If you’re planning a trip to London and want to get off the beaten path you’re in the right place. Yes, it might sound surprising but London actually has many hidden gems in its alleyways and centrally located areas.
If you intend to stay longer than a few days, you should visit some of London’s most unusual places. Although they are well-known among the locals and are very enjoyable to explore, they aren’t frequently listed in travel guides or itineraries.
So, get ready to discover London’s hidden gems and try to keep them secret!
Goodwin’s Court, Cecil Court and Leadenhall Market
These three wonderfully charming streets are believed to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter books. But these places have much more history and personality than wandmakers and supply shops for potions. Only a brief distance from Brydges Place (a charming alleyway) is Goodwin’s Court, which I believe mostly looks like Diagon Alley.
Leadenhall Market is still obscure enough to merit a position on any list of top-secret places to visit in London, despite the fact that it has gradually come to the attention of more and more people.
Garden at 120
The Garden at 120 offers similarly stunning views but is less known and completely free than the Shard, where most people go.
It can be found on top of the Fen Court building, not far from Leadenhall Market. Its outdoor terrace, which extends to 15 stories, provides breathtaking 360-degree vistas.
Chelsea Physic Garden
The historic Chelsea Physic Garden can be found just off upscale Cheyne Walk.
Founded in 1673 and used to train apprentices to use medicinal plants. There are about 5,000 plants on exhibit, all of which have clear usage instructions. You can relax at the Tangerine Dream cafe or visit the book store.
The Rookery is tucked away in a less-traveled area of Streatham Common, so unless you’re looking for it, you probably wouldn’t find it. It’s one of the loveliest little gardens in South London, and despite its small size, it blooms in abundance during the summer.
The Kyoto Garden in Holland Park, one of London’s hidden gems, was given as a present by the city of Kyoto in 1991. Visit Kyoto Gardens to experience the splendor of the East in the West. As you spend time in the small garden, you’ll be encircled by cascading waterfalls, serene koi ponds, and lush vegetation. There are also colorful peacocks, bonsai trees, and vibrant flora.
Hampstead Pergola and Hill Garden
Unquestionably one of London’s hidden gems, the Hampstead Pergola is a beautiful illustration of fading grandeur. It is basically a raised walkway that is covered in exotic plants and vines and situated in some incredibly dramatic gardens. A not-to-be-missed walk for couples!
Nunhead Cemetery is one of the least frequented but the most beautiful of the six other Victorian-era Gothic cemeteries in London. It was turned into a wildlife sanctuary after being abandoned in the second half of the 20th century. Meandering on winding pathways, dodging under trees, and ducking above graves all make a unique tranquil experience.
There are many mews in London, which are typically parallel to busier streets. They are surrounded by wealthy houses, but they are so charming and attractive that it is worth stopping by for pictures. In Kensington, there are many mews, including the Kynance Mews, the adjacent Cornwall Mews, the Osten Mews, and McLeod’s Mews a little farther south.
The Vaults – Leake Street Tunnel
The Vaults are hidden underground tunnels beneath Waterloo station. It’s a fascinating location with a lot more secrets than you can imagine. Leake Street Tunnel, another of London’s cool locations, is located underground in the bowels of the arches that crisscross below the surface of Waterloo Station.
Another magnificent hidden gem in Somerset House in London is The Courtauld Gallery. In 1932, it first opened its doors and features an Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting collection. If you enjoy art, you will walk in and recognize the paintings right away.
Keep in mind that you can’t store or leave your luggage during your visit to the gallery so plan ahead and find luggage storage in London before that!
St.Katherine Dock Marina
St. Katherine Dock, the only central marina in London, is one of the best-kept secrets in the city and is tucked away between the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and Tower Hill tube station. Its location in the heart of the city where few visitors venture ensures that you will have a genuine local experience away from the crowds.
Grant Museum of Zoology
One of the most underrated activities to do in London is to marvel at the treasures at the Grant Museum of Zoology which is free to visit. You will discover animal skeletons, specimens, ancient objects, and wide collections. Notice the quagga skeleton as it is one of the seven surviving specimens of the South African zebra, which is now gone.
City of London Distillery
Gin is firmly back on London’s menu after a brief period of losing its reputation. There are many new distilleries in the city, but few are as excellent as the City of London Distillery. It is located just off Fleet Street down the charming Saint Bride’s Lane. And, it gets better because as you go down the enclave you’ll find a bar where you can watch their still!