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  • Writer's pictureRichard C

Hidden Gems of London: Discover the City's Best-Kept Secrets

Updated: Jun 29

Historic church location london
St Dunstan in The East

London is renowned for its iconic landmarks and bustling streets, but beyond the well-trodden tourist paths lie some lesser-known treasures. These hidden gems offer a unique glimpse into the city’s rich tapestry of history, culture, and charm. As a local tour guide, I’m excited to share with you some of London best kept secrets that are sure to make your visit even more special.

1. Little Venice

Highlights: Picturesque Canals, Waterside Cafes, Boat Rides

Overview: Tucked away in the heart of the city, Little Venice is a tranquil oasis where the Grand Union and Regent’s Canals meet. Stroll along the leafy canals, enjoy a coffee at a waterside cafe, or take a leisurely boat ride to Camden Market.

Visitor Tips: Visit in the spring or summer when the canal boats are in full bloom and the area is at its most vibrant.

2. The Seven Noses of Soho

Highlights: Quirky Art Installation, Soho Exploration

Overview: Created by artist Rick Buckley in the 1990s, the Seven Noses of Soho are hidden sculptures scattered throughout the vibrant neighborhood. Finding them is a fun and quirky way to explore Soho’s eclectic streets.

Visitor Tips: Start your hunt at the famous Admiral Duncan pub on Old Compton Street. Some noses are easier to find than others, so keep your eyes peeled!

3. Daunt Books

Highlights: Edwardian Bookshop, Travel Literature, Unique Atmosphere

Overview: Located in Marylebone, Daunt Books is an independent bookshop set in an enchanting Edwardian building. Renowned for its extensive travel section, the shop is a haven for book lovers.

Visitor Tips: Spend time browsing the shelves and admire the stunning oak galleries and skylights. The shop often hosts author events and book signings.

4 Postman's Park

Highlights: Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice, Tranquil Garden

Overview: Nestled between office buildings in the City of London, Postman's Park is a peaceful retreat that honors ordinary people who performed extraordinary acts of bravery. The memorial tablets tell poignant stories of heroism.

Visitor Tips: Bring a book or a sandwich and enjoy a quiet moment in this serene space. The park is a short walk from St. Paul’s Cathedral.

5. Sir John Soane’s Museum

Highlights: Eccentric Collection, Architectural Marvel

Overview: The former home of the neo-classical architect Sir John Soane, this museum is a labyrinth of curiosities and antiquities. Soane’s eclectic collection includes everything from ancient artifacts to paintings and sculptures.

Visitor Tips: Admission is free, but due to the museum’s popularity, it’s best to arrive early. Don’t miss the atmospheric candlelit evenings held on the first Tuesday of each month.

6.The Hunterian Museum

Highlights: Medical Specimens, Historical Surgical Instruments

Overview: Located within the Royal College of Surgeons, the Hunterian Museum houses an extensive collection of fascinating medical specimens and surgical instruments. The exhibits provide a unique insight into the history of surgery and medical science.

Visitor Tips: Admission is free. Check the museum’s website for special exhibitions and events.

7. St. Dunstan in the East

Highlights: Ruined Church Garden, Peaceful Escape

Overview: Located between London Bridge and the Tower of London, St. Dunstan in the East is a former church turned tranquil garden. The church was severely damaged during the Blitz, and the ruins now serve as a peaceful urban retreat.

Visitor Tips: The garden is free to enter and provides a lovely spot for a quiet lunch or reflection. It’s particularly beautiful in the spring and summer when the greenery is in full bloom.

8 .The Courtauld Gallery

Highlights: Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings, Medieval Art

Overview: Situated in Somerset House, the Courtauld Gallery is renowned for its impressive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces, including works by Van Gogh, Monet, and Cézanne.

Visitor Tips: There is an admission fee, but it’s well worth it for art enthusiasts. The gallery’s setting in Somerset House, with its beautiful courtyard, is an added bonus.

9.Neal’s Yard

Highlights: Colorful Courtyard, Independent Shops, Cafes

Overview: Tucked away in Covent Garden, Neal’s Yard is a vibrant and colorful courtyard filled with independent shops, cafes, and holistic health centers. It’s a hidden oasis of creativity and wellness.

Visitor Tips: Explore the various shops and cafes, and don’t forget to take plenty of photos of the picturesque surroundings. Neal’s Yard Remedies offers organic skincare and natural health products worth checking out.

London’s hidden gems offer a unique and intimate perspective of the city. By exploring these lesser-known spots, you’ll uncover stories and experiences that many visitors miss. If you're looking to discover the secrets that make London truly special, book a personalized tour with me. Click here to email me and lets plan your perfect London adventure today!

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