Discovering the Back-Streets around London Bridge

Secrets of Southwark

This iconic area of London with its cobbled streets, winding alleyways and array of exciting bars and restaurants is one of London’s most popular areas. Step away from the tourist track and be amazed with the hidden gems and bustling back-streets.

Within walking distance from London Bridge Hotel you will find all of the top tourist attractions such as The Shard, The Golden Hinde, The Globe Theatre, Tower of London and The River Thames. Take a step back from all of these areas and discover what this area really has got to offer

Gelateria 3BIS- Borough Market – Park St

For a welcome and friendly Italian experience head on over to 3BIS gelateria where you can grab home made gelato, frozen yoghurt, crepes, waffles and much more. Within walking distance from London Bridge station, it’s the ideal place to stop off for a sweet treat after a busy day shopping or sight seeing. They offer a broad selection of flavours that you can enjoy inside or out.

3Bis gelateria borough market
3BIS Gelato

We opted for a Mango and Rasberry sorbet in a cone, but you can also choose to have it in cup, and some chocolate filled cannoli’s. A new product that are selling is the chocoshot cup – a flavoured cone cup filled with your favourite gelato flavours.

3BIS also supply to events, such as weddings and parties. You can hire a gelato cart to turn your event into a special and unique one.

Bird & Blend – Borough Market – Park St

Bird & Blend is an award winning tea company who are on a mission to spread happiness and reimagine tea. The shop is light and airy and the staff are friendly and full of knowledge about all things tea. They offer a wide selection of tea blends and if you’re not sure on what to buy the staff are more than happy to make one up for you to try.

Not only at Bird & Blend can you get a perfectly brewed tea but you can also grab tea gifts, tools to make tea and even book onto one of their mixology tea blending and tea tasting experience workshops.

We are big fans of Matcha tea so was pleasantly surprised by the huge selection of flavoured tea to try. The member of staff that served us was brilliant and very friendly, offering us lots of advice on what delicious blend of tea to try. As it was a hot day we went with cold blend tea, which he mixed in front of us and even allowed the children to join in with making their own tea; they were shown how to use a bamboo whisk and how to add the special ingredient that made Unicorn Fizz drink change colour.

Bird & Blend shop front

We tried and Iced Black Matcha and Coconut, MojiTEA, Unicorn Fizz and an Iced Gingernut Matcha & Apple drink.

I couldn’t recommend this place enough, the staff were friendly and approachable, the quality and taste of the tea was perfect and reasonably priced.

Backstreets

One thing I noticed about the area around London Bridge was that no matter where you turn there is always something to catch your eye. The street art and buildings are amazing. Wander through the railway arches and follow the Low Line walk, which spans the length of the Old Victorian Rail viaducts from London Bridge to Bermondsey. The Low Line connects the neighbourhoods and communities, celebrating the heritage of the railway arches, unlocking places of interest along the way.

Drawing of swans in a railway archway
Art work under a viaduct on the Low Line walk
Malagonisa street art
Colourful wing street art at Cluedupcoffee

The buildings still show signs of the old days. Something I always tell my children when we are visiting a new area is to look up. When walking along we tend to just look straight forward but when you look up you will notice the infrastructure and architecture of old buildings. There is always an historical, strange or artistic inspirational find.

Flat Iron Square

Flat Iron Square is a new foodie hub in Bankside that is nestled in the heart of London Bridge. It offers a unique cultural and culinary experience with tantalising food vendors, restaurants, street food, bars and live music. It’s a great outdoor space that runs along the railway arches and hidden behind a grass wall. The garden is a welcome space to sit and enjoy time with family and friends in a casual and vibrant environment.

This is a nice little hidden secret within London, very vibrant and a great place for lunch. Head over here for a vibrant and buzzing atmosphere and a variety of food and drink options. Not only was there a DJ on when we was there but they had a big screen up showing a sporting event.

We opted for some light bites from the summer menu at the Lime Hut, which were zesty and rich in flavour, all freshly cooked on a huge pan in front of you.

The younger of of our group opted for a sugary treat from Waffle On. Yep, you guessed it, they sell freshly cooked waffles with a selection of toppings.

Crossbones Graveyard

Whilst walking around we came across a very interesting, but rather odd yard and was lucky that we managed to have a quick look just before it closed for the day. Crossbones Graveyard is the site of an old burial ground with an extraordinary background. Back in medieval times it was a graveyard for prostitutes, by the 18th century it became a burial ground for around 15,000 paupers and is now a sacred place and sanctuary in the heart of the City dedicated to the ‘Outcast Dead’.

Now a garden of remembrance, with shrines, open to the public and to celebrate life in all imperfection.

It was once the final resting place for the’ Winchester Geese’ which is a rather quaint term for medieval prostitutes who were licensed by the Bishop of Winchester to work in the brothels.

As you enter the yard you will walk under a wooden structure which is in fact carved out to be the wings of a Goose

crossbones graveyard geese wings wooden structure
Carved wings

Along the top it says

‘Here lay your hearts, your flowers, your book of hours

your fingers, your thumbs, your ‘miss you, Mums’.

Here hang your hopes, your dreams, your might have beens,

Your locks, your keys, your mysteries’

A very interesting place full of history, there are plenty of places to sit and contemplate and reflect on life. An incredible space that truly moves you, despite being in the City it has a peaceful silence.

An unusual find but one that we were glad that we had stumbled across. Possibly somewhere that we wouldn’t have normally visited but has definitely opened our eyes to exploring backstreets a little more.

This is a collaboration post. The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views and pictures are my own

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