London is one of the best cities in the world, with diverse cultures and people. It’s no surprise that it is one of the best cities to explore the cities secret hidden gems. From storybook gardens to eclectic wine bars, it’s near impossible to get bored and the city caters for everything. Here are the 10 best hidden gems in London for you to explore.
Where: Regent’s Canal Towpath, King’s Cross, London N1C 4BZ
The nation’s capital is known for inspiring some of literatures most prominent names, so it’s only fitting that we start with the city’s most eccentric. Amidst the impressive collection of bookstores in London, few come close to the atmosphere of this floating bookshop on Regent’s Canal. Complete with a leather armchair, a rustic stove and stunning views of the river, this literary haven will entice even the most loyal Kindle fans. With a surprisingly vast range of titles stored on both indoor and outdoor shelves, the cosy interior and welcoming staff- including a very professional dog- await your visit.
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Where: 192 A Brick Lane, London, E1 6SA and Stables Market, London, NW1
There’s just something about eating cereal in a bar in the most colourful parts of London… This 90’s themed café will cater to your nostalgic needs while serving you anything from cereal-fried chicken to a Loopy Froot cocktail– these aren’t even the weirdest things on the menu. If you’re just after the perfect bowl of cereal and a mellowed weekend, you can enjoy one of the tried and tested combinations or perfect your very own mix. In case you ever want to transport yourself back to this entertaining café, be sure to follow their Spotify playlist for future reference.
Where: St. Dunstan’s Hill, London, EC3R 5DD
If you’re looking for a relaxing day trip surrounded by history and gothic architecture, then look no further than St. Dunstan-in-the-East Church gardens. Originally built in the 1100s, the Church has borne witness to many of the key events taught in history classes. After suffering heavy damages in the Great Fire of London, the area was also bombed during World War 2. What remains is a public garden surrounded by the mystical ruins of the old Church. The flora that creeps up the old stone walls only adds to an air of mystery and -strangely- tranquillity.
Where: Windmill Gardens, West end of Blenheim Gardens, Off Brixton Hill, London SW2 5DA
Previously featured on our List of Budget Places to Visit in London, the Brixton Windmill is truly something to behold. Restored in 1816, the building is a grade II historic landmark and London’s last working windmill. It’s free to visit, but for a small donation, you can enjoy a casual drop-in tai chi class in the beautiful gardens on a Saturday morning. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for their annual events, such as the Harvest Festival in September, for some post-quarantine meetups.
Where: Rooftop Terrace One, New Change, London EC4M 9AF
Located straight across St. Paul’s Cathedral, the rooftop of the Madison offers immaculate views of London. Whenever you’re looking to treat yourself to a fabulous cocktail -or several- you can head to the rooftop bar overlooking the glittering London evenings. If you’re just there to enjoy the scenery, you can simply take in the grandeur of St. Paul’s baroque architecture and observe the never-ending life of the big city. Entry to the rooftop itself is completely free, making it the perfect excuse to dress up and have a night to decorate your Instagram feed – all on a budget.
Where: The Pergola, Inverforth Cl, London NW3 7EX
With stunning gardens and lakes that make for a charming walk along a scenic path, you can tell why this hidden corner of London is often chosen as a wedding venue. Follow it up with a quick climb up the pergola for gorgeous views of Hampstead Heath. If you want to spend more time in the area, the Pergola is a quick walk away from Golders Hill, which offers elaborate gardens and plenty of picnic space. The Gardens – which are all free – are a small paradise within London, perfect for those who want to venture out after lockdown while missing the crowds.
Where: 144-146 New Bond Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2PF
Although it’s no secret that London houses some of the most impressive art galleries in the world, this little gem in Mayfair has remained under the radar of many tourists and residents alike. The gallery exhibits many up and coming artists as well as established ones, with a focus on contemporary techniques such as pop art and impressionism. If you’ve been missing the ambiance of gallery outings, be sure to catch the Andy Warhol exhibition, on until the 16th of August 2020 (just beware that they’re currently taking bookings to enter, so try to call ahead).
3. Kyoto Garden
Where: Holland Park, Holland Park Avenue, Kensington, London W11 4UA
The Kyoto Garden was first opened in 1991 and renovated in 2011 by specialist Japanese gardeners. Designed in the style of a ‘kaiyushiki’ – a stroll garden – the garden displays picturesque waterfalls and a pond full of koi carp. The garden is surrounded by Japanese Maple trees and decorated with authentic stone lanterns. Lucky visitors may even catch a glimpse of the striking peacocks that wander the grounds. After a rejuvenating walk in the gardens, you can truly immerse yourself in the busy Kensington Highstreet and enjoy the beautiful neighbourhood.
2. Neal’s Yard
Where: Neal’s Yard, London WC2H
Covent Garden’s best kept secret is the perfect way to describe this colourful corner of London. Neal’s Yard is a hub of independent restaurants, cafés, and almost every other business that you could need. For anyone that wants to discover sustainable stores and original vegan menus, this courtyard is heaven found down a side street in Seven Dials. If you’re looking to satisfy your fast food cravings, make sure you check out Homeslice, where you can find 20” pizzas for £20. You can also find Neal’s Yard Remedies for organic treatments for all ailments, alongside independent wine bars to end your week with a relaxing glass of red.
Where: Coal Drop Yard, King’s Cross, London N1C 4DQ
The first thing that Samsung KX tells you when you go on their website is that it is “much more than a store,” and we have to agree. The centre at King’s Cross opened in 2019, and the list of things to do there is endless. Perhaps the most oddly satisfying of all is their wooden printer… that lets you design and engrave a wooden egg. Known for having several AI’s and a virtual driving simulator on display, Samsung KX is the ultra-high-tech playground of your futuristic dreams.