London is a special place. On the surface, it operates and looks just like any other metropolis. But there’s a hidden side of London which attracts the most curious of travelers. Folklore, tales, and myth run deep in this mysterious city. From Jack the Ripper to monster supplies, London is filled with curiosities. Of course, if you’re looking for a home base where you can stay in between your curious adventures the Park Grand Paddington Court London is situated near Hyde Park. And bonus, it’s central to many of these weird places to visit in London.
Curious, Creepy and Weird Places to Visit in London
Originally opened as one of London’s “Magnificent Seven” park Cemeteries, Highgate might be the creepiest of all. Teeming with Vampire legend, this Victorian Gothic style cemetery was constructed in the late 1800’s. To date, there are stories of vampire hunters who converged into the graveyard in the night. They would break open tombs, mutilate bodies and drive wooden stakes into their hearts.
The covered Victorian 19th-century Leadenhall Market is home to shopping in London’s financial district. Also used as the exterior shots of Diagon Alley in Harry Potter films. A stroll down the market’s Bull’s Head passage will surely lead you to a famous blue door. It is the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in Goblet of FIre.
Platform 9 ¾
Another famous place tied to the Harry Potter franchise is King’s Cross, home to Platform 9 ¾. This is how wizards board the Hogwarts Express which takes them to the Wizarding World of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But don’t try to board it yourself. Unless you’re pumping magical blood through your veins, you’re sure to face plant into this wall.
The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History
This cabinet of curiosities thought of as Viktor Wynd’s Little Shop of Horrors is home to mysterious Victorian era finds. In this East London shop, you’ll find all sorts of things including; taxidermied specimens, modern art, skeletons, anatomical anomalies and even a mermaid or two.
The Cross Bone Graveyard
In the suburbs of London sits a graveyard of broken dreams. And I mean that in the literal sense. Erected during post-medieval London when mass burials, prostitution, and disease were prominent, Cross Bones Graveyard was nicknamed the “single woman’s cemetery” because these women could not be given a Christian burial. It became a dumping ground for them and others like them.
It’s estimated (according to Atlas Obscura) that more than 15,000 people were buried there, mostly prostitutes. Later in the 90’s an excavation revealed that bodies were piled on top of one another and that more than 40% of the graves were those of fetuses under the age of one year old.
Now, the grave’s horrors are recognized every Halloween as a memorial garden. While much of it is under concrete, a red fence is dedicated to its memory. Here you will find ribbons and flowers with the names of the forgotten.
221b Baker Street
If you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan then you’ll appreciate this excerpt from Dr. John Watson,
We met next day as he had arranged, and inspected the rooms at No. 221B, Baker Street, of which he had spoken at our meeting. They consisted of a couple of comfortable bedrooms and a single large airy sitting-room, cheerfully furnished, and illuminated by two broad windows.”
The Sherlock Holmes Pub
More for the Sherlock Holmes fan, this old pub second floor dedicated to the recreation of the rooms Dr. John Watson and Sherlock Holmes at 221b Baker Street.
The Wellcome Collection & Library
A visit here and you will find the collections of Henry Wellcome and his cousin Silas Burroughs. Together their medical artifact collection of curiosities include anatomical rarities, books, objects to instruments.
The Old Curiosity Shop
This 16th-century Bloomsbury shop is where Charles Dickens visited numerous times. It is thought to be the place which inspired, The Old Curiosity Shop. Though, the name was placed after the release of Dickens’ novel.
Hoxton Street Monster Supplies
If you blink you’d walk right past Hoxton Street Monster Supplies. This storefront is the world’s only shop which supplies monsters with everyday essentials.The store sells monster and zombie-themed foods and doubles as a community writing program.
Seven Noses of Soho
What began as an art project by Rick Buckley has become an all-out urban legend sensation in Soho, London. In 1997, Buckley placed 35 plaster noses in the busiest areas of London. He sat back and kept quiet as most of them were discovered and taken down. However, the seven noses of Soho remained. For fourteen years he remained in silence allowing the public to generate origin stories ranging from the misguidedly speculative to the endearingly fantastic. Perhaps the best-known legend refers to the Seven Noses of Soho and states that if you manage to find all seven of the mysterious noses you will become fabulously wealthy
Hyde Park Pet Cemetery
Not quite like the movie, Pet Cemetery, but still, a place where hundreds of pets were buried between 1881 and 1915. The cemetery sits within Hyde Park tucked away near the gatekeeper’s cottage. However, it’s not open to the public. It’s managed by the Royal Parks but a special visit must be arranged to go inside.
Darwin Centre Spirit Collection
London’s Natural History Museum is known for its dinosaur exhibition. But beyond the extinct bones of dinosaurs are walls of more than 70 million specimens, including those gathered by Charles Darwin himself. Some are on display, most are seen only via a private tour. Either way super cool, especially since some of these were first discoveries.
The Morpeth Arms
The Morpeth Arms might be one of the creepier pubs of London. Once used as a prison and transfer facility for the Old Millbank Penitentiary, it was also a deportation building. Said to be haunted, what might be even more curious is the upstairs “Spying Room”. Adjacent to the British Intelligence Service Building, the room is decorated and themed in 1920’s style after double agent. It’s also adorned with binoculars so the pub goers can spy on the spies.
The London Stone
This legendary stone has many tales attached to it. But most notably, it’s known as the stone where Excalibur was held until King Arthur removed it.
The Ten Bells Pub
This infamous pub was the last place Mary Kelly was seen before she met her grisly fate at the hands of Jack the Ripper.
Peter Pan Statue
Most everyone knows the famous story of Peter Pan. What most don’t know is that Peter was a character from the novel, “The Little White Bird,” The Boy Who Never Grows Up. Subsequently, Barrie lived near Kensington Gardens and used the location as the exact spot where baby Peter made his literary debut. A beautiful bronze statue marks the 1912 location commissioned by Barrie a decade earlier and designed by Sir George Frampton.
The Tower Ravens
Six Ravens are fed 179g of raw meat and day along with bird biscuits soaked in blood. That’s the daily diet of the six ravens who live in the Tower of London. Why do ravens live in the Tower of London? Well to save the crown of course. A very long believed superstition of the Crown and all of Britain is that if the ravens ever leave, the Crown and all of Britain will fall. The myth, declared by King Charles II, dates back to the 17th century.
From creepy graveyards to myths and every monster food in between, these weird places to visit in London will surely give you some stories to share when you return home.