Are you planning to explore a bit more of what South London has to offer? Well, you’re in the right place. In this post, I wanted to tell you about the most amazing and fun things to do in South London. If you’re visiting London for the second, third or X-th time and you want to see something beyond the most touristic attractions, or perhaps you’re just staying in South London and would like to discover the area a bit more – this post is for you!
If you’re new to this blog, hi, my name is Liza. I’ve been living in London since 2017, and I love spending my weekends travelling around Europe as well as exploring London. I’ve written a lot of blog posts and useful itineraries for travelling around London, so feel free to check the London category here (I don’t doubt that you find something useful for you).
I lived in South London for over a year and then moved to North London. Here you can find my guide to North London (and the best things to do in North London).
Without further ado, let’s start with the best things to do in South London!
What exactly is South London?
Before we start with the best attractions in South London, let’s clarify what exactly is South London. Usually, South London means everything South of the River (Thames), unless it’s too far east e.g. Thamesmead or Woolwich Arsenal or West like Twickenham and Kingston.
South London attractions and the best things to do:
1. Explore Borough Market
One of the best things to do in South London is the famous Borough Market. Borough Market is a deli/street food market that has an enormous amount of dining options and probably the best oysters in London. It’s located just outside the London Bridge tube station (you might think it’s located at the Borough tube station, but it’s way closer to London Bridge).
2. Visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
From London Bridge, you can easily walk to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a famous reconstructed theatre similar to the one, for which Shakespeare wrote his plays. The current theatre was opened in 1997, however, it’s a great place to see one of the performances. You can buy tickets here.
3. Explore Southwark Cathedral
Southwark Cathedral is located just minutes away from the London Bridge tube station. It’s one of London’s oldest churches – it was built in the 13th century (well, most parts of it – a place of worship was located on the same site since the 11th century). It’s also London’s first Gothic church. Southwark Cathedral is open for visitors every day from 8 am until 6 pm.
4. Walk the Thames promenade from London Bridge to the Lambeth Bridge
One of my favourite things to do in South London is to walk the promenade from London Bridge to the Lambeth bridge, passing some of London’s main attractions. During the walk, you can see the beautiful panorama of London. There are also plenty of food and snack options on the way, so you won’t be disappointed.
5. Visit Tate Modern
Another fantastic thing to do in South London is Tate Modern – a modern art gallery that is a paradise for all designers and creative people. Even if you don’t like contemporary art, you can head to the top floor of the gallery and take some fantastic photos of the panorama of London.
6. Lambeth Palace
Lambeth Palace is really a unique place as it’s still a residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It’s been a residence of Archbishop for the last few hundreds of years, and it’s not open to the public on an everyday basis. However, it’s possible to visit the palace if you buy a guided tour (you can check availability here).
7. Imperial War Museum
Not far from the Lambeth Palace, you can find the Imperial War museum that is open to the public. The entrance is free of charge, and the museum is fascinating. The main highlight is the WWI exposition, so if you want to know a bit more about Britain’s participation in wars, you can head there.
8. Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant & Castle
There are many great street food options in South London. One of them is the famous Mercato Metropolitano located between Borough and Elephant & Castle tube stations. There are plenty of Italian food options as well as foods from all around Europe.
Read my post about the best things to do in Elephant & Castle.
9. Maltby street market, Bermondsey
Another fabulous street food market in South London is located in Bermondsey and is called Maltby street market. You can find over 30 stalls with international food there and the options are great. Some of London’s restaurant started their career from a street food stall at the Maltby street market.
10. Battersea Power Station
On the other side of South London, in South-West London, you can find the famous Battersea Power Station. The iconic power station was opened in 1941 and closed in 1975-1978. It’s currently under reconstruction, and there are plans to open office spaces, flats and plenty of bars and restaurants there. Some of the bars and restaurants are already open, so you can head there and check them out.
11. Battersea Park
Not far away from the Battersea Power plant, you can find the Battersea park – a wonderful park, that is especially gorgeous in late March-early April when the cherries in the park are in full bloom.
12. The restaurants of Clapham Junction
Clapham Junction is a very lively area of London – it’s full of hipster cafes and has plenty of dining options for any taste. You can head to Clapham Common for a walk or even head to Clapham North or Clapham South – places, where you can find some of London’s best brunch spots.
13. Dulwich Village
Another of the best things to do in South London is the Dulwich Village – an upscale area of London with a huge park. It has very pretty houses and even huge mansions. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman used to own a house in East Dulwich, in the heart of the Dulwich Village.
Greenwich is probably the most famous district of South London. There are so many things to do in Greenwich that you probably need an entire day to explore the area. Greenwich has a fabulous street food market, exciting crafts market, a massive park with amazing views to Canary Wharf, a Royal Observatory (the zero meridian is also called Greenwich Meridian), the Painted Hall and the Catty Sark Museum. There are also plenty of vintage shops and unique stores in Greenwich, and the entire area is charming and amazing to walk around.
15. Horniman Museum
One of London’s most unusual museums, Horniman Museum features a collection of ocean trophies and has a huge aquarium. There is also a tropical indoor garden – a home to plenty of beautiful exotic butterflies. Horniman Museum is located in Forest Hill.
16. Mayfield Lavender Farm
Mayfield Lavender Farm is one of London’s most famous lavender farms and a perfect place to go if you want to take some fantastic photos. Located near Sutton and Croydon (in Banstead), this farm is in full bloom in July and early August. Who said you NEED to go to Provence to take some fantastic shots in lavender fields?
17. Brockley Market
The last, but not least of the best street food markets in South London is the Brockley Market. Brockley Market is open on Saturdays, and it features a vast range of local fresh produce, pastries, street food and plants. Located in a quiet residential area of Brockley, it’s a perfect place to visit if you live nearby.
18. The Oval Cricket Ground
If you’re into cricket, you probably know about the Oval Cricket Ground – one of London’s most famous Cricket grounds. You can buy tickets for a cricket match here.
One of my favourite districts of South London is Wimbledon. Wimbledon is an upscale village within London that is famous for tennis (the annual tennis championship is held in Wimbledon) but’s also a fantastic place to walk around. It’s very green, has a huge park and overall, is a great place to spend a day out.
Finally, the last, but not least of the best things to do in South London is Richmond. Richmond postcode starts with TW, however, it’s still part of London and is located within the fare zone 4. Richmond is a very beautiful town in London, and it’s a very leafy suburb to live in. In Richmond, you can go for a walk, explore one of the biggest parks in London (Richmond Park is enormous), spot the deer (there are in abundance in Richmond) and dine in one of Richmond’s best restaurants with a view to the Thames.
Summary of the amazing and fun things to do in South London:
I hope you enjoyed this post about the amazing and fun things to do in South London: from attraction to cafes, markets and more. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below.