There is no place like London. It has everything you could wish for: museums, parks, monuments, shops, and stylish locals – there is something for all tastes.
You can make your way through royal rooms or inhospitable dungeons of old towers and castles. You can applaud, laugh, and cry at mind-blowing theatre shows in the West End. Or you can even peek inside the house of one of the world’s most renowned fictional detectives. Who? Sherlock Holmes, of course. Elementary, dear Watson.
Ultimately, there are endless attractions and opportunities that make this city unique. However, with London being such a bustling metropolis, there are several hidden gems that end up missing out on the love and attention they deserve.
Therefore, we have put together a list of ‘secret’ locations that you should consider exploring next time you are wandering around the streets of the capital.
Are you craving some beautiful Italian sights? London has you covered. As the name suggests, Little Venice is a picturesque neighbourhood with stunning waterways and canals. Take a stroll through quirky cafes and waterside restaurants while both taking in the tranquillity of the canals and enjoying puppet shows on boats.
Little Venice is less than a ten-minute walk from Paddington station and a stone’s throw from Warwick Avenue’s tube station. This charming area truly comes to life during the summer months. Walk across its bridges, hop on a small vessel, and take a memorable ride to Camden Town and London Zoo.
With outstanding greenery draping its ruins and a solitary fountain within its walls, St Dunstan in the East is a quiet oasis in the centre of a bustling metropolis. Close to Monument and Tower Hill underground stations, this historic church is certainly worth a visit.
Originally built around 1110, the building has had a tortuous experience. Damaged in both the Great Fire of London (1666) and in the World War II Blitz (1941), it has since become a secret garden with overgrown nature. Stand in its nave, sit on a bench, and admire its melancholic beauty. A rainy day would simply add to its fascination – open a windproof umbrella so you can look at the church’s wounded majesty without getting wet.
Ever fancied taking a picture in front of the Prime Minister’s house? Would you like to trick your friends into thinking you’ve had a private meeting with global leaders in Downing Street? Then get yourself down to… Adam Street!
About half a mile away from the PM’s guarded residence, 10 Adam Street is available for photo opportunities at all times. The front door may not be exactly identical to its famous counterpart, but it’s likely to fool even the most eagle-eyed follower on your social media account.
Interestingly, it was never a copycat attempt. Instead, both front doors were built in the late 18th century, and are simply two coincidental contemporaries.
Despite being one of the more understated art galleries in London, Sir John Soane’s Museum is by far one of the city’s finest public museums. Once the house of the renowned architect of the Bank of England, Sir John Soane, the building hosts over 20,000 art and antique pieces – including enchanting works by Turner and Canaletto.
Moreover, it is also home to the fascinating Sarcophagus of Seti, an Egyptian Pharaoh who died in 1279 BC. While the exterior may be relatively unassuming, it’s a house full of surprises!
The oriental-inspired Kyoto Garden is a diamond nestled in what is already a hidden gem – Holland Park. The 22-hectare park in West London encircles the ruins of Holland House, which was severely damaged during the 1941 World War II Blitz.
With ponds full of koi carps, stone lanterns, calm waterfalls, and Japanese maple trees, the Kyoto Garden lends a unique atmosphere to the park. It was opened in 1991 and is a gift from the Japanese city of Kyoto, symbolising the long friendship between Britain and Japan.
Moreover, it features a ‘Fukushima Memorial Garden’, commemorating both British people’s support and Japanese citizens’ gratitude after the devastating 2011 tsunami and earthquake.
If you have an admiration for Las Vegas and all things kaleidoscopic, God’s Own Junkyard in Walthamstow is the place to go. The London district is becoming a great hotspot for hipsters and creative artists, and this colourful warehouse is rich in neon props and signs that are sure to make your jaw drop.
With bright-light figures hanging from the ceiling and stacked on the floor, this multifunctional gallery should definitely be on your ‘places to visit’ list. Make sure your phone is fully charged and has enough storage – you will spend hours taking pictures!
Situated just five minutes away from Monument tube station, Leadenhall Market is a historic place with stunning red and gold architecture. This landmark dates back to the 14th century and was rebuilt following the Great Fire of London in 1666.
Initially a market full of butchers and fishmongers, it is now a buzzy and airy place where you can shop, dine, and drink. Cinema lovers will surely recognise Leadenhall Market. Indeed, it lent itself as the shooting location for a popular wizarding pub in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
There is simply no hiding that London is one of the most wonderful cities in the world. Rich in history, packed with shops and restaurants, and full of gardens and landmarks, it has so much to offer both citizens and visitors.
We hope that this list of hidden gems will help you make your next day out in the capital that little extra special.