Offbeat places in London 2024: Explore beyond the tourist trail

 In London, offbeat places, Travel, Uncategorized

Explore London’s secret spots! Beyond famous places to visit in London, there are some cool, lesser-known places waiting for you. These are like hidden gems of London that only a few people know about. Picture yourself finding a quiet garden right in the middle of the city, where you can relax away from the crowds, surrounded by lots of plants. Can you imagine going to museums that aren’t like the usual ones? These have strange and interesting things, like old stuffed animals or collections of random stuff you would never expect to see in a museum. If you are feeling adventurous, you could even go underground and explore the tunnels and passages that most people need to learn to exist. It’s like discovering secrets that have been hidden under the city for a long time. Or you can walk around neighborhoods covered in colorful street paintings, telling stories about London’s past and present. So whether you are into history, art, or just looking for something different to do, Offbeat places in London have something for everyone. So grab a map, put on comfy shoes, and get ready to find the side of London that only a few people get to see with Europe Tour Packages!

Top 20 Offbeat Places in London

  1. St Dunstan in the East
  2. Little Venice
  3. The painted hall
  4. Spitalfields and Brick Lane 
  5. Neal’s yard
  6. The vaults
  7. Sky Garden
  8. Sir John Soane’s museum
  9. Silver Vaults
  10. Royal Exchange
  11. Leadenhall Market
  12. Primrose Hill
  13. Kyoto garden
  14. Alexander palace
  15. Hampstead Heath
  16. Kew Gardens
  17. Chelsea physic garden
  18. Thames Barrier park
  19. Battersea park and children’s zoo
  20. Churchill’s arms

1. St Dunstan in the East

st-dunstan-in-the-east

St Dunstan In the East was originally built in the 11th and 12th centuries and has been refurbished several times after that. It is one of the best offbeat places in London. This medieval church was partially destroyed during World War II and the church decided not to rebuild it. The Church of Saint Dunstan is located between the Tower of London and London Bridge. Despite being so close to some of the major London attractions, it is an incredibly peaceful and calm place where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. This hidden gem of London is just a 10-minute walk from Tower Bridge so don’t miss it when in London.

2. Little Venice

little-venice

Spanning from Hyde Park to Warwick Avenue, Little Venice is a series of tree-lined canals that many tourists miss during their London trip despite being near enough to the city center. What makes little Venice you need is that it’s completely different than anywhere else in the city with colorful canal boats that roam the waterways and many serve as tea rooms and cafes. Visit any location between Paddington and Camden Town to see this spot for yourself. The are lots of popular cafes in London located here like Cafe Boats, Darcie & May Green, and Waterside Cafe. Camden is a great place to walk the locks and board a water bus boat trip. 

3. The painted hall

the-painted-hall

Located inside the Royal Naval College in Greenwich and also a part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the painted hall has just recently been restored to all its previous glory. It’s been its 10th and most successful generation so far. The moment you catch the first glimpse of it it will take a Breath away. Painted by James Thornhill between 1707 and 1726, this spectacular dining room is a real masterpiece of English Baroque art. The entire hall, covering over 3700 m² is painted by hand. This incredible piece of art displays the power and prestige of Britain for the rest of the world. The painted hall is one of the most incredible Offbeat Things to Do in London. It is also one of the top photography spots in London.

Suggested Read: Homestays in London

4. Spitalfields and Brick Lane

spitalfields-and-brick-lane

Spitalfields and Brick Lane is an area of London known for its exotic swells from the famous curry houses. You Are in Jack the Ripper territory and there are plenty of opportunities to learn more about the serial killer by visiting some of the old English pubs he used to visit in Victorian times. The curry smell from Brick Lane where you won’t be able to stop yourself from lingering. Grab a salted beef bagel from one of the Jewish delis at the top and slowly walk down Bricklin taking the occasional sidestreet or Aldi to check out some of the world-famous street art, vintage stores, and the best chocolate shops in London. It is among the best OffBeat Places In London.

5. Neal’s yard

neals-yard

If you love walking around aimlessly looking for colorful streets, pretty corners, and secret bookstores then you will love discovering London. One of the best offbeat places in London is a small alley called Neal’s Yard. It opens into a courtyard defined by colorful facades housing health food shops and cafes and is just a few minutes walk from the Covent Garden train station. Just walk up Neal Street until short gardens and turn left, and you will enter the hidden gems of London away from the usual modern setting. Neal’s Yard is also known for its value-driven retailers, you can buy organic soaps and beauty products, organic cheese as well as homecoming gifts for friends and family from various shops.

6. The vaults

the-vaults

The Waterloo Vaults are hidden underground tunnels deep under the famous Waterloo Station in central London. It is a fascinating place that hides many more secrets than you think at first sight. Located at Leake Street at the backside of Waterloo Station, the Vaults can be found inside a colorful graffiti tunnel. Despite all the association with darkness, underground it feels like this is a welcoming place. If you love street art and quirky different things, then you should not miss these offbeat places in London. This tunnel is open to the public and you can visit at any time. If you bring some paint you can easily add your masterpiece as well. Because of its very central location which is just a short walk from the London Eye, you can easily include this colorful graffiti tunnel in pretty much any London itinerary like your Day trip to London, and make even a short visit to the city a bit more special.

7. Sky Garden

sky-garden

Sky Garden is free and has amazing views of London. It is one of the Offbeat Gems in London. Is a public space with landscaped gardens, observation decks, and an open Terrace located at the top of the building known as the ‘walkie-talkie’. Sky Garden might be an unexplored place in London for most London visitors, but it is still a popular place with locals as well as tourists. It is a great place for dinner, or you can just grab a drink at the rooftop bar. There is also a botanical garden that you can explore when you take in the views of the city.

Pro tip: Walk-in spaces are limited, so it’s best to get a ticket.

Suggested Read: Best treks in London

8. Sir John Soane’s museum

sir-john-soanes-museum

Sir John Soane was an architect and art collector, who used his own house to test all kinds of architectural ideas. After his death, his house became a museum and it’s said to house over 45,000 art objects, all collected by the owner. The moment you enter the house of Sir John Soane, you will be awestruck by the crazy narrow corridors and rooms. It looks as if every single square inch is in use one way or another and even the ceilings are covered with sculptures, paintings, and other decorative objects. The spaces are so narrow that you aren’t allowed to bring any objects with you and will be asked to put your purse or a small backpack in a plastic bag, just to avoid damaging something by coincidence. Please note that photography is not allowed inside, but you can find nice images on the website of the museum.

9. Silver Vaults

silver-vaults

Silver Vaults is another offbeat places in London hidden deep under the ground beneath Chancery Lane. It is a series of highly secured vaults filled with silver. The Silver Vaults of London hosts the world’s largest retail selection of silver. It’s a sort of underground market for the rich and the famous. You can find everything from silverware, silver trays, and silver dining sets to silver jewelry and even big household items like lambs mirrors, and even a barbecue set.

Suggested Read: Airbnb in London

10. Royal Exchange

royal-exchange

If you like places where modern life blends in with history, then don’t miss the Royal Exchange in London. Established in 1566 as London’s first place for trading stocks, this iconic building has a long history. It is one of the places where the reign of a new monarch is announced to the public. Nowadays it is mostly known for boutique shopping and fine dining, with the above floors being used as offices.

11. Leadenhall Market

leadenhall-market

Leadenhall Market is the Hidden Gems of London. Leadenhall Market is a covered market, with a beautiful ornate roof that has glass windows and curved beams. It dates back to 19 century making it one of the oldest markets in London. Leadenhall Market is located on Grace Church Street and can be explored only by foot so make sure to carry a map or an app with the location saved. 

12. Primrose Hill

primrose-hill

Head to Primrose Hill for some of the best views of London and a quirky neighborhood to explore. One of the six protected viewpoints in London, from the peaks of Primrose Hill you can see the entire city. When the weather is clear you can spot landmarks like the London Eye, the shard and BT Tower in the distance. 

13. Kyoto garden

kyoto-garden

If you are looking for unexplored places in London then head to Kyoto Garden. The Kyoto Garden is over 20 hectares and is located around Holland House, which used to be an old castle where many famous families lived. It was originally built in 1605 but was destroyed in the Second World War. The Kyoto Garden was officially opened in 1991 to mark the friendship between Japan and the United Kingdom. The garden has been fully landscaped and designed to reflect how Japanese Gardens look. You will find stone carvings in Japanese style, peacocks and Herons roaming around, numerous varieties of flowers and trees, waterfalls, and even beautiful koi carp fish. Kyoto Garden is open daily and is free to visit. 

14. Alexander palace

alexander-palace

If you are visiting London and you have picked a Hotel & Resort in London in the northern part of Mussel Hill or Wood Green then you may enjoy Alexander Palace. Built in 1873, the Palace a stunning to look at. You can relax on the green lawns of the palace while admiring the rose window and take a boat ride on the lake behind the palace. The ice rink at Alexandra Palace is open all around here.

15. Hampstead Heath

hampstead-heath

Located about half an hour from central London, Hamstead is a posh community that has a historical past. It is another off-beat destination near London. The great artists D.H Lawrence, Sigmund Freud, Robert Louis Stevenson, and countless creative luminaries have resided here. There is something inherently English about this place. Hampstead Heath is certainly worth a day trip from central London. 

16. Kew Gardens

kew-gardens

Kew Gardens is home to the largest and most diverse collection of living plants in the world. Kew Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers unique landscapes and architecture from every stage of the garden’s history. There are more than a hundred world-class attractions at Kew Gardens such as iconic buildings, art collections, and glass houses. Various temporary exhibitions at Kew Gardens might be worth your time. The glass house is not to be missed and is the perfect place to take some amazing pictures. It is another offbeat places in London to explore.

17. Chelsea Physics garden

chelsea-physics-garden

It is another offbeat places in London hidden between the upscale shopping of Kings Road and close to the Chelsea embankment and Albert Bridge across the Thames. It is home to the tallest standing Olive tree in Britain, and the layout of different sections of the garden is beautiful. The Dicotyledon order beds and Monocotyledon are a testament to this with over 800 organised according to their groups. Some are indeed quite rare. Ideal for storing all year round many exotic plants from the Atlantic that would otherwise not survive the harsh winters. Also, one of the smaller glasshouses has a little exhibit of desert cacti. With a cafe that provides outdoor seating too, what better way to take it in slowly and appreciate this green space in the heart of one of London’s most well-heeled districts?

18. Battersea park and children’s zoo

battersea-park-and-childrens-zoo

Battersea Park is a 200-acre park that has been home to many fairs, playgrounds, and attractions over the years. One of the most recognizable landmarks of Battersea Park is the Peace Pagoda established in 1985. The Park has sporting fields, a miniature suit, a historic pump house Gallery, mini golf with a pizzeria, a nature reserve, and an ornamental lake where you can hire mini rowing or paddle boats. It is another offbeat places in London to explore. The best part of the part is the children’s zoo. It is the perfect size zoo for little explorers. All the animals, reptiles, and birds are little and in keeping with the zoo’s size. 

19. Thames Barrier Park

thames-barrier-park

One of the favorite Offbeat places in London has to be the Churchill Arms. Located in the Notting Hill area of the city, Churchill Arms is a pub with a beautiful variety of floral decorations. Spring is one of the best times to visit this bag as you can see the flowers in full bloom. Even at Christmas, the festive spirit is in full swing with Christmas trees and lights having their moment to shine. The Churchill Arms is probably one of the most photographed pubs in London. It is a short five-minute walk from Notting Hill Gate station and we highly recommend you to make time to visit this place. 

20. The Churchill’s arms

churchills-arms

The Thames Barrier Park is an iconic structure in London, built in the 80s to solve the centuries-long problem of flooding in central London. You can visit the visitor center on the Southern side of the river or simply see this impressive movable Dam from the barrier Park. This little park is truly the Hidden Gems of London. While walking through the park, you will get a nice view of the barriers. Between the park and the river, there is a nice waterfront promenade with benches to enjoy the views.

How can I explore the lesser-known areas of London?

The lesser-known areas of London are Shoreditch, Camden, and Hampstead. 

Are there any secret spots or hidden treasures in London that tourists don’t typically visit?

Secret spots or hidden treasures in London that tourists don’t typically visit Sir John Soon’s museum, Neal’s yard, and Gordon’s wine bar. 

What are some offbeat places to visit in London?

Some of the offbeat places in London are St Dunstan in the east, Little Venice, and God’s own Junkyard.

Can you recommend any hidden gem attractions in London?

Some of the hidden gems in London are Wilton’s Music Hall and Postman’s Park.

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