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The Woolpack

The wool trade once thrived in this area but the name of this attractive pub is one of the few remnants. Serving a wide selection of ales and lagers, it also has good food. But a major attraction also has to be the Victorian-meets-modern decor, and the large garden –unusual in the inner city.

98 Bermondsey Street SE1
Tel: +44 (0)20 7357 9269
www.woolpackbar.com

Mary Magdalen Church

The medieval tower of this church is the oldest building in Bermondsey. It is the last remnant of an abbey, founded in the 8th century whose remains can be seen under a glass floor in Delaziz café. The church gardens hold the tombs of the Rolls family, of Rolls Royce fame, and a cat in a false window.

193 Bermondsey Street SE1
www.stmarysbermondsey.org.uk

RW Auto’s

The two horse heads above the front of this garage workshop are the last clue that is was once a smithy – a blacksmiths. The present garage is a BMW specialist, run by two local mechanics, Patrick and Ian, who started working for this firm when they were both in their teens.

2a Morocco Street SE1
Tel: +44 (0)20 7407 2403
www.rwautos.com

Bermondsey Fayre

Selling crafts by local artists and designers – and offering classes in how to make your own – this fascinating shop and gallery has some lovely retro fashion and quirky gift items. You can also stock up on homemade soap, jam and preserves, or book a lesson in yoga or massage.

212 Bermondsey Street SE1
Tel: +44 (0)20 7403 2133
www.bermondseyfayre.co.uk/

Coffee@Bermondsey St

Selling good coffee (and tea), of course, this funky café stands out with its modern art, comfy sofas and general zaniness, such as free dog biscuits (for your dog!). A range of food – with good vegan or vegetarian options – eclectic soundtrack and free wifi (with lots of powerpoints) complete the picture.

163-167 Bermondsey Street SE1
Tel: +44 (0)20 7423 1525

Fashion & Textiles Museum

Zany designer Zandra Rhodes  (and Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta) has converted a former 1970s warehouse into an exciting showcase for vintage and modern fashion and textile design. Rotating exhibitions include work by Vivienne Westwood, Jan Muir and Ossie Clark.

83 Bermondsey Street SE1
Tel: +44 (0)20 7407 8664
www.ftmlondon.org

Leather Hide & Wool Exchange

Bermondsey’s growth was due to the leather trade, with the Thames providing water and power for the tanning process and oak bark found close by. The Leather Exchange dates to 1879 and the roundels on its walls depict the various stages of the leather-making process.

Leather Market Street SE1
www.leathersellers.co.uk

London Glassblowing

Take a day-long glass-blowing lessons at Peter Layton's studio, one of Europe's leading glassmaking workshops. This hot glass studio focuses on the creation and display of contemporary glass art, with a particular flair for the use of colour, form and texture.

62-66 Bermondsey Street SE1
Tel: +44 (0)20 7403 2800
www.londonglassblowing.co.uk

On the south bank of the Thames, Bermondsey has a long history associated with the river but the docks area suffered severely from bombing of World War II, and the collapse in river trade afterwards. However, it has undergone a remarkable revival in recent years. www.discoverbermondsey.co.uk

Rail: Bermondsey

Any comments - or a suggestion for a London secret? Please e-mail me.

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Holly & Lil

Handmade, couture collars for dogs and cats were the original inspiration for two friends who met while walking their dogs, Holly & Lil. Their shop now also sells upmarket beds, drinking and feeding bowls and other accessories for your pet, but unique collars remain the mainstay.

103 Bermondsey Street SE1
Tel: +44 (0)20 3 287 3024
www.hollyandlil.co.uk/

Tanner Street Park

This small park on the corner with Bermondsey Street has free tennis courts (no booking required) and picnic benches but its real claim to fame is the derelict fountain in one corner. This is the top of the tower from the former St Olave’s church in nearby Tooley Street. (‘Tooley’ is a corruption of ‘St Olave’.)

Tanner Street SE1

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