Southbank Skatepark

Spend an afternoon at this iconic London skate spot.

The skatepark at Southbank has been viewed as the birthplace of British skateboarding since 1976 and is an attraction for graffiti artists, skateboarders, inline skaters and BMXers from all over the city. The concrete undercroft provides the perfect environment for skating as it is sheltered from the ubiquitous British rain, has conveniently flat smooth surfaces and a wealth of interesting architectural features (think banks, ledges and sets of stairs). And with graffiti on every inch of the park it's a mesmerising slice of colour by the Thames.

On any given day you’ll find a number of tourists and passers by watching skaters shred the park. The skaters tend to be pretty experienced making this a really good place to see some complex tricks.

The undercroft was threatened by redevelopment plans back in 2014 but after skaters and members of the community formed the Long Live Southbank campaign and a 30,000 strong petition was delivered to the Council, the park was saved.

Half a mile from Waterloo station, bring your camera or your board and enjoy this iconic London skate spot.  

www.llsb.com

Southbank Skatepark, Lambeth, London, SE1 8XZ
 

 

Daunt Books

You'll find thousands of travel books in this beautiful bookshop

Daunt Books is arguably one of London's most beautiful bookshops. Founded almost 30 years ago, Daunt Books can be found on Marylebone High Street in an old Edwardian building. Spread over three floors, this stunning oak bookshop is primarily known for travel books. Arranging all books by country, book lovers are given a unique browsing experience. As the store has expanded, they have encompassed fact, fiction, guides and cooking books.  

Everything about Daunt Books is aesthetically breath-taking. The shop front is organised neatly and opens up into a long galleried main room, reminiscent of an old university library. At the end of the room is a huge stain glass window and this, teamed with the oak balcony and William Morris prints, gives Daunt Books a real sense of grandeur.   

Daunt Books became so popular that over the last 15 years they have opened stores in Holland Park, Hampstead, Chelsea, Belsize Park and Cheapside. Keep an eye on their website for details of talks and discussions that are held in store and look out for their annual book festival. 

Spend a Sunday flicking through their travel photography books and enjoying the peace of this old book store. 

www.dauntbooks.co.uk

83-84 Marylebone High St, London W1U 4QW

 

Notting Hill Carnival

Embrace the colour, sounds and cuisine of Europe's biggest street party

The biggest street festival in Europe, every August revellers take to West London for a celebration of tradition, culture and community. Notting Hill Carnival has now been running for over 50 years and sees around two million people dancing, drinking and coming together on the streets.

The first thing glimpse you'll get upon arrival is the parade. Starting early in the morning and running throughout the day until around 7pm, you can follow the floats and dancers and soak up the spirit that carnival runs on. As well as the parade, there are almost 40 soundsystems across the carnival, with a range of rich sounds to enjoy. From steel bands to the original soundsystems playing soca, dancehall, reggae, calypso and dub. You've also got a variety of stages spinning house, ska, funk, drum and bass and jungle. 

Something you have to do at Carnival is enjoy the food from one of the hundreds of stalls dotted about. There's no way you can turn down a tray of jerk chicken, but if you're feeling adventurous you can also sample a portion of goat curry. All of the stalls go through stringent checks, meaning you're pretty much guaranteed good grub. Most of the stalls serve up jerk chicken with fried plantain, coleslaw and rice and peas.  

It's worth doing some research before you go about where you want to end up, it's very easy just to get swept along with the crowds otherwise. You might also want to bear in mind that Sunday is labelled the family day and Monday is the main parade day. 

Our pointers? Bring cash with you, wear comfy shoes, pack some toilet roll and arrange to meet friends somewhere ahead of time. Phone signal doesn't happen for anyone and with the streets so busy you'll be really lucky to bump into your pals.  

www.thenottinghillcarnival.com

Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove, Westbourne Park London W10

 

Little Venice

Wander the canals of one of the prettiest pockets of London 

Tranquil and scenic, wandering around London's Little Venice doesn't feel much like being in zone two. This picturesque part of the city is where Regents Canal meets Grand Union Canal and depending on your day's direction, there are a couple of walks you can take. Take the North East branch of the canal and you'll go past London Zoo and onto Camden Lock. The alternative is to head further West and wind your way to Portobello Road and the other colourful streets of Notting Hill. 

You're not denied colour by simply hanging around the canals, though. The boats come in different shapes and sizes, a plethora of colours and with names stenciled on their sides. 

Either route, there are a handful of waterside cafes where you can refuel and watch the world go by. If you're happy to dodge the tourists and the odd cyclist, Little Venice shows you a totally different side to the city. If you're planning to visit, jump off the tube at Warwick Avenue and enjoy the calm of the water. 

Little Venice, Maida Vale, London W2 1TH

 

Maltby Street Market

Beautiful food and drink in the heart of Bermondsey.

This bustling market in Bermondsey is something of a pilgrimage for food lovers. Under the railway arches and spanning the length of the street, you’ve got a great mix of gastronomical treats, savoury and sweet.

Maltby Street hits your senses immediately, with the mass of people and the different smells in the air. Distracting as it is, there’s one stall that stands out with its queue stretching through the crowds.

The Beefsteaks team grill delicious rare steak to be served with chips or as part of a sandwich. The sandwich is a work of art made up of soft baguette, watercress, onion jam and your choice of peppercorn, chimichurri or béarnaise sauce.  The Beefsteaks use the onglet cut for thin slices of beef that melt in your mouth.

Steak isn’t the only think that will tempt you at Maltby Street, with soft salted caramel brownies from Bad Brownie and crisp Gin and Tonic from Little Bird Gin, Maltby Street is the perfect place to spend a Sunday.

www.maltby.st

LASSCO Ropewalk, 41 Maltby Street, London SE1 3FF