Fulham deserves our full attention. Unfairly overshadowed by neighbouring Chelsea (and the posh people who were made in it), Fulham is a vibrant, trendy borough bursting with culture, history and character. To right this wrong, Manuka Kitchen has put together a list of the top 10 things to do and see while in the local area — not including us, of course.
1. Retrace Royal Steps at the King’s Road
Built by King Charles II at the encouragement of his mistress, King’s Road was used as the private, royal route to Kew Palace until 1830. Now, you’ll find independent restaurants, bijou bookstores and sweet-scented flower shops spilling from every corner of its 3km stretch. Visit No.430 to find Vivienne Westwood’s iconic ‘Worlds End’ boutique, or No.484 for the site of Led Zepplin’s ‘Swan Song Records’ office.
2. Broaden Your Cultural Horizons at Arthill Gallery
Located in a converted church with a focus on Asian and European contemporary art, Arthill Gallery is an underrated spot for those looking to indulge in Fulham’s cultural scene. Current exhibitions include ‘Sensation in Between’, a minimalist exploration of ‘the current feeling of global fragility’ and ‘Changing Perspectives’, a collaboration with esteemed Beijing artists Yangyang Wei and Jingjing Guan.
3. Or Make a Little Art Yourself at the Fulham Pottery Café
Surrounded by bakeries and Italian bistros, this pottery shop is situated in a charming little quarter of Fulham Road. Fulham Pottery Café was set up in 1998 by none other than Emma Bridgewater, and to this day works exclusively with handmade English pottery (including some of Bridgewater’s own designs). You’ll be able to paint anything from coffee mugs to egg cups and gecko plaques.
4. Go Celeb-Spotting (But Be Cool About It)
Fulham’s sparkly SW postcode often attracts a star or two, including the legendary Hugh Grant (often sighted at the Pret on Fulham Road), Nicola Coughlan (of Derry Girls and Bridgerton fame), and, of course, the stylish cast of Made in Chelsea. Keep an eye out for Fulham’s famous faces when you next visit the area — they’re more common than you’d think!
5. Be Transported Back in Time at Fulham Palace
While away an afternoon exploring Fulham Palace’s stately Medieval architecture and sprawling botanical gardens. Housing the Bishops of London for over 1300 years, inside you’ll be able to tour its ornate Victorian chapel, restored Tudor Great Hall, and grand Georgian rooms. In the spring and summer, the red-brick courtyard comes alive with buzzing bee hives and ripening apple orchards. Just make sure you don’t miss the secret door…
6. Have a Beach Day at Bishop’s Park
Once part of the palace’s private grounds, this Grade II riverside park is another of Fulham’s picture-perfect spots. Have a wander and discover its ornamental lake, trendy Rocks Lane tennis courts, and urban beach — the only one of its kind in London!
7. Find Your Zen at a Yoga Studio
Sure, you could go do yoga somewhere other than Fulham, but where else would you find 5 yoga studios within 5 minutes of each other? Each class has its own niche fit to hit every source of stress. Interested in trying out the original bikram yoga? Try The Hot Spot Yoga, which has specialised in hot yoga for over 7 years. Looking for spiritual ceremonies and high-vibrational sessions? Visit the boutique studio space Eye of Hatha. How about Pregnancy and Post Natal Yoga? Of course, The Power Yoga does that.
8. Or Get Hot and Sweaty at a Dance Class
For those who prefer sashaying over stretching, Fulham also has its fair share of dance studios. Manuka Kitchen’s top picks would have to be Dance Attic Studios, which offers classes on anything from samba to ballet, and DanceWest Studio, a community-led organisation that hosts a ‘Tiny Movers’ class for babies and toddlers (1.5-4 years)!
9. Hang Out at This Trendy Bouldering Spot
With three funky floors and a flat daily rate, not even a fear of heights should stop you from giving The Climbing Hangar a go. Entry fee includes group classes and a 15-minute induction. This state-of-the-art space also has a dog friendly café for some post-climb socialising (and much-needed rehydrating).
10. Cheer on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge
Did you think we had forgotten about the footie? We would never. Home of Chelsea FC, this 40,000-capacity stadium has Fulham’s streets flooding with fans every couple of weeks. Even if you’re not much for football, it’s worth visiting around match-time for the electric atmosphere. Next up is Chelsea vs Leeds on the 4th of March.
Article Written by Dea Jusufi