Local Insight & Information
Being the oldest bridge in London and having become a tourist attraction within itself, the area is now filled with many fascinating and iconic destinations as well as there being a wide choice in leisure and business facilities throughout the area. Being across the river the surrounding scenery is beautiful and the whole area is very vibrant and aesthetic with architecture from the very old to the very new, both are utterly mesmerising. The bridge is now more than 600 years old and apart from a slight bit of repairing and remodelling is still in its current form to this day.
The area of London Bridge is home to the UK’s oldest food market; being so close to the River Thames and the waterways transport system made this the ideal location to sell produce bought straight off the boat. Borough Market today consists of more than 100 stalls and stands selling goods from all over the country including fish, meats, vegetables, ciders, cheeses, breads, coffees, cakes and patisseries all of which are sold fresh each day of the week. Some stalls within this market even sell rare produce which has been imported from overseas making this market definitely worth a visit for that unique ingredient.
Or, for an alternative unique shopping destination why not visit Hay’s Galleria. Built in the 1850s and again being conveniently close to the Thames, this site was originally used as a delivery docking site where ships from around the world would offload goods giving it the name the ‘Larder of London’. The market today is filled with traditional craft stalls and the walkways are creatively decorated to reflect its nature. Anything from jewellery to paintings, ceramics to designer children’s wear can be found amongst the stalls and permanent shops which are open daily. The focal point of this market however is that of the 60 ft. kinetic sculpture designed by David Kemp which is assembled from moving parts, water jets and fountains.
More on Location
Walking around this London Bridge area, wandering down the quieter streets and alleys, is the best way to stumble upon the rare eateries of the area. Champor-Champor is one such restaurant which is not overrun by tourists however, now being located close to the Shard it is not too difficult to find. The name of the place translates to mean ‘mix and match’ which perfectly reflects this imaginative location both in its décor and its dishes. Each wall is painted in brilliant colours and adorned in eye-catching masks, carved teak and the addition of candles and acres of Thai silk creates a romantic atmosphere within. Dishes fuse together the tastes from the East and West of Asia but the music which plays in the background as well as the beautiful art which fills the room is from all over the world. The place is both cosy and trendy and is ideal for couples or small groups.
Key Transport Links
If you fancy a little post work relaxation and a tour around this area of the city, there is no better way to travel than that of the Thames Clipper. Available from the pier of London Bridge this comfortable and unique source of transport departs every 20 minutes so queues are usually fairly short and the boat provides an alternative way to cross the river for morning commuters.
Being guaranteed a seat from comfortable leather chairs in the centre to slouchy couches near the windows or even a breezy seat out on deck, this is a relaxed and impressive way to see the city. The boats even have climate control so tours are equally as pleasant whether in summer or winter. The company have grown since they began with a single boat in 1999 to today carrying more than 3.8 million passengers a year on over 15 catamarans.
Other transport around this area of the city is equally as convenient and frequent with London Bridge Station offering links to the Jubilee and Northern lines as well as connections to Southeastern, Southern, Thameslink and bus services. Monument tube is also in the close vicinity and offers links to the Circle and District lines. DLR also runs in this area with Tower Gateway only an 11 minute walk from the bridge.