An easy wonder south of the river
If you have just arrived in central London you may find yourself in the cavernous interior of Waterloo Station wondering what to do.
Waterloo is near some of the better know attractions in London, namely Westminster Palace and the London Eye. It's the kind of place that aliens seem to attack more than most.
However, turn away from the tourist traps and head south. You can find some real gems that can let you experience the local life of the area. While also taking in a bit of history in the somehow hidden Imperial War Museum. On top of this you can check out one of the biggest collections of street art in London.
For graffiti, fried breakfasts, coffee culture, authentic Japanese, beer gardens and a smattering of world war...... read on.
Leake St and Lower Marsh
From the London Eye, head towards Leake St. A tunnel underneath Waterloo station where graffiti is perfectly legal. What started as a grimy tunnel is now an expertly lit gallery showcasing amazing street art that changes week by week. Recently the tunnel has become home to various evening venues. Hosting shows, board games, expensive cocktails and Vietnamese haute cuisine.
Head through the tunnel and come out on Lower Marsh. One of the most vibrant little streets in central London.
For a bite to eat you can sample the Lower Marsh St Food market, or head to Marie's Cafe. Marie's is a greasy spoon popular with taxi drivers. (a mark of a great place). However it is also a Thai restaurant, so you might get a mix of Pad Thai, chips and beans!
Take your time to soak up the atmosphere by grabbing an espresso in one of the many coffee culture places that have popped up in recent years. By the best is the Scooter Cafe, which has it's own cat and a back garden!
The Imperial War Museum
From the end of Lower Marsh head past North Lambeth Station and across the road near the Oasis Church. If you are still hungry the Hakari Sushi Bar is a fine example of honest, incredibly tasty sushi.
Head down Kennington Road to the Imperial War Museum. It's free to enter but runs on donations so make sure you either buy something in the gift shop or put a fiver in the collection box.
Inside you'll find a fantastic collection of equipment and vehicles from the world wars. Plus various temporary exhibitions that change every few months. (Exhibitions are usually pay-to-enter) The main draw is the huge atrium where Spitfires and Doodlebugs circle overhead.
Outside are 15 inch navel guns and a real life chunk of the Berlin Wall!
If it's a nice day, the newly refurbish "Tankard" sits on the corner of the war museum gardens. With an airy open roof patio it's a great place to enjoy a beer while watching the world go buy. Albeit a little louder than normal as it's located on the main road to the south circular.