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Are you looking for new exciting things to do in Elephant and Castle London? Well, look no further! From rooftop bars, and museums, parks, local breweries to street markets (Latin America and Caribbean food galore) – the vibrant urban landscape of Elephant and Castle has something for everyone. Whether you are seeking some cultural enrichment, a good night out or just want to soak up the local atmosphere, we have got it all covered.
Here you will have the opportunity to explore an astonishingly varied selection of attractions and find things to do in Elephant and Castle London.
The Elephant Castle neighbourhood is noticeably undergoing a major transformation in South London. The iconic pink elephant that was once a landmark of the shopping centre has been replaced by an expansive development called Elephant Park. This new commercial district features numerous apartment buildings, eateries, and retail stores for locals to enjoy.
So there are a lot of new restaurants, buildings and businesses popping currently in the area. So put on your explorer hat (or any hat really) and get ready to explore one of London’s best-kept secrets.
Keep reading as we delve into the best things to do in Elephant and Castle London like locals. It’s time to get off the beaten track – let’s go!
Best things to do in Elephant and Castle – Top Elephant and Castle London Hot Spots
There are plenty of fun activities in Elephant and Castle for a thrilling day out. From historical museums, Backyard Cinema, parks and amazing fitness classes to relaxed restaurants, here are the top things to do near Elephant and Castle.
1. Visit Mercato Metropolitano
Visiting the street food Mercato Metropolitano is one of the top Elephant and Castle things to do. Mercato Metropolitano, which opened in 2016, is a fresh, sustainable, and accessible food spot with the charm of a farmers’ market. Doesn’t that sound good?
In fact, it’s London’s first sustainable urban market aimed at revitalising neighbourhoods while doing its bit to conserve the environment and community. As such, it is a much-loved spot amongst eco-conscious consumers.
The enormous food hub features both internal and external food and beverage providers, as well as a local grocery shop.
You may find it hard to take in the enormity of Mercato Metropolitano — the market is a whopping 4,181 square metres. But it’s easy to see why. With market booths, an Italian grocery, and even unexpected services like a barbershop and a boxing gym, it’s no wonder this place covers so much ground.
There’s also Backyard Cinema, where you and your mates can watch the latest movies while snacking on warm, buttery popcorn. If you’re interested, another Mercato may be found in Mayfair, as well as a smaller counterpart in Elephant Park.
Mercato Metropolitano is one of the best food markets in London and is a lovely venue to hang out with friends and family and enjoy a cool beverage and delicious bites.
Tip: Pick a table ahead of time (as spots tend to fill up), so you have a space to eat and chat at. Then, make your way over to the stalls and choose from a wide variety of excellent dishes at the market. It’s one of the top Elephant and Castle attractions.
Address |42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR, United Kingdom.
Operating hours | Main Market: Mondays to Thursdays: 12:00 to 23:00; Fridays and Saturdays: 12:00 to 00:00; Sundays: 12:00 to 22:00. The MM Grocery is open from 08:00 to 20:00 on Mondays to Saturdays, and from 09:00 to 20:00 on Sundays.
2. Relax at Elephant Springs Park
If you thought adults are the only group who’ll love spending time in Elephant Park, you’re wrong. Elephant Springs water park is a great place to take the kids for some water play. The best part: it’s completely free and there is even a tree house in the park. So, everyone in the family is sure to have a good time.
Elephant Springs Park is the go-to spot for some serious unwinding. It’s got it all – plenty of gorgeous spaces to take in nature, pubs, shops, gyms and restaurants in and around Elephant Park.
Plus, this bustling place has been decorated with cute little elephant models that you must check out!
But don’t worry adults: if it’s the excitement you’re after, you’ll find that too. Take the kids to Elephant Springs Water Park and splash around in the free water park – there’s even a tree house.
Or why not treat yourself to a night out bar hopping for some grown-up fun along Sayer Street? What are you waiting for? Get yourself over to Elephant Springs Park today as it’s one of the top places to visit in Elephant and Castle.
Tip: Try out some artisanal dishes or keep cool with some silky, fruity gelato at the smaller Mercato in Elephant Park.
Address |Elephant Rd, London SE17 1UB, United Kingdom.
Operating hours |08:00 to 20:00 daily.
3. Explore the Imperial War Museum
Visiting the Imperial War Museum in London is the perfect outing for anyone interested in history. It is known for being the world’s first museum to house both the Second World War Galleries and Holocaust Galleries, so you will be able to learn a lot about these two historical events.
Located conveniently in Elephant Castle, this building also hosts a number of free presentations and temporary exhibits throughout the year.
Spend time touring its world-famous atrium and examining different artefacts and memorabilia such as planes and tanks from the War. Even children can enjoy themselves here, as there are interactive displays everywhere they look.
Two or three hours should give you enough time to take it all in and marvel at its beauty and significance – making it one of many amazing free museums in London.
Interesting fact: The Imperial War Museum can be found in five different locations around England, with three of those being in the city of London.
Address | Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ, United Kingdom
Operating hours |10:00 to 18:00 daily.
4. Tibetan Peace Garden at Imperial War Museum
Have you ever been to the Tibetan Peace Garden? Located in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, right next door to the Imperial War Museum, this gorgeous haven of contemplation is one of the top things to do in Elephant and Castle.
Hamish Horsley designed the garden and completed it in 1999- its name ‘Samten Kyil’ translates from Tibetan to Garden of Contemplation. A grand Dharma Wheel stands in its centre, accompanied by four sculptures representing earth, water, air and fire outside. Similar to the peace pagoda Battersea Park.
It’s incredibly close to some of London’s most iconic attractions – Parliament and Lambeth Palace are both within walking distance; not to forget vibing so close by Tate Modern too.
Address: 107a St George’s Rd, London SE1 6HZ
5. Tour the Cinema Museum
Another historical museum, albeit less sombre, is the Cinema Museum, if you are wondering what to do around Elephant and Castle. It was founded by Raleigh Hall in Brixton and was later relocated to Kennington. For over twenty years, the cinema has been in its current location and offers enjoyable experiences.
The Cinema Museum is dedicated to preserving the “spirit of cinema before the multiplex.” This is evident by the art and rich history shared in their tours. In addition to tours, the Cinema Museum hosts seminars, Q and As, and film screenings in their main hall or screening room.
You’ll find it to be a highly interactive and engaging experience, as costumed volunteers dressed in classic attendants’ uniforms bring the movie experience to life, making you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.
Interesting fact: The Cinema Museum’s building was once a workhouse and Charlie Chaplin resided there as a child due to his family’s financial difficulties.
Address | 2 Dugard Way, Renfrew Road, London SE11 4TH, United Kingdom
Operating hours | 18:00 to 21:00 daily.
6. Shop Til You Drop at Castle Square
Elephant Central is part of a larger retail and entertainment district that includes Castle Square the new shopping centre. In addition to fashion and textiles, electrical goods and services may be found here, as well as some of the area’s best cafés and restaurants in Elephant and Castle for you to dine at.
During the construction of Elephant and Castle’s new shopping centre, its developers created Castle Square as a temporary and inexpensive retail and restaurant space. You can see this based on the number of restaurants, bars, and retail stores in the area.
Purchase textile fabrics you can make beautiful pieces of clothing or accessories with or pick up a few LED light bulbs for your home. There’s plenty to shop for in this bustling square.
You can get to Castle Square in a matter of minutes if you reside in central London because of its proximity to both the Elephant and Castle station (Bakerloo Line and Northern Lines) and the Elephant and Castle train station.
Address | 2 Dugard Way, Renfrew Road, London SE11 4TH, United Kingdom
Operating hours | Mondays to Saturdays: 10:00 to 18:30; Sundays: 11:30 to 17:30.
7. Michael Faraday Memorial
Who would’ve thought that a memorial devoted to one of the most brilliant Victorian scientists could be found in such a bustling hub like Elephant and Castle? Designed by modern movement architect Rodney Gordon in 1959, this stainless steel box-shaped structure stands tall for all to marvel at.
And it’s only fitting that it is located close to Faraday’s birthplace in Newington Butts.
Address: Elephant and Castle, London SE1 6TG
8. Dine at Sayer Street
Sayer Street is teeming with top restaurants and bars in London. If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, and somewhere to eat in Elephant and Castle look no further than this trendy spot.
Check out KOI Ramen Bar, a Japanese and Asian food sensation, for a delicious meal.
Their staff is kind and attentive, and the atmosphere is laid-back. Vegan ramen (made from tofu) is rumoured to be a fan favourite at this location. It’s one of the best restaurants Elephant and Castle.
Have a slightly different idea? True to its name, Bobo Social is a good place to start. Bobo Social’s one of the best brunch spots in Elephant and Castle, mission is to bring people together over mouth-watering European and British food in a social setting.
Vegans, vegetarians, and those who are gluten-intolerant can all enjoy their food. This way, you won’t have to miss out on a delicious meal because of a friend’s (or your own) dietary restrictions. It’s also a great place if you are looking for restaurants near Elephant and Castle station.
Check out Tasty Jerk if you’re ready to take a taste-tastic trip down to the Caribbean! Located in Elephant Park, this restaurant mixes fresh fruit & veg along with succulent meats to give you an unforgettable experience.
Whether your ticket is vegan, veggie or meat-lover, they’ve got something drool-inducing on their menu. But don’t leave without tasting the signature dish—the Jerk Chicken will take you away with each bite, transporting you right back down to the island vibes!
Sidecar Coffee Bar is one of the best coffee shop in Elephant and Castle. The owner has gone above and beyond to get the best espresso machines imported from Naples, as well as coffee beans from The Gentleman Baristas – it’s clear that this place takes their coffee seriously.
Mercato Elephant Park has already opened its doors on Walworth Road, offering a range of delicious food options from its vendors. And if that wasn’t enough to get your mouth watering, MM Factory opened its doors later this year on Walworth Square and Sayer Street. You don’t want to miss out on this amazing opportunity to experience some exceptional cuisines all in one place.
With all these mouth-watering meals at these Elephant and Castle restaurants, you have to make it your mission to dine at what is described as “the food district at the heart of Elephant Park.”
Note: Sayer Street is still under construction, with development estimated to be completed in July 2023. Some of the top places to eat in Elephant and Castle is along Sayer Street
Address | Sayer Street, London SE17 1FY, United Kingdom
Operating hours | 09:00 to 21:00 daily.
9. Head to Kiki and Miumiu Market
Founded in honour of the owners’ little girl’s adoration of two pandas (Kiki and MiuMiu), Kiki & Miumiu is an independent business that honours family values and love.
The independent food market they manage carries a large selection of fresh and frozen Asian and East Asian products.
Kiki and Miumiu also stock food items such as salted egg fish skin and luo han guo, which can be quite difficult to get in London.
If you’re looking to make biang biang noodles or miso soup you can purchase authentic Asian ingredients, many of which are imported from China and Japan.
Tip: Craving dessert? Head to their bakery if you’re in the mood for a sweet treat.
Address | 141 Walworth Rd, London SE17 1RW, United Kingdom
Operating hours | 09:00 to 21:00 daily.
10. Dig into Dim Sum Dragon Castle
They draw inspiration from old-world tea rooms and Hong Kong visual culture, so as soon as you walk through the doors you’ll feel like you’ve been transported directly to the streets of China.
Not only that, but Dragon Castle has some of the freshest Dim Sum south of the river – with 60 dishes to choose from, there’s something all palates are sure to enjoy. Alongside these delightful dumplings is their extensive main menu which has been delighting locals and tourists alike for over 16 years.
Address: 100 Walworth Road, London SE17 1JL
11. Browse Stalls at East Street Market
If you’re looking for a bargain, East Street Market is the place to be! Serving locals for over 140 years (1880) and counting, this bustling marketplace offers endless options for shopping indulgences from fresh fruit and vegetables to traditional African fabric.
Locals refer to it affectionately as “The Lane” – but don’t expect a peaceful stroll through the area; East Street is known for its bustle and bustling stalls filled with international as well as homegrown delicacies.
Don’t forget to check out the Veg Box offering affordable fresh fruits and veg, or discover traditional African fabrics that can liven up your wardrobe. This market is one-of-a-kind, boasting old-school prices with modern perks: a true bargain hunter’s paradise. It’s one of the top things to do around Elephant and Castle.
Address | 141 Walworth Rd, London SE17 1RW, United Kingdom
Operating hours | Tuesdays to Fridays: 08:00 to 17:00; Saturdays: 08:00 to 18:30 pm; Sundays: 08:00 to 16:00.
12. Dance Your Heart Out at the Ministry of Sound
This nightclub, which opened in a derelict bus depot thirty years ago, is widely regarded as the original UK dance music establishment.
The Ministry of Sound is a well-known nightclub in the United Kingdom. In fact, it’s an internationally famous franchise with its own music label and successful clubs worldwide.
Enjoy a diverse blend of electronic and heart-pumping techno music, as well as a cool industrial ambience.
Tired of dancing and needing to get home? There’s no need to be concerned. The club is only a short distance from the subway station. You’ll arrive at the station five minutes after leaving the venue.
Tip: Ministry of Sound requests that their customers are stylish and smartly dressed. While they have no issues with anything from jeans and t-shirts to branded sneakers, they strongly recommend that visitors should not wear tracksuits or caps.
Address | 103 Gaunt St, London SE1 6DP, United Kingdom
Operating hours | Fridays: 22:00 to 06:00; Saturdays: 23:00 to 06:00; Tuesdays: 22:30 to 04:00.
13. See a Play at the Southwark Playhouse
Southwark Playhouse Performance Company is an excellent theatre that you need to experience for yourself.
Founded in 1993 by Juliet Alderdice and Tom Wilson, this theatre was made possible after they found a dilapidated workshop and turned it into something spectacular. Music, comedy, and speaking events are available throughout the year in their two venues: the Large and the Little.
The Large is a 240-seat main theatre, while the Little is a 120-seat studio space with more intimate performances taking place there.
You’ll love their recent show Operation Mincemeat, which features history mixed with lots of humour – it’s sure to be a hit with everyone! So go on, visit Southwark Playhouse and experience their wonderful performances yourself.
Address | 77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD, United Kingdom.
Operating hours | Weekdays: 09:00 to 00:00; Saturdays: 13:00 to 00:00.
14. Play Away Your Time at Four Quarters Elephant and Castle
Four Quarters has an unrivalled collection of rare vintage arcade games from the 1980s to the mid-2000s. These include classic arcade games ranging from Street Fighter II, and Donkey Kong to Space Invaders.
Those on the younger side may recall cult classics like Pac Man, The Simpsons, and Sega Rally.
It has more than 30 original arcade machines, eight antique console booths, and two huge screen projection game rooms. But that isn’t all. Four Quarters will not force you to play on an empty stomach.
You’ll eat burgers and snacks from their exciting menu and wash it down with one of their 16+ craft beers on tap. Not a fan of beer? You can sip on any of their cocktails or non-alcoholic beverages.
Four Quarters is the ideal place to let off some steam and have some fun.
Address | 20 Ash Ave, London SE17 1AZ, United Kingdom
Operating hours | Tuesdays to Thursdays: 16:00 to 23:00; Fridays: 15:00 to 00:00; Saturdays: 12:00 to 00:00; Sundays: 12:00 to 22:00.
15. Savour Delicious Beers at the Elephant and Castle Pub
The Elephant and Castle Pub has been a beloved destination in the neighbourhood since 1765. You can enjoy incredible views from its large bay windows while you relax with friends.
Plus, they offer so much more than just cold drinks: their menu of classic pub fare will leave you spoiled for choice. One of the best things about the Elephant and Castle pub is its incredible staff who’re always willing to help out.
Whether it’s recommending an amazing meal or answering any questions, you can count on them to give you that personal touch. And if sports are your thing, you can even watch all the latest major sporting events at The Elephant and Castle pub – they also have a basement area that’s great for late-night parties.
Address | 19 Newington Causeway, Elephant and Castle, London SE1 6BN, United Kingdom
Operating hours | Sundays to Wednesdays: 12:00 to 00:00; Thursdays: 12:00 to 01:00; Fridays: 12:00 to 02:00
16. Enjoy Brunch with Friends at Louie Louie
Look, if you’re looking for a delicious brunch spot around Elephant and Castle, then you’ve got to check out Louie Louie on Walworth Road.
Trust me, it’s one of the best places there is. Not only are they a pub, restaurant, and cafe all in one, but they know how to serve up an appetizing brunch like no other.
From sandwiches and cakes to always having a strong cup of coffee ready, this place will give you the energy to power through your days. Not only that, but when night falls you can visit the bar for some local beers and wines too.
Plus with their events page always filled with activities and music nights, it’s sure to be a night you’ll remember. Bottom line? Get over to Louie Louie ASAP if you wanted a great brunch experience in South London.
One of the top cafes in Elephant Park is Little Louie, which is the latest project from Louie Louie.
Address | 347 Walworth Rd, London SE17 2AL, United Kingdom
Operating hours | Mondays to Tuesdays: 08:30 to 15:00; Wednesdays: 08:30 am to 23:00; Thursdays: 09:00 to 23:00; Fridays to Saturdays: 09:00 to 23:00; Sundays: 10:00 to 15:00.
17. Listen to Lively Music at Corsica Studios
This small, happening club in Southeast London has been bringing in all the hottest house and dance DJs and musicians since 2005. You can jam out to all their incredible beats in Room 1, where there’s also a stage for some extra live performances.
And let’s not forget about the bar – with its wide selection of alcoholic AND non-alcoholic drinks, you can turn up the party all night long.
Address | 4, 5 Elephant Rd, London SE17 1LB, United Kingdom
Operating hours | 10:00 to 18:00 daily.
18. Visit Burgess Park London
If you are looking for places to play near Elephant and Castle visit Burgess Park.
Situated close to Walworth, Bermondsey and Peckham, it’s one of South London’s largest and most happening parks, Burgess Park is just a stone’s throw from Camberwell. With a cricket pitch, football pitch, tennis courts and even a fishing area and BMX track, it has something fun for everyone.
And the best part? It was named after Councillor Jessie Burgess who served as Camberwell’s first female Mayor in 1973 – so you know you’re walking in some truly inspiring footsteps.
Even better is that the park underwent an £8 million pound transformation in 2012 which ensures a great range of amenities and recognises its heritage sports facilities, lake, wildlife design and horticultural elements.
Address: Albany Rd, London SE5 0AL
Why Is It Called Elephant and Castle?
You didn’t know it, but Elephants and Castle got its name courtesy of an 18th-century tavern! How cool is that.
The tavern was popular with ivory dealers, which makes sense if you think about it. But the real interesting part is that the tavern had a crest depicting an elephant holding a castle and that’s how Newington (the original name for Elephant and Castle) got its name too.
Where Is Elephant and Castle?
Located on the southern bank of the Thames River, it serves as a major transportation hub due to its intersection within London, making it easy to connect to other areas in the city. This lively neighbourhood is brimming with craft beer spots, incredible restaurants and cafes, trendy boutiques and unique specialty shops – you’ll never get bored.
Hotels in Elephant and Castle
Looking for somewhere to stay in Elephant and Castle? Here are a few hotels that will make your stay in London extra special.
Safestay London Elephant & Castle
Located just a 5-minute walk from Elephant & Castle train station and shopping centre, the former Labour Party headquarters is now home to stylish bedrooms with lockers for storage and plenty of extras like private rooms with 40-inch LCD TVs and tea/coffee makers.
Their Bar 60 restaurant and lounge serve up continental breakfast pastries as well as dinner menu options like burgers, pizzas, and barista coffee and has a beer garden. And let’s not forget about all the nearby attractions like Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Oxford Street, and Leicester Square – all reachable by tube within 15 minutes.
⭐️ Rating: 7.3/10 |📍 Location: Elephant & Castle| 🏩 View Latest Price On Booking
H10 London Waterloo
Not only does it have cutting-edge tech-savvy luxury bedrooms, but it’s located a mere 15 minutes walk from Parliament Square and Big Ben. Come see the beautiful views across Lambeth, enjoy air conditioning when summer hits, laptop safes to tuck away devices and LCD TVs to watch wall-bendingly amazing films. And don’t forget about the Mediterranean cuisine served at Three O Two Restaurant.
⭐️ Rating: 8.4/10 |📍 Location: Waterloo| 🏩 View Latest Price On Booking
How To Get to Elephant and Castle?
There are plenty of ways to get there. You can take the trusty tube lines Bakerloo and Northern for a direct route, or if buses are more your thing then take the same lines from the Elephant and Castle Underground Station.
But if these don’t suffice for your travel needs, then jump on board Southern Western Railway or Thameslink – both will have you stepping out at Elephant and Castle in no time.
Tip: Read this guide if you’re planning on shopping and are looking for the most famous shopping streets in London before visiting Elephant and Castle.
Best Things To Do Near Elephant Castle, London
Now that you’ve figured out what to do in Elephant and Castle from this Elephant and Castle area guide, it’s time for your big adventure. This area of South London is full of surprises so get ready to explore something totally unique here; not just the typical touristy stuff.
And don’t worry – there’s something for everyone here. So whether you’re a solo explorer or out with family, there’s always something exciting waiting to be discovered in this rapidly developing part of town. Looking for some more London thrill? Then check out this article for all the best things to do in Peckham or Liverpool Street attractions.