Explore Hidden Gems of London
Many of the places to visit in London are famous across the entire planet. Show virtually anyone a picture of Big Ben, Tower Bridge or the London Eye and they’ll know exactly which city they’re looking at. There is another side to London that’s not quite so well known, however, when you book budget accommodation in London with London Backpackers, you’ll be in the perfect position to take advantage of it. This is what you might call ‘secret London’, that consists of hidden spots, buildings and landmarks which are a little bit off the standard tourist track. These are just a few of the places to visit in London that are a little bit different:
Crossness Pumping Station
There aren’t many pumping stations that could be recommended for a visit when you’re staying in a traveller’s hostel in London, but then Crossness is no ordinary pumping station. It was originally built in the 1800s and is a stunning example of Victorian engineering and ironwork. It became a listed building in 1970 and has been restored since to deliver one of the most dazzling architectural experiences in the city.
God’s Own Junkyard
God’s Own Junkyard, located in Walthamstow, is a gallery like no other. Rather than quiet spaces and sedate works of art, it is a vibrant collection of dazzling neon signs. Owned and operated by a local artist, it has grown to become the largest collection of its type in Europe and is so popular that there’s even a pop-up version of the gallery (and a shop) in the upmarket department store Selfridges over the Christmas period.
Sir John Soane’s Museum
There is no shortage of museums in London, including some of the most famous in the world, and many of the best are also free to enter. Sir John Soane’s Museum, however, is something entirely different. It was the home of architect and art collector Sir John Soane, and, after his death in 1837, it became a museum showcasing a collection of more than 45,000 objects. The house offers a unique experience, being packed from floor to ceiling with unusual and eccentric objects filling just about every space.
Little Venice is an area of London which actually lives up to its evocative name. It is located on and around the canals which wind through the Paddington Basin, and is the perfect place to get away from the bustle and noise of the big city and soak up a tranquil atmosphere. Take a stroll along the paths, admire the colourful and quirky houseboats and sample the eating, drinking and entertainment the area offers.
The modern, forward thinking thrust of life in London means that the past is all too often forgotten, but St. Dunstan-In-The-East is a stunning example of the past being alive and well in physical form. The church was originally built in 1100, was damaged during the Great Fire of London and the Blitz of 1941, and has now become a tranquil garden space featuring atmospheric examples of the original architecture.
Leadenhall Market is located in the heart of London, close to the City and landmarks such as the Gherkin and London Bridge, but it still manages to fly under the tourist radar. It combines a wonderful shopping opportunity with beautifully ornate architecture dating back as far as the 1400s. If you want an idea of just how picturesque it is, bear in mind the fact that it was used as a representative of Diagon Alley in several Harry Potter films.
Nomadic Community Garden
You’ll find the Nomadic Community Garden in Shoreditch. It was created by the Nomadic Community Garden movement, which specialises in taking empty, disused spaces and transforming them into wonderful gardens. This example blends plant-life with street art, buildings constructed from disused cars and the chance to sample items from cafes, listen to music and enjoy street art, theatre and live music.
Climb The O2 Arena
The O2 Arena itself is extremely well known, but more of a secret is the fact that you can buy tickets to walk to the top of it. You’d be taken up via a suspended walkway in the company of a guide who provides climbing equipment and a safety harness. The viewing platform at the top is 52 metres above the street and, on a clear day, offers views stretching as far as 15 miles.
If these places to visit in London have set your imagination racing, then what are you waiting for. Booking a room in our travellers’ hostel in London is quick and easy online, and you can enjoy accommodation which is clean, comfortable and secure while you discover some secret corners and hidden gems of your own.