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The 1001 Club choose their five secret London spots

Posted at 5:45 pm, January 24, 2013 in Secret London, Top 5
The 1001 Club

There is a certain sort of person who sees an all-you-can-eat restaurant as a challenge. Who hears of a new world record and is convinced they can go one better. The guys behind The 1001 Club saw our book called ‘1000 Things To Do in London’ and went for it, and their blog is the documentation. Having already completed bloody loads of unusual activities in London, they are more than qualified to recommend five secret London spots to you, and here those five are.

Gala Bingo, Tooting

Bingo at Tooting Gala Bingo Hall, 50 Mitcham Road, SW17 9NA
‘Bingo is not just a pastime for the geriatric generation anymore, and we don’t think there is a finer surrounding to enjoy this game than at the Tooting Bingo Hall. It was built in 1931 and was the first British cinema to become grade I listed, what with its quasi-Medieval style mixed with classical gothic features. Just remember to bring big bags with swag written on the side to take your winnings home with ya.’

Petanque, Cleaver Square

Petanque at Cleaver Square, SE11 4EA
‘This quiet little retreat in the South of London is best enjoyed during the summer months. You can not only enjoy a cheeky pint at the picturesque Prince of Wales, but also rent a petanque set with which to humiliate and dumbfound your nearest and dearest on the graveled communal area outside. A civilised way to mask your Saturday pre-lash.’


‘Now, this isn’t actually a specific place in London, but rather a great activity to get you exploring new areas of the city. The premise is that you are taking part in a sort of treasure hunt for secret caches that have been hidden and catalogued all around town. Once found, you can leave a message, sign your name and in some cases swap a trinket. The best one we’ve found to date, purely for its problem solving and concealment qualities, was ‘Tiggopoly 5’ at Coventry Street.’

Zumbathon at Hootenanny’s
‘Lots of people will have heard about Hootananny’s in Brixton – a pub that throws parties full of live gypsy bands and plenty o’ good vibes. But not so many will be aware they also hold regular zumba sessions (yes, in a pub) including the visionary three hour ‘zumbathon’ held every few months. Now go sweat off those Sunday alcohol shakes, you London layabout.’

Barbican Conservatory

Bird watching at Barbican Conservatory
‘This little gem hidden among the brutal concrete of the Barbican Centre is a perfect date location or a place to idle away your lazy Sundays. There are thousands of species of plant and wildlife and the place is second only to Kew Gardens in the grandiose stakes. The conservatory is open to the public free of charge most weekends so there is literally no excuse not to go and check out God’s handiwork.’

For more from The 1001 Club, visit their blog, or follow @The1001Club on Twitter.

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