Being a travelling Muslim can be difficult when it comes to performing your solat and finding halal food to replenish yourselves. So in this post, I will try to introduce the prayer areas around London that I have personally been to or heard of.
Allah SWT commands us Muslims to perform prayer regardless of where we are and what we are doing at the time. Some people don’t have any difficulty in praying at open areas - basically performing their prayers anywhere that is clean to pray at. Personally, after so many incidents tarnishing the image of Islam and Muslims, I cannot muster up enough courage to pray in a public area. Thus, that lead me to try my best to find areas dedicated to Muslim prayers around London ?
This list is by no means complete so feel free to suggest any new places that you know of!
[Fit these prayer spaces into our 6D5N London itinerary!]
1. Heathrow Airport
Chances are, the first place you'll explore in London is the Heathrow Airport! And there are many multi-faith prayer rooms
throughout the airport - most are in the restricted area but there are some outside too.
Plus, if you happen to be here on a Friday, Jumma’ah prayers are performed here at around 1 pm.
Credit: Xaved Talukder on Facebook
If you arrive at Gatwick Airport, there are two multi faith prayer rooms too. The first is at the South Terminal, on the third floor near Caffe Nero (before security). The other room is at the North Terminal, on the first floor before the entrance to Hampton by Hilton. Ablution areas are provided.
2. Oxford Street, Regent Street, Green Park
Selfridges at Oxford St. has a multi-faith room on the fourth floor, at the customer service/toilets area. Do note that they do not have any ablution facilities.
Credit: Can Pac Swire on FlickrGetting There:
Underground Station - Marble Arch, Bond Street, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus.
3. Baker St., Madame Tussauds, Sherlock Holmes Museum
The London Central Mosque is about a 10 minutes walk from the Baker St. Underground Station. This is my personal favourite because I performed my first congregational prayer for Maghrib there. It’s large, comfortable, has proper ablution facilities and has separate male and female areas. They even have a bookstore selling Islamic books and halal gummies! Y’all know we Muslims need our halal gummy bears; I know I do ?
Credit: @gregetkallabuana on Instagram
After or before prayer, you can eat at Burgista Bros which is just across the street from the Baker St. Underground. One burger is around £7 - £10.
Blooming spring at Regent’s Park#HHWT Tip:
The Regent Park is just across the street from the mosque. You can take an enjoyable stroll through the picturesque park from the station through the park and exit at the gate near the mosque.
Underground Station - Baker Street
4. Big Ben, Westminster, Shrek Adventure, London Eye
Head to the South Building of the St Thomas’ Hospital, across the street from the Marriott and across the river from the Big Ben. At the Ground floor, there’s a Muslim prayer room with ablution facilities but brothers and sisters share the same space.
You can start your Southbank tour from praying at St Thomas, followed by taking pictures at the Big Ben. Cross the street and you’ll arrive at the Shrek Adventure and the London Eye. If you walk further, you’ll reach the Southbank Centre Food Market which has a variety of choices for Muslims, like the Malaysian-based Sambal Shiok selling chicken satay burgers. After you have grabbed a bite, head on to Beltane & Pop for ridiculously rich hot chocolate and check out secondhand books at Southbank Book Market.
Around that there are also the National Theatre, Tate Modern, and the Shakespeare Globe.
Underground Station - Westminster, Waterloo.
5. Tower of London, Tower Bridge
The London Muslim Centre at Whitechapel is also known as the East London Mosque. They have separate buildings for brothers and sisters with complete ablution facilities, and shower rooms too.
There are halal eateries surrounding the Centre that doesn’t take more than five minutes to reach by foot. There shouldn’t be a problem in finding a place to eat, if you don’t mind Middle Eastern food.
Credit: Mehdi Bensaid on FacebookGetting There:
Underground Station - Whitechapel, Aldgate, Aldgate East. From the London Bridge, you can either take the 42/78 bus and stop at the Mansell St, or you can take the District Line to Aldgate East.
6. Westfield Stratford City Mall
Called the InSpiration room, it’s located at the Third Floor near the Cafe Court.
Credit: Mallsecrets on Flickr#HHWT Tip:
Westfield is one of the largest malls in London and houses over 280 stores. The food court has a lot of halal options. Once the centre of London Olympics 2012, it is situated right next to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Underground Station - Stratford
7. Borough Market, London Bridge, The Shard
Head towards Guy’s Hospital, enter via the Main Entrance and go past the AMT cafe, through the elevators and there will a Muslim prayer room. There are separate ablution facilities but a shared prayer room.
Credit: @boroughmarket on Instagram#HHWT Tip:
Try the one of Bread Ahead’s doughnuts at the Borough Market for £2.50 each. They’re not too sweet so you don’t have to worry about chopping your leg off afterwards.
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Bread Ahead’s Doughnut with Salted Caramel filling and a Honeycomb to top it all off.[/caption]
Underground Station - London Bridge. 3 minutes walk to the Hospital.
8. V&A, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Royal Albert Hall
I have never personally been to the prayer room, but from the information I have read, there is a multi-faith room at the Natural History Museum. Although, it is said that there are no ablution facilities provided at the museum.
Credit: @neekaboo on Instagram#HHWT Tip:
The V&A, Natural History Museum, and Science Museum has no admission charge, although they do appreciate voluntary donations.
Underground Station - South Kensington. If you exit at the street, there’s a simple Chinese store Chopstix that serves meals for less than £7. They’re not the typical Chinese food you’d imagine, just rice and a couple of side dishes but enough to fill your bellies.
9. Tottenham Court Road, Soho, Piccadilly Circus
There is an Islamic Centre at Berwick St, but that is specifically for the brothers.
If you walk a bit further, towards Goodge St. there is the Muslim World League Mosque. It has proper separate ablution facilities and praying areas for both sisters and brothers. For sisters, they also provide telekung there.
Credit: 81321 on Instagram#HHWT Tip:
Around the mosque, there are Oxfam and YMCA charity shops. The YMCA shop is my favourite because they have great outfits selling for a very affordable price. I bought two of my winter coats for less than £12 there.
Underground Station - Goodge St, Tottenham Court Road
10. Camden Town
Baitul Aman Mosque at Weedington St is around 10 minutes walk from the Camden Market and caters specifically for men (I think, because when I was there it was empty and there was only a male toilet, which I used anyway because I notice these things much later than I should).
The Camden Market is a lovely place to be. If you go through the indoor market selling arts & crafts, you’ll arrive at the portion of the market that sells food from all over the world. The halal option I had there was the Turkish kebab but if you walk further, you’ll come across even more Muslim friendly eatery options. The KFC at Camden is also halal. Actually, if you pass by any KFC or Subway in London, some of them have halal certification such as the ones at Baker Street and Stratford Mall.
Underground station - Kennington, Camden (a bit of a walk from both stations)
[Check out these 5 street markets in London you shouldn't miss!]
Exit the Paddington Station towards the St. Mary’s Hospital, Praed St. The prayer area is at the Clarence Wing, Ground Floor. The place also has ablution facilities.
Credit: By Geof Sheppard (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
By now, I assume that all public hospitals would at least have one multi-faith room for public usage.
Another prayer area that is just a few minutes walk from the Paddington Station is the Brunei Hall at Norfolk Sq. They have a surau there, although I’m not sure if other then Brunei nationals are allowed to use the facilities.
12. Greenwich, The Royal Observatory, The Maritime Museum
The Prayer Space here is a multi-faith prayer room situated at the Emirates Greenwich Peninsula. From the Underground Station, it’s a five-minute walk to the Emirates Greenwich Peninsula, which is a terminal for the cable car ride over the Thames River to Canning Town.
Credit: @stanley9595 on Instagram#HHWT Tip:
Greenwich is one of my favourite places to be in London. Take the 129 or 188 bus from the Underground Station towards the City Centre; from there, you can reach all of Greenwich’s attractions by foot. You can start by visiting The Cutty Sark, the ship that transported tea from China to Great Britain followed by a stroll through the Greenwich Market (I highly recommend trying the Vegan Brazilian Churros with the dulce de leche
mix filling for £2.50) and make your way up to the National Maritime Museum, The Royal Observatory, and the Queen’s House, all in the vicinity of the vast Greenwich Park.
If you want to go on the cable car ride, it is cheaper to use your Oyster cards rather than buying separate boarding passes.
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Vegan Brazillian Churros at the Greenwich Market.[/caption]
Underground Station - North Greenwich
I hope this guide helps you to tour London without having to pray in the dressing room of a random clothing store (like I did the first time I got here)!