London Hidden Gems You Never Knew

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Reem Mohamed

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12 June, 2023

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7 mins read

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Entertainment

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As a renowned metropolis and one of the most famous world capitals, London brings so much to the table! The city is known for its rich history, diverse culture, vibrant art scene, stunning architecture, and thriving entertainment scene. As an established tourist destination, London welcomes its fair share of tourists every year. 

Major monuments and attractions like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the London Eye, and the British Museum are among the landmarks that London is particularly known for and part of the reason it is the regarded destination it is. However, London has so much more to offer beyond its most popular tourist hotspots. 

In a major city like London, you are likely to find a hidden gem every time you visit. On random strolls throughout the city, you are bound to come across what could be your new favourite spot to hang out. If you are not one for discovering hidden gems on your own, though, we’ve got you covered! Join us on a journey through London and let us uncover all the London hidden gems and the best places to visit in London together! 

London Hidden Gems To Explore

On this journey across the city, we’re stopping by some of our favourite London hidden gems that cover everything from greenery and nature to historic and architectural landmarks. Grab your notepad and let’s see which ones will make your list of best places to visit in London! 

London Hidden Gems

1. The Thames Path

The River Thames is one of the best places to visit in London, and while the river itself may not be a London hidden gem, the 40-mile-long Thames Path certainly is! This path has many quiet spots waiting to be explored. The best way for you to explore this London spot is by hiring a bike and cycling your way along the length of the path and encounter public beaches as well as landmarks like The Prospect of Whitby, which is Charles Dickens’ favourite pub, and the village of Rotherhithe. 

2. Stephen Wright's House of Dreams

This London hidden gem is specifically for lovers of dolls and all things weird and somewhat quirky. A quick trip south to East Dulwich gets you to artist Stephen Wright’s House of Dreams, which holds regular open days. This artist’s house is adorned with art on every surface as well as objects collected over the span of 20 years; these objects feature everything from doll’s heads and false teeth to wigs and trinkets. 

3. Kyoto Garden at Holland Park

This Japanese-style garden is one of the London hidden gems that can be found within another hidden gem. Holland Park is a beautiful piece of greenery tucked away in a corner of Kensington and is home to plenty of other concealed spots, including winding paths, statues, peacocks, an opera house, an orangery, and the beautiful Japanese-style Kyoto Gardens. 

4. Sir John Soane's Museum

The architect of the Bank of England, Sir John Soane, had a home in London that has now been turned into one of the city’s finest public museums as well as one of the best places to visit in London. This London hidden gem exposes visitors to more than 20,000 architectural drawings and antiquities that include the following: Egyptian Sarcophagus of Seti alongside works by Turner, Canaletto, and Piranesi, all of which remain in the same way Soane wanted. 

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5. Lewisham's phone box library

Take a trip to Lewisham for the next one! Escape the city’s loud hustle and bustle and step away from central London to the south into the quiet borough of Lewisham, which was named The Mayor’s London Borough of Culture 2022. This corner of the busy city of London is home to several gorgeous parks, unique museums, and wonderful cafes. However, one of this spot’s most unique London hidden gems is a phone box on the corner of Tyrwhitt Road that was turned into a miniature library. It is a free attraction, where all you have to do is pop in, take the book you like, and leave one in its place. 

6. Daunt Books

Yet another bookstore makes the list of our London hidden gems! Daunt Books has a unique branch in Marylebone that makes you feel like you’ve travelled back in time or into the set of a Harry Potter movie. This bookstore features a beautiful wooden interior and floor-to-ceiling book displays. It is mostly known for its extensive collection of travel books among various other books spanning different genres and disciplines. 

7. Chelsea Physic Garden

This London hidden gem is often forgotten by both locals and tourists. This charming little garden is a tranquil green space near the Thames that was established back in 1637 and is Londod’s oldest botanical garden. Chelsea Physic Garden houses around 5,000 edible and useful medicinal and historic plants.

London Hidden Gems

8. Jack the Ripper Museum

In Whitechapel, there is another London hidden gem that is spread over six floors of a Victorian house. The Jack the Ripper Museum tells the story of the infamous killer through several mediums, including books, films, and several artefacts. This is one of the best places to visit in London as it also features an interactive element where you can try and solve murder mysteries and work your way through a set of clues and crime scene boards. It is especially fun for true crime fanatics! 

9. Little Venice

True to its name, Little Venice is London’s version of the beautiful Italian city. Little Venice is one of the quieter and lesser-known London hidden gems. While there, you can enjoy a coffee in one of many waterside cafes, grab a beer at a pub, or enjoy a tasty meal at one of the area’s restaurants. This London spot comes alive in the summer months more as people make their way there through canal boats or long walks along the riverside from the nearby Camden or Regent’s Park. 

10. Leadenhall Market 

Leadenhall Market used to be more of a London hidden gem than it is today, however, it still warrants a spot on this list. Leadenhall Market is known for plenty of things, most notable of which is being the filming location for Harry Potter. There is plenty more to Leadenhall Market than just the Harry Potter lore, the market has been around since the 14th century and started as just a market for butchers and fishmongers, both of whom are gone today, before it became the famous London market it is today. Leadenhall’s gorgeous red and gold architecture is also one of its famous attributes. This is definitely one of the best places to visit in London if you fancy a stroll among high-end shops, tasty restaurants, and old pubs! 

11. St Dunstan in the East

London has plenty of mediaeval churches, but not all of them are known to visitors, so they might fly past your radar. St Dunstan in the East is one of London's hidden gems with gorgeously stunning architecture. This church, named after Saint Dunstan, was, unfortunately, the victim of a number of fires that led to its destruction. However, St Dunstan in the East prevailed and is now one of London’s best-hidden spots where you can have lunch in the open-air ruins of this mediaeval beauty in the heart of London. 

12. Hampstead Hill Garden and Pergola 

One of the prettiest London hidden gems is Hampstead Hill Garden and Pergola, which is tucked amidst the Golders Green section off Hampstead Heath. This quaint London garden was built by a philanthropist for his fancy manor where he’d entertain members of London's high society. Nowadays, this beautiful piece of nature is a sight to behold, especially during Wisteria season, when its beauty truly earns it a well-deserved spot on the list of best places to visit in London! 

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13. Royal Arcade

Mayfair is lined with gorgeous shopping arcades that people love and pay much attention to, specifically the famous and prestigious Burlington Arcade. However, most people miss the lesser-known Royal Arcade, which is definitely a London hidden gem. It is located halfway along Old Bond Street and is particularly famous among fanatics of luxury and high-end brands. This is a beautiful place to stroll through, even if you are not shopping for anything, just enjoy the beautiful Victorian architecture and the luxurious atmosphere this shopping spot brings! 

14. Mercato Mayfair 

Mercato Metropolitano, which has a branch in Elephant and Castle, is a cosy spot to try delicious street food and a wide variety of boozy drinks. Its Mayfair branch, Mercato Mayfair, is one of many London hidden gems that we recommend you check out before it becomes more mainstream. Taste test arrays of food in their golden main hall, which is relatively crowd-free and has one of the city’s best atmospheres. 

15. St James’s Palace 

Dating all the way back to the Tudor times, St James’s Palace is a royal palace that was largely built by Henry VII and is still standing to this very day. The unique thing about this London hidden gem is that you can’t actually go inside. Unlike other royal palaces like Buckingham Palace for example, St James’s Palace is rarely, probably never, open to the public. However, you can see large parts of the palace building from the outside. All you have to do to sneak a peak at St James’s Palace is to walk down The Mall from Buckingham Palace and turn left onto St James’s where you can wander and take a look at the palace from all angles. 

London has plenty up its sleeves when it comes to quite literally everything, from food, art, and entertainment, to history, culture, architecture, and so much more! While there are plenty of things to do in London, including coffee shops to try, cinemas to spend part of your weekend at, thrift shops to update your wardrobe, and flea markets to do your shopping, there are also some slightly concealed London hidden gems that this list barely covers enough of. So, next time you find yourself in the city, try to add these unique spots to your travel agenda and have a great time while you’re at it! 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What interesting places of London do you know?

London has plenty of interesting places to visit. As a renowned capital, the city is home to attractions like the Big Ben, the Tower of London, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, Kensington Gardens, and Westminster Abbey among many others. 

How do I find local hidden gems?

You can use this list as a reference for local hidden gems. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can check out google maps or google earth by simply searching for hidden gems in London. 

What are 5 things London is famous for?

As an esteemed world capital and metropolis, London is famous for plenty of things, the five most important of which are the following: 

  • Buckingham Palace

  • Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament

  • Natural History Museum

  • Covent Garden

  • Oxford Street


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