Meet my city: London

A Melbourne expat shares her top 9 places to keep fit, healthy and feeling her best in South London

1. Battersea Park

London SW11 4NJ

I’m lucky enough to live just around the corner from 200 acres of green space, situated on the south bank of the Thames in inner London. For me it’s the perfect spot to run, walk, cycle and get away from it all. And the view when the sun is setting behind Albert Bridge is simply unbeatable.

2. Venn St Market

Venn St, London SW4 0AT

Every Saturday this cute fresh food market sets up in Clapham Common and the choice selection of traders selling organic fruit and veg, free range meat and poultry, seafood, artisan breads, award-winning dairy, and vegetarian/vegan treats makes it the perfect place to do the weekly shop, while treating myself to a Portuguese custard tart!

3. Brockwell Lido

Brockwell Park, Dulwich Road, London, SE24 0PA

Known to locals as ‘Brixton’s Beach’, Brockwell Lido is an outdoor pool surrounded by a beautiful Grade II listed art deco building with a gym, studios and the surprisingly good Lido Cafe. I love to come here on a summer’s morning to smash out some laps, followed by a fresh apple, carrot and ginger juice in the sun.

4. look mum, no hands!

49 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HX

Cycling and coffee enthusiasts alike love this East London bicycle workshop cross café-bar, pop up cinema and more. Come here for a bike service, and stay for their Tour de France screenings and the top notch Square Mile coffee roasted around the corner.

4. Gymbox

42-49 St Martin’s Ln, London WC2N 4EJ, and various other locations

I’m not a huge fan of gyms in general but Gymbox is a refreshing take on the standard. With classes such as Yoga Rave (literally a UV dance party disguised as a yoga class) and Circus Fit they’re doing something a little different. There are five of them across London and a workout at Gymbox is actually a really fun way to spend an evening.

6. Borough Market

8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL

For the best fresh fruit, vegetables and produce in the city, you can’t go past Borough Market in the London Bridge area. Over 100 individual stallholders trade here from Wednesday to Saturday and it’s a must for anyone who cares about the quality and origin of the food they eat.

(Image: Simon Rawles)

7. Ali Baba Juice and Matcha

Rye Ln, London SE15 4RY

This cute local juice bar opposite Peckham Rye station uses only the most diverse and seasonal produce from nearby markets. Try the sweet potato, pineapple and orange, or follow them on Instagram for daily specials.

8. Yoga!

If you’re a yogi like me, there are too many good classes around town to choose from. Some of my favourites are Rooftop Yoga Peckhamwith Lucyoga (Bold Tendencies, 95a Rye Lane, SE15 4ST) with views across London, Yoga in the Park with Infinite Beings(Long Pond, Clapham Common SW4), and Secret Yoga Club, where you’re never quite sure what you’ll get. Past locations have including the Royal Academy of Art, Dalston Boys Club and there’s a regular class at alternative store Celestine Eleven in Shoreditch.

9. No Lights, No Lycra London

6 Well Street, Hackney E9 7PX

This dance community started in my hometown, Melbourne, and has since spread across the world. The London leg is in Hackney and the premise is simple. No lights, no lycra, no teacher, no steps and no technique. It’s an hour a week where you let go and lose yourself in the music. Not to mention you work up a mean sweat. Such fun!

Check out more destinations in our Meet my city series, from Bangkok to LA.

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