London is the first thing to pop into your mind when you hear of the great United Kingdom. Even people who have never been here can tell you about the renowned attractions of London
. However, among every famous place, there lies a hidden gem which is often overlooked. So, if you are looking for something unique and a little off-beaten path to venture, here are the best-hidden gems in London that won’t disappoint you.
Kyoto Garden is a Japanese-style park wrapped in Holland Park, which was a gift from the city of Kyoto in 1991. Originally built in 1605, these gardens used to be an old castle sheltering many famous families. The gardens spread over 20 hectares, showcasing a beautiful replica of authentic Japanese gardens. You can see the stone carvings in Japanese style, numerous species of trees and plants, waterfalls, peacocks and herons roaming around, and even the koi crap fish. During the spring, you can even witness the famous Japanese cherry blossom and a variety of flowers around the garden.
Chelsea Physic Garden
Nestled in a hidden corner of London, just off upmarket Cheyne Walk, Chelsea Physic Garden is the second oldest botanical garden in the United Kingdom, dating back to the late 17th century. It features the tallest standing olive tree in Britain and the cultivation of medicinal plants. There are around 5000 plants on exhibit for the public, with their usage and benefits clearly explained. Some of them are indeed rare plants to be found. The garden has a gift shop, a book shop, and a Tangerine Dream café.
Sir John Soane’s Museum
Sir John Soane’s Museum is undoubtedly one of the most unusual places in London. Why? The moment you enter the museum, you will be stunned by the crazy and baffling maze of narrow corridors and rooms. Sir John Soane was a talented architect and collector known for designing some of the most famous buildings in London, such as the Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Bank of England. After his death, this house became an incredible museum, exhibiting over 45,000 art objects, all from the personal collection of Sir John Soane himself.
As the name suggests, Little Venice is London’s aesthetic of the famous Italian city. Stretching from Hyde Park to Warwick Avenue, it follows a series of tree-lined canals that most tourists miss on their London trip. The colourful canal boats, charming tearooms and cafes, brunch on a canal boat, and much more make your day memorable. Visit Little Venice during the summer months in any location between Paddington and Camden Town and make the most of the canal boat journey.
St Dunstan’s in the East
St Dunstan’s in the East is one of those hidden gems in London that sits right in the heart of the busiest parts of London. The Church of St. Dustan is situated between the Tower of London and London Bridge, which makes it quite obvious to overlook. This mediaeval church was built in the 11th to 12th century and refurbished several times. When the church was partially destroyed during WWII, the Anglican Church declared that it would not be rebuilt. All that survived was its tower and steeple, which today is an incredible architectural project.
The Postman’s Park gained its popularity as a lunchtime spot for the workers at the old General Post Office nearby. It now houses a memorial to George Fredric Watt’s heroic self-sacrifice and ordinary people venerating tragic acts of bravery. You can see the long wall holding the gallery of tablets featuring their heroic moments engraved on them. The park is small yet houses the stories of brave people. Take a seat on one of the benches and engulf the cool breeze and calmness that Postman’s Park has to offer you.
You don’t have to travel far to explore the collection of nature when you can find one right in the heart of London. The Barbican Conservatory is absolutely exotic on the list of best-hidden gems in London and is free of charge. The garden opened its doors to the general public in 1984, and today is the second-largest indoor rainforest in London. It is home to beautiful grounds consisting of tropical flora, fauna, and different species of fish under the massive glass conservatory, mirroring the different climates suiting the plants in the garden.
The Royal Exchange
The Royal Exchange is among those places which are overlooked by a majority of tourists. Founded in 1566 as the first place for trading stocks in London, this monumental building has a fascinating history. The Royal Exchange faced destruction twice by fire and had to rebuild three times at the end of the 20th century. The building we see today is a refurbished model built in 2001. You can visit the Royal Exchange for luxury shopping or capture some Instagram-worthy pictures.
The Painted Hall
The Painted Hall, located inside the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, is something to behold. Designed by Sir James Thornhill in the early 18th century, it is a spectacular masterpiece of English Baroque art, depicting royalty and mythological scenes. The Painted Hall has 40,000 square feet of walls and ceilings covered in 200 stunning images. Even today, this art piece has the power to stun every visitor. So, if you are travelling to Greenwich, ensure to take a look at this fantastic hidden gem in London.
Stephen Wright’s House of Dreams
If you are looking for unusual things to do in London, head to Stephen Wright’s House of Dreams. London-based artist Stephen Wright adorned his home with found objects to create an exceptional visual diary of his daily life. Every part of his house is incorporated with any random object beautified into a stunning visual to witness. The artefacts shown are those collected over 20 years, including the doll’s heads, ceramics, wigs, and false teeth.
The famous and historic corners are always easy to find a way to visit, but these hidden gems are worth exploring.