London is filled with amazing places to see, delicious foods to eat and delicious foods to eat and although all the obvious places are a definite must to visit, some of London’s more exciting ‘treasures’ are not as well known as you’d expect. Ever since finding out about St Dunstan’s in the East (see more deets below) which is set in the most unexpected place smack in Central London, I’ve been on a hunt to find more of London’s hidden treasures. Here are 10 amazing places that you have to see in London.
1.) St. Martin’s Window: There are so many reasons to visit St Martin-in-the-Fields, especially so the free concerts held in the afternoons but when you’re around, have a look for St Martin’s Window which is a rather unique window in an already impressive building.
2.) The Whitechapel Bell Foundry: This is another little treasure I found out about only because I lived almost on the same street and decided to pop in one day. Long story short, this is the very same company that built the bell in Big Ben (formally known as The Elizabeth Tower) and the Liberty Bell in the US (see picture below) which is an iconic symbol of American independence. The most impressive part about this is that it is the oldest manufacturing company in the UK, having operated for almost 500 years – and you can also buy yourself a bell here which is guaranteed to be one of the most exciting/historic souvenirs you can get in London (you can buy it online off their official website here or pop into the store when in London)
3.) The Hidden Ears: Similar to the seven noses, these were created by another artists, Tim Fishlock and can be found on Floral Street in Covent Garden.
4.) John Snow’s water pump: And no, I’m not referring to the Game of Thrones character here, John Snow is a Doctor who traced the 1854 cholera outbreak in London to this very tap. He is one of the founding fathers of Epidemiology and his work spurred a major change to the water systems in London. It seems almost ironic that a tap that was actually at the centre of spreading this disease should be named after him but hey ho…
5.) Number 10 Adam Street: The main reason this is a pretty good find in London is due to its striking resemblance to Number 10 Downing Street – the home of the British Prime Minister. Get a photo here and you can pretend (on Facebook and in your mind, at least) that you have had a private audience with the Prime Minister.
6.) Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden Bar & Cafe: A visit to at least one roof top bar in London is a must. Even if not for the drinks or for a cool place to hang out with your friends, then for the amazing view of London you can get from it – especially during sunset. The South Bank Centre’s roof top garden bar is definitely one of those places worth visiting in London.
7.) Big Ben Bell Tower: I’l just start by saying, this is only available to UK residents however, on the plus side, it’s free! You can essentially climb up to the very top of Big Ben and see the actual bell that you can hear ringing on the hour every hour across all of London. It’s a special sight to see and better still – you can stay up there on the hour and hear (and watch) it ring. Don’t worry, you’ll be provided with ear plugs for this. To get in to see this (and to watch Prime Minister’s question time), get in touch with your local MP’s office.
8.) Chislehurst Caves: This is one of the secret spots that’s the furthest out of Central London but its not often you can say you’ve gotten to explore a cave in London so you should definitely check it out. Also, this is a venue where artists such as The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin have played in so its got lots more reason that just cave appeal to visit it.
9.) Strand Station: Also referred to as Aldwych station, this station is no longer in use but is a key part of London’s history (for instance it was used to protect artwork from museums in London during the war) and although it’s closed now, you might be able to organise a tour if you contact the London Transport Museum to find out more about it.
10.) The Smallest Police Station in the UK: I don’t even know who thought up this idea but this station was built for the police to monitor protests going on in Trafalgar square. It is no longer actively used as a Police station of course but is a rather interesting sight to see when you’re out and about in Trafalgar Square.