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Spanish Garden | Courtesy of Kensington Roof Gardens
Spanish Garden | Courtesy of Kensington Roof Gardens
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The Hidden Gems in Each London Borough That You Must Visit

Picture of Olivia Furniss-Roe
Updated: 8 June 2017
The 33 London boroughs are home to some hidden gems just waiting to be discovered, whether they be underground bars, ice cream parlours or even an inner-city farm. Make sure get off that beaten track and start exploring.
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Barking and Dagenham

Capital Karts – Rippleside

Adrenaline junkies need not leave the city to get their fix. Instead, visit the UK’s longest indoor race track and channel your inner Lewis Hamilton.

Capital Karts, Unit 1 Rippleside, London IG11 0RJ

Go-karting | Courtesy of Capital Karts

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Belmont Children’s Farm – Mill Hill

Find some respite from busy city life on Mill Hill – from ferrets to alpacas you’ll be able to cuddle over 30 types of animal at this animal oasis, and feel your stress simply melt away. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, there’s also an on-site waffle cafe.

Belmont Children’s Farm, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1QT

A hedgehog at Belmont Children’s Farm | Courtesy of Belmont Children’s Farm

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Cocoa & Heart – Bexleyheath

It’s never too late to learn a new skill, and Cocoa & Heart lets you do just that. From baking bread and making chocolate, to sewing and candle crafting, this hidden gem will inspire your creative side and leave you with a new skill, ready to impress your friends.

Cocoa & Heart, 19 Izane Rd, Bexleyheath DA6 8NU

Chocolate lollipops | Courtesy of Cocoa & Heart

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Lexi Cinema – Kensal Rise

This is a cinema that makes a difference – donating 100% of their profits to a charity in rural South Africa. The cinema is mainly run by passionate volunteers,so visit to watch a film and gobble down popcorn knowing you have done some good.

Lexi Cinema, 194B Chamberlayne Rd, Kensal Green, London NW10 3JU

The front of the Lexi Cinema | Courtesy of Lexi Cinema

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The Lavender House Cafe – Sundridge Park

Whether you are looking for a weekend brunch or afternoon tea, this cosy little cafe provides a calm ambience and high-quality food and drink, with a great outdoor seating area to make the most of the summer sun.

The Lavender House Cafe, 26 Plaistow Lane, Sundridge Park Village, Bromley BR1 3PA

Afternoon tea | Courtesy of The Lavender House Cafe


Chin Chin Labs Ice Cream – Camden Lock

Futuristic, scientific desserts with a variety of delicious flavours served by Europe’s first ever liquid nitrogen ice-cream parlour. You had better hurry as this will not be a hidden gem for long – they’ve already opened a second location.

Chin Chin Labs, 49–50 Camden Lock Place, London, NW1 8AF, UK

Ice cream sandwich
Ice cream sandwich | Courtesy of Chin Chin Labs
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Matthews Yard – Surrey Street

Nestled between Croydon’s east and west train stations, Matthews Yard is an exciting 10,000 square foot hub of creative activity, containing a crowd-funded theatre, an art gallery featuring local artists, two high-quality restaurants, as well as coworking spaces and artists’ studios. Why would you ever need to leave!

1 Matthews Yard, Croydon CR0 1FF

Matthews Yard decorated for a wedding | Courtesy of Matthews Yard

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WA Cafe – Ealing Broadway

Transport your taste buds to Japan at this independent Japanese patisserie in Ealing Broadway. The freshly-baked pastries look (almost) too good to eat and are served in beautiful Japanese crockery to really give you the authentic Japanese experience.

A variety of pastries | Courtesy of WA Cafe

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Chickenshed – Southgate

This vibrant young theatre started out exactly as their name suggests – in a chicken shed. The company has grown considerably but their values have remained the same – they seek to bring together people of all backgrounds to produce outstanding theatre productions and educational experiences.

Chickenshed, 290 Chase Side, London N14 4PE

Theatre performance | Courtesy of Chickenshed


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Greenwich Market – Greenwich

Set within a World Heritage site, this historic, vibrant market makes for a great day out in Greenwich. Whittle away the hours looking at products from designer-makers, original artworks and eating mouth-watering street food, all under one roof.

Greenwich Market, 5B Greenwich Market, London SE10 9HZ

Market stall at Greenwich Market | Courtesy of Greenwich Market

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Rio Cinema – Dalston

This gem comes in the form of a Grade II listed independent Art Deco cinema with a comprehensive programme of films and events throughout the year. The plush velvet seats, atmospheric music and red curtains also help create the great ambience.

Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB

An interior shot of Rio Cinema | Courtesy of Rio Cinema

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Hammersmith & Fulham

Lyric – Hammersmith

One of the UK’s leading producing theatres, the Lyric is known for its critically acclaimed theatrical work. As if this wasn’t reason enough to pay a visit, the Lyric is also home to a beautiful rooftop garden – a green oasis in the heart of Hammersmith.

Lyric Hammersmith, One Lyric Square, King St, London W6 0QL

Lyric theatre garden | Courtesy of Jim Stephenson

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Jam in a Jar – Green Lanes

Whether in search of your Monday morning coffee or your Friday night cocktail, this simple, versatile bar is worth a visit at any time of day. The menu caters to all tastes, no matter if you are on a diet or in the mood to indulge, and the evening live music only adds to the chilled out atmosphere.

Jam in a Jar, 599A Green Lanes, Harringay, London N8 0RE

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The Harrow in Harrow – Harrow on the Hill

For good food and some funky dance music, head to this pub in Harrow to liven up your Saturday night. With no shortage of large screens to cheer your team on over a beer, it’s also an ideal place for sports fans to catch the game.

The Harrow in Harrow, 269–271 Station Rd, London, Harrow HA1 2TB

The Harrow’s, beer, pie and chips | Courtesy of The Harrow | Courtesy of The Harrow

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Upminster TapRoom – Upminster

A firm local favourite due to its cosy setting and friendly staff, this micropub offers an incredible array of constantly changing real ale and ciders sourced from micro-breweries, the first of its kind in Havering.

Upminster Tap Room, 1b Sunnyside Gardens, Upminster RM14 3DT

Mulled cider | Courtesy of the Upminster TapRoom

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The Old Orchard – Harefield

It is hard to believe you are still in London when admiring the panoramic view from this restaurant’s beer garden. When it is too cold to sit inside, the open fires, home-made food and around 120 types of whisky will keep you warm at this hidden gem.

The Old Orchard, Park Ln, Harefield, Uxbridge UB9 6HJ

View from the garden | Courtesy of The Old Orchard

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Fuller’s Brewery – Chiswick

Curious about how your beer is made? Pay a visit to London’s last family brewery and take a tour behind the scenes to have an insight into ale-making. Make sure you stay until the end, when you will have the opportunity to sample a full range of ales and impress your friends with your newfound knowledge.

Fuller’s Brewery, The Griffin Brewery, Chiswick Ln, Chiswick, London W4 2QB

Fuller’s Brewery Tour | Courtesy of Fuller’s

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Tierra Peru – Angel

For an authentic taste of Peru, look no further than Tierra Peru, where the warm atmosphere and flavourful food could fool you into thinking you were really in South America.

Tierra Peru, 164 Essex Rd, London N1 8LY

Sweet dessert | Courtesy of Tierra Peru

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Kensington and Chelsea

The Roof Gardens Kensington High Street

A hundred feet above High Street Kensington, you’ll find one of the most glorious, glamorous and leafy spaces in London, offering amazing views of the city skyline complete with a swanky bar and restaurant. The best part? This garden is also home to a friendly flock of flamingos!

The Roof Gardens, 99 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 5SA

Spanish Garden | Courtesy of Kensington Roof Gardens

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The Windmill Brixton

For an unforgettable live music experience, look no further than this independent venue. With a warm atmosphere and hosting excellent acts (bands such as The Vaccines, Noah & The Whale and Jamie T have played here), this hidden gem makes for a great night out in Lambeth.

The Windmill, 22 Blenheim Gardens, London SW2 5BZ

Windmill sign | Courtesy of Windmill Brixton

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Horniman Museum and Gardens – Forest Hill

Open since the Victorian times, this free museum offers visitors the unusual opportunity to get up close and personal with its artefacts, allowing you to pick them up and play with them as you please. The gardens also make for a beautiful outdoor spot in the summer.

Horniman Museum, 100 London Rd, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ

Summer garden party | Courtesy of the Horniman Museum and Gardens

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Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – Stratford

Ever wondered what happened to the great Olympic facilities after 2012? They turned into a dynamic metropolitan centre featuring an urban park, playgrounds, an aquatic centre, and even the world’s longest tunnel slide!

River view of Olympic Park | Courtesy of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

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Lizard Lounge – South Woodford

For a range of delectable cocktails, head over to Lizard Lounge in South Woodford, an independent craft cocktail bar that also puts on a great show. Their experimental cocktail makes the most of fresh ingredients and will have you coming back for more – handy, then, that they are open every day of the week!

Lizard Lounge, 186-188 George Ln, London E18 1AY

Green Pea G&T | Courtesy of Lizard Lounge

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Richmond upon Thames

Rock & Rose Restaurant – Richmond

For a glamorous and vibrant atmosphere, Rock & Rose has the recipe for success, serving beautifully presented cocktails alongside international cuisine. The bold decor is the cherry on top at this hidden gem.

Rock & Rose Restaurant, 106 – 108 Kew Rd, Richmond TW9 2PQ

Cocktail | Courtesy of Rock & Rose

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Frank’s Cafe – Peckham

As soon as summer comes along, this Peckham pop-up appears on the top of a multi-storey car park, serving its legendary Campari alongside cooling cocktails, whilst also playing host to a number of art installations – a hipster’s paradise!

Frank’s Cafe, 10th Floor, Peckham Multi Story Carpark, 95A Rye Lane, London SE15 4ST

Drinks on the roof | Courtesy of Frank’s Cafe

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The Old Bank – Sutton High Street

Recently refurbished, this pub serves the classics, with all of the trimmings, for prices that will make you forget you are in London. What’s more, this is the only Sutton pub with a TV screen outside, allowing you to really soak in the summer sun.

The Old Bank, 2 High St, Sutton SM1 1HN

Pub front | Courtesy of The Old Bank

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Tower Hamlets

Wilton’s Music Hall – Tower Hill

Wilton’s Music Hall is the oldest grand music hall in the world, with over 300 years of history behind it. Today, it retains its natural charm and is a beautiful location where theatre, opera, dance, music, cinema, circus acts and other art forms find their natural home.

Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley, Whitechapel, London E1 8JB

Wilton’s Music Hall | Courtesy of Hélene Benet

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Waltham Forest

Luna Lounge – Leytonstone

Luna Lounge is proud of its reputation as the independent home of live music for the last 13 years. Having started out as a basement bar before extending into two whole floors of entertainment and live music, this funky bar offers an eclectic mix of music to suit all tastes, from open mic to psychedelic jazz funk.

Luna – The home of live music, 7 Church Ln, London E11 1HG

Live music | Courtesy of Luna – The home of live music

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The Ship – Wandsworth

Located right on the water’s edge, this is the perfect location if you are craving good food and an even better atmosphere. The beer garden and conservatory are worth the visit alone, and perfect for watching the sun set over the Thames.

The Ship, 41 Jews Row, Wandsworth, London SW18 1TB

Sunset cheers | Courtesy of The Ship

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Cahoots – Soho

Although tricky to find, the search is worth it for this tube-themed cocktail bar, complete with vintage, ’40s-style decor and an actor portraying a train guide to welcome you inside. The menus, in the form of broadsheet newspapers, reveal an endless choice of cocktails. All aboard for a night to remember!

Cahoots, 13 Kingly Court, Carnaby, London W1B 5PW

At The Bar | Courtesy of Cahoots