Please sign in to post.

Places to stay in non-tourist parts of London?

I've stayed in Kensington and Chelsea. Want to branch out.
I'm thinking about Shoreditch. Is that too popular now to be considered non-touristy?
What about Brixton? It sounds like it's the heart of the Afro-Caribbean community in London. Is that a fun, non-touristy part of the City.

Posted by
247 posts

I would say that most tourist stay pretty close to central London within the circle line, so I wouldn’t think that Shortage would feel “touristy”. I would definitely recommend staying in Shortage over Brixton though.

Posted by
6113 posts

Brixton has been gentrified since I lived there nearly 30 years ago when I first moved to London as a graduate. I left after I was mugged one night! It has good transport links and a good food scene.

Shoreditch is much trendier and hip - with locals rather than tourists.

For non touristy, I would also consider Chiswick, Highgate, Walthamstow, Ealing and Richmond. Proximity to public transport is a benefit, no matter which area you are considering.

Posted by
317 posts

Islington is also just far enough off the beaten track to be "non-touristy" and just close enough to be, well, close.

As others have said, its all about what you consider non-touristy.

Posted by
380 posts

We rented an apartment in the Spitalfields neighborhood. It was close enough to tourist sights but it seemed very “non-touristy” to us.

Posted by
920 posts

On my last visit I stayed in Hammersmith. That’s not far from Kensington, and it didn’t seem touristy to me. One of the U.K. posters could have a different perception of what’s touristy vs. what’s not, but when I see a group of friends leaving a pub, people walking their kids to school in the morning, cars pulling into a Tesco lot, and Christmas trees for sale—I’d say that’s a non-touristy area.

Posted by
661 posts

I’d like to propose South Ruislip (Zone 5 West) for a local neighbourhood, as a less expensive base to visit other places. It’s not a fancy place but it’s nice, safe and totally non-tourisrty. 25 mins into Zone 1. Has lots of plus points which I might list in a separate post at some point.

Posted by
33314 posts

When I lived in the West Midlands I sometimes drove to Ruislip to park before hopping on a train or tube. Then I discovered the parking possibilities in St Johns Wood (except when there is cricket around the corner at Lords) and haven't been back since. A nice town like feeling.

Posted by
49 posts

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I've decided to stay one night at the Hoxton Southwark because I haven't spent time south of the Thames. I can visit the Borough Market (yes, touristy) and the Tate Modern easily from there.
Next, I've rented a flat near Hoxton/Shoreditch. I suppose that is somewhat touristy but I'm a tourist after all.

Posted by
661 posts

Lol Emma, i feel honoured that i might be able to tell you anything about London. In fairness, for a local such as yourself, there really is nothing in particular to draw you to South Ruislip, as it’s really just another neighbourhood like many others in London. This however, is one reason why a tourist might be drawn to it... to genuinely ‘live like a local’, as i know people sometimes like to do when they are super familiar with the main areas of London; Claudia springs to mind 👋.

South Ruislip is nice, very well kept by the Council who do a great job. Lots of flowers and nice gardens, mainly houses and wider roads than usual, with grass verges that are planted with wild flowers in places. It’s fairly quiet here with lots of bungalows and older residents. I’m often walking around after dark, never a sniff of trouble.

Access to lots of amenities. Dentist, doctor, barber, beauty place, churches, pool, gym, dry cleaner, excellent car mechanics (Halfords Autocentre, but they are great, Linda is the boss), coffee shop, Timsons, Pharmacy, Argos, TK Maxx, cinema, etc.

A great Indian takeaway called Saffron that i’ve used for the last 15 years, and a great kebab shop called My Grill that uses real charcoal to grill their shish kebabs, both always reliable. Both use great quality lamb. Avoid both chippies. There is even a Nando’s... not my thing. We have a pub with a garden and five large supermarkets; still praying for a Waitrose or M&S.

We are on the Central Line (the best line as it intersects all others) and BR into Marylebone in 20mins, also stops at the Wembley Stadium Designer Outlet which is pretty good. And Bicester Outlet the other way. There are a few buses also, one to Heathrow. Easy access to central London in under 30 mins.

RAF Northolt is close and on celebration days you always get a Spitfire looping overhead which is quite exciting. Sometimes see people at the end of the runway watching the little planes land, not noisy. The Polish War Memorial and newish memorial park are also nice for those interested.

Ruislip and Uxbridge are both close for a change, and both have some history about them. Many restaurants. There is a clay pigeon shooting range here where you can rent a gun and a coach, but it’s ££££, but very nice as i’ve been. Also a Dinosaur mini golf which is great fun lol. Local park is clean and quiet with a free outdoor gym.

We have one hotel currently and i believe a Travelodge is on the way. I think it’s about £100? a night and being further out of central London the Oyster cap is about £5 higher than the Zone 1/2 cap a tourist might expect.

No doubt i’ve missed some stuff. Would be nice if others could recommend their ‘local’ areas for the more experienced tourist.

Posted by
8870 posts

Mike J adding Dinosaur miniature golf in Ruslip to my next London trip. Will be staying in Richmond so would be an interesting trek. Sounds brilliant!

OP glad you made your choice. You can always use Google maps street view to see what’s around where you’ve chosen to stay.

Enjoy your stay.

Posted by
33314 posts

I suppose that Northamptonshire would be a bit far to be considered a non-tourist part of London?

Northampton to Euston in 50 minutes. About the same time Wellingborough or Kettering to St Pancras...

Lots of Londoners moved here after the war.

Villages as beautiful as the Cotswolds - built of local ironstone with plenty of thatch thrown in.