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Ellen Munro of Dogs on Trains chooses her five secret London spots

Posted at 5:00 pm, March 14, 2014 in Fun London, Secret London, Top 5
Actors Church Gardens, London

There are many things that can jazz up a dull train journey. Cute, well-behaved toddlers; distinguished gentlemen snoring against windows; gin in a tin. But blogger Ellen Munro’s favourite train-based pick-me-up is an adorable pooch in transit. She collects photos of the travelling mutts and shares them with the world on her blog, Dogs on Trains. But to get lots of trains (and see lots of dogs) you’ve got to be going somewhere, so we asked Ellen what her five favourite secret London spots are, for dog-watching or otherwise. Ashleigh Arnott

The Pineapple, Kentish Town, London

The Pineapple
‘Any pub named after a tropical fruit is a winner in my eyes. Tucked away in the back streets of Kentish Town, the Pineapple was my old local. An excellent, ever-changing array of ales, Thai grub, some lovely original features and the friendliest bar staff make this pub a constant pleasure. Oh, and there’s usually a dog or two to coo over.’

Dartmouth Park, London

Dartmouth Park, off Dartmouth Park Hill, between Tufnell Park and Archway tube stations
‘I love a bit of Primrose Hill or Parliament Hill as much as the next Londoner, but for a view without the crowds, there’s Dartmouth Park. It’s a tiny park, mainly taken up with some large fenced off reservoir tanks. Walk round them though, sit on one of the benches and, just beyond the blocks of flats, take in the vast view across central and east London.’

Micro Library, phone box library, London

Lewisham Micro Library, Loampit Hill, near Tyrwhitt Road, SE13 (nearest station: St Johns)
‘This disused classic red phone box was brought back to life late last year in the form of a micro library. Shelves have been installed and filled with books. It’s open to anyone, 24 hours a day, the simple premise being that you take a book and replace it with one you no longer want. The shelves are always full and the books are always changing; here’s hoping it’s here to stay.’

Actors Church Garden, London

The Actors’ Church Gardens
‘A little oasis in the middle of Covent Garden. For years I didn’t realise these gardens were here. St Paul’s Church (or the Actors’ Church, as it affectionately known) sits proudly in the Piazza. You’re likely to find a street artist performing some death-defying act in front of it, but you’ll find their gardens tucked away behind its main façade. Open to the public to enjoy, these make a great lunchtime escape from the relentless crowds of Covent Garden.’

burger, Brockley Market, London

Brockley Market
‘OK, perhaps not a secret to locals, but Brockley Market is the perfect reason to get up and out on a Saturday morning. Full of fresh produce, meat, fish and dairy to stock out your kitchen. Who am I kidding though? I’m there for the street food treats. Particular shout outs go to Spit & Roast for their mouthwatering buttermilk fried chicken burgers and Kooky Bakes for the most incredible cakes. On top of that, all the best dogs of south-east London seem to hang out there.’

Ellen Munro, dogs on trains

Visit Ellen’s shrine to canine travel, Dogs on Trains, or follow @dogsontrains on Twitter.

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