When visiting one of Europe’s dream cities, London, I am sure you don’t want to return back home with only a selfie with Big Ben and a ride on the London Eye. You should explore a wide variety of tourist attractions that the city has to offer, but if you really want to make your visit memorable, then you need to visit all the spots tourists don’t know about. So, here are the best secret places you should visit while you are in London.
Strawberry Hill House
Will you believe that there is an amazing gothic villa in the neighbourhood, I know you won’t, but there is. Come and enjoy a mesmerizing visit to the Strawberry Hill House, the interiors of the house were made between 1748 and 1790. It was made as a summer villa for the son of first Prime Minister of Britain, Horace Walpole. Each room has something unique to offer, making it a unique and exciting spot to visit in London.
The main highlights of the house are –
- The Gothic Library is one of its kind in England and it is undoubtedly quite popular amongst the tourists as well. Walpole was a writer and a collector and he also wrote The Castle of Otranto.
- You will love exploring 56-foot-long gallery, it is one of the striking rooms in the house and it was designed for entertaining.
- The rooms are lit by a unique collection of renaissance glass and its grey gothic staircase will lead to the gallery.
Tea Room At V&A Museum
Yes, you must have heard about The Victoria and Alberta Museum, but did you know that their team room is the first museum restaurant, The Garden Café, in the world and this place has a charm of its own. It won’t be wrong to call the Garden Café as a hidden oasis in the centre of the museum and the best part of the restaurant is that it is open throughout the year.
The rooms are designed by Edward Poynter, James Gamble, and William Morris and you get to see the reflection of Victorian Era in every room. You will surely cherish sitting at one of the courtyard tables or you can also have a picnic in the lawn. If you are visiting in the summers, then you will surely love their wide selection of ice-creams. If you have plans to have a lunch, then you will be spoilt for choice as they offer an ever-changing menu of sandwiches, meals, and salads.
When you are enjoying your shopping experience at Oxford Street, I am sure you will have a different impression of the city, but without a doubt, London is one of the world’s greenest cities. The city has some of the beautiful parks and you must have explored Hyde Park, but make sure you have also visited the smaller parks as well. One of the overlooked parks in London is Postman’s Park in Central London.
Just like any other park in London, this park is also quite beautifully maintained, but one thing that makes it interesting is the “Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice”. The ceramic plaques on the wall tell the story of the common people who gave their lives in order to save the lives of others during 1863. Make sure you have visited this beautiful and moving monument. Having the capacity for 145 people, the park can also be hired for receptions, celebrations, and film shoots.
Two Temple Place
Without a doubt, it is London’s extraordinary mansion – Two Temple Place (named after its address) and strangely still not many people know about it. William Waldorf Astor, one of the richest men in the world, built this mansion in 1895 and you will be awestruck by its opulent interiors. He made this house an estate office and a vault for all his prized possessions. It also hosts exhibitions showcasing museum and art gallery collections.
John Loughborough Pearson, the architect, concentrated more on decorations and fittings along with the fabric of the building. The grand staircase is on the striking parts of the interior where you get to see lots of wood carvings.
Broad Street Cholera Pump
During 1854 in London, drinking water was provided through water pumps around the city. At that time, the water was pumped directly from the polluted River Thames. Around 10% of Soho’s population died due to the outbreak of Cholera and people blamed miasma or bad air for the deaths, but Dr. John Snow, Father of Epidemiology, had a different theory. He said drinking water from the contaminated River Thames is the real cause of the deaths.
Dr.Snow investigated that majority of the deaths took place in Broad Street. He shut down the Broad St pump in Soho and soon afterward the outbreak ended in London. There is a pub right in front of the pump by his name as well.
Whitechapel Bell Foundry
Established in 1570, this is the oldest name in the manufacturing business. This is the same company that built Big Ben and Liberty Bell in the US. The main business of the company was manufacturing bells and the company still concentrates on manufacturing bells and its associated fittings. You can also visit the museum displays at their foyer and Foundry store and you can purchase a bell and other extensive range of Whitechapel merchandising.
The name of the foundry has also been included in The Guinness Book of Records as Britain’s oldest manufacturer and having traded for more than 400 years.
Trafalgar Square fountains
Despite being right in front of your eyes, I am sure you haven’t noticed that the dolphins in the Trafalgar Square fountains are actually sharks. The centrepiece of the square has Nelson’s Column and it was built to honour World War I hero Admiral Horatio Nelson. The fountains were added in 1845.
You get to see four plinths for statues in the square – Maj General Sir Henry Havelock in the southeast, Gen Sir Charles James Napier in the southwest, and King George IV in the northeast.