If you’re one of the 250,000 people that use Waterloo station every day, you’re facing a month of daily disruption.
From the 5th to the 28th August, Waterloo are closing 10 of their 22 precious platforms for upgrade work (you can find out more information about that here). Hopefully this will go as smoothly as possible – which is likely to be about as smooth as a hedgehog’s backside – but for the time being, it’s best to keep a stiff upper lip or, if all else fails, go for a drink. So, here are some nice things you can do near Waterloo to distract you from your now painfully inevitable two-hour commute.
1. Wander round a market
SCFood Market outside the Royal Festival Hall is open Friday to Sunday until 9pm (6pm on Sunday) and a quick wander round the food stalls will probably sort you out before your commute. Alternatively you can relax with a lengthy browse in the perpetually open – ok, only until 7pm but it is there everyday – Southbank Centre Book Market.
There’s also the lovely Lower Marsh Market which is open 10.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Saturday, if you’re in need of a freshly made street food-fix before you brave the inevitable chaos of Waterloo.
2. Go for a drink
The recently opened Tonight Josephine is the perfect girls-night pick when the weather isn’t behaving as it should be behaving in summer… Who are we kidding, when has August ever been gloriously sunny?
However, if the weather is ticking along nicely, we highly recommend Bar Elba for some al fresco frosé. Yes, that is frozen rosé and it just so happens to be our new favourite drink. Oh, and the best part is, if you book through Fever you can nab yourselves three of their lovely cocktails for £16 or six cocktails for £30. Check the deal out here.
Alternatively, for something a little more casual – and manly, if you’re insecure about that – head down to the south bank to sample a few craft beers at The Hop Locker.
3. Unwind with some theatre
You can also try the slightly cooler Young Vic for theatre with a bit more zing and pep. They recently got loads of critical acclaim for their production of Yerma starring Billie Piper, which we reckon was totally deserved. You can check out what’s on here.
Another London theatre favourite is the National Theatre – pretty much anything you go to see here is going to be rather special – and, coincidentally, also a great spot to grab a drink. Check out our article for more details or take a look at whats on here.
Alice Underground at the Waterloo vaults is a fantastic immersive theatre performance if you need to escape even further. Head down the rabbit hole – or is it through the looking glass? – to Wonderland for an experience you’ll never forget.
4. Eat your troubles away
Baltic provides some pretty spot on Polish food if you’re one of those people who like to tackle your stress with comfort eating – don’t worry, us too. It’s only a five minute walk away from Waterloo so you can be inside, with a glass of chardonnay in hand approximately seven minutes after you decide the stress of the station is all a bit too much.
If you’re looking to splash the cash, then Skylon is your place. Located inside the Royal Festival hall it’s got killer views of the south bank and a menu to match. Treat yo’self!
5. Stroll down the Southbank
Are you longing to escape from the crowds but you’ve spent too much on your rail season ticket to afford a good slap-up meal? Well, just walk your weary feet along the lovely south bank and you’ll soon start to feel a spring in your step. There’s always something to see here to make you smile.
Feature Image: Neil Hall
Other area guides:
📌 8 Reasons To Visit Camden (That Have Nothing To Do With The Market)
📌 7 Simple Reasons Why You Need To Visit Chiswick
📌 8 Excellent Reasons To Explore Exmouth Market
📌 Five Places You Really Need To Visit In East London