Next up on our series of London, we wanted to looks at a few of the alternative locations often overlooked by a visitor to our nation’s capital.
- First up is one of our all-time favourites, the eclectic borough of Camden. Camden is classified as North West London and is a few stops on the Northern line above Euston. Camden is famous for its street markets, which for years I thought was just the small market to the left of the station. Little did I know that the old locks and stables minutes down the road house one of the most incredible collection of markets of all time, including ranges of fashion, collectables, antiques, books and art? It is an experience in itself to wander these markets, as you never know what you will find. The Markets are also littered with hundreds of food suppliers and small yet quirky bars. My personal favourite is the old stables which are a delight to walk through, with quirky alternative shopping everywhere you look. Next to this elaborate maze of markets is the Camden canal, which I wouldn’t venture down at night but be sure to take a few pictures of the old canal locks which are still in operation even today. Camden is also known for its alternative music scene so do not be surprised if you see the occasional lather clad rocker or full goth hanging around the bars. Camden has huge significance to me, as it was the location where I first saw one of my favourite bands of my youth Feeder in the electric ballroom.
- Moving further north you have the beautiful Hampstead Heath. This is where my mum grew up and our family have countless stories of the mischief they used to get up to on London’s lesser known park. The argument here is that Hampstead Heath is further afield than the more well-known Regent and Hyde parks, so why bother? Well Hampstead Heath is definitely more of a Londoners park, it is not as flat and touristy which is one of its many charms. Hampstead Heath is full of hidden walkways, gorgeous tree lines and water features; however its crowning glory is the view from the top of the heath. On a clear sunny day you have a free idyllic view of the whole of London, from the BT Tower and London eye to the magnificence high-rises of Canary Wharf. My recommendation, bring a picnic and laze a whole day away.
- A favourite I found by luck more than anything is the beautiful Blackheath and Greenwich town. More difficult to get to, Blackheath is located on the over ground South-eastern train line from London Bridge and is historically very significant. The name alone gives you a bit of a clue, in that it is the location where hundreds of souls inflicted by the Black Plague were buried. Don’t let this put you off, it was a long time ago and the quaint village built there is well worth a visit for lunch. Walking across the breath you will cross the A3 and enter into Greenwich Park, which is home to the official GMT date line and the Royal Observatory. This park is again well worth exploring and the view of Canary Wharf (London financial district) from here is breath-taking. Heading down the hill you enter Greenwich, home the Cutty Sark and littered with chic eateries and wineries.