Hidden Places To Visit In London
London is one of the most visited cities in the world and has been a popular tourist destination for many years. This bustling city is an exciting mix of culture, history, and attractions. From its high-end shops to its world-class museums and galleries, London has something for everyone. But beyond the popular attractions, there are also some hidden gems and lesser-known places to explore. From secret gardens to underground tunnels, here are some of the best hidden places to visit in London.
History of London
London has a long and rich history, with evidence of human habitation dating back thousands of years. The Celts first settled in the area in 500BC and named the settlement Londinium after the river Thames. In AD43, the Romans invaded and set up a new city around what is now the City of London. The Romans had a significant influence on the city, introducing a new road network, public baths, and even an amphitheatre for entertainment.
After the Romans left in the 5th century, London began to develop into a trading port and by the 11th century it had become an important centre for trade and commerce. In 1066, William the Conqueror invaded and built a castle, which later became the Tower of London. Throughout the Middle Ages, London developed further and became one of the most important cities in Europe. The Great Fire of London in 1666 destroyed much of the city, but it was quickly rebuilt and continued to grow in size and importance.
Today, London is home to more than 8 million people and is a thriving international hub for culture, business, and entertainment. It is one of the world’s most visited cities, with more than 30 million visitors every year. As well as being home to iconic landmarks such as the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and the Houses of Parliament, London also has a wealth of hidden places to explore.
One of London’s best-kept secrets is Little Venice. This tranquil corner of the city is located between Paddington Station and Regent’s Canal in West London. It is a picturesque area with winding canals lined with colourful houseboats and narrow bridges.
Little Venice was once an important port for commercial barges carrying goods from all over Britain. Today, it is home to a vibrant community of houseboat owners who create unique floating homes along the canals. Take a stroll along the banks of the canal to spot some of the houseboats and admire their colourful decorations. You can also take a leisurely cruise along the canal on one of the boats operated by Little Venice Boats. This is a great way to take in some of London’s hidden beauty while learning more about the area’s history.
The Household Cavalry Museum
The Household Cavalry Museum is a hidden gem located in Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall. The museum tells the story of the British Army’s elite mounted troops, who have served in many famous battles throughout history. Visitors can tour the museum’s galleries to learn about the cavalry’s role in battles such as Waterloo and Trafalgar, as well as their ceremonial duties today. The museum also showcases many fascinating artefacts and uniforms from the past.
It is possible to take part in a guided tour of the museum which includes access to some areas not open to the public. This is a great way to learn more about the Household Cavalry’s rich history while discovering some hidden corners of London.
The Old Operating Theatre Museum
The Old Operating Theatre Museum is a unique attraction located in Southwark. Housed in an old church building, this museum is dedicated to medical history and has an extensive collection of surgical instruments used in past centuries. The museum showcases a range of fascinating artefacts from past surgeries, including old surgical tools and medical equipment.
Visitors can take part in guided tours which take you through some of the museum’s most interesting exhibits. The museum also has a herb garret which showcases some of the plants used for medicinal purposes throughout history.
The Geffrye Museum
For those interested in learning more about Britain’s history, The Geffrye Museum is an excellent place to explore. Located in East London, this museum showcases furniture and interiors from different periods throughout history. Visitors can tour the museum’s galleries which feature displays of different living rooms from different eras such as Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, and modern day styles.
The museum also has a tranquil garden which contains plants and trees which were popular during different historical periods. The garden is open all year round and is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of London while learning more about Britain’s past.
The Secret Garden at Kensington Palace
The Secret Garden at Kensington Palace is a hidden gem located in West London. This tranquil garden was once part of William III’s private garden and is now open to the public for free. The garden features many beautiful plants and trees as well as a pond filled with fish and frogs. It is a lovely spot to escape from the city and enjoy some peace and quiet in nature.
The Queen’s Walk
The Queen’s Walk is a well-hidden path along the south bank of the River Thames that takes you from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge. This walk is an excellent way to explore some of London’s iconic landmarks while avoiding the crowds. Along the way, visitors can admire stunning views of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral, and Tower Bridge while taking some time out from busy city life.
Westminster Abbey Tour
Located near Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey is one of London’s most iconic landmarks. Take a guided tour inside this stunning building to explore its beautiful architecture and learn about its fascinating history. Westminster Abbey was founded in 960AD and has been home to some of Britain’s most famous kings and queens. During your tour you will be able to admire its magnificent stained glass windows, ornate tombs, and intricately carved sculptures. You will also learn about some of Britain’s most famous figures who are buried or commemorated here such as Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, and Charles Dickens. Book a Westminster Abbey Tour here.
Jack The Ripper Tour
Discover one of London’s darker secrets on this Jack The Ripper Tour. This tour takes you on a journey through Victorian East End where you will learn more about one of history’s most notorious serial killers. Your knowledgeable guide will take you around some of Jack The Ripper’s old haunts while sharing with you stories and facts about this mysterious figure. You will also be able to visit some key sites related to Jack The Ripper’s crimes such as Ten Bells pub and Whitechapel Station Police Office. Book a Jack The Ripper Tour here.
London By Night Tour
Explore London by night on this unique tour which takes you around some of London’s most iconic landmarks such as Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, and Big Ben after dark. Your knowledgeable guide will share with you stories about each landmark while you admire their illuminated beauty against the night sky. You will also be able to admire stunning views across London from high viewpoints such as Primrose Hill and Hampstead Heath before ending your tour at Trafalgar Square or Piccadilly Circus where you can take in some of London’s bustling nightlife.Book a London By Night Tour here.
London is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered – from secret gardens to underground tunnels – there are plenty of places off the beaten track that are worth exploring if you are looking for something a bit different from your usual tourist trail. Whether you are looking for history, culture or simply want to get away from it all for a while, there are plenty of hidden places to explore in London that will give you an insight into this fascinating city’s past and present.
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