If you’re not able to whisk yourself away to Paphos this year, London could be a great alternative. There’s no guarantee of sunshine but there’s plenty of great attractions. Once you’ve visited the iconic landmarks from Buckingham Palace to Tower Bridge, it’s time to explore some hidden gems. Here’s our guide on some of the best which are off the beaten track.
London’s very own miniature version of the Floating City, can be found in Paddington, West London. This urban oasis is one of the most picturesque parts of the capital. The canal has beautiful colored narrowboats which can take visitors to nearby Camden or Regent’s Park. There’s also plenty of waterside pubs and even a floating art gallery.
This often overlooked park is one of London’s best kept secrets. It may be smaller than the tourist hot spot, Hyde Park, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in beauty. Nestled within the grounds is the serene Kyoto Garden. A gift to celebrate the friendship between Japan and Great Britain, this authentic retreat has cascading waterfalls and ponds with colorful fish. It’s the perfect escape from the crowds of tourists.
For an insight into London’s regal and opulent past, head to this country home where entry is completely free. It dates back to the 11th century, once the country home of the Bishop of London. There’s now a museum showcasing impressive historic art. You can also wander through the beautifully manicured gardens and enjoy afternoon tea at the Drawing Room Café.
Horniman Museum & Gardens
This extraordinary attraction has been entertaining visitors since the Victorian times. You’ll find an eclectic mix of artifacts from musical instruments to stuffed animals and there’s even an aquarium. It makes for a one-of-a-kind experience, where you can even touch or play with some of the objects. Admission is free and there’s equally impressive gardens for an afternoon stroll.
Guildhall Art Gallery
Established back in 1886, this attraction has long been a favorite amongst art fanatics. It features paintings from as early as 1670 and general admission is free. The most impressive exhibition is the ruins of London’s Roman Amphitheatre which were rediscovered in 1988.
Wilton’s Music Hall
This is the oldest and last remaining grand music hall in the world. Situated in the historic east end, you can enjoy a guided tour around this legendary building learning more about its rich heritage. There’s also a variety of live performances which should be booked in advance.
Old Spitalfields Market
For an authentic taste of London, you must visit one of its covered markets. This one in Spitalfieldshas been an iconic landmark since the 17th century. Open six days a week, you can explore the many stalls and find a treasure within all the vintage clothing, antique art and jewelry on offer.
There’s plenty lesser known attractions to explore in London, so don’t follow the crowds and you’ll find a weekend to this city can be as unique as you want it to be.