London Hidden Gems

Below, you’ll find historic corners of London, hidden-away art and antiquities, curiosities and beautiful buildings that don’t appear on traditional tourist itineraries for London attractions.

Little Venice

Just as its name suggests, Little Venice is London’s answer to the famous Italian city. Home to various waterside cafes, pubs and restaurants, the area comes alive in the summer months as Londoners jump on canal boats or walk along the riverside to nearby Camden or Regent’s Park.

Pie and mash shops

It doesn’t get much more traditional London than a plate of pie, mash and the classic green liquor; maybe with a side of the cockney favourite, jellied eels. Here are seven of our favourites, from East End pie and mash shops to some more gastronomic takes on the classic.

Chin Chin Labs’ liquid nitrogen ice cream

Indulge in an ice cream like no other at Chin Chin Labs in Camden. The original concoctions of this unusual ice cream parlour come to life thanks to the freezing properties of liquid nitrogen. You can see the process as you wait to be served, amid chemical clouds in the shop’s laboratory. Chin Chin Labs’ delicious creations come in quirky flavours such as watermelon and red velvet.

Stephen Wright’s House of Dreams

Discover the perfect destination for the quirky and adventurous art enthusiast. Head down to East Dulwich and explore the House of Dreams, a fascinating home created by London artist Stephen Wright. Wander through the house’s every nook and cranny during its regular open days, and be amazed by the captivating display of outsider art that adorns every surface, both inside and outside. Over the past 20 years, Wright has collected an array of found objects, including dolls’ heads, false teeth, wigs, trinkets, and other curious items that create a unique and mesmerizing atmosphere. Don’t miss your chance to experience this one-of-a-kind art-filled home.ery surface, both inside and outside.

Kyoto Garden at Holland Park

Nestled in the heart of the opulent neighborhood of Kensington lies a hidden gem enclosed within another hidden gem – The Kyoto Garden. This unique Japanese-style garden is an oasis of calm within the stunning Holland Park, boasting its own secluded corners and picturesque features such as winding paths, statues, peacocks, an opera house, and an orangery. The Kyoto Garden is undoubtedly the park’s crowning glory, offering a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Come and experience the beauty and serenity of The Kyoto Garden, tucked away in the heart of London’s most elegant park.

Sir John Soane’s Museum

Discover the magnificence of one of London’s most exceptional museums, the former residence of Sir John Soane, the architect of the Bank of England. With over 20,000 captivating architectural drawings and antiquities, including the awe-inspiring Egyptian Sarcophagus of Seti, this museum is a treasure trove of historical significance. Experience the grandeur of works by Turner, Canaletto, and Piranesi, and marvel at the unique way in which Sir John Soane preserved the museum. Make sure to visit Sir John Soane’s Museum, where the past meets the present in the most captivating way.

Lewisham’s phone box library

Experience a tranquil escape from central London’s hustle and bustle by heading to Lewisham, the unsung borough of south London and The Mayor’s London Borough of Culture 2022. Apart from the stunning parks, vibrant museums, and quirky cafes, you’ll come across a hidden London gem: a phone box that has been transformed into a miniature library on the corner of Tyrwhitt Road. The best part? It’s completely free! Take a break from the busy city life and drop by this unique library. Pick up any book that piques your interest and leave one in return. Your literary exchange awaits!

St Dunstan’s in the East

If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of London, look no further than the City of London on a weekend. Without the usual crowds of bankers and hedge fund types, the city takes on an oddly serene atmosphere, and there’s one place in particular that stands out from the crowd: the bombed-out ruins of St Dunstan in the East. Built in honor of St Dunstan, a remarkable tenth-century monk who overcame incredible odds to become Archbishop of Canterbury, this church has its own difficult history. But despite the challenges it has faced, the ruins remain as beautiful and tranquil as ever, offering a peaceful respite from the chaos of the city. If you haven’t already visited St Dunstan in the East, make sure to add it to your list of must-see places in London. It’s a true gem in the heart of the city, and an experience you won’t soon forget.

Hampton Court Palace

Though King Henry VIII’s Palace is undoubtedly one of the more popular day trips from London, the former Royal Residence has a history dating back well over five hundred years. And thus, hidden gems and secret locations are never too far away when it comes to this small snippet of history. For example, did you know that the largest and oldest vine in the world can be found in a greenhouse on the palace grounds? Or that the largely forgotten Queen Anne is the other famous monarch to have resided in Hampton Court? During her reign, Anne added an entire Baroque wing to the chapel! Elsewhere in the Palace, the story of the Midnight Flit deserves to be heard…

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