London is a city filled with well-known tourist attractions, but it also hides some secret spots that, while popular with tourists, may not be as widely recognized as the famous landmarks. These hidden gems offer unique experiences and allow you to see a different side of London. Here are some of our favourite secret London spots that are absolutely stunning, and are perfect for unique dates and offbeat events.
- Leadenhall Market: Tucked away in the heart of the financial district, Leadenhall Market is a stunning covered market dating back to the 19th century. Its ornate architecture and charming shops make it a favorite among visitors.
- Daunt Books: Located in Marylebone, Daunt Books is a travel-lover’s paradise. This independent bookstore specializes in travel literature and is housed in an Edwardian shop with oak galleries and skylights.
- Little Venice: This picturesque area near Paddington is where London’s canals converge. You can take a canal boat ride, stroll along the waterways, and enjoy the colourful houseboats and waterside cafes.
- Postman’s Park: Nestled near St. Paul’s Cathedral, Postman’s Park is a tranquil oasis. It’s home to the touching Watts Memorial, which commemorates acts of self-sacrifice by ordinary people.
- God’s Own Junkyard: Located in Walthamstow, this psychedelic neon wonderland is a feast for the eyes. It’s filled with vintage neon signs and colorful displays, making it a unique and Instagram-worthy spot.
- The Hunterian Museum: Inside the Royal College of Surgeons, you’ll find this hidden gem filled with medical specimens, anatomical curiosities, and surgical instruments. It’s not for the faint of heart but provides a fascinating glimpse into medical history.
- Gordon’s Wine Bar: This atmospheric wine bar, believed to be London’s oldest, is located near Embankment. Descend into its candlelit cellars and enjoy a selection of wines and cheese in a historic setting.
- Sir John Soane’s Museum: The former home of the architect Sir John Soane is now a museum that showcases his collection of art, antiquities, and curiosities. It’s a hidden treasure in the Holborn area.
- Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden Bar & Café: This rooftop bar atop the Southbank Centre offers fantastic views of the Thames, the London Eye, and the city skyline. It’s a great spot for a drink and some relaxation.
- Wilton’s Music Hall: Located in Whitechapel, Wilton’s is the world’s oldest surviving music hall. It hosts a variety of performances and events, and its historic charm is truly enchanting.
- Eel Pie Island: Accessible by a footbridge in Twickenham, Eel Pie Island has a fascinating history as a musical and artistic enclave. While you can’t explore all of it, you can visit during the open studio events.
- Sky Garden: While not entirely a secret, the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street (The Walkie-Talkie building) offers panoramic views of London for free. You need to book a timed slot in advance, but the vistas are worth it.
These secret spots in London offer a delightful blend of history, culture, and unique experiences. While they may be popular with tourists in the know, they still provide a quieter and more intimate way to explore the city. Don’t forget to read our money saver guide for London, if it is your first time in the city!