What to do in – Waterloo (London)

99.2 million people pass through London Waterloo train station every year, but how many of them know what fantastic hidden gems lie in the surrounding area?

Lower Marsh Market

The brightly coloured stalls of Lower Marsh Market

Founded in 1850, Lower Marsh Market is one of London’s oldest and best-loved markets thanks to the string of independent shops and businesses that surround it. The market and its surrounding area make up a truly unique community in its own right, and because of this it was recognised as a conservation area in 1984. Throughout the week, the market offers street food from all corners of the world; from Italy to the Caribbean. And on Saturdays, there is a flea and handmade market where you will find vintage clothing, handmade trinkets, and even home baked goods.

London Necropolis Railway Station

London Necropolis Railway Station, 121 Westminster Bridge Road

This building on Westminster Bridge Road is all that remains of the strangest and spookiest railway in British history. The London Necropolis Railway was built to transport corpses out of the city centre in the 19th Century, when all of London’s cemeteries were full. From this station, the railway would carry dead bodies and mourning relatives to Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey. The station building contained a waiting room for mourners, a morgue, and a chapel. Unfortunately, there is no longer public access to the site, but you can still marvel at the exterior and imagine how creepy it must have been back in the day…

Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel

Although Waterloo is not known to be a particularly edgy part of London, it is home to the city’s greatest legal graffiti tunnel. Leake Street was made famous in 2008 when Banksy himself put spray can to concrete on its very walls for the first Cans Festival. Since then the artwork has been continually painted over and embellished in various different materials, styles and themes, which means that no two visits to this awesome spot will ever be the same, and you will always find something that’s right up your graffiti-covered alley!

The walls (and ceiling) of the tunnel act as a canvas for all kinds of street art

The Vaults

The entrance to The Vaults, half way down Leake Street tunnel

Also among the disused railway arches below Waterloo Station is The Vaults, a unique arts and performance space where the frequent clatter of trains from above just adds to the atmosphere. Underground in all senses of the word, The Vaults hosts all things weird, wacky and wonderful – from art exhibitions to comedy and music festivals to theatre … Prepare to sink your teeth into some of the freshest, boldest, neon-lit art and events in London.

Fishcotheque

Fishcotheque, located just under the railway bridge on Waterloo Road

Inconspicuously located under the railway bridge on Waterloo Road, this chippie has been doing business for over 50 years; during which time it has perfected the ultimate British dining experience: fish ‘n’ chips. Fishcotheque serves fresh fish – delivered daily from Billingsgate – beautifully golden and glistening with grease, paired with a generous portion of chips, mushy peas, pickled onions, or even sausages.

A mosaic and a chandelier… The ultimate dining experience