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Just behind Waterloo Station, a mere stone's throw from The Old Vic, is Lower Marsh. Primarily known for Lower Marsh Market, one of the capital's oldest markets, the street takes its name from the fact that, up until the early 1800s, the area was given over to marshland.  

Until relatively recently, this part of the Waterloo neighbourhood was fairly underdeveloped. But the tables have turned, gentrification has come knocking, and Lower Marsh is now a destination in itself, entertaining a varied range of independent cafes and restaurants, bars, gift shops, bookshops, food shops, vintage fashion boutiques, and over 70 market stalls.

When in London's SE1, pay a visit to Lower Marsh. Here's a handful of places we recommend you visit on this charming south London street:

This emporium sells good produce at a fair price. It combines The Ginger Pig butchers, The Old Post Office Bakery, and the Waterloo Wine Company in addition to other suppliers. Whether you want to purchase cheese, wine, fruit or vegetables, this is a local supermarket like no other.  

Café del Marsh

This is a great place for a rendezvous or night out with assorted friends. A favourite night spot for locals thirsty for craft beer, there is a good-sized garden out back and friendly bar staff out front. Café del Marsh is a no-frills venue, and despite its central location, offers an oasis of calm from the business of Waterloo Station.   

Travelling Through

Books, travel and community is at the heart of Travelling Through. It's the ultimate neighbourhood bookshop, and the type of place you wish every neighbourhood might possess. There's even a café serving delicious cakes, an events space and cultural hub. With both non-fiction and fiction books on the shelves, and titles appropriate for adults and children, if you want to broaden your horizons through travel writing, take a trip to Travelling Through.  

Radio Days

Alongside another celebrated vintage store on Lower Marsh, What The Butler Wore, Radio Days not only stocks vintage clothing, but is brimming with all manner of goods, including comic books and jewellery. Riffle through the garment rails and shelving and you're destined to unearth a hidden gem.  

La Barca

This Italian restaurant is usually full with loyal locals seeking sustenance in a bowl of pasta. The atmosphere is friendly and laid-back, the portions are generous, and the food is authentic. Whether you're looking to grab a quick bit on route to the theatre or simply want an informal spot to enjoy tasty Italian cuisine, La Barca is the place.  

Marie's Café   

Walk in during the morning and you can expect to sample a restoratively hearty British fry-up, but swing by in the evening, and Thai dishes make up the menu. Marie's Café manages to be a Thai restaurant and greasy spoon in one, and it's a real asset to Lower Marsh and the wider Waterloo area.  

To find out more about Lower Marsh, visit our Lower Marsh area guide here