London is a city full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered by intrepid travelers. From quirky museums to serene parks, there’s always something new to explore. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a look at some of the lesser-known hidden gems that are waiting for you in London.
Leighton House Museum
If you’re a fan of art and architecture, Leighton House Museum is a must-see destination. This stunning house museum was once the home of the renowned artist Frederic Leighton. Built in the Victorian era, the house is a beautiful example of the era’s style and taste.
The museum features a collection of Leighton’s own works as well as other artists from the period. Highlights of the collection include Flaming June, one of Leighton’s most famous paintings, and An Athlete Wrestling with a Python, one of his most famous sculptures. Visitors can explore the house and its beautiful gardens, take part in guided tours, and attend special events.
Grant Museum of Zoology
Located in the heart of University College London, the Grant Museum of Zoology is a hidden gem that’s sure to fascinate science enthusiasts. The museum is home to over 68,000 specimens of animals, ranging from the smallest insects to the largest mammals.
The collection includes extinct species such as the dodo and the quagga, as well as preserved specimens of animals that are still alive today. The museum also hosts a range of exhibitions and events throughout the year, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the natural world.
The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History
If you’re looking for something a little more unusual, the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities is the place to go. Located in Hackney, this quirky museum features an eclectic collection of oddities, curiosities, and other strange objects. The collection includes taxidermy animals, skulls, skeletons, and other items that are sure to fascinate and intrigue visitors. The museum also has a bar and a shop selling souvenirs, making it a great place to spend an afternoon.
God’s Own Junkyard
It is an indoor space filled with neon lights and signs located in Walthamstow. It’s the perfect spot for those who love all things kitschy and retro. The space was created by neon artist Chris Bracey and features a vast collection of vintage neon signs and artworks. Visitors can explore the neon wonderland and take in the dazzling array of lights and colors. God’s Own Junkyard is also home to The Rolling Scones Cafe, which serves delicious homemade cakes and coffee.
Highgate Cemetery Highgate Cemetery
It is a peaceful and beautiful Victorian-era cemetery located in the north of London. It’s the final resting place of many notable figures, including Karl Marx, George Eliot, and Douglas Adams. The cemetery is divided into two sections: the East Cemetery, which is open to the public, and the West Cemetery, which can only be visited on a guided tour. The cemetery is a popular destination for history buffs and those seeking a serene and reflective experience.
The Old Operating Theatre Museum
If you are interested in the history of medicine, The Old Operating Theatre Museum is a must-see destination. This fascinating museum is located in the attic of St. Thomas’ Church and features exhibits on the history of surgery and medicine.
It’s housed in the oldest surviving operating theatre in Europe and visitors can see the original wooden operating table and other medical equipment from the 19th century. The museum also hosts talks and events on topics related to medicine and surgery.
Postman’s Park is a small but beautiful park located near St. Paul’s Cathedral. The park is named after the postmen who used to take their lunch breaks there, and it’s a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city. The park is known for its Watts Memorial, a collection of plaques that commemorate acts of heroism by ordinary people. The plaques tell the stories of individuals who lost their lives while trying to save others, and they provide a poignant reminder of the everyday heroism that can go unnoticed.
The Cinema Museum
This place is a unique destination for film enthusiasts. Located in the Kennington area of London, the museum is housed in a former Victorian workhouse and features a collection of cinema memorabilia from the early days of cinema to the present day. The collection includes posters, film reels, costumes, and other items that celebrate the magic of the movies. The museum also hosts screenings and events throughout the year, making it a great place to immerse yourself in the world of film.
The Hunterian Museum
A fascinating destination for those interested in anatomy and medical history. Located in the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the museum features a collection of specimens and exhibits that tell the story of surgery and medicine from ancient times to the present day. Visitors can see preserved human and animal specimens, surgical instruments, and other medical artifacts. The museum also hosts talks and events on topics related to medicine and surgery.
Keats House Keats House
It is a beautiful museum dedicated to the life and work of the poet John Keats. Located in the Hampstead area of London, the house is where Keats lived from 1818 to 1820, and it’s where he wrote some of his most famous poems. The museum features exhibits on Keats’s life and work, including original manuscripts, letters, and artifacts. Visitors can explore the house and its beautiful gardens, take part in guided tours, and attend special events.
The Brunel Museum
The Brunel Museum is a hidden gem located in the Rotherhithe area of London. The museum is housed in the former Thames Tunnel Engine House and tells the story of the tunnel’s construction, which was a feat of engineering in the early 19th century. Visitors can explore the museum’s exhibits on the tunnel’s history, see the original machinery used in its construction, and even take a descent into the tunnel itself on a guided tour.
Strawberry Hill House
Strawberry Hill House is a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture located in the Twickenham area of London. The house was built by the writer Horace Walpole in the 18th century, and it’s considered one of the finest examples of the style. Visitors can explore the house’s beautiful interiors and gardens, which have been restored to their former glory. The house also hosts a range of exhibitions and events throughout the year, making it a must-visit destination for architecture enthusiasts.
Chislehurst Caves is a unique destination located in the Chislehurst area of London. The caves were carved out of the chalk by hand over thousands of years and have a fascinating history. They were used as a shelter during World War II and were also used for concerts in the 1960s. Visitors can take a guided tour of the caves and learn about their history, or even take part in a ghost tour for those looking for a spooky experience.
London is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re interested in art, science, history, or something a little more unusual, there’s something for everyone in this amazing city. So why not step off the beaten path and explore some of London’s lesser-known treasures? You might just discover something truly amazing.