Visitors to London might be forgiven for wanting to get away from the regular tourist traps and the hustle and bustle of the most popular attractions, but when it comes to getting off the beaten track, what can travellers really do?
Well, with a little local knowledge and a spirit of adventure, there really are a wealth of hidden attractions that people can enjoy. Here we offer a glimpse into the road less travelled by London’s guests, with some of the best hidden gems that the English capital has to offer:
See the city from above with The View from the Shard
The View from the Shard offers a breathtaking look out over the rooftops of the City of London and provides visitors with a stunning example of a hidden attraction that could otherwise easily be missed.
Located at the top of London’s tallest building – the Shard – this is one of the city’s best places to head to for lovers of outrageous vistas, with two viewing platforms on floors 69 and 72 providing stunning sights out over the city.
It can be particularly breathtaking to head along at night, when the lights of London illuminate the evening skyline and create a wonderful atmosphere for visitors to enjoy.
Soak up the tranquility of Abney Park Cemetery
It may sound macabre, but a visit to Abney Park Cemetery is anything but, with this wonderful hidden gem a perfect place to head to for anyone keen to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of London.
Offering a tranquil and relaxing location in the heart of the busy London Borough of Hackney, the area is a local nature reserve and one of London’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries.
Named after Sir Thomas Abney, who served as the city’s Lord Mayor from 1700 to 1701, the park is today part arboretum, part educational institution, but wholly relaxing.
Visit the Thames Barrier
The Thames Barrier might not seem like a great place to visit for travellers planning a getaway to the English capital, but anyone interested in world-class engineering and design should head along.
Opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1984, the barrier provides much-needed protection against the tides and ensure the River Thames does not pose a threat to central London when water levels begin to rise.
The Thames Barrier Information Centre is open throughout the year and offers an informative exhibition, as well as being the starting point for several walks and cycle routes along the River Thames itself.
Hunt out the city’s hidden watering holes
Visitors to London who are keen to sample some traditional British revelry should seek out some of the city’s hidden watering holes.
Often set far from the beaten track and away from the more traditional tourist areas, these are locations that pride themselves on being out of the way and harder to find – travellers will surely be treated to top-notch service should they put in the effort and hunt them out though.
Top hidden gems include The Victorian Bathhouse near Liverpool Street, Kansas Smitty’s in fashionable Hackney and Little Nan’s 90s Bar in terribly trendy Shoreditch, plus many more besides.
Take a trip to the Savoy Museum
Travellers might be forgiven for thinking the Savoy is simply another hotel, but hidden here is also the Savoy Museum.
With such treats as an array of first editions and memorabilia from the life of the Savoy, this a is a perfect attraction that is both out of the norm and hard to find – a great and unique attraction to boast visiting.
Explore Islington’s Camden Passage
For lovers of retail therapy, fine dining and delicious street food, Islington’s Camden Passage is the perfect place to explore.
World famous for its antiques, contemporary wares, shops, markets and arcades, this is a great place to find all of those great trinkets and mementos that make a trip to the English capital live long in the memory.
Vendors are open every day, with visitors encouraged to head along and check out the unique and interesting goods on offer, as well as simply sitting back and relaxing at the area’s many great cafes, restaurants and bars.
Visit St Dunstan in the East Ruins
Open all year round, the church of St Dunstan in the East was originally built in 1100 but was largely destroyed in the bombings of the English capital during the Blitz of World War II.
Today, the site has been transformed into a public garden, with the ruins of the church providing a sobering yet calming backdrop to the beauty of nature that visitors to London will not want to miss out on during their stay.
This final hidden gem can be found halfway between London Bridge and the Tower of London, in the City of London.