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28 July 2020

Explore London: top picks for things to do around King's

King’s location at the heart of London makes it an ideal starting point to venture out and explore the capital.

Image of London
Image of London skyline.

Whilst London is beginning to open-up again, some of these recommendations may not be fully open just yet. As you explore our wonderful capital city, please make sure to follow the UK Government’s guidelines.

Below are top picks of famous landmarks, iconic cultural hotspots, green spaces and student-friendly eateries that are a stone’s throw from King’s five campuses.

Strand Campus

EXPLORE: Covent Garden – A five-minute walk from King’s Strand Campus is Covent Garden, an elegant, car-free Piazza, home to fashion stores, arts and crafts at the historic Apple Market and the Royal Opera House. Don’t miss street entertainers performing outside St. Paul’s Church.

VISIT: St Dunstan in the East – Located in the City of London, St Dunstan in the East stands out from the crowd as a tranquil place to picnic. The bombed-out ruins have trees growing through windows, vines wind themselves around the walls and the palm trees make for a positively tropical addition. It’s a gorgeously green spot when the sun shines.

WALK: Lincoln’s Inn Fields – This little postage stamp of a park is tucked away between the Royal Courts of Justice and Holborn, close to the Strand Campus and right next to the Maughan Library. A perfect lunch spot, it also houses tennis courts and a café.

EAT: Watch House – Newly opened in 2020, Watch House is part of a coffee house group which only inhabits beautiful and historic buildings. On sunny days take your order out into the splendour of Somerset House courtyard.

Denmark Hill Campus

EXPLORE: Church Street, Camberwell– Camberwell is home to a thriving art and music scene, and Church Street, the main artery that runs from Camberwell through to Peckham features a host of pop-ups, charming pubs, quirky galleries and trendy cafés. 

VISIT: Bussey Building (CLF Art Café) – The Bussey Building is a multi-purpose art venue with cafes, club nights, theatre, artists-in-residence, film and comedy. It is a key part of Peckham’s status as one of London’s most dynamic and diverse creative hubs. Day or night you’ll find something interesting taking place.

WALK: Ruskin Park – This popular Edwardian park between Camberwell, Brixton and Herne Hill is much loved by the communities around it. Take a stroll through the park, or if you’re feeling more energetic make use of the sports pitches within. You might even catch some music from the bandstand if you’re lucky.

EAT: Maloko – A colourful vegetarian creperie with a unique interior and inviting outside space. More than just a café, Maloko has social change at its heart and is dedicated to combatting food poverty, waste culture, anti-social eating customs and damaging dietary choices.

Waterloo Campus

EXPLORE: Oasis Farm, Waterloo – Oasis Farm Waterloo is an urban farm and community centre just moments from the famous Southbank. A flourishing haven for nature and community activity, it specialises in working with disadvantaged young people, helping them to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.

VISIT: The Vaults theatre – The Vaults is a multidisciplinary arts space buried deep in the tunnels underneath Waterloo station. It has a reputation for lavish visual displays and cutting-edge performances, so head underground and find something special. 

WALK: Jubilee Gardens (Waterloo) – Right on the river with views of some of London’s most iconic landmarks – the famous London Eye being one of them – Jubilee Gardens, close to King’s Waterloo Campus has vibrant flower beds and a curvy walkway featuring spaces to relax between lectures.

EAT: St John’s Church Park street food market – As well as being a surprisingly serene green space (complete with Gaudi style mosaics), every lunchtime the grounds of St John’s Church play host to fantastic street food vans. The falafel wraps and Pad Thai are particularly popular.

All King’s Campuses and other venues around the South Bank area have detailed AccessAble accessibility guides. Find our more at AccessAble online

Guy’s Campus

VISIT: The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret – As the oldest surviving surgical theatre in Europe, this museum offers a unique insight into the history of medicine. Climb a 52-step spiral staircase to gain access. Keep an eye out for talks and events in this fascinating museum.

EXPLORE: More London Riverside – Stroll along the landscaped streets of More London along the River Thames and take in sights including Tower Bridge, Tower of London and City Hall, alongside restaurants, cafés and summer and winter markets. It’s the perfect place for an ‘I’m in London’ selfie!

WALK: Leathermarket Gardens – A welcome green patch near Guy’s Campus, the garden derives its name from the leather market and tanneries that existed here in the early 19th century. The gardens feature beautiful rose beds, with benches aplenty offering a quiet spot tucked away from busy London Bridge.

EAT: Borough Market – With Borough Market on the doorstep you’ll never run out of tantalising food options. London’s oldest food market has been serving the people of Southwark for 1,000 years! It’s a foodie hotspot that prides itself on sourcing exceptional produce.

St Thomas’ Campus

VISIT: Newport Street Gallery – Home to the collection of the bad boy of British art Damian Hirst, the Newport Street Gallery spans an epic 37,000 square feet and includes six exhibition spaces. With free and regularly changing exhibitions, this is the perfect place to get your fill of vibrant contemporary art close to campus. 

EXPLORE: Houses of Parliament – Did you know you can attend debates, watch Prime Minister’s Questions and take tours of this ornate and unmissable centre of democracy? This landmark building is the buzzing heart of Westminster and well worthy of a look inside and out. No need to pay for a tour, contact your local MP who can arrange it or visit virtually.

WALK: The Garden Museum & Courtyard (St Thomas’ Hospital) – A horticulturalists delight, the courtyard of the Garden Museum doesn’t disappoint, with creative flowerbeds, unusual plants and the promise of a good quality coffee.

EAT: Lower Marsh Street – A five-minute walk from St Thomas’, Lower Marsh Street is home to great food and drink options. Scooter Café has a mellow Parisian vibe, turning from café to bar in the evening, and the pub Vaulty Towers  is worth a look, if only to check out the intriguing interior.    

To find out more about what to see and do across the capital check out the Experience London pages or the Welcome to Kings app.


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