I thought I would share with you a handy little guide on how to spend a weekend in London with a difference.
I have shared some tips previously for how you can spend a Harry Potter weekend in London. Go and check that out it is a pretty fun post: How to: The Harry Potter Weekend
We can all book and plan a weekend in London to do a bit of shopping, staying in a hotel right in the centre. I wanted to offer alternatives for those who maybe don’t have a lot of money but still fancy a short weekend break.
I have split this post into Stay, Visit & Eat, so the format is slightly new so any feedback is greatly appreciated in the comments.
In Brixton with Air BnB. Don’t worry too much about staying outside of the Centre, the transport links as we all know are pretty speedy and regular.
The upside to staying outside of the Centre is you are slightly away from all the touristy areas and you can discover things that maybe most people won’t. Staying in Brixton we discovered many great aspects, such as the Pop Brixton & their markets. There is such a mixture of cultures in Brixton which brings an assortment of food & drinks. We also got to go and pay our respects at the David Bowie Memorial which is surrounded in messages and images from his beloved fans.
Staying in Brixton also meant that the Air BnB was slightly cheaper staying on the outskirts so do not be put off.
With Air BnB of course it is all very dependent on when and how far in advance you book. I found it at a really great price as I didn’t want to be spending a fortune on a hotel.
I would highly recommend staying with Millie in Brixton. Keep an eye out for my post all about my Air BnB experience for more info, I will publish it very soon. Go and have a look online while you wait for my post to come out: Camilla – Air BnB
I’d highly recommend going on Air BnB and having a look around some different areas, if it means you are paying that little bit less I would say it is worth it. Of course if money is not an issue then stay right in the centre but it did feel quite nice that on a night we could slightly escape the madness. You also get that personal touch staying with a host who can give honest recommendations of the local area.
Herne Hill Market is great and was recommended to us by who we were staying with. It was approx. 20-minute walk from where we were staying and straight away we were hit with the smell of freshly-ground coffee from one of the stalls. There is a really great variety of stalls from Glasses, Food, Clothing & Antiques. I may have treated myself to some fancy frames…
We also made it a goal to visit Camden Market as well and we did. We ended up walking all the way from Oxford Street to Camden Market and my feet were killing me but it was so worth it. It was really busy but I always count that as a good sign.
Make a Weekend of it, ‘The Markets of London‘ including Borough Market, Camden, Brixton, Herne Hill, Portobello Road etc.
I also had my boyfriend with me who is a budding photographer so on the Sunday we made it a goal to visit some of the galleries. We were going to go to Tate Modern but we got there just at the wrong time as a mass of 200/300 school children turned up and were queuing. It was a shame but they were doing bag checks at the door so it would have taken a very long time to get in.
We then headed to the Photographers Gallery and we saw the current exhibition for Gregory Crewdson ‘Cathedral of the Pines’. Now I am not an expert in photography but his art is absolutely amazing. The images are so enticing that you can just stand and explore them for a long time individually. You do pay entry at a cost of £4 (£2.50 if you book online/ Free if you go before 12:00).
We then walked from there through Oxford Street and explored some of the shops including the biggest Topshop I have ever been in, in my life it was actually quite overwhelming. I was trying to find a particular t-shirt and I was having absolutely no luck and I kept losing Phil so we just gave up. Shopping is of course something that everyone looks to do when coming to London but it actually made me quite stressed so we didn’t spend too long in the shops.
After that we took a rather long stroll up to Camden market as mentioned above. It was completely buzzing and my favourite had to be the courtyard area with all the small foodie stalls, we didn’t actually buy anything from the food stalls but I know that if I went to one…I would probably end up going to all of them (maybe next time). We did go for a drink and I got a very strong ‘frozen Piña Colada’ which was delicious at The Lockside.
This place has a really cool vibe, mixing a love of Hip Hop music and proper Fish & Chips. It had a great atmosphere as it is just around the corner from Brixton Market and they have a DJ who was playing some awesome mixes of Hip Hop Classics. Not only that but the people are lovely and the food is incredible. I would certainly recommend this if you are staying or visiting Brixton. The food was absolutely incredible we had such a busy day that my boyfriend ordered a burger and one second it was put on the table and the next it was gone. The Hip Hop Chip Shop also lives up to it’s name as I had gorgeous fish + chips (you can get them to take-away as well).
This honestly was our go-to place for food and drinks while we were in Brixton. When I googled Brixton it is one of the first places that ‘pops up’ and it really caught my attention. I couldn’t wait to visit it and I was certainly not let down. It has such a variety of different foods from Dumplings to Stone-baked pizzas to Jerk Chicken. We went on the weekends and it was constantly buzzing. It’s great as part of it is under-cover so if it is raining you can still go and grab a bite to eat. We kept thinking of trying more restaurants but just found ourselves going to the Pop Market.
The prices are fairly decent to say that all the food places are completely independent and I know London prices are expensive anyway so we found it really great value for money.
I have just recently released a post telling you more about this wonderful market so why not go and check that out: Pop Brixton – Why York will love Spark:York let me know what you think.
I hope you found this post helpful and that it inspires you to book a weekend in London with a bit of a difference. I will be having another installment for a girly weekend break so I have quite a few different ideas and posts to be published. Why not hit the follow button and be notified when they come out by email?
You can find inspiration with a lovely cup of tea, reading my guides.
You can find me over on Twitter & Instagram @bookitblogger so if you like my blog why not follow me? Keep up to date with what i’m up to and share any suggestions for new posts.
Thank you so much for reading,