Behind the splendour of the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, far from the winding galleries of the Natural History and V&A museum and less dazzling than the Shard and London Eye, a different London lies. These lesser known hidden gems are unique and unaffected by mass tourism, identifiable only to those who know London well, or those who happen upon it by chance, lost in the labyrinth of the capital city. Once Big Ben is seen and done, here are some ideas for those looking for something off the beaten track.
- Highgate Cemetery Tour: Visiting a graveyard might not be the first thing people think of when they plan a visit to London’s capital, but with catacombs, mausoleums and the grave of Karl Marx, the cemetery provides a more peaceful way to spend the day in leafy North London.
2. Pop ups: These temporary restaurants and bars are all the rage, with their ‘here today gone tomorrow’ mentality making them a must-see while in London. Promising fine food and dining, two of many are Dalston Yard in London’s trendy E8 which serves a variety of street food and The World Class Bar in Soho where you can learn about cocktails whilst ordering whichever variety takes your fancy.
3. A Beach at Ruislip:
For those to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a lazy day by the seaside, they have to look no further than Hillingdon. The 60-acre lido encircled by an (artificial) beach boasts a café, a miniature railway, and a woodland centre.
This 18th-century haven right in the centre of London is comprised of Inner and Middle Temple both with their own gardens, dining halls and libraries, and is one of the most significant legal districts in England. With imposing Georgian buildings and the 12th-century Temple Church itself (which features in The Da Vinci Code), is a splendid snapshot of a now lost London.
5. Fenton House/Apsley House/Ham House: If you love the elegance and splendour of a country house but don’t want to have to travel far from London, these three manors are perfectly nestled in the heart of the capital. With orchards, walled gardens, tea rooms and ballrooms it’s easy to escape for the day and forget that you are still within the limits of England’s bustiest city.
These are five lesser known sightseeing secrets of the capital, and stay tuned for five more will be revealed next week for those eager to know England’s capital better.
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