Check out Broadway Market for a more unique and true London market experience.

Away from the main stretch of attractions and crowds of tourists is a whole other London the guidebooks miss. Beyond the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and beyond a picnic lunch in Trafalgar Square there is a London waiting to be discovered. It may be hard to find since so much of London is immortalized in film and music and photography, but it is worth finding your London. Instead of resorting to generalizations, see London like a local and make it your own.

Shopping and markets

To find the most unique fashion in the city, Londoners head east in search of vintage clothes in and around Brick Lane. This area used to be a little more rundown but has since been revitalized so that nowadays bigger stores like Beyond Retro have settled in among the smaller boutiques. There’s also a Sunday market where you can grab one of a kind garments and bag the odd bargain.

Instead of getting lost in the mayhem of Camden Market, choose Broadway Market in Hackney instead. It’s an East End favourite, with stalls offering unique gifts and delicious street food.

If you are looking for a more multicultural option for markets, head south to Brixton where you’ll find an amazing food market that is open Monday to Saturday. The market’s venders offer customers everything from pig’s trotters to Jamaican bulla cakes.


Every neighbourhood in London will have its own claim to nightlife fame, but there are a few spots where the locals (and maybe even a few local celebrities) flock as the sun goes down. East London is edgier and consistently has a great nightlife scene for anyone looking to let loose. If you are going out on the weekend, head to Shoreditch or Hoxton for up-and-coming neighbourhoods where new places open seemingly every weekend and where you can pay for the privilege to party there. If you prefer somewhere more off-the-radar but still in-the-know, head to Dalston for some celeb favourites like the Dalston Superstore and Passing Clouds.

Superb pubs

If you’re looking for where London locals lounge and head for a beer after work, there are a few standby favourites to try. The Kings Arms is the perfect spot for an old-school pub experience. It’s quaint, charming, cosy, pretty, busy and easily one of the best pubs in London. There are nine real ale hand pumps to pour ales and locally sourced beverages.

If you’re looking for a high-class way to enjoy a local footie match, head to the Woodman Pub. It has a massive beer garden in the back to enjoy nice weather, and plenty of large screens that stream live football. There are plenty of delicious drinks and dishes to choose from but the atmosphere of the place is the best part of the Woodman Pub.

A quirkier option would be Four Quarters. It’s an arcade bar where the game-lover in you can come out to play. It’s a true arcade with plenty of 8-bit games and other machines to keep you entertained and having a good time.

Lazy Sundays

Instead of heading into the throngs of tourists that descend on the Thames every weekend, you have other options. Head to the west along the river a bit and you’ll experience a quieter and more authentic Thames. Here you can choose from a number of charming pubs, laze away the day at a boat club or just take in one of the many free activities in London while exploring the more rural setting.

If you prefer to actually get out of the centre of London, then Highgate in north London is a great option. It has a great laidback vibe despite its high-class status. Additionally, Highgate may best be known for its cemetery where some of the city’s most famous inhabitants came to rest. It isn’t nearly as dreary as it sounds and can be a great way to stay in touch with London’s history without being stuck in crowds.

Whether London is yours for a day, a week or a month, there is always something new to see and experience in the sprawling city. It’s time to get past the expected suggestions and see the real London—the real city where real people live. Count on Cover-More to protect your experiences and yourself while getting to see London like the locals.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Kyle Taylor