One of the best things about London is that each neighborhood has its own personality. No matter what mood I’m in there’s an area to suit it. And not just in the city center, either. Some of the most exciting London neighborhoods are outside Zone 1. If you want to dig deeper into the city’s character, here are 11 under-the-radar London neighborhoods for you to explore.
Under-the-Radar London Neighborhoods
No matter your personality, there’s a perfect London neighborhood for you. There are pockets of greenery, places of history, sweet boutiques, and lovely streets all across the city. Whether you’re looking for the perfect Saturday market or a pretty mews, a quirky artists’ colony or a leafy park, you’ll find them in theses 11 villages.
South End Green
South End Green is one of my favorite parts of London. Right on the edge of Hampstead Heath, this hidden spot is brimming with restaurants and cafes. There’s an excellent pub on seemingly every corner, many of which have great beer gardens for sunny days. There’s even a Daunt Books and a secret garden here, which make the neighborhood a little slice of heaven.
South of the river, Dulwich features a mix of pretty shops and edgy street art in one eclectic under-the-radar London neighborhood. The famous picture gallery drew me in for a first visit, and I stuck around for East Dulwich’s entertainments on Lordship Lane. From North Cross Road market to antiques shops full of treasures, this area is a fun place to spend a day.
Best known for its annual tennis championships, Wimbledon is also a great place to walk around during the off-season. With its welcoming common and lovely high street, it’s the perfect place to play on a sunny afternoon in London.
Just north of Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove hovers in its neighbor’s oversized shadow. But it’s worth a visit, if only for the vibrant shops and market on Golborne Road. I love exploring the neighborhood’s side streets, too. Golborne Mews has some of the most colorful doors in London.
Twickenham is best known for rugby, but the neighborhood has a lot more to it than just the famous stadium. From traditional riverside pubs like The White Swan to quirky artists’ colonies like the one on Eel Pie Island, Twickenham offers an amazing range of entertainments.
Fulham is known to Londoners, but less so to visitors. It’s worth a trip for its colorful houses, attractive shops, and beloved pubs. From the stores on New King’s Road and Fulham Road to the White Horse pub on Parsons Green (call it the Sloaney Pony if you want to sound like a local), there’s a lot to love. And that’s to say nothing of Fulham Palace, which is a delightful place to walk around.
Up in north London, Muswell Hill is tricky to get to by public transport, but worth the effort. Of all the under-the-radar London neighborhoods, this might be the most hidden. A trip is in order to see its pretty streets, admire the views from the Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally to the locals), and soak up the atmosphere around Muswell Hill Broadway.
Out west, Richmond is known to Londoners but often feels far away. I love visiting for its mix of beautiful side streets, riverside pubs, and expansive parks. From Waterloo Place to Brewers Lane, the back streets are full of delightful surprises, and Richmond Park is the perfect place to get away from the urban intensity of London.
Not far from Richmond, Chiswick has a similar feel to it. With a bustling high street that keeps me entertained for hours to the beautiful gardens around Chiswick House, it’s a great part of London to escape to.
Stoke Newington is another part of London that’s not served by the tube but is worth the effort to visit. From the relaxing expanse of Clissold Park to the bright shops and restaurants along Newington Church Street, the neighborhood is a great day out.
Hampstead is my favorite neighborhood in London. The village is straight out of a storybook, and every street charms. I’ve been to Hampstead a million times, but I always find something more to love about it. Given a new farmers’ market opens in the neighborhood tomorrow, I’m sure I will find more to love on my next trip.
How about you? What are your favorite under-the-radar London neighborhoods?