Looking to discover more of London including some unusual spots? Then you are in luck – here is part 2 of my top 10 unusual things to do in London!
Whether you are travelling here for a long-awaited vacation, or live in this fabulous city and are looking for some exciting new experiences, then I hope you will add some of these selections to your list, I know I will!
6. Take a train ride!
Now, I‘m not talking about the underground which is an incredible part of London life; I’m talking about the incredible experience of getting on a steam train and transporting yourself to another place and time.
For example, you can let out your inner Detective Poirot on the Murder Mystery lunch, which departs from Victoria aboard the British Pullman Luxury Train (the sister train to the renowned Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express). This experience will transport you back to 1920’s with champagne reception, the opportunity to solve a murder mystery, 5-course silver-service lunch, and scenic journey through British countryside & coast.
If you prefer a less mysterious adventure, and want to pack visiting the beach into your day, then you can jump on the stunning 1920s luxury train and journey to Broadstairs for the day. The trip not only takes you to this beautiful seaside town, but also includes 3-course brunch and 3-course dinner, with champagne reception.
7. View London’s street art
One of the things I love about London is the diverse art we are able to enjoy in the art galleries and museums. But you can equally spot amazing creations on the streets of London.
Waterloo’s Vaults and Leake Street
If you want to grab a coffee, take a walk, and soak up the culture before heading to the big tourist spots of The London Eye, London Dungeons, and the London Aquarium, then you must visit Leake Street Tunnel and the Waterloo Vaults, by Waterloo Station (which also is host to Draughts Boardgame cafe which offers delicious food and cocktails, over a huge collection of boardgames to play!). The tunnel regularly has street artists creating their own works of art, so you will find something new each time you visit.
Another place to visit is Brick Lane in Shoreditch (while Shoreditch as a whole is a must to get your street art fix), where you can start at the Stolen Space Gallery on Osbourn Street heading towards the famous markets, with artwork on almost every street you pass.
8. Take in the views of London
London’s skyline is one of the most diverse and beautiful, in my opinion. From the modern skyscrapers, to the classic buildings, you could spend countless evenings sipping a cocktail with friends and taking in the magnificent views.
If you want that rooftop bar experience, make sure to check out my video on the top rooftop bars in London.
If you may want to enjoy the views in a more unusual spot, then here are a few suggestions.
The Garden Museum
Get a two in one with this less-well-known museum in the heart of London. Just off of Lambeth Bridge and next to the London Eye, the Garden Museum may be just the spot for those who have a green thumb! As an added bonus, you can climb the 14th century tower to take in some incredible views across the water and into London. If you want to know if the 131 steps are really worth it, view the pictures shared by those who have visited on the #131stepchallenge hashtag!
While England has its fair share of castles, Severndroog Castle may not be on many people’s top list. However, this Grade II listed 18th-century Gothic tower has 360 degree views of the capital. Just an hour out of the city and well-worth a visit, you will be amazed by the stunning views from Shooter’s Hill (one of the highest points in London). The castle is amongst an ancient woodland as well, so it’s perfect for an afternoon stroll.
9. Head to the markets of London
London has countless markets for locals to visit – from farmer’s markets to vintage markets, markets abound. While Portobello market is the most famous and often overwhelmingly busy, you may want to discover some lesser-known markets across the city.
Columbia Road Flower market
Every Sunday from 8am – 2pm you will discover the stunning seasonal flowers of Columbia Road Flower Market in Bethnal Green. It is London’s most popular flower market, with an incredible history surviving through World War II. The market not only provides stunning blooms, but also bread and cheeses, antiques, garden accessories, exotic international foods, soap, candlesticks, and Buddhist artefacts – it truly is an experience you don’t want to miss.
Hackney Wick Flea Market
If you love retro and vintage, then you’ll want to get to East London for the Hackney Wick Flea Market. Opened in 2013, the market quickly expanded and offers a huge variety of finds for the vintage-lover. They have a diverse range of events, so you must check their calendar before visiting!
Leadenhall Victorian Market
If you are a Potter-head then you may notice this stunning market has some similarities to the scene in which Harry purchases his wand! The market itself dates back to 1321, starting as a meat, poultry and game market. Today it is home to a number of boutique retailers, restaurants, cafes, wine bars and an award-winning pub. Unlike the other markets in my top picks, it is more a shopping destination, but well-worth a visit if even only for the stunning architecture or to catch shelter from a sudden British downpour!
10. Visit the gardens of London
I love that as a Londoner, I am never too far from green space – and while the royal parks are must-visits for tourists, you may want to head off of the beaten tracks in London to discover quaint and unusual gardens of London that are truly magical. I’ve got a separate video on some of the best local parks of London that you may want to check out.
Brown Hart Gardens
Located in Mayfair, and parallel to Oxford street, Brown Hart Gardens is a peaceful raised roof terrace with 50-seater cafe, is a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the shopping centre of London. With tropical raised beds, water features, trees and plants, this little serene garden is a stunning place to visit when you are in the area.
Crossrail Place Roof Garden
As a part of the Elizabeth Line project, Crossrail Place Roof Gardens in Canary Wharf opened in 2005 and floats in a futuristic bubble with a tropical mix of plants and trees from across the world, showing views of the skyscrapers that call Canary Wharf home. It is open until 9pm or until sunset in the summer, and is free to visit, and is a great garden to bring the whole family as they host regular festivals, events and even has an 80-seater performance space.
So, have you discovered a few new unusual things to do and see in London? I hope you are inspired to get out into the city and enjoy some fun new experiences!