However, many still haven’t quite ventured their way down to this unsung borough of South London. We can’t really see why if we’re honest – after all you’ve got everything here from wine bars and farmer’s markets to craft breweries and vintage ballrooms. Heck – there’s even a bloomin’ stone circle here! So, without further ado, here’s a roundup of 12 of the best things to do in Lewisham according to our local Senior SEO Writer Sam. Let’s see if we can’t tempt you down to this neck of the woods…
1. Take in the skyline views from atop Hilly Fields
Kicking off this roundup of the best things to do in Lewisham is a visit to Hilly Fields which, as the name suggests, is sat atop a hill. It’s a lovely little spot which is great for jogging or dog walking, and from the highest point you’re afforded fantastic panoramic views across to the gleaming skyscrapers of Canary Wharf and The City and the landmark TV masts in Crystal Palace and South Norwood.
They’ve got tennis courts, a basketball court and an outdoor gym here too if you’re looking to get your sweat on, as well as a cutesy little café which rustles up some of the best cake you’ll find South of the Thames. You can also find a stone circle here consisting of twelve large granite stones and two tall shadow-casting stones – who’d have thought!
📍12 Montague Avenue, London, SE4 1YP.
2. Catch the latest flick at Catford Mews
Now we all love saving a little bit of cash right? Especially during a cost-of-living-crisis… and who doesn’t love watching a film at the cinema? Well what if you could combine the two? Well, that’s exactly what you can do at the Catford Mews – an independent, three-screen cinema which places a major emphasis on the local community.
Tickets cost only £6.50 – or £5.20 for members – and there’s a fantastic bar on site too serving cocktails, craft beers and a food court too where you can find a number of independent local street food vendors. Add in the fact that they’ve got regular live music and comedy on here and you can see why we love it so much!
📍32 Winslade Way, Catford Centre, London, SE6 4JU.
3. Dance the night away at the Fox & Firkin
London ain’t exactly short of boozers it has to be said – I mean at the last count there were over 3,500. But what makes the Fox & Firkin really stand out is its eclectic live music and gigs scene. Open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, this is the spot to come in Lewisham if you’re looking to let loose. There’s everything here from reggae to dubstep and afrobeats to electronic music – so see what’s on here and take your pick!
Add in the fact that they’ve got regular pub quizzes, their own brewery down the road and even a bloody train carriage – yep, really – in their spacious beer garden and you can see why this boozer is a real winner in this neck of the woods. We’ll see you on the dancefloor!
📍316 Lewisham High Street, London, SE13 6JZ.
4. Dine on authentic Nigerian food at Enish
If you’re craving some food when you’re wandering around Lewisham, then a visit to Enish is always a safe bet. They specialise in Nigerian and West African fare here, and have won rave reviews across the board since they first opened their doors back in 2013.
Spanning three floors, the restaurant is a lively spot that caters to birthday parties, live events and even weddings – as well as people just looking for a bite to eat too. While all the food here is good, we’d go for the classic jollof rice served with plantain or the ‘ewedu’ – steamed ewedu leaves with African spices served with a tasty pepper and tomato sauce. There’s also another branch just down the road in Camberwell.
📍228 Lewisham High Street, London, SE13 6JU.
5. See what trinkets you can find at Aladdin’s Cave
Housed in a former railway station just off Loampit Hill, Aladdin’s Cave is a treasure trove of vintage furniture, second-hand antiques and all manner of trinkets. There’s an overwhelming amount of things to rifle through here – what else would you expect given the name – but it’s a great place to stroll around and discover a bargain.
The staff are usually more than happy to negotiate on prices, and there’s everything from porcelain china to Victorian fireplaces to odd-looking mannequins here – see what you can unearth!
📍72 Loampit Hill, London, SE13 7SX.
6. Tuck into all manner of goodies at Brockley Farmers Market
Just a stone’s throw (literally) away from Aladdin’s Cave lies Lewisham Car Park – which isn’t exactly much to write home about most of the time – but on Saturdays, it transforms into the Brockley Market. Definitely one of the best farmer’s markets in London, they specialise in fresh produce and mouthwatering street food, with everything from artisan bread to donuts and falafel wraps on the menu.
It’s so good in fact that they were voted the number one street food market by the Condé Nast Traveller – some compliment there then! If you’re wanting to see what goods you can get your hands on, then head here on Saturdays between the hours of 10am to 2pm.
📍Lewisham Car Park, London, SE4 1UT.
7. Get the beers in at Brockley Brewery
Brockley Brewery has become something of a legend in South East London since it first opened back in 2013. The collaboration of seven independent owners, they’re a community-focussed business who operate as both a taproom and as a takeaway service. The friendly team here brew an eclectic and well-balanced mix of keg, cask and bottled beers, with their lager, session IPA and chocolate porter all standing out.
Perhaps what makes the brewery most unique is in its production of seasonal specials – the Spring ale, the Summer XPA, the Autumn amber and the Winter gold. They’ve also got a sister taproom in nearby Hither Green, and offer yoga and beer nights along with excellent pizza too.
📍31 Harcourt Road, London, SE4 2AJ.
8. Amble your way up to Blackheath Common
Just up the road from Lewisham lies the village-like neighbourhood of Blackheath, which is teaming with bougie bakeries, cute cafés and traditional boozers. It’s also home to Blackheath Common – a vast open space measuring some 250 acres which is popular with walkers, cyclists and families too.
Throughout the year they’ve got regular events here such as traditional funfairs and the Zippo’s Circus, and there’s also the landmark ‘Church on the Heath’, which has been a focal part of the common for well over 150 years. Don’t miss the chance to go for a wander and have a pint or Sunday roast at The Hare & Billet.
📍Blackheath, London, SE3 0RB.
9. See what’s on at the magnificent Rivoli Ballroom
As dancefloors go, nowhere in London can rival the Rivoli Ballroom’s vintage features. The barrel-vaulted space is over 100 years old, and the decor has been wisely frozen around the 1950’s, with a golden ceiling, crystal chandeliers and luscious scarlet furnishings dotted about everywhere you look – making it the perfect backdrop for a banging Insta pic.
It’s actually the only intact 1950’s ballroom remaining in the whole of the capital, and has featured in many music videos and films too, such as the Tom Hardy-starring Legend and even bloody Avengers: Age of Ultron! There are all sorts of events on here throughout the year – from pop-up cinemas and jive parties to disco nights and salsa dance soirees too. See what takes your fancy!
📍350 Brockley Road, Crofton Park, London, SE4 2BY.
10. Gorge on some tasty Sri Lankan fare at Everest Curry King
Drawing people in from far and wide all over town, the rustic Everest Curry King offers some fantastic, flavoursome Sri Lankan food at bloody brilliant prices – no wonder then that they’ve raked in rave reviews for years now.
The boneless lamb curry, aubergine curry and mutton rolls are all utterly delicious and are standouts from the menu, and there are also great options for vegans and vegetarians alike, including the idlis served with sambar and green chutney, various kothu rotis or any of the dosas. They’re also BYOB too – and who doesn’t like one of them hey?!
📍24 Loampit Hill, London, SE13 7SW.
11. Go for a bowl at Lewisham Lanes
It’s all no-frills, high-stakes bowling down at Lewisham Lanes – well, high-stakes in the sense that you probably really, really hate losing. It costs a mere £8.50 per adult per game here – and there are plenty of family and daily deals on offer – so it’s an excellent bowling alley if you’re hoping to keep the cost down.
📍11-29 Belmont Hill, Blackheath, London, SE13 5AU.
12. Enjoy a glass or two at Joyce wine bar
Rounding off this list of the best things to do in Lewisham is a visit to Joyce – An intimate neighbourhood bar whose predominant focus is on small, local producers. They’ve got 12 taps here – all offering craft beers, IPAs and ciders – and there’s a whole load of natural wine on offer here too.
Only opening at the tail end of 2022, they’ve become a highly-popular spot attracting people from all over town – and for good reason. It’s a warm and welcoming spot which is perfect for a glass of natural wine or two with mates.
📍294 Brockley Road, London, SE4 2RA.
So there you have it – a roundup of the best things to do in Lewisham. From soaking up the views of Canary Wharf in Hilly Fields to tucking into some of the best Sri Lankan food this side of the river, there’s plenty to keep you occupied in this little-explored pocket of South East London. So better hot-foot down it here! Just don’t go telling everyone now…