London is well known for its diverse boroughs and huge number of attractions. With centrally located hotels such as the Piccadilly London West End, you’ll be ideally located in the heart of the city, ensuring that there’s a healthy dose of nearby attractions to keep you occupied.
However, if you’re on the lookout for something a little more unique, then its best to stray from the beaten track and explore the outer reaches of the city. Below are some of our favourite (but lesser known) spots for tourists and locals alike to explore in the city.
Isabella Plantation – Richmond Park
The Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park is one of the best secret spots in all the royal parks.
Developed in the late 18th century, this boggy enclave of woodland brings a beautiful burst of colour through the greens and browns of the West London deer park. Closed off from the rest of the park, the Isabella Plantation is a rhododendron smattered woodland offering some solace from the outside world.
Japanese Roof Garden
Based on the SOAS University’s roof, the Japanese roof garden offers up a traditional area of peace and quiet above the university’s Brunei Gallery. Opened in 2001, the garden is dedicated to forgiveness and includes water features, minimalist lemon and thyme patches and a chequerboard design.
Candlelit Treasures at the Sir John Soane’s Museum
Based near Holborn, the Candlelit Treasures tour of the Sir John Soane’s Museum offers late-night viewings every first Tuesday of the month. This atmospheric tour gives you a great new way to explore the vast collection of paintings and antiquities, between 6 and 9 PM. Located in Lincoln’s Inn Field, this is a great way to experience London’s museums in a new light.
Hampstead Heath is one of the best spots in the city for a relaxing fresh water swim. With men’s, women’s and mixed gender ponds to choose from, you can enjoy the idyllic surroundings of Hampstead Heath woodlands whilst taking a cooling dip for a great value £2.50. These ponds truly are one of the best-kept secrets in North London.
The Line of Zero Longitude in Greenwich
Head to Greenwich Park to find the line of Greenwich Meridian. This marker is the point from which all longitudes are measured as either North, South, East or West of the line. The marker symbolises the reference point for all navigation systems and can be found in the courtyard of the Greenwich Royal Observatory.
While, sure, visiting one of the posh restaurants in West End London makes for a lovely day out, why not adventure outside of your comfort zone? Based in South East London, the Chislehurst caves stretch underground for a stunning 22 miles and date back to at least the 9th century, when they were used as flint mines for the Saxons. Chislehurst Caves are now open to the public and offer up tours for the general public.
The Dinosaurs of Crystal Palace Park
These Victorian interpretations of dinosaurs and other extinct creatures date back to 1852 and can be found dotted around Crystal Palace Park. Designed by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, the looming dinosaurs are famously thought to be incorrect by modern paleontologists, yet they still add a striking feature to the beautiful Crystal Palace Park in South West London.
Whisperers Gallery in St Paul’s Cathedral
If you’re making the most of the London West End Stay Packages throughout the city, then this centrally located attraction is a very intimate secret. Head to the viewing galleries in St Paul’s Cathedral to find the Whisperers Gallery, where the resonant acoustics of the atmospheric room promise even the quiet of whispers will be heard.