Student Life In London – A Guide To Vauxhall

6th March 2018 Joe Graham London Life

You’re never short of things to do when it comes to student life in London. Whether you’re the kind to enjoy a big night out with friends, or would rather go hunting for quirky cafés, London won’t disappoint. Vauxhall is no exception. This exciting part of central London is crammed with cafés, bars, clubs and galleries to explore. If you’d like to discover the huge amount that Vauxhall has to offer, here’s our guide to Vauxhall.

Related – Goldsmiths Student Accommodation

Fitness and Leisure in Vauxhall

Vauxwall Climbing

As the clever name suggests, Vauxwall climbing is an indoor climbing centre in the heart of Vauxhall. It allows visitors to ‘boulder’, which is rock climbing without the harness. The climbs are fun for thrill seekers, yet the abundance of safety mats are reassuring to those a little less experienced.

Location: Arch 46 – 47a,  South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1SR


There are over 700 spas in London, and Floatworks Vauxhall has managed to bag the number one spot on Trip Advisor. This spa provides a one of a kind floatation experience, where visitors can rest in their own pod, or hygienic floatation tank, and drift into a meditative state.

Location: 17b (Unit 20d), 17A St George Wharf, London SW8 2LE

CrossFit Vauxhall

CrossFit Vauxhall provides daily group classes to those wanting to get fit without attending a regular gym. These classes are a combination of cardio, gymnastics and weightlifting. CrossFit is adopted by the US Navy SEALS, Canadian Army, Police and Special Forces units worldwide, so you’re bound to get results.

Location: 15-16 Miles St, London SW8 1RZ

Restaurants and Pubs in Vauxhall

The Black Dog

The Black Dog is an awarding winning pub overlooking Vauxhall’s Pleasure Gardens, a park that housed Tightrope walkers, hot-air balloon ascents and concerts in the 18th century. This pub is recognised for its tasty food, rustic vibe and Cask-Marque accredited real ales.

Location: 112 Vauxhall Walk, London, SE11 5ER

Dirty Burger

Owned by the Soho House Members Club, Dirty Burgers are arguably the best burgers in London and offer a range of fast food and milkshakes to fix any hangover. The best part is, it’s only 2 minutes from Urbanest Vauxhall and stays open until 11 pm.

Location: 54, Arches, 6 S Lambeth Rd, London SW8 1SS

The Canton Arms

A trusty pub with a crowd-pleasing menu, The Canton Arms is a firm favourite amongst Londoners as it offers a typical country feel in the middle of a busy city.

Location: 177 S Lambeth Rd, London SW8 1XP

Image courtesy of the Canton Arms

Cafés in Vauxhall

The Black Cab Coffee Company

If you’re after excellent artisan coffee or locally sourced produce, The Black Cab Coffee Co is one of the best. They offer light bites from toasties to pancakes or a Black Cab Big English Breakfast. In terms of coffee, you can get anything from the standard Americano to the Arabic Al-Qahwa. They even roast their own beans.

Location: Nine Battersea Bridge Rd, London SW11 8AU

Brunswick House Café

If you fancy a sophisticated lunch with your flatmates, Brunswick House is a popular option in our guide to Vauxhall. A Georgian Mansion with a contemporary twist, Brunswick House has received exceptional reviews, from young professionals to food critics. Expect tasty British grub with quirky décor.

Location: Brunswick House, 30 Wandsworth Rd, London SW8 2LG

Bonnington Café

As a local community-run restaurant, situated in the green Bonnington Square, Bonnington Café is great if you’re after something a little different. Here you can get a range of vegan treats at reasonable prices. Expect a friendly and laid back atmosphere with candlelit dinners.

Location: 11 Vauxhall Grove, London SW8 1TD

Image courtesy of London Munchies

Galleries in Vauxhall 

Newport Street Gallery

Our guide to Vauxhall had to include galleries, as Vauxhall is full of exciting places to get your fill of culture. Newport Street Gallery is a renovated Victorian painting studio which presents exhibitions of work drawn from Damien Hirst’s art collection, so you can expect fun and thought-provoking art. Past exhibitions have included Jeff Koons and John Hoyland. If you’d like to visit the admission is free.

Location: Newport St, Lambeth, London SE11 6AJ

Beaconsfield Gallery

Another gallery based in a Victorian building, Beaconsfield was formerly a school. Today it is an artist-run gallery that provides a space for emerging and contemporary work. This is the perfect place to discover new artists and get inspiration.

Location: 22 Newport St, Lambeth, London SE11 6AY

Tate Britain

Pretty much directly across the road from Vauxhall Bridge, Tate Britain is possibly the most notable gallery in London. It houses many major works of art from the 1500s to present day, including names such as Picasso, David Hockney, Dali, Lichtenstein and Matisse.

Location: Millbank, London SW1P 4RG England

Read more: 6 Historic Sites To Visit In London If You’re A History Student

 An image showing the interior of Tate Britain - A guide to Vauxhall

Bars in Vauxhall

Royal Vauxhall Tavern

Voted one of the ‘best bits in Vauxhall’ in Time Out, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern is a historic LGBT venue. Loved by students and once loved by the likes of Freddie Mercury, this bar offers first-rate entertainment in a grand Victorian Building, making it a strong contender in our guide to Vauxhall.

Location: 372 Kennington Ln, Lambeth, London SE11 5HY 

Mother Kelly’s

As a New York inspired industrial bar, Mother Kelly’s is one of the trendiest bars in Vauxhall and is tucked into a railway arch. It features graffiti-ed walls, 2 outdoor areas and a row of 33 beer taps which line the back of the bar. It even has its own shop, so you can take your bottles away with you to enjoy in your student digs. 

Location: 76, Albert Embankment, SE1 7TP

Tamesis Dock

Tamesis Dock is a converted 1930s Dutch barge, which is now moored permanently between Lambeth and Vauxhall Bridge. This floating pub is brightly coloured and provides a fun space to socialise with views of the Houses of Parliament. It regularly hosts live music and events so have a look during your next night out.

Location: Albert Embankment, Lambeth, London SE1 7TP

Image courtesy of Trip Advisor

Clubs in Vauxhall

Fire London

Fire is another industrial-style nighttime haunt, which is also tucked into a railway arch. As one of the most popular clubs in London, Fire boasts 3 neon-lit rooms, an LED floor, and a wild crowd. Its doors are often open until 7am so you can literally dance the night away.

Location: 39 Parry St, London SW8 1RT


Lightbox is another club you can find under the railway arches of Vauxhall. This club boasts mesmerising light shows, thus the name, and music that will keep you going all night. There’s also a large garden for when you need a much-deserved sit-down.

Location: A, 6 S Lambeth Pl, London SW8 1SP


Union is the final railway arch nightclub in our guide to Vauxhall. It hosts after-hours dance parties every night of the week so you’re never short of somewhere to go. If you thought the opening hours of Fire were impressive, here the parties go on until 11:00 AM on a Monday and 8:00 AM on a Tuesday.
Location: Union Nightclub, 66 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TW

Image courtesy of Design My Night

Transport links in Vauxhall

The finale of our guide to Vauxhall is, of course, the great transport links. Vauxhall’s location is handy for wherever you want to get to, as it’s next to the Thames and in walking distance of Waterloo. Out of all the areas in central London, it’s one of the best in terms of transport links, as Vauxhall’s train station is served by the national rail and is also a tube station on the Victoria line. This means you could get to Oxford Circus in roughly 6 minutes. Failing that, Vauxhall has a notable bus station if you’re not a fan of the tube.

If you’re not one for buses or tubes, Vauxhall also boasts river taxis to rival Venice. The Thames Clippers stop at St George’s Wharf Pier roughly every 20 minutes on a weekday and are a nice way to get around town if the weather’s up to it.

We hope you’ve found our guide to Vauxhall helpful! Visit our new Vauxhall student accommodation page for more information on the area or student life in London. Or for a wider selection, visit the student accommodation in London.

Joe Graham

Joe Graham

For more great posts from Urbanest about accommodation, London life, study tips and much more, visit the Student Journal.