You'll know Vauxhall by its gigantic roundabout and under-threat giant steel bus station that occupies what was once the site of the Georgian Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. All that remains of that is a small park of the same name. Join the Thames Path below the looming MI6 to walk along the river to the South Bank; the other direction is a bit of a building site as the Battersea Power Station development, set to open in 2020, transforms the area.
Damien Hirst opened a gallery here in 2015, spear-heading a new mini arts scene. But Vauxhall is probably best known as one of London’s gay centres, and still proves a lively clubbing and after-party haunt, despite several bars and clubs closing in recent years. Thankfully, the legendary Royal Vauxhall Tavern saw off property developers and remains a LGBT beacon. After something calmer? Seek out the lush, secluded gardens of the bohemian Bonnington Square.