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Brixton Cycles

Next to Stockwell Skatepark (or Brixton Beach as it’s called) this shop for the real cyclist now sells skateboards, too. Predating the cycling boom of the 80s, it is famed for its mobile repair service on the annual London to Brighton bike ride.

145 Stockwell Road SW9
Tel: +44 (0)20) 7733 6055
www.brixtoncycles.co.uk

www.stockwellskatepark.com

Once a very wealthy part of London – it had its first purpose-built department store (Bon Marché in 1877) and first electric street lighting (Electric Avenue) – Brixton is now best known for its markets, the focus for London’s Caribbean community.

Tube/Rail: Brixton

Any comments - or a suggestion for a London secret? Please e-mail me.

Brixton

Prince Albert

A friendly mixed clientele, cheap beer and good music are among the attractions that make this pub stand out in an area known for some of the best in London. Poetry slam owns and fierce pub quizzes add to the charm. It’s next door to the 414 club, making it popular with the pre-clubbing crowd.

418 Coldharbour La SW9
Tel: +44 (0)20 7274 3771

The Effra

Victorian-style boozer with a good local crowd of all ages, simple West Indian food - try the jerk chicken - and regular live music. You’ll hear ska, reggae and jazz, while sports fans have a large plasma screen to watch. A walled garden out back provides escape for a quiet chat or  smokers.

38 Kellet Road SW2

Tate Library

The sugar magnate, who invented the sugar cube and also gave us the Tate Gallery, donated this free library to the area in 1892. Recently refurbished, there’s lots of  books, newspapers, magazines, DVDs and music CDs, as well as computers with free Internet access.

Brixton Oval SW2
Tel: +44 (0)20 7926 1056
brixtonlibrary@lambeth.gov.uk

Brixton Windmill

Built on Brixton hill in 1816, when the land around was still rural, the windmill closed in 1862 when housing started to be built around it, robbing it of wind. Although it was steam and then gas-powered in the 1930s for a while, it is now derelict and awaiting restoration.

Blenheim Gardens SW2
www.brixtonwindmill.org

Ritzy Picturehouse

One of England's first purpose-built cinemas has a beautiful theatre with a very good cafe with free wifi as well - a good hangout even if you don’t want to see a film. The quirky Upstairs bar has live music, DJs nights, a film quiz and the Ritzy Crackers comedy nights.

Brixton Oval SW2
Tel: +44 (0)20 7733 2229
www.picturehouses.co.uk

Bon Marche

This opened in 1877 as the first purpose built department store in Britain but closed in 1975. It was modeled on a Parisian store of the same name and sold French fashions and perfumes. By the 1920s, Brixton was the shopping capital of South London and had three major department stores.

Ferndale Road SW9

Platform Piece

This 1986 three-part work by sculptor Kevin Atherton is of three volunteer subjects: Peter Lloyd, Joy Battick and Karin Heistermann. Moulded in plaster from life at Brixton station, then cast in bronze, they were (arguably) the first sculptures of black British people and marked a £1m renovation of the station.

Brixton rail station SW2

Electric Avenue

Best known from the Eddy Grant hit, this street was so named in the 1880s as the first shopping street to be lit by electricity. An ornate iron and glass pavement canopy survived until the 1980s. It is home to part of Brixton Market, as well as a good range of butchers, fish-mongers and other shops

Electric Avenue SW2

Brixton Academy

An electrifying place to see your favourite band with capacity for 5,000 fans, all with great views of Europe’s largest fixed stage because of the steeply sloping floor. Art Deco interior and proscenium arch based on the Rialto Bridge in Venice also helped make it Music Week’s Venue of the Year 2009.

211 Stockwell Road SW9
www.o2academybrixton.co.uk/

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