I was recently asked where to go in London that isn’t touristy, but still essential to see before you leave. For me, one of the key places I would take visitors to is Golder’s Green. A less famous suburb of London, it lies unassumingly in North West London – just past King’s Cross.
Without the crowds of Camden or hectic striding suited businessmen of Canary Wharf, this is a quiet piece of London that’s worth a day just bumping around (you’re likely to bump into some lovely sites).
I would argue London’s charm isn’t in Trafalgar Square or Buckingham Palace (although these are brilliant in their own, tourist-laden, way). Instead, to see what London’s really about, you need to explore the odd nooks and crannies that are hidden up winding streets. And Golder’s Green is one of these places.
The area is especially noted for its large Jewish population. Coming to this area of London is completely different to anywhere else in the city.
Where else can you find Kosher Dim Sum next to a Kosher Indian restaurant, followed by a Jewish Cultural Centre and a Swaminarayan Temple?
This is the area I live, and it’s like peering into a semi-familiar world. The area has London’s diversity, but rather than a veneer of British-ness, there’s an overlay of Jewish culture on nearly everything you come across.
Visiting Golders Green
Most of the day trips I recommend are actually outside London, but this time I would suggest going on a ‘day trip’ to an unusual area of London – Golder’s Green. You could spend a lovely day here – first head to Carmelli’s bagel bakery on the high street. Pick up some bagels, pastries, or whatever takes your fancy. From here, it’s a short 1.5 mile walk to Hampstead Heath – one of London’s greatest parks.
You can easily spend a whole day wandering through the park – it has everything from bathing pools to English rose gardens, small forests and emus.
When evening falls, head back to the high street for a quite coffee (the high street boasts more than a dozen), or perhaps for some Kosher-Italian-Thai food?
Getting There and Away
The closest tube station is Golders Green on the Northern Line.