London is a city so rich in history, architecture, and culture that you could explore it for a lifetime and still find new places to see. However, with so much to see within the city limits and its sprawling suburbs, it can be tricky to know where to start. There are so many things to do in London – whether you’re after markets, museums or shops. We think there’s no better way to get to know a city than by exploring its hidden gems. After all, those are the places that give any city character. If you’re looking for great cafes, pubs, or bars that won’t be overrun with tourists – read on for our top tips of secret places in London.
1. The London Review Cafe
Possibly London’s best literary cafe, the London Review of Books Café has been running for 20 years. It’s a great place to get a feel for the city and be surrounded by like-minded people. The food is good and reasonably priced, and the coffee is excellent. The decor is eclectic and has a real bohemian feel. The prices are very reasonable, and it’s a great place to while away an afternoon or evening. There are plenty of sofas and armchairs to relax in, and you can even sit outside when the weather is good.
If you’re lucky, you might catch one of the regular literary events. Famous authors and poets are often invited to read their work, and it’s interesting to see which pieces have been selected and what the author’s style is like. It’s a great place to enjoy a coffee and cake, and to read and relax. It’s also good for conversations, as it’s not very noisy. It’s just behind the British Museum, so it’s a great place to start your day. The nearest Tube station is Bloomsbury.
2. The British Library
The British Library is one of London’s best-kept secrets. While it’s home to a fantastic collection of rare books, it’s also a great place to visit for exhibitions, talks, and events. It’s housed in a beautiful building, and the reading room is one of the most famous places in London, even though few people ever get to visit it. It’s also home to the famous Poet’s Corner, where you can visit the memorials of many famous writers, including Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare.
The library is always putting on new exhibitions, and they’re worth a visit if you want to learn more about the British Library’s fascinating collection. You can take a tour to see some of the items in the collection and learn more about them. It’s also worth checking out the website to see what events are going on when you’re in London. The nearest Tube station is King’s Cross.
3. Tate Britain
Tate Britain is one of London’s lesser-known art galleries, but it’s more than worth a visit. The exhibitions change regularly, and there’s something for everyone, from the serious art collector to the casual visitor. The building itself is also worth exploring, with many galleries and rooms well worth a visit. The Tate Boat is also a great way to enjoy art. You can take a river journey along the Thames while surrounded by art. This is a great way to get to know London away from the tourist crowds. There are plenty of cafes and shops inside the gallery, so it’s easy to while away a couple of hours in a relaxed setting. The nearest Tube station is Temple.
4. Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of London’s best-known attractions, but it’s often packed with tourists. If you want to explore this fascinating place, it’s worth visiting on a weekday, as it gets very busy at weekends. It’s also well worth visiting in the afternoon, as there are fewer crowds, and you can enjoy a coffee in the nearby café. You can also visit the Crown Jewels, which are housed in the Tower, but there are often long queues to see them.
If you want to avoid the crowds, then visit the Tower on a weekday in the afternoon. You can also explore the rest of the Tower grounds, including the gardens. It’s also worth heading to the riverside to see the iconic Tower Bridge. The nearest Tube station is Tower Gateway.
5. St. Katharine’s Dock
St Katharine’s Dock is a great example of London’s ever-changing landscape. It’s a fascinating place to visit, and it’s definitely a hidden gem. It was once a thriving dock for importing and exporting goods, but it closed in the 1960s. The dock buildings have since been renovated and are now home to a variety of small businesses, as well as arts, crafts, and design workshops.
It’s also home to the Museum of London Docklands. It’s well worth a visit, as it has some fascinating exhibitions and artifacts telling the story of the docks and the people who lived and worked there. It’s a great place to learn more about London’s ever-changing history, and it’s very easy to get to. You can walk there in around 20 minutes, or you can take a ferry along the Thames.
6. Camden Market
Camden Market is a famous London tourist attraction, but it’s often packed with visitors and hard to enjoy. If you want to get away from the crowds, it’s worth visiting on a weekday, as it gets very busy at weekends. It’s also well worth going early, as the later it gets, the busier it becomes. Many people just go for a look around the market, but it’s well worth exploring the area further. You can walk from Camden Market to the nearby St. Pancras and King’s Cross stations, or explore some of the interesting side streets. It’s a great place to wander around, and you’ll get a real feel for London away from the tourist crowds.
7. Shoreditch Park
Shoreditch Park is one of London’s newest attractions, and it’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area. It was once a disused railway yard but has been transformed into a beautiful public park. It’s a great place to relax, and you can enjoy the views of the city skyline. There are also various art installations dotted around the park, including a striking, large-scale portrait of the artist Gilbert and George. It’s a great place to spend a couple of hours, and you can easily walk there from Shoreditch High Street, or take a train to either Liverpool Street or Bethnal Green stations. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
8. London Dungeon
The London Dungeon is one of London’s most famous tourist attractions, but it’s a great place to visit if you want to get away from the crowds. It’s a wonderfully gruesome tour through London’s past, and you can learn all about the famous (and not so famous) people who have lived in the city. It’s great fun for all the family, and you can easily spend a couple of hours there. It’s also easy to get to, as it’s just a short walk from either Bank or Monument Tube stations. It’s one of those places that are best enjoyed when you’re not expecting great things. If you go in with low expectations, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good it is.
That’s a Wrap!
London is a city that never stops. No matter when you visit, there will always be something happening, be it a festival, an exhibition, or something new and exciting. It’s the best place to go if you’re looking for an adventure, and you’re willing to explore. There are countless hidden gems, quirky places, and interesting activities to discover. If you’re willing to explore and get away from the tourist crowds, you’ll discover a whole new side of one of the world’s great cities.