Left-field London — 10 alternative travel tips

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London’s a global magnet for tourists, but if Buckingham Palace bores you to tears, you’re not fussy about Knightsbridge and Chelsea leaves you cold, you might be yearning to discover delights a little off the beaten track.

So if you’re ready for left-field London, here are 10 alternative travel tips.

 

1. Brixton

 

When you love Caribbean food, vibes and fashion, visiting bombastic Brixton is a must. This trendy locale offers a host of delights, including craft beer from Brixton Brewery, eclectic exhibitions at the Black Cultural Archives and mouth-watering Jamaican food at Healthy Eaters café.

 

2. Fight Klub

 

If you’re a fan of old school drum n bass acts like Shy FX, Fabio and Grooverider, but don’t fancy busting moves in a sweaty nightspot, keep fit while getting your music fix by attending Fight Klub — it’s a high-energy group workout session held in venues like Boxpark Croydon.

 

3. The Vault

 

Socialites who like their cocktails spiced with a dash of intrigue like nothing better than stowing themselves away in secret London bars like Soho’s The Vault. Book a private table at thevaultsoho.co.uk and enter through the bookcase of whisky shop Milroy’s at 3 Greek Street.

 

4. Institute of Contemporary Arts

 

The Institute of Contemporary Arts is located in Nash House on The Mall, just off Trafalgar Square. And it’s probably the best place in the UK capital to see everything from short films by Straub and Huillet to improvisatory Jamaican dance.

 

5. Dans Le Noir

 

Eating at Dans Le Noir is an amazing assault on the senses with a social purpose. You’ll dine in pitch darkness and be served by visually impaired staff — it’s an absolutely unforgettable experience which is humbling and inspiring.

 

6. Love Hate Social Club

 

If you’d like a permanent reminder of your love for London, get yourself inked at Notting Hill’s Love Hate Social Club. Artists Guy Neutron and Jessica V are amongst Britain’s best.

 

7. Chessboxing

 

What could be more exciting than watching two muscle-bound competitors spending alternate rounds punching one another, then pitting their wits against each other on a chessboard? Chessboxing is one of the world’s coolest sports — check londonschessboxing.com for shows.

 

8. Bunga Bunga

 

Karaoke’s not a London invention, but locals have taken it to their hearts nonetheless. And Bunga Bunga in Battersea is one of the city’s best places to belt out showstopping tunes and sink a few beers.

 

9. Oyster card

 

It has its critics, but compared to many large cities, London’s public transport system is punctual and cost-effective. Get an Oyster card from oyster.tfl.gov.uk, top it up with credits and get ready to explore the entire city.

 

10. Gatwick

 

There are several airports in London, but Gatwick’s one of the best for exploring the rest of the UK and Europe. Parking providers like Looking4.com can help you stash your car there securely while you embark on a weekend away.

So ends our list. But please share your own alternative London travel tips in the comments section.

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