Visitors to London and residents alike will no doubt already be familiar with the many attractions that London has to offer. From taking a ride on the London Eye, to paying a visit to Big Ben or St Paul’s, there is plenty to see and do.
But what about those hidden gems that you may not have heard of? Hidden away or walked past unknowingly, there are plenty of secret treasures dotted around the city that are well worth seeking out and visiting.
We’ve compiled a list of our five must-visit London secrets, for when you next find yourself in the city!
The oldest surviving music hall in the world, this incredible historic building recently reopened in 2015 and now puts on a run of shows that you can enjoy. From Ceilidhs to pantomimes, there’s plenty on to see in this historic and spectacular building. You can also enjoy a drink at the Mahogany Bar, which is the oldest part of Wilton’s, or the cocktail bar. Food is also available.
No, not a real detective agency – this is actually a secret bar! The entrance to the bar is just a plain door, leading down to the basement. You must make an appointment to see the detective, and after hearing your case you will be ushered through a secret door into the bar area for fantastic cocktails, and even food.
Although there is a little bit of traveling involved to get there, the Chislehurst caves are well worth a visit. While Londoners may spend a lot of time underground already when riding the tube, this is undeniably a more interesting experience. Dug out for chalk used when building London, and for flint, these tunnels form a maze over six hectares. Lamp lit guided tours are available, and they even host children’s parties.
Cockney cash machines
Dotted around East London are several cash machines which list cockney as a language option. You are able to check your balance and withdraw cash as usual, but if you have selected cockney as your language, your options will be displayed in rhyming slang. Words such as “cash” become “sausage and mash” and you enter your “Huckleberry Finn” rather than your PIN.
The cash machines can be found at the following locations:
- Spitalfields: 73 Commercial Street, E1 6BD
- Barnet: 197 Mays Lane, EN5 2DY
- Chingford: Murco Service Station, Hatch Lane E4 6LP
- Mile End: 447 Roman Road E3 5LX
- Walthamstow: 24 High Street, E17 7LD
Situated in Kensington, The Roof Gardens sit 100ft above London and span 1.5 acres. The gardens opened to the public in 1938, as an escape from London. There are three gardens, and entry is free to the public. Besides the various trees and plants, and flamingos that roam around, there is also a restaurant, Babylon, and private members club.
These are just a few of the secrets the city of London holds, but we hope you have felt inspired by our top five, and pay a visit to a few of these alternative attractions off the beaten track on your next trip to the city.