London is similar to New York in that you can never spend enough time there and truly do it all. There will always be somewhere new that surprises you, something else to discover, and something delicious to eat.
This great gem of a city is known for being a cultural hub that caters to all. It is also home to famous sights like the London Eye, Big Ben and Tower Bridge. Of course, who can also forget Buckingham Palace—which every girl wishes they could live out their princess fantasies in!
But London is so much more than just these big tourist attractions. In fact, there are so many special spots to explore and discover. All you have to do is go off the beaten path, which is what we are going to help you do!
Whether you are traveling to London with your kids, with a partner or solo, there are so many special places that will make you see London in a whole new way.
Before we get into that, however, it is important to note that you should first figure out the best
luggage storage in London and reserve your spot online before you arrive. That way you will save yourself time and energy, can easily secure your bags and hit the ground running to check out these special gems you can not miss.
1. The Medieval Church in Saint Dustan
There are many old churches in London. But perhaps one of the most special is Saint Dustan in the East, which was first built in the 11th century. Even after it was nearly destroyed during WWII, it has blossomed into a sanctuary that boasts a gorgeous garden and a green oasis from the concrete jungle of the inner London city.
This church sits between the Tower of London and the London Bridge but is often missed by many. So if you find yourself over in that area, take the time to go check it out and enjoy the greenery and history it provides.
2. Little Venice
While Italy may boast the real Venice, London still has Little Venice. This area is laid out similarly, with canals lined with trees and spans all the way from Hyde Park down to Warwick Avenue.
This is such a special spot because it is so different and colorful compared to everything else in London. The canals are lined with colorful boats that double as actual tearooms. Who wouldn’t want to sip tea while relaxing in a canal boat?!
If you need a break from walking throughout London, then Little Venice is your haven to sit back, relax and take in the sights another way.
3. The Painted Hall
Of all the best-kept secrets of London, this has got to be one of the absolute best! It is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is part of the Old Royal Naval College. In fact, it is only in the most recent years that it has been properly restored and renovated.
As soon as you see it, you will be in complete awe. The Painted Hall was first designed by artist James Thornhill back in the 1700s. He painted the entire thing by hand—no easy feat considering the hall is over 3700 square meters!
This place should not be missed and you can easily reach The Painted Hall on one of London’s double-decker busses or as part of a river cruise.
4. Brick Lane
Anyone who is cool can be found in Brick Lane. Full of incredibly exotic cultures. Smells and people, it is unlike anywhere else in London. Brick Lane is full of delicious curry houses, chocolate shops, and Jewish delis. If you want to reward your taste buds with something delicious, this is the place to do it.
Brick Lane doesn’t just have great food. It also is teeming with street art, vintage shops and perhaps the best chocolate in all of London.
A fun fact about Brick Lane is that it actually used to be where Jack the Ripper terrorized the town. While it is extremely safe nowadays, you will feel a weird vibe every now and then and makes for an even more fascinating adventure.
5. Neal’s Yard
For those who love to explore a good bookstore, Neal’s Yard is the place to head to. With numerous bookstores and tea shops to enjoy for the day, you will find Neal’s Yard super charming and probably will be very hard to convince yourself to leave. This area is also full of organic eateries and boutique local shops that are the perfect places to buy souvenirs from.
London certainly has plenty of surprising spots. These five are a great places to get started, but rest assured there are many more to find during your time in London too!