London Through the Looking Glass: A Nose in West Norwood

In case you didn’t already know, West Norwood is a pleasant place in the London Borough of Lambeth and a short distance from Southwark. And despite it often being overlooked, it’s pretty cool.

The area’s name is said to derive from the ‘Great North Wood’, a name that was once used for the hilly and wooded area to the north of Croydon. Before 1885, West Norwood station and the surrounding areas were referred to as Lower Norwood as a nod to it being at a lower altitude than Upper Norwood.

Anyhow, if you’re thinking of taking a little day trip over here or even considering it as a new place to live, let us tell you a few things you should do during a nose in West Norwood…

West Norwood Feast

The brainchild of the group behind Brixton Village, West Norwood is one of London’s most vibrant and upcoming markets, and it’s open one Sunday per month throughout the year. Not only are there more delicious artisanal food stalls than you can shake a stick at, but there are also street performers, live craft displays and stands containing some of the most unique items you could imagine. If you’re looking to fill your boots while picking up a rare trinket and soaking in some culture, we strongly suggest a visit here.

Norwood Park

Even if the weather’s a little sketchy (and let’s face it, the weather is often sketchy in Blighty), Norwood Park makes a wonderful spot for a scenic stroll. As one of the highest points in Lambeth, the park provides some rather lovely panoramic views of the local area and with football pitch, kids play area and athletics sprint track, there’s plenty to do in this pretty green space.

Blackbird Bakery

If you’re looking for something a little more substantial than a Gregg’s, Blackbird Bakery is the one for you. Sporting the trendy stripped back look of a Williamsburg deli and a selection of freshly made baked delights including Scotch eggs, frittatas, cakes, filled croissants and funky pastries, a mid-morning or lunchtime visit here is a must. Oh, and the tea, coffee and soft drinks are out of this world too.

Portico Gallery

Not a million miles from West Norwood, the Portico Gallery is as magnificent from the outside as it is on the inside. Home to some of the capital’s most groundbreaking and head-turning exhibitions from a mix of resident and guest artists, this gallery is sure to impress even the most discerning of culture vultures as well as cynical art resistors. In short, if you’re in the area, it’s worth poking your head in here.

Paxton Pub

After all that park larking, market stall hopping, art viewing and pastry stuffing action, you’re probably going to want to sit down with a drink or two. Named in honour of notable Crystal Palace architect Joseph Paxton, this lively boozer is surrounded by beauty and not only does it boast an extensive ale, wine and spirit list, but if you’re peckish, the menu has a little something for everyone. So sit back, slug a few brews, tuck into some food and talk nonsense long into the evening.

We hope you enjoy your little nose around in West Norwood and if you have any hot tips of your own, share them with us on Facebook.


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