You might think that you know London – from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament to Hyde Park and the London Eye, its many charms and landmarks are world famous. However, London is also full of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered by intrepid visitors willing to venture off the beaten path in order to experience a more authentic side to the city.

shutterstock_726423718There are so many things to see and do in the UK’s capital that picking just a few is a big ask, and finding the hidden gems harder still. Luckily, our city experts at The Piccadilly London West End hotels have got you covered with their insider knowledge. Here are a few of our favourite lesser-known locations, events and experiences to savour during your stay in London…

Take a Stroll in a Hidden Garden

In addition to the better known parks and gardens in London such as Hyde Park, there are many others which have escaped mass public attention. The Skip Garden at King’s Cross is a new urban garden devoted to sustainability, where guests can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere with the area’s resident chickens. Postman’s Park is a delightful and poignant space to spend some time; on the outer corner of the park lies a truly heartfelt monument to everyday heroism, with a series of around 50 wall plaques commemorating people who have lost their lives saving others.

Indulge in a Unique Afternoon Tea Experience

Afternoon tea is a British staple, but some venues are reinventing the form and turning tradition on its head. One Aldwych offer a spectacular Charlie & the Chocolate Factory-inspired afternoon tea menu full of playful handmade treats celebrating the Roald Dahl classic. Alternatively, Sanderson offer an equally dazzling Mad Hatter’s Tea Party-themed alternative in the heart of Oxford Street, so you can take a break from shopping to relax in style whilst staying at The Piccadilly London West End hotels.

Enjoy Some Theatre in the Open Air

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is a brilliant spot to catch an outdoor play in the capital this summer, and one of the city’s best kept secrets. Set in the very heart of beautiful and historic Regent’s Park, highlights for the 2017 programme include adaptations of Charles Dickens classics A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist, alongside a packed schedule of open-air cinema. The venue offers a variety of dining options to visitors, including a summer café, pre-theatre drinks service and an array of luxury hampers and picnics available. Find out more about Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre at the official website.

Take an Unexpected Tour

London’s tours can sometimes be a handy way of discovering the side to London you don’t find in guide books. There are so many options to choose from, ranging from the spooky Ghost Bus Tours exploring London’s creepier streets, to the Kray Twins Gangster Tour of London’s East End.