Brixton, a mainly residential area just south of the Thames, is a district with its own special character, one that stands out even amongst all the mythmaking that goes on around various areas of London. That has a lot to do with Brixton’s status as the unofficial capital of Afro-Caribbean Britain. While still only 24% of residents are of that extraction, it means Brixton has been the site of some profound cultural and social shifts. Previously the scene of riots and bombings, Brixton is now a more settled area with a rich heritage and idiosyncratic character. However, it still offers good transport links into the city, making it a good place to stay if you’re on a budget.
There aren’t really any Brixton hotels to speak of, but there are plenty of decent, cheap establishments surrounding the area, with the two star Belgrave Hotel being a good compromise between value and comfort, as well as extremely close to Oval tube station. It’s a bright, relaxed and modern hotel, outfitted much like a typical Travel Inn.
For a more distinctive hotel near Brixton, the Church Street Hotel is a decidedly exotic four star joint kitted out in a Mexican theme. The rooms are beautiful, with rich, deep colour schemes and bathrooms decorated with Moroccan tiles. The restaurant deals in Spanish and Mexican cuisine (obv), with ingredients sourced both from Spain and nearby foodie spectacular Borough Market. The hotel also makes its own special brand of hot sauce, lovingly prepared on the premises.
Meanwhile, Clapham’s The Windmill is another boutique hotel in a more English style, with three stars to its name. The aesthetic skilfully mixes a rustic ambience with modern flourishes, with the excellent restaurant in particular boasting a lovely atmosphere replete with wooden beams and dangling vines.
The word Brixton comes from 'Beorthsige's stone' in Old English and the 'ton' in Brixton is a perversion of 'stan' meaning stone, not 'tun' which is the Old English word for farm or village. The area was recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as 'Brixiestan' and the location of the literal 'stone' which may have been used in those days as a social meeting point is not yet known.
The area is run by Lambeth local authority and Brixton Station is in Zone 2, having 2 platforms which are served by the Victoria Line. The only adjacent station on that Line is Stockwell as Brixton is a terminus. There are a high number of great Brixton hotels near the station and the local Rail Station is just 100 meters away.
In the 1860s and 1890s Brixton became popular with the middle classes; this was mainly due to improvements in the rail links between Brixton and central London. When the middle classes moved to other areas and the working classes returned to Brixton many of the large houses on main roads were turned into flats and popular Brixton hotels.
Brixton has also featured notably in popular culture and music. The famous Brixton street Electric Avenue which shares it's name with a song by Reggae artist Eddie Grant was named Electric Avenue after being the first street in the area to be lit using electricity. The famous song 'Guns of Brixton' was also about the area and was recorded by punk band The Clash for their third album 'London Calling'.
Brixton Market which is a tourist hot spot is close by. Selling fresh produce at one end and clothes, toys, leather goods and towels at the other the area is popular with locals and very worthy of a visit.
There are also a number of hotels near Brixton's notorious Ritzy cinema which is a small traditional venue. The cinema offers the opportunity to view indie and foreign films alongside mainstream releases at often competitive prices.
The world famous Brixton Academy (Carling Academy) which is the biggest of 4 Astoria venues is an enormous Art Deco building and has played host to concerts for scores of musicians, performers and bands including Bob Dylan, The Clash and The Sex Pistols.
The Brixton Bar and Grill serves a selection of Spanish and Greek street-style tapas and boasts a tempting cocktail menu. Beers, wines and soft drinks are also available. Speedy Noodle on Brixton Road is perfect for just that and the Old Calcutta Tandoori on the same street offers sumptuous Indian food.
Bars near Brixton station are plentiful but The Goose on Brixton Road is well placed for a traditional British pint, as is The Beehive. Those looking for somewhere to dance might enjoy a visit to The Fridge Bar at Brixton Hill, or Mass on the same street. The Telegraph, a trendy bar and music venue also serves affordable drinks nearby.
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|1||Kings College Halls||1.8km|
|2||Chelsea Guest House||1.8km|
|2||New Dome Hotel||2.1km|
|4||Church Street Hotel||2.1km|
|3||Comfort Inn Vauxhall||2.1km|
|3||Windmill On The Common||2.2km|
|2||Euro Hotel Clapham||2.2km|
|2||Euro Lodge Clapham||2.3km|
|2||Best Western London Peckham Hotel||3.0km|
|4||Dolphin House Apartments||3.1km|
|2||Leigham Court Hotel||3.1km|
|4||Riverbank Park Plaza||3.1km|
|4||Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel a Spa London||3.2km|
|3||St George's Hotel/Victoria||3.3km|