I’m listing ten reasons to visit Lower Marsh, London SE1. If you’re unfamiliar with this lovely London street, it’s adjacent to Waterloo Station in the Borough of Lambeth. It’s famous for the Lower Marsh Market, independent shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs and hotels. Don’t forget to explore the Leake Street Arches, a Graffiti Tunnel where you’ll see artists at work. Because the road is traffic free, it has a relaxing vibe with alfresco dining opportunities.
1. Instagram graffiti at Leake Street Arches
2. Eat street food at Lower Marsh Market
3. Enjoy healthy salad plates at Balance
4. Dine at one of the inexpensive restaurants
5. Stop off at a café for coffee, toasties or a fry-up
6. Try a specialist bubble tea or Italian Gelato
7. Drink at one of the venues, pubs or wine bars
8. Stay at one of the contemporary hotels
9. Buy something adorable from Twice the Siren
10. Treat yourself to natural products from Rivers Remedies
My Favourite Ten Reasons To Visit Lower Marsh
Walk through Leake Street Arches, which is a tunnel where the walls and ceilings are covered in graffiti, and you are likely to find street artists at work with their cans of spray paint. A few eateries and bars are under the arches, including Banh Bao Brothers (Pan-Asian), Draughts (Board Games, Burgers and Beer), and Mamuśka! (Polish Food and Drinks), Passyunk Avenue (Philly Food and Booze). Also under the arches is The Vaults, an immersive theatre and alternative arts venue with a bar and club. Look out for the underpass next to the Sino Thai restaurant.
Lower Marsh Market is open from Monday to Friday from 11 am until 4.30 pm. It’s mainly food stalls selling global cuisine, including Greek, Italian, Middle Eastern, Thai, Indian, Ethiopian, and more. You can take your street food and consume it on one of the outdoor dining tables or at Waterloo Millennium Green, nearby. Nonfood stalls include secondhand vinyl, clothing and jewellery.
If you’re after a healthy lunch, head to Balance. Their breakfast and brunch offering is excellent, with pancakes and egg dishes. They are known for their salad plates which you can add a main such as tuna or quiche. I’ve eaten there many times while travelling through Waterloo Station while visiting family.
Those preferring to dine at an inexpensive restaurant for lunch or dinner may like Cubana (Cuban), Wing Loon Cafe (Chinese), Sino (Thai), Marie’s (Thai), GoGo Pocha (Korean), The Sushi Co (Japanese) and Pizza Pilgrims (Italian).
If you want a toastie, pastries, cakes, coffee or tea, try Greensmiths or Little Bread Pedlar. Anyone looking for a café that serves a full English breakfast will enjoy Marie’s or The Chunnel Bar.
A couple of speciality shops include Frozen River and Candiero. Bubble tea fans will appreciate Frozen River’s long list of speciality teas. I tried Passion Fruit Green Tea, which was delicious. I loved every sip. Other options are Winter Melon with Grass Tea, Lychee Mountain Tea and Black Tea with Cheese Milk Foam! Candiero offers traditional Italian Gelato, and their Tiramisu flavour is the one to try.
Those wanting a glass of wine should check out Unwined below the StowAway shipping container hotel. Cubana is the place for exotic cocktails and lives music. If you prefer beer and pub grub, The Camel and Artichoke are perfect. If you’re after an experience, Vaulty Towers is lively, with over-the-top interiors and DJs serving a vegan menu. Try The Glitch, a café bar hosting comedy and spoken word events for a more intimate option.
Check into one of the hotels at Lower Marsh. Ruby Lucy has stylish bedrooms and a 24-hour bar. Nox offers contemporary interiors, while StowAway is an apartment hotel housed inside shipping containers with a wine bar downstairs.
Twice The Siren is a gorgeous shop selling jewellery, clothing and cute gifts like Frieda Karlo cushions.
Rivers’ Remedies is the place for sustainable and ethical beauty, body, haircare, household and cleaning products.
Watch My Lower Marsh Video
Helpful Information About Lower Marsh
The area was marshland, known as Lambeth Marshe, hence the name Lower Marsh, before it was drained in the 18th century. Please refer to the Lower Marsh Wikipedia page to discover more about the history. We Are Waterloo also has some helpful information and a list of all the businesses in the area. The closest station is Waterloo (train and underground).
While you are in the vicinity, you may find these articles and videos helpful:
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. Please check that the places I referenced in this article are still in business before you visit to avoid disappointment.