London's Hidden Gems: Exploring Off-the-Beaten-Path Neighborhoods - Broke in London

London’s Hidden Gems: Exploring Off-the-Beaten-Path Neighborhoods

Guest post by Madhura Ballal from AmberStudent

London is a city that has a lot to offer, from famous tourist attractions to world-renowned universities, from the best restaurants to places with a strong art and cultural presence. It truly offers a complete experience. Along with these well-known destinations, there are also hidden gems in London that are worth exploring. So, take a break from your student accommodation and discover a different side of London.

Hackney Wick

Hackney Wick is a popular and eclectic neighborhood located near the Olympic Park. It is famous for its creative and artistic community, with street art, art vendors, studios, and galleries. Here you can immerse yourself in a world of colors and perspectives. Additionally, Hackney Wick offers a vibrant nightlife with bars, cafes, and restaurants.


Greenwich is a historic neighborhood in Southeast London, known for its maritime history, beautiful parks, and cultural attractions. Some of its notable places include the Royal Observatory Greenwich (a UNESCO World Heritage site), the Queen’s House, the Old Royal Naval College, and the Royal Park. The neighborhood also has various dining options, ranging from traditional pubs to international cuisine, as well as a vibrant street market.


Photo by Rumman Amin on Unsplash

Saint Dunstan in the East

Saint Dunstan in the East is a ruined medieval church located in London. It was originally built in the 12th century and was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and during the Blitz in World War II. Now, it serves as a public garden and symbolizes London’s rich history, located between the London Bridge and the Tower of London.

The Painted Hall 

The Painted Hall is a historic building located in Greenwich, considered one of Britain’s grandest interiors. With its ornate architecture and extensive painted decoration, it was originally built as a dining hall for the Royal Hospital for Seamen and is now open to the public as part of the Old Royal Naval College.

Neal’s Yard 

Neal’s Yard is located in Covent Garden, London and is a vibrant and colorful alley known for its independent shops, galleries, and colorful buildings. It also has several quiet cafes, bars, and restaurants. A highlight of Neal’s Yard is its collection of organic products, including cheeses and wines, vegan foods, and vegan restaurants, making it an inclusive neighborhood.

The Vaults 

The Vaults are hidden underground tunnels located in Waterloo, London, and can be found at Leake Street, under the Waterloo Station in Central London. Here, you can find a colorful graffiti tunnel, as well as diverse experiences like immersive theatre productions, live music, interactive exhibitions, and comedy shows. There are also bars and restaurants serving various foods.

The Columbia Road Flower Market 

The Columbia Road Flower Market is located in the East End of London and is held every Sunday between 8 am and 3 pm. Here, you can find almost 50 stalls selling unique flowers and plants, as well as cafes and restaurants. The best time to visit is around 1 pm when the crowds are smaller.

Tulip Stairs 

The Tulip Stairs are located in the Queen’s House in Greenwich and are considered one of the most aesthetically pleasing staircases in the world. With its blue wrought-iron railing decorated with flowers, the sweeping spiral staircase is centrally unsupported. If you have a few minutes to spare, you can freely enter the Queen’s House and check out the Tulip Stairs.

Sky Garden 

The Sky Garden is located at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street, also known as the Walkie-Talkie building. It is a public space with observation decks, landscape gardens, open-air terraces, and rooftop bars and restaurants, offering a bird’s-eye view of the beautiful city of London.

Sky garden

Photo by Joseph Hwang on Unsplash


Author’s Bio

Madhura Ballal plays many roles- a cat person, a food lover, an avid marketer, and a postgraduate from the National University of Singapore. You can find her painting, doing yoga, and spending time with her friends when she’s not playing one of the most critical roles that she has taken on- writing