From the pop-up stores in Shoreditch to the arts scene in Margate, the UK is no stranger to hip neighbourhoods. But just where are the coolest up-and-coming neighbourhoods that should be on your travel radar in 2018?
For the second year in a row I’ve worked on an exciting campaign with TravelSupermarket, searching for the hippest neighbourhoods across the UK. The guide takes into account everything from places that are just crying out for a spot on your Instagram feed, to mouth-watering eats/drinks, and traveller value. It’s a great opportunity to unearth a destination that’s affordable but also a little off the beaten track.
I loved working with TravelSupermarket on these guides because it always opens my eyes to how many cool and alternative destinations there are on my very doorstep. Last year’s guide saw Ancoats in Manchester named the UK’s hippest neighbourhood – despite being to Manchester three times, I’d (shamefully) never heard of Ancoats before. But reading up more about the neighbourhood’s coffee shops, quirky restaurants and art murals has made me want to get back up there sooner rather than later to see the things I’ve missed. There are so many different sides to cities all over the UK, and often it’s when you look beyond the usual tourist spots that you find the more interesting places.
Writing the guide has also given me a kick up the backside to finally explore more of London. I’d never realised there were so many quirky little tidbits in Dalston, for instance, from the Hackney Peace Mural to the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden! At the weekend I decided to take advantage of my new south London location and head on over to Peckham Rye to explore Peckham Levels. If you’ve never heard of Peckham Levels, then it should definitely be on your radar next time you’re in London. All 7 levels of a multi-storey carpark have been transformed into a centre for art, events and lots of amazing food.
On the Saturday I visited, the weather outside was wet and windy, but the colourful staircase leading up to the different floors was just the injection of happiness I needed! Check out the Peckham Levels hashtag on Instagram and you’ll find so many selfies in the corner convex mirrors – I had to stop and get one myself, which turned a little awkward when a guy came up behind me and saw me mid-pose…
The space contains everything from a hair salon to a yoga studio and various street food stalls. I was a little worried it was going to be one of those ~*exclusive*~ spaces for uber-hip people, but there were small kids, entire families and elderly couples everywhere! Oh, and make sure you head up to the top for views out over London towards the Shard.
If you love discovering new places like this before the crowds descend, I’d wholeheartedly recommend taking a look at the TravelSupermarket index here. There’s also a whole ranking of hip neighbourhoods throughout Europe, so there’s plenty of inspiration ready and waiting for you.