My Ten Things To Do In Elephant and Castle London is perfect for anyone who hasn’t visited this area for a while. It’s undergone a massive transformation, so you may not recognise it. The shopping centre with the famous pink elephant standing outside is being demolished. There are various new apartment blocks, restaurants, and shops at Elephant Park.
To make way for the significant transformation, the Heygate Housing Estate was flattened. Because the tenants got displaced, the demolition met with controversy. With any large-scale regeneration project, there are positives and negatives and sadness for those who lost their homes or had to move their businesses out of the shopping centre. The significant advantage for me is the underpass beneath the big roundabout now has road level crossing. I got lost under that roundabout several times, so I’m thankful for that improvement. I hope you will find my Ten Things To Do In Elephant and Castle helpful and that you can find time to rediscover the area.
Ten Things To Do In Elephant and Castle
- Meet friends to dine at one of the Mercato Metropolitano venues. The large food hall at 42 Newington Causeway, SE1 6DR, has internal and external food and drink vendors plus a grocery store. A new MMy Mercato Metropolitano is now open at Walworth Road SE17 1GA with a few food vendors and groceries. Around the corner, MM Factory will open later this year on Walworth Square and Sayer Street. The focus will be on sustainable dining with a cookery school programme.
2. Dine at one of the restaurants on Sayer Street, the new foodie destination in Elephant and Castle, offering international cuisine. The street is pedestrianised, so it’s a relaxing place to hang out. Ash Avenue is the dining spot with restaurants facing Elephant Springs Park.
Some of the Elephant and Castle restaurants include Beza (Ethiopian Vegan) shown above, Pot and Rice (Pan Asian), Miko’s (Ecuadorian), Bayroot (Lebanese), Tasty Jerk (Jerk Chicken), SUGO 82 (Italian Street Food), Four Hundred Rabbits (Italian Pizza), Theo’s (Italian Pizza), Rarebit (British All Day Dining), Bobo Social (All Day Dining), Dragon Castle (Cantonese and Dim Sum) and Oisoi (Contemporary Chinese). Read my article about the Best Places to Eat in Elephant and Castle.
3. Shop at Castle Square, 40 Elephant Road, where you will find a mix of local retailers providing specialised services. These include hair and beauty, clothing alterations, games and gadgets, natural herbal products, food and drinks. Those who wish to enjoy lovely home-cooked Guyanese, Caribbean, Columbian, Ecuadorian or West African food should head for the wooden box buildings with the iconic pink elephant on top. You’ll also find Pappagoni (Italian), Murger Han (Xi’an cuisine) and Tupi (Brazilian-style brunch) facing the square. Many retailers were relocated to Castle Square, Ash Avenue and Elephant Arcade when the shopping centre closed. If you miss the famous elephant statue, the new home is on top of the Castle Square building.
4. Explore the Elephant Arcade, 50 London Road which is home to about ten independent businesses. It is set inside Perronet House, a 1970s building facing the roundabout. The enterprises include Black Cowboy Coffee, Dr Juice, House of Trainers and more.
5. Sip a coffee and relax at one of the coffee shops. Hej Roastery and Coffee House at Mansfield Point, Rodney Road, serves pastries and more. Sidecar Coffee Bar on Spare Street is set inside a railway arch where they serve breakfast, brunch and toasties. You will see the mobile coffee sidecar outside, which travels to festivals. Black Cowboy Coffee at Elephant Arcade specialises in organic, fair-trade coffee beans. Change Please on Walworth Road is a social enterprise scheme giving all the profits to help improve people’s lives.
6. Buy veggies and fruit from East Street Market, a traditional style market where you can buy everything from plantains to luggage and cheap clothing.
7. Treat yourself to a plant from the Nunhead Gardener Shop. I can’t resist looking around a plant shop, and I’m a big fan of the Nunhead Gardener. I was pleased to see that they have opened a shop and a hut on Sayer Street.
8. Pick up Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese groceries from one of the many specialist stores. My favourite is Longdan at 128-132 Walworth Road because it is massive. Nearby is Kiki and MiuMiu, and they have a bakery at 141 Walworth Road. There are more Asian supermarkets, but those two are my favourites. If you love Chinese food, check out Dragon Castle; I’ve eaten there a few times and recommend it. The website says they are undergoing improvements, so I hope they open up again soon!
9. Do something creative, cultural, or fun. A few options include dancing at the Ministry of Sound, watching a performance at the Southwark Playhouse, exploring the Cinema Museum, taking a short course at the Art Academy or visiting the Heritage Centre or Library.
10. Keep fit by popping along to the Castle Centre, where you can swim or get fit in the gym.
Ten Things To Do In Elephant and Castle Information
Go to the Elephant Park Website to learn more about the regeneration scheme. The Wikipedia Page is interesting for background information. To see pictures of the area, go to my Love Elephant and Castle London Pinterest Board. The Elephant and Castle Underground Station (Bakerloo and Northern Lines) are conveniently located to explore the area. I’ve concentrated on things to do near the Elephant and Castle roundabout or a short walk away. If you have more time, you may also want to pop along to the Imperial War Museum on Lambeth Road, where you will find lovely grounds, including the Tibetan Peace Garden.
For more information about things to do in the area, please read my relevant articles:
Best Restaurants In Elephant And Castle
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London.