Brixton is situated in South London and has long been associated with all things cool and eclectic. For a short period of time it was thought to be one of the more dangerous areas of the city but in the last ten years this reputation has turned a full 180 degrees and it is now largely considered to be a very trendy and on-point place to visit when in London. Although Brixton has always been home to a diverse mix of cultures, a recent surge in renovation, particularly around the area which is now known as Brixton Village bringing fashion boutiques, galleries and restaurants, has created a real sense of community in the area with many of the ‘new’ additions seeking to celebrate and complement the identity of those who reside in the area.
Brixton is a very easy place to access; just 30 minutes from the Montcalm Hotel London by public transport or just less than that if you choose to catch a taxi and there are plenty of things to see and do. One of the best things about Brixton is the vibrant party atmosphere which suffuses almost every single part of the area; so if you are planning to make the most of it and dance the night away at one of the many cool bars and clubs then you can be confident that it will be easy to make your way back to your hotel at the end of a great evening.
As for things to do? Here are our top tips of fantastic places to check out if you want to discover Brixton:-
In keeping with that party vibe, Brixton is well known for hosting some of the best live music sessions in the whole of London and venues such as Hootananny are the reason why. The programmes are diverse, with everything from rock to the blues being played out and with the bar opening from 3pm onwards, you can be sure to enjoy some music whether you’re a night owl or like to turn in early.
Brockwell Park is a large, historic park which was created especially for the residents of South London. Formal flower beds, ornamental ponds, an ‘Old English’ herbaceous garden and even a lido make this a tranquil space in which to escape the busyness of Brixton for a short period of time. Pack up a picnic and spend the afternoon here or, if the weather is nice enough, you might fancy packing your swimming gear and spending some time enjoying the open air swimming pool before rounding the experience off with a visit to the Lido Café? Brockwell Park is also home to a number of historic buildings including Brockwell Hall and even a miniature railway which are worth wandering around and exploring as well.
The Black Cultural Archives
If you want to inject a little bit of culture and history into your visit to Brixton then be sure to visit the Black Cultural Archives. The Black Cultural Archives were the first dedicated Black heritage centre in the whole of the UK when they first opened in 2014 and their collection offers a rich insight into the history of people of African and Caribbean descent in Britain with many of their items and artefacts dating back throughout the centuries. Brixton was the perfect place for the Black Cultural Archives as it was a hub of the Caribbean community in London. In fact, many traces still remain with Caribbean food stands and market stalls still present in the area today. You can take part in a tour or sit in on a lecture or visit during one of the many special events which take place here on a regular basis.
This recently renovated corner of Brixton is a thriving community all on its own and is home to more than 100 local and independent businesses. The covered walkways offer a lovely respite if the weather doesn’t quite show up and you will be able to discover restaurants and cafes, clothing, jewellery, homeware and many more treasures. The ideal place to head if you want to do some shopping whilst in Brixton, go to the Village and Market Row. Not only will you be shopping in one of the coolest areas in the city but you will also have the knowledge that you are supporting local businesses as well.
The Ritzy Cinema is a real institution in Brixton, being one of South London’s oldest picture houses. It first opened in 1911 and is still going strong showing a variety of films and often running special offers throughout the week. Above the cinema itself is the Ritzy Bar which regularly hosts a programme of live music making it the ideal place to go either before or after your cinema screening. The cinema itself is situated on Coldharbour Lane right in the heart of Brixton making it very easy to access. The Ritzy Cinema is the ideal place to head whether you want to spend the afternoon relaxing and taking in a film or you want to make an evening of it and catch the latest blockbuster before taking in the vibrant atmosphere of Brixton at night.
Brixton Art Gallery
There are a couple of different art galleries in Brixton but for a great mix of modern and contemporary pieces you can’t go wrong with Brixton Art Gallery. The Gallery itself aims to showcase both international works of art as well as using the gallery and the exhibitions to demonstrate and highlight the dynamic culture which exists in the area and the local community. There are a variety of different exhibitions to take in as well as regular special events which take place throughout the week and aim to draw in both adults and children alike.