It goes without saying that you should definitely visit the main tourist spots in the UK. Sites such as Buckingham Palace and Big Ben are popular historic stops but you don’t want to ignore some of the more unknown places in London either.
A city as old as London has many hidden gems and with so many cultures present there, it is full of interesting and unique things to see and do. Of course, you could spend your free time logging into a progressive jackpot online or that time could be spent checking out some of the exciting places just waiting to be explored in town.
London is really quite eccentric. It is full of unusual and quirky places and worth a few hours of your time to explore. Even if you are a Londoner, there is something new for you to explore and uncover.
Take a day and be prepared to be wowed by the exciting and entertaining places you will visit that you had no idea even existed. Next time your friends visit, you will have some new and exciting places to share with them. Here we look at just a few of them.
Unknown Places in London You Must Explore
St. Dunstan in the East
The ruins of St. Dunstan in the East church, is an English parish that is situated roughly in between London Bridge and the Tower of London. It’s a place literally steeped in history and one of our favorite unknown places in London.
During the Blitz in 1941, the church was ruined. Its remnants along with the Wren Tower can be explored. It is a feast for the eyes, with white lilies growing all around the ruins and fabulous green vines and ivy growing all around the walls.
St. Dunstan in the East is truly a pleasant and serene setting and has become a favored public garden. It is definitely a hidden treasure and it definitely merits a visit.
Leadenhall Market is one of the oldest markets in the city. Operating since 1411 in what was considered the heart of Roman London, this covered market originally sold only meat and poultry.
It got a makeover in the late 1800s with an ornate roof and cobblestone walkway. Overtime Leadenhall Market has obviously changed but it still retains its huge appeal.
Today the market is bursting with life. It is now owned and managed by The City of London Corporation and is full of small shops selling flowers, cheeses, bread, meats, and all sorts of produce.
There is also an assortment of restaurants, cafes, and pubs to choose from.
Harry Potter fans will be delighted to know that some of the scenes for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone were actually set and filmed in Leadenhall Market.
Specifically, the entrance to the market at Bull’s Head Passage was featured as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron.
With its elaborate decor, small alleyways, and cafes it is certainly an attractive place to eat and shop. A trip to Leadenhall Market on Gracechurch Street EC3 should definitely be on your list of unique places to visit.
The Twining Tea Shop, 216 Strand
If you are in Britain, then you have to partake in a cup of tea! And where better to do this that on the Strand where the Twining Tea Shop is located.
This leading tea shop has a 300-year-old history. It opened in 1706 and is still going strong, notwithstanding the many changes it has undergone. It is considered an upmarket tea shop and is quintessentially British.
Twining has a rich history, and was granted the royal warrant by Queen Victoria and has been supplying brews to the royal family since the year 1837. Receiving a royal warrant is nothing to sneer at. Only those people or businesses that are considered worthy by virtue of their service to the Crown are granted one.
So, when in London, be sure to visit this very quirky and uniquely British tea shop.
Crystal Palace is located south of the River Thames and the views of London from here are fabulous. The name Crystal Palace originated in 1851 when a large cast-iron and plate-glass building was constructed to house The Great Exhibition.
Ultimately the structure was devastated by fire in 1936 but the name lives on as does the appeal. The area that once housed the Crystal Palace now includes a large park and is one of the highest points in London.
The views of the city from here are spectacular. Spend your time meandering around the small streets of vintage boutiques, cafes and bars and on Sundays visit the market, perfect for foodies.
Neon Signs – “God’s Own Junkyard”
This is a hidden treasure and a really funky place to visit. Full of multicolored handmade neon signs, God’s Own Junkyard is considered the oldest sign maker in London.
At God’s Own Junkyard, you can view signs and props used in films like “Byzantium” as well as from the superhero movie “Captain America” along with signs from major fashion photoshoots. The gallery is choc-full of colorful art and neon signs, all handmade in their workshop.
After you’ve enjoyed your colorful tour of the gallery, you can grab some refreshments at the Junkyard’s very own café, Rolling Scones Café. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the special surroundings.
God’s Own Junkyard is located in Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Walthamstow, East London. It is quite the find.
Harry Potter and Platform 9 ¾
Platform 9 ¾ is located in King’s Cross Station. It’s the fictional train platform from the Harry Potter series where Harry and the rest of the students catch the Hogwarts Express.
A must-see for any Harry Potter fan, the Platform 9 ¾ site displays the scene where the students run straight through the wall with their trollies.
If you arrive early in the day, you may be lucky enough to meet the photographer who will photograph you, trolly and all, as you “push through” the wall. It is truly a “bucket list” experience and a memorable one.
Cereal Killer Café
The Cereal Killer Café is the most unusual place. It’s been around since 2014 and was established by brothers, Alan and Gary Keery.
If you love your cereal, then this is definitely a place you need to visit. And even if you don’t, it is still worth a look. For many, it is a trip down memory lane, a chance to be a kid again.
Every kind of sugary cereal is available, over 120 different brands to choose from. So, if you’re in the mood for some nostalgia, topped with a good dose of sugar, then head on down to Brick Lane in East London and enjoy the ride.
Ballie Ballerson Playground
This is adult entertainment at its best. Enjoy the fun with giant ball pits and millions of pink neon balls. At the same time, enjoy two whole hours of music, cocktails, and pizza.
This is definitely a quirky thing to do in London. If you have lots of energy to expel and enjoy the experience of jumping around with millions of pink glowing balls, then you don’t want to skip Ballie Ballerson Shoreditch.
Listed here are only a few of the many lesser-known destinations in the capital of the United Kingdom. Make the most of your trip and visit some of the unknown places in London!