Discover the best things to do in Streatham with this insider’s guide.
Want to know a fun fact about Streatham’s High Road? It has two claims to fame. It’s the longest High Street in Europe and in 2002 was, unfortunately, voted the worst street in Britain.
Perhaps it was the boost they needed because today, Streatham is one of London’s hottest up and coming areas.
So what’s the deal?
Streatham means ‘hamlet of the street’, but this South London borough of Lambeth is no sleepy hamlet anymore – it’s packed with cool spots and quirky gems, if you know where to look.
Escape the bustle of central London to the quiet gardens of the Streatham Common or The Rookery. Break out some dance moves at the many live music concerts at Hideaway or laugh until your sides ache at the Railway Pub.
The Streatham we know today is a very different place than it was a couple of centuries ago. The district’s origin traces back to the Roman Period. It was first a parish of Surrey, which sustained itself through agricultural wealth.
By the 18th century, Streatham was well-known for its natural springs. These supposed fountains of youth attracted many rich and famous residents.
By the 19th century, it slowly began growing into a metropolitan suburb of London. In 1856 Streatham Hill railway station was built, which attracted more visitors.
Since then, Streatham has only grown in popularity. Streatham High Road was the busiest shopping street in South London in the 1950s.
Today, Streatham is having a resurgence as a popular spot among Londoners and those visitors intrepid enough to leave central London.
Top Picks for Things to do in Streatham
Things to do in Streatham
Delving into the spots you shouldn’t miss.
Pack your picnic baskets. We’re going frolicking in Streatham Common. The Common’s open landscape and various blooming flower beds make it a popular London picnic spot.
This urban park in the south of Streatham has lots to explore and see. The nature reserve is overgrown with woodlands, wildflowers and acid grassland.
Bring the whole family and enjoy the playground, cafe, and paddling pool. In summer, enjoy an outdoor movie on the Common’s lawn.
Do you want to hear a secret? At the top of the Streatham Commons is a hidden garden.
The Streatham Rookery first opened in 1913 but is still a hidden treasure often only known by locals. The garden looks like it’s out of a fairytale overflowing with blooming colourful flowers and lush greenery.
The award-winning garden has an Old English Garden as well as a rock garden. Rose-covered archways lead you further into the wonderland garden to more fountains and ponds. Who would want to leave?
This award-winning Jazz joint features the best Jazz, Funk, Soul, and Swing tunes from star performers.
Visit on Sundays for their Sunday lunch performances or howl with laughter at their stand-up comedy shows.
Note: Hideaway is temporarily closed at the moment while they are looking for a new venue. Keep an eye on their website and social accounts for updates.
Streatham Ice and Leisure Centre
Have your figure skating dreams come true at Streatham Ice and Leisure Centre – which boasts not only a 25m long pool but also an Olympic sized ice skating rink.
The original building was demolished in 2011 before being rebuilt as a spanking new permanent ice skating rink in London. This impressive rink is the only Olympic sized ice rink in the whole of London.
Aside from the water sports the centre offers, there’s also a gymnasium, yoga studio, and a cafe.
Visit Europe’s Longest High Street
Streatham High Road is an iconic street with plenty to offer. In the 1950s, this street was the busiest shopping street in London.
Most shops, restaurants and bars are on this 2.8-kilometre-long road. Today, many specialist food shops are popping up.
These food shops range from Spanish, Brazilian, Chinese, and Lebanese cuisine. Have a trip around the world with your tongue on this record-breaking high street.
Things to do in Streatham: Eating & Drinking
Streatham Wine House
You and the Streatham Wine House could make the perfect blend.
This wine bar & shop has an impressive list of over 300 wines from all around the world. This wine house is a relaxing space that mainly caters to fellow oenophiles, but beer lovers can also swing by.
They have a selection of local craft beers from Streatham’s Brewing Company, as well as some whiskeys, gins, and vodkas. Pair your drinks with their lovely charcuterie boards or snacks.
They also have a few bites available as well as ‘bring your own pizza’ Sundays where you pay a forkage fee.
Streatham Art & Craft SW16
Not into wine? Maybe some hop juice will hit the spot.
Art & Craft is a beer bottle shop. It boasts up to 400 local, national and international craft beers.
They’re not all about craft beer. They’re also colossal art lovers -hence the name. The venue has a constant rotation of both modern and urban art from novice to established artists.
Streatham has many family-run businesses and restaurants, and Bar 61 is no different. If you want a taste of Spain in London, come to this award-winning Spanish tapas restaurant.
The dark wood decor and stripped floor add to the ambience of the modern European dining experience. It feels like being in your grandmother’s house enjoying a family dinner.
They’re not only all about Spanish tapas. Bar 61 also has hearty main meals made from fresh ingredients. Pair them with their extensive Spanish wine lists.
You can always tell which restaurants sell good food by the zig-zagging lines of people forming outside. Bravi Ragazzi has all the telltale signs of a good pizzeria – it’s authentic, cheap and always full of customers.
This Streatham pizzeria has made quite a name for itself as one of the best pizza spots in London. This is an authentic Italian restaurant with authentic Italian speakers.
Grab a slice of Naples with their best-selling Neapolitan pizza with a fluffy base and heaps of cheeses.
This Victorian gastropub is ideal for drinking a beer and listening to some live comedy or music. Your sides will be aching from laughing and dancing the night away. To refuel, enjoy their amazing pub grub.
The Railway is essentially just a skip and a jump away from Streatham Common Station, which means it’s a stop for many visitors. The pub has a large front bar and an airy back garden for you to have a cold one.
Top Shopping Spots in Streatham
Streatham High Road
Did you know that Streatham High Road is the longest high street in Europe? If you’ve ever been to Streatham, you would’ve seen many banners declaring this fact proudly flapping in the wind.
Streatham High Road is where you’ll find most shops in the district. While there is an overflow of chain stores on the main road, there are some independent hidden treasures.
The Indigo Tree
This family-run shop describes itself as selling ‘lovely things for lovely people’. Indigo Tree sells all kinds of gifts and bits and bobs. Buy anything from cards, tableware and bird mix at this quirky little shop.
Streatham Green Artisans Market
Streatham’s artisans market is open every Sunday outside the Manor Arms. This is a small farmers market where vendors sell fresh produce and handmade products like cheese, bread and cakes.
It’s still relatively new, so not that many people know about it, which makes it an even better reason to visit and scoop up some fantastic deals and support local businesses.
Railway Farmers Market
Support local at this quaint farmers market. You can find the market every second and fourth Saturday of each month at Streatham Common Station.
A sweet tooth? Kerry Wren, Streatham’s resident cake baker, sells her decadent cakes and treats. If you have more of a spicy palette, Peep’s Treats sells flaming spice chutneys and chillies.
There are all kinds of fresh produce and meats on sale here, too.
Tip: Get there early (especially through game season) to avoid disappointment.
Practical Tips for Exploring Streatham, London
- Streatham High Road is a long road (someone should award them for that). Take your time exploring the many restaurants and shops along the way.
- While things are within walking distance, that also means you’ll be doing lots of walking. Make sure you have comfortable clothing and shoes on when visiting.