When researching for your trip to London, especially if it is your first time, I fully recommend all the iconic tourist hotspots. However, if time permits, I would also recommend taking in places and parts of London that do not instantly spring to mind, after all London is a wonderfully diverse ever evolving city and you will never run out of the things to do. Here are some unique places located in London that you should be adding to your list:
- Visit the Crystal Palace Park dinosaurs
I have loved the Crystal Palace dinosaurs ever since I was a child and it always amazes me that not too many people know about them. These historic statues were sculpted by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and have been proudly standing situated in Crystal Palace since 1854, meaning they were the first dinosaurs sculptures in the world! Today they are still pristine and nestled between the trees, there is an awe of magic in Crystal Palace park which is completely worth the visit. Trains run direct from Victoria Station to Crystal Palace Station, from there it is a short sign posted walk.
- Get spooked at the London Bridge experience
London has a lot of history, some of which is dark or horrid but still incredibly interesting. Growing up I was always a fan of the London Dungeons for creating an immersive way to make history fun but as a grown up it isn’t too scary. The London Bridge experience and tombs is now the place to visit if, like me, you like being petrified. Voted the UK’s scariest year round attraction, the experience is an interactive character lead journey through London’s history, which then takes you to the tombs – a horror maze designed to scare the living day lights out of you, not for the fainted hearted. When booking online there is also options to combine with other attractions and places to eat, so it is worth checking that out, but you can also turn up with out booking.
- Greenwich Royal Observatory
Situated on the hill of Greenwich Park, the observatory is one of London’s UNESCO world heritage sites which is also home to the plantiarium and some beautiful views of London’s skyline. Photo op: Stand on the historic Prime Meridian of the World at Royal Observatory Greenwich, the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Also located in this area is the Cutty Sark and the Greenwich Market where one of the my favourite street food stalls is located – Pimp My Ramen.
- Drink cocktails and become a Ping Pong champion at Bounce bar
Bounce is one of London’s most unusual and fun bar concepts; unleash your inner Forest Gump to become a ping-pong champion while enjoying good food, good drinks and great company. Located in Old Street this place does get extremely busy so it is worth booking in advance. Top Tip: Book to go on a Sunday for the bottomless brunch option which in my opinion, is great value for your money –
A £25pp two hour ticket includes:
• Bottomless Prosecco
• Endless slices of speciality Brunch Pizzas
• Bangin’ tunes by the Hoxton Radio DJs
• And naturally, plenty of Ping Pong play!
- Grab a Rainbow bagel in Brick Lane
Head down to Brick Lane via Aldgate East tube station, look for the bakery with the big yellow sign called the ‘Beigel Shop’ and grab yourself a rainbow coloured bagel, I do not think this one needs much more explaining. Brick Lane is generally a really fun place to look around and shop so it leave a few hours for this trip.
- Take in London’s sights by Kayak
When London gives us a bit of sunshine, one of my favourite places to be is by the water, in Camden especially I always see people kayaking down the canal and it looks so much fun. London Kayak Tours provides all the equipment and tuition for you to enjoy this as well, but maybe save this one for your spring / summer trip.
- Relax in the Kyoto Gardens of Holland Park
I have only just discovered this very recently and have yet to visit myself yet, but located in Holland Park is London’s very own piece of Japanese tranquility, the garden was opened in 1991 as a gift from Kyoto to commemorate the long friendship between Japan and Great Britain. The garden includes tranquil waterfalls, lanterns, as well as plenty of fish and free roaming Peacocks! Nearest tube stop: Kensington High Street
- Have a sleepover at the Natural History Museum
A trip to the stunning Natural History Museum should be on everyone’s London itinerary, but why not incorporate it with ‘Dino Snores for Grown ups’ and have a sleepover over right next to the skeleton of a Diplodocus? The incredible night out includes a three course meal, breakfast, a treasure hunt, movie marathon and lots more. I really hope I get to do this at some point, this only happens on selected nights throughout the year so make sure you plan well in advance.
- Immerse yourself in your favourite film with Secret Cinema
Have you ever loved a film so much that you just want to become a part of it? Well Secret Cinema does just that. Set in a top-secret location, these guys bring the films you love to life with incredible sets and actors to completely immerse you while you watch the film. Past Secret Cinemas have included 28 Days Later and Back To The Future, at the time of writing this they are preparing for Dirty Dancing. The day Jurassic Park gets the Secret Cinema treatment will be a very happy day for me.All of the view photos featured in this post were taken from the Sky Garden , which is free to book tickets and also worth a visit!
Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner, that I love London so.
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Comment below with your favourite places in London!