The Perfect Quirky Day Out in London Bridge
As the saying goes, “if you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life.” But if you’ve visited the Big Smoke before and have already hit up all the major London attractions, then you’re probably keen to discover some fresh London activities to give the city new life. You’ll be craving a day in London that feels a bit more off-the-beaten path (a travel blogger’s favourite phrase) and makes you feel like a real local.
This will especially be the case in and around London Bridge, where many of London’s most famous landmarks live.
But even if you’ve already ticked Tower of London and The Shard off your travel bucket list, there are still so many brilliant non-touristy things to do in London Bridge that make a return visit to the neighbourhood worthwhile. You’ve just got to dig a little deeper. Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place. Because today I bring you the perfect guide to an unusual day out in London Bridge, major London landmarks (for the most part) excluded.
London Bridge Itinerary: Morning
First up, food. Because all good days start with a killer breakfast, right? And you quirky day in London Bridge should be no exception. Especially when you can eat somewhere as delicious as Where The Pancakes Are.
This fantastic brunch spot, located in the heart of Flat Iron Square (a hip, new-ish watering hole that hosts a mix of bars, restaurants and music venues) is the perfect place to kickstart your day. They serve – you guessed it – pancakes, but concocted is all sorts of flavourful ways. Try Forest Berries - pancakes covered in berry compote, house cream and crushed violet meringue, sprinkled with almond flakes.
Or, if you don’t have a massive sweet tooth, try the Welsh Rarebit, that comes with mature cheddar, ale, vinegar crisps, grilled spring onions and a fried egg. And definitely don’t miss out on a cold pressed juice. I promise it’ll give you the kick you need to wander London’s streets all afternoon.
After breakfast, pop into Borough Market for a good roam. You won’t have much of an appetite, but trust me, your wallet with thank you for it. Even if you’ve been before, this historic market is always worth a (re)visit. You’re bound to discover something new, as the stalls are always changing. And you’ll find every stand imaginable, from the traditional fruit + veg vendors and original cheesemongers to the trendy new raclette sandwich stand and the massive paella plates. I’d also recommend grabbing a few snacks for a later stop on this quirky London Bridge itinerary. (Oh, the suspense.)
As for my fellow beauty junkies, don’t worry, I haven’t left you hanging. Right next to Borough Market, on Stoney Street, you can drop into Neil’s Yard Remedies, a ‘modern apothecary’ and British beauty company that sells an excellent range of natural and organic beauty and wellness products. Some of my favourites include their collection of essential oils and their Wild Rose Beauty Balm, which can literally cure any skin ailment. And if you’re in the mood to really indulge, you can even book yourself a £25 massage (a real bargain for London) with one of the graduate masseuses at Neil’s Yard Remedies Therapy Rooms just next door. Just keep in mind that this offer is only available on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. But if you want to keep things truly quirky, then try one of Neil’s Yard’s unique wellness treatments like their Flower Essence Therapy.
London Bridge Itinerary: Afternoon
Once you’ve had a good wander around Borough Market, it’ll be time to make your way towards Bermondsey. Here, you’ll be spoilt for unique things to do in the London Bridge neighbourhood. But first, let’s start with another round of coffee. Head to Chapter 72, voted the best local coffee shop in the area. They serve coffee and cocktails, so you’re free to pick your poison, but the Flat White and Latte come highly recommended.
Then take your coffee buzz over to Vinegar Yard, a local food and vintage flea market that only opened this month. So it’s hot off the press. There, you can browse the shops (which sit in freight containers, naturally) for art, clothing and vintage treasures, before perching yourself at one of the long tables for a drink with the locals.
We hit the absolute jackpot with the weather (I hope the same for you) so the place was absolutely buzzing with good vibes - and pitchers of Pimms, bottles of Prosecco and Indian-spice infused Baba G burgers.
We were (surprisingly) well-behaved and opted for matcha and turmeric lattes from Gentlemen Baristas, another local coffee purveyor. But whether you grab a bite to eat or a tipple or three, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the market’s cool vibes.
Then, if you’ve still buzzing, head over to Potters Fields Park for a late afternoon picnic. By this point, the crowds should have quieted down, so you’ll be able to find yourself a quiet spot to watch the world go by in front of one of the world’s most glorious landmarks. Of course, you can feel free to skip this step if it feels too “been there, done that.” But I never tire of Tower Bridge (even after 12 years in London), especially if I can admire it away from the crowds, and with some cheese and beer (picked up in Borough Market of course) in hand.
London Bridge Itinerary: Evening
Before the sun sets, make your way over to what will be the last stop on your quirky day tour of London Bridge. Not to mention the perfect way for any visitor to spend an evening in London. Head towards the Shard - and keep walking. Instead, go to the Shangri-La next door, and up 52 floors to it’s very beautiful rooftop bar, Gong.
Gong is in fact the highest hotel bar in Europe and, oh my word, that bird’s eye view of Londontown will not disappoint. And neither will Gong’s delectable cocktails.
With both Asian and European influence, they certainly epitomise quirky. So what better way to end your unusual day out in London in style? They won’t come cheap (about £20 a pop) but those uniquely blended flavours, that service and those unforgettable views of the city will certainly make them worthwhile.
Collaborative Post: Spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all words, photography and views are my own.
PIN IT, SAVE IT, SHARE IT
Other posts you might love: