London Bridge is dominated by some of the most iconic landmarks and best attractions in London. Ever-evolving, this is where some of the oldest structures in the city rub shoulders with remarkable modern architecture.
The neighborhood is only a short tube ride away from the Park Grand Paddington Court so we encourage our guests to add this exciting area to your sightseeing list. Get away from the typical tourist trail and check out these four alternative things to do around London Bridge.
1) Cruise the Maltby Street Market
Everyone’s heard of Borough Market, and it’s one of the most popular things to do around London Bridge for a (delicious) reason. But the lesser known Maltby Street Market is a haven for foodies and a great alternative thing to do around London Bridge to coincide with weekend hotel deals in London.
This boutique food market is all about gourmet street bites, farm-fresh produce and mouth-melting cakes. Choose from a plethora of delicacies including gyoza, gyros, falafel and waffles. For those who want to sample the best of British, you’ll find bangers (sausages) with mash and Scotch eggs! Environmentally conscious grazers will delight in sustainable practices upheld by the traders. Nestled in the railway arches you’ll find bars serving locally distilled gin, craft beers and Italian wine tastings.
Plan your visit:
- The market is open Fri (12 – 2.30pm), Sat (10am – 5pm) & Sun (11am – 4pm).
- Find it at 37 Maltby Street, London SE1 3PA. Most of the stalls are along Ropewalk.
- Take cash – most vendors do not have credit card facilities.
2) Visit the Mayor of London’s Office
City Hall is as much a part of the London skyline as The Shard, The Gherkin and the Tower of London. However, this wonky office tends to be overlooked in favour of even more head-turning towers and bridges.
As the office of Sadiq Khan and the 25 members who make up the London Assembly, City Hall is the powerhouse behind London. The Mayor is responsible for making London the best possible place for everyone who visits, lives or works in the city. And his workplace is actually open to the public!
On the second floor you can access the Chamber, where Assembly meetings and debates take place. Members of the public are welcome to sit in and listen to a public meeting in the dedicated seating gallery. Note that you cannot enter the Chamber unless there is a meeting taking place.
Throughout the year, City Hall display a number of temporary exhibitions – so ask at reception what is on when you visit. There is a cafè on the lower ground floor, or you can relax in the More London amphitheatre just outside and sip a takeaway coffee whilst admiring the spectacular architecture.
Plan your visit:
- Visitors are welcome to visit City Hall Mon – Thu (8.30am – 6pm) or Fri (8.30am – 5.30pm).
- You do not need to book ahead.
- Entry to City Hall is free.
- All visitors must clear security screening via a metal detector and have a bag search. Factor in extra time for this when making travel plans from hotels near Paddington Station London
- Find it at The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA
3) Entertain yourself at the Bridge Theatre
London’s West End is known as the bee’s knees of theatre, but in such a creative and cultured city as London, theatre land has expanded. The historic streets of London Bridge are peppered with alternative theatres, where radical and modern theatre thrives. Those traveling to London on a budget might find the prices more favourable, too!
Young, contemporary venue, the Bridge Theatre, focuses on commissioning and producing new shows. The current offering, A Number (14 Feb – 14 Mar), is a thrilling drama about a man who discovers he is one of a number of identical clones. An adaptation of Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage is coming to Bridge Theatre this summer – book tickets quickly!
Alternatively, The Bunker champion ambitious artists and nurture new talent, who create adventurous pieces of drama for the modern-day audience. Each show runs for a couple of days, so check their programme against your London hotel deal.
If you’re travelling with a family, you can take them to the Unicorn Theatre, which stages performances and events specifically for children aged 2+. Shows vary from adaptations of classic children’s books to ones to make them wonder and think. Highlights of the current season include Gulliver’s Travels (15 Mar – 3 May), followed by Robotology (19 May – 21 Jun).
Plan your visit:
- It is recommended to book tickets ahead.
- Bridge Theatre: 3 Potters Fields Park, London SE1 2SG
- The Bunker: 53A Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU
- The Unicorn: 147 Tooley Street, London SE1 2HZ
4) Experience live music at the Golden Hinde
As you wander along the cobbled streets of this pretty neighborhood, you won’t miss the Golden Hinde. A replica of the original galleon which Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated around the globe, the shop is a fascinating piece of history to explore during the day.
However, by night the ship hosts local and national singers and bands! Acts range from blues, the folk, indie singer-songwriters, to New Orleans Bass. In general, each performance is a one-night affair – so check their schedule in advance. There is a bar onboard the ship, so you can swig a rum like a real pirate!
Besides music, the Golden Hinde also hosts a series of historical talks and other events. Overall, it’s a great alternative nightlife option from your Paddington accommodation.
Plan your visit:
- Tickets for music performances may be purchased online or in cash at the door. It is usually cheaper to buy-in advance.
- Start times usually are 7pm or 7.30pm.
5 Further things to do in London Bridge:
- Freak yourself out at the Tombs Experience
- Sharpen up on surgical history at the Old Operating Theatre Museum
- Shop for souvenirs at Hays Galleria
- Clamber aboard HMS Belfast warship
- Take in The View from the Shard