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Best Things to do in Rotherhithe

Best Things to do in Rotherhithe

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Discover the best things to do in Rotherhithe: waterside pubs, hidden cafes, and even a Finnish sauna hidden in a church.

Things to do in Rotherhithe

Walk Rotherhithe Street


The best way to explore Rotherhithe is to walk the length of Rotherhithe Street. 

Spanning 1.5 miles, it’s the longest street in London, but don’t worry there will be opportunities for fuel your stomach along the way. 

A walk along Rotherhithe Street will see you walking under the overhead walkways of many a listed building. 

You’ll also pass the Georgian style house, Nelson’s House, St Mary’s Church and a working city farm, Surrey Docks Farm. 

If you get peckish, The Mayflower Pub is near the start of Rotherhithe Street, for a later pit stop visit The Blacksmith’s Arms has good beers, and British and Thai food.

Brunel Museum

Brunel Museum Rotherhithe

Situated at the Engine House, The Brunel Museum is a small museum commemorating Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s first and large projects. 

The educational charity run by volunteers showcases a local story of an engineering family (Brunels) who change the world. 

At the museum you can see collections that give an in depth insight into The Thames Tunnel, pottery plates and watercolours of the Brunel family. 

Through guided tours and storytime, step back into the past and discover The Brunel family. 

Sauna at The Finnish Church

Fancy getting steamy in a Finnish Church sauna? 

The Finnish Church in Rotherhithe is a welcoming community church that just happens to have a private sauna that you must visit. 

The dimly lit wood-cladded sauna is the best way to relax in Rotherhithe, you can either go to one of the public sessions that are for men and women separately. 

Or, you and a group of up to eight friends can book a one hour private slot – sounds like the perfect steamy mate date to us. 

Surrey Quays Shopping Centre

If you’re in the mood for a spot of shopping then you should head to Surrey Quays Shopping Centre

It’s a one stop destination for eating, shopping and drinking – three of our favourite things to do in Rotherhithe. 

Inside the two-storey shopping centre there’s everything from banh mi, sushi, pizza and a selection of shops for a bit of retail therapy. 

If entertainment is what you’re after, hit the bowling lanes, watch a film at Odeon Cinema, play some bingo or even climb a climbing wall.  

St Mary’s Church Rotherhithe

St Mary’s Church is one of the best things to do in Rotherhithe if you want to visit a historical landmark. 

It’s the local Church of England Parish in Rotherhithe that actually used to be in Surrey, but is now located in the dockland area.

It towers above the surrounding trees and certainly has echoes of Victorian-style buildings, there’s also some very old tombstones outside the church that you can view – if you’re not too spooked.   

Lavender Pond Nature Reserve

Owned by Southwark council and managed by volunteers, Lavender Pond Nature Reserve was supposed to be a haven for wildlife, but quickly became an idyllic nature spot for both locals and alike. 

This nature reserve is just off Rotherhithe Street, so if you fancy a quick sit down that’s also free, this is the place to go.

Take a walk around Lavender Pond Nature Reserve, perch on one of the many benches next to the pond and spot some ducklings splashing around. 

Things to do in Rotherhithe: Eating & Drinking 

The Mayflower

Mayflower Pub Rotherhithe

Surrounded by cobbled streets, this riverside watering hole is a traditional English pub with immaculate views and even better food and drinks.

The Mayflower pub in Rotherhithe is unique both inside and out and the idyllic white building with hanging flower pots and black wooden windows is very Tudor-esque. 

Step inside and you’re greeted with a black timber bar and a myriad of intricate antiques. 

There’s a restaurant upstairs serving Sunday roasts, beer battered fish and chips and Guinness stew. 

The outside tables on the decked jetty are the main draw here, and certainly make the best place in Rotherhithe to enjoy a few pints. 

Vixen Coffee

It’s always good to check out the coffee when you’re exploring a new area, and you’ll want to visit Vixen Coffee

This coffee shop is a bit more than just a coffee shop, it’s a neighbourhood hangout spot where you can enjoy good coffee by day and cold beers by night. 

So, if you want to really mix with the locals head here and grab yourself a flat white, salmon bagel or Berry donut. 

Vixen Coffee is tucked away inside a unit down a quiet street, so it’s really only for those in the know. 

But you’ll be glad we’ve told you about it when you try the Belgian Waffles with Syrup with any topping of your choice.  

Leadbelly’s Bar & Kitchen

Leadbelly’s Bar & Kitchen motto is eat, drink, work, play, and that really is the mantra we like to live by. 

Visiting this community hub is one of the best things to do in Rotherhithe, it’s located opposite Canada Water Station and is certainly an afterwork destination with a very inviting happy hour. 

The industrial bar and kitchen is designed for socialising with large benches and a terrace to spread out on. 

Pizza Mondays, Burger Tuesday, Wing Wednesday and Bottomless Brunch are some of the specials to choose from – pick your day wisely. 

Columbia Restaurant

Along Rotherhithe Street, you’ll find Columbia Restaurant, a laid-back bistro boasting idyllic river views. 

The restaurant is housed inside the DoubleTree by Hilton, and is the place to be at any time of the day with breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. 

Modern, bright, colourful and oh-so inviting is what springs to mind about Columbia Restaurant, sit back and relax on the sofas and enjoy burgers, belly pork or poached eggs. 

Large windows allow you to watch the boats float past and admire dockland views from inside. Alternatively you can also do that from outside on the terrace. 

The Moby Dick, Green Dock

You may have noticed by now that there’s plenty of waterside venues in Rotherhithe, but this pub is well worth a visit.

The Moby Dick is spread across two floors, it’s pretty damn big so stick by your friends, or you may actually lose each other. 

Despite its exterior looking like something from London’s past, the inside is ultra modern with a stylish black bar and concrete pillars. 

The octagonal conservatory at the front of the pub spanning both floors is a cool place for a pint and the views are a nice touch. 

Although there’s plenty of outdoor seating to dine riverside, the sunset views here are a must. You won’t be disappointed. 

The Moby Dick is all about comfort food, so you can expect pub classics and an excellent range of beers on tap.    

What to do in Rotherhithe: Practical Tips 

  • The best way to explore Rotherhithe is by walking the length of Rotherhithe Street, this way you’ll pass most popular landmarks, pubs and restaurants
  • If you had to only pick one waterside pub, it should be The Mayflower, it’s the most iconic pub in Rotherhithe 
  • The easiest way to get to Rothertieh is to take the Jubilee line to Canada Water or you can take the Overground to Rotherhithe station

Things to do in Rotherhithe: Map 

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