Over the weekend, in the wake of the horrific attack on London Bridge, this happened:
Which is odd, because I’ve lived inside the M25 pretty much my entire life, and waste much of my spare time on long, pointless walks across town, and I have never been aware of encountering a single no go area. Honestly: sink estates; industrial wastelands, Mayfair… They’re all basically fine, in my experience, and if I’m not scared I can’t for the life of me imagine why the police would be.
I’m not alone in this. Yesterday, my podcast co-host Stephanie – who is great, and who you should all follow on Twitter to make up for the fact I’m about to shamelessly recycle her tweets – tweeted this:
A lot of people clearly felt strongly about a certain underwhelming restaurant chain.
(A footnote: Stephanie, who is the funniest person in London, said it was fine for me to use her tweets providing I called her the funniest person in London*. So.)
Anyway. Yesterday I did that embarrassing thing where I read Steph’s tweets, forgot I’d read them, and then fifteen minutes later tweeted something similar as if they were my own idea because I’m basically a terrible person. Here was my effort.
(Gratifyingly for Stephanie, you will note that I did not receive the numbers she did.)
My search continued:
Here, just for information, is a map of the no go areas of South London:
Click to expand, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Eventually, I found a couple:
Seriously, the queues at the bar are insane, and if you don’t manage to get a drink you’re basically just sitting in a multi storey car park. (Note for non-Londoners: this is literally true.)
There’s also this:
Which is a vexingly popular tourist attraction in Leicester Square, at which no actual Londoner would ever be seen dead.
Others had their own ideas. South London bitterness was a theme:
So was north London snobbery:
For some reason, people really don’t think much of the remarkably anodyne north London suburb of Palmers Green:
Honestly, for a place that literally nobody as ever heard of, it attracted a surprising amount of ire.
A number of people mentioned the West End at Christmas:
The horror! The horror!
The very worst London area of all, though, a place you should absolutely never go to if you can possibly avoid it, turned out to be south of the river:
Probably because of one particular night spot.
Anyway. If you can think of other terrifying no go areas in London, do feel free to tweet me. And also, follow Stephanie – she is, you’ll recall, the funniest person in London.
*She also said I wasn’t allowed to say that she’d told me to do this.
Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and also has a Facebook page now for some reason.
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