden, and an excellent café that’s reliably packed with creative types and local mums tucking into baked eggs. After coffee, wander into the shop for a great selection of books, magazines, jewelry, and ceramics from local artisans.
The Note Well
The Note Well is a "music friendship project" that holds monthly 'speed listening' parties, where your partner plugs into your music player and you decide what they hear. New music (and nostalgia!) guaranteed. Past events have also involved crafts, homemade cakes, and a glittery Mardi Gras party. Check the website for tickets and details.
People all around London flock to Primrose Hill for the breathtaking 360 degree view. On summer days the hill is covered in picnickers taking in the sun. On winter days, there's always a dog walker or two, and when it snows, this is a prime sledding park.
Straddling Westminster and Camden, Regent's Park features the largest grass area for sports in London, plus an Open Air Theater, Regent's College, Regent's Canal, the London Zoo, restaurants, cafes, and much more. Every October, the park hosts Frieze, with two enormous pavilions and sculptures throughout the park.
Royal Albert Hall
Kensington Gore, Kensington
Since its opening by Queen Victoria in 1871, Royal Albert Hall has been home to innumerable concerts and performances. In fact, it hosts about 350 events per year, including classical concerts (it has been home to the annual summer Proms since 1941), rock and pop, ballet, opera, awards ceremonies, and more. Every act from Led Zeppelin to Les Misérables, Cirque du Soleil, and Adele has graced the magnificent building, which remains one of London's most distinct and treasured landmarks.
Chalk Farm Rd., Camden
From the Reverb festival that brings modern excitement to classical music, to hosting the hip Camden Crawl festival every May, Camden's Roundhouse is a hub for London's music scene, with young people at its heart. Acting as a community center of sorts, the goal of here is to inspire young adults to become interested and trained in the arts. Check their website for listings and details of their current events: expect rock, jazz, classical, folk and everything in between.
Imperial Wharf Marina, The Boulevard, Fulham
See the city from a different angle: Choose from a sightseeing cruise of your chosen stretch of the river (we like Thames Limo, which leaves from Fulham), enjoy tea on the Thames, or simply use the regular boat service as an alternative to the Tube. Single fares range from just under £4 to £13, depending on how far you want to go. For around £15, you can get a River Roamer ticket that entitles you to unlimited travel to all of London's fifteen piers.
Birdland Park & Jurassic Journey
Rissington Rd., Bourton-on-the-Water,
The center and recently opened wildlife reserve in the Cotswolds is set in a beautiful landscape. There are tons of activities and stations for kids to learn about the 500 species of birds that live here. Also worthwhile is a tour of the grounds and of the Marshmouth nature reserve for more bird and animal sightings. It's definitely a day's worth of family activities outside of London.
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