London is full of so many interesting historic locations, and there’s a new app that helps you discover them! TrailTale is a free app for both iOS and Android that helps you find hidden gems all around London. TrailTale offers 11 different self-guided walks (many more to come) that take you all around London. London has many iconic landmarks, but sometimes a more interesting spot is hiding in plain sight of one of London’s icons. Here are our top 5 hidden London gems that can be found on TrailTale’s walks.
Jewel Tower – from the “Governing London” walk. Jewel Tower is somewhat hidden from view between Westminster Abbey and The Houses of Parliament. Jewel Tower is one of only two remaining sections of the old Westminster palace, and was built in 1366 by Edward III to store his treasures.
Lincoln’s Inn – From the ‘Inns of London’ walk. Probably the best kept secret only minutes’ walk away from the West-End and Covent Garden. Lincoln’s Inn is the oldest of the Inns of Court and is recorded from as early as 1422. The Inn holds many fascinating spots; most amazing of them is the Crypt or Undercroft. During the 18th and 19th centuries girls abandoned their unwanted new-borns here. The Inn would adopt these babies and provide for them until they were grown up. These children were often given the name Lincoln. The Lincoln’s Inn is a much sought after film location, and some of the films featuring it include: National Treasure, The Deep Blue Sea, Sherlock Holmes and others. Tours have a small fee, but you’re welcome to wander the grounds for free.
York House Gate – From the ‘Stranding London’ walk. Solitary in its position this gate once was the river gate to one of the grandest palaces that occupied the River Thames. Belonging to the Bishops of Norwich who built it in about 1237. 300 years later it was acquired by King Henry VIII. It came to be known as York House when it was granted to the Archbishop of York in 1556 and retained that name for the rest of its existence. The Palace was demolished and the gate is all that left. With the construction of the Embankment, it is no longer a gate to the river, but just an ornament in the Victoria Embankment Gardens.
Nevill’s Turkish Bath – From the ‘Banks to Liverpool London City’ walk. This building is something of a time portal, harking back to Victorian London. It now contains a restaurant but it was once the entrance to a Victorian Turkish bath. Although public washhouses were common in the Victorian era this Turkish bath was considered exotic and remained open from 1895 until 1954.
Charnel House – From the ‘East Meets London City’ walk. Charnel House is the remains of a building from about 1320, used for storing the bones of dead people from St Mary Spital (hospital). This was part of the complex which included an Augustinian priory, which as all priories in England, was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539.
Try TrailTale and discover your own favourite London gems!
Download the app for Android here!
Download the app for iOS here!
Learn more about the app here!