Less known tourist attractions in London :: Travel Blog

Less known tourist attractions in London

London is a very famous city visited by the thousands of tourists every day. It's also described in the hundreds of travel blogs. But that travel guides say about the most popular interesting places, so what about some less known tourist attractions in London? In this article, I will describe some hidden gems in the city.

This is not a full list of less known tourist attractions and interesting places in London, but only my favorite ones. If you know some other great buildings, museums or other spots, feel free to write me so I could visit them during my next trip to London and update this article. And now let's get to visiting that famous city and it's hidden interesting places and tourist attractions.

Leadenhall Market in London

Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market is one of the oldest markets in London, located in the historic center of London's financial district. Merchants used to sell here fishes and meat from the 14th century but at the end of the 19th century it was rebuilt in Victorian style with the ornately painted roof and cobbled floors. From that time Leadenhall Market became not only a shopping center but also a popular attraction in London.

Do you recognize Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter movie? This was the place where wizards used to buy their spell books, wands, and animals. All scenes from there were filmed in the Leadenhall Market in London.

Nowadays there are a lot of different shops in Leadenhall Market, but it's all organized more like a tourist attraction than a real market. Nevertheless, it's still a great place to visit and feel some Harry Potter magic in London.

Highgate Cemetery in London

Highgate Cemetery

Highgate Cemetery was opened in the middle of the 19th century as one of the city's magnificent park cemeteries to move burials out of the London city. There are a lot of beautiful and mystical Egyptian and Victorian influenced tombs, where gravestones of James Holman, Karl Marx, "Blind Traveler" (19th-century traveler), Adam Worth (famous criminal and inspiration for Professor Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes) and Douglas Adams (sci-fi writer) can be found.

During the World War II cemetery was forgotten and overgrown, which added really creepy feel to the Highgate Cemetery. In the 1970s this place became the Gothic location for the horror movies of the Hammer studio. Because of that films and the vampires in them, Highgate Cemetery in London started to be a more famous place.

Highgate Cemetery, England

Because of all that tales and growing popularity of the Highgate Cemetery, strange things started to happen here. Some tombs were broken open and bodies from them were stabbed by wooden sticks. Those stolen corpses started to lie in strange places.

One neighbor to the Highgate Cemetery even found one morning a body without a head behind the steering wheel of his own car!

All of this happened many years ago and now the Highgate Cemetery is rather a quiet place with just an old, bad reputation, visited by many tourists and locals. Please note: using video cameras and tripods are not permitted and if you want to take photos, only photos for personal-use can be taken here. Highgate Cemetery in London is an awesome place with a great and mysterious atmosphere.

The Mail Rail in London. Source: Matt Brown / Wikipedia.

The Mail Rail

The Mail Rail was the common name for the Post Office Railway. It was an automatic underground electric railway built in 1927 to speed Royal Mail package and letters delivery in London.

During its work, over 4 million packages have been transported daily through 8 kilometers long tunnels with the 60 kilometers per hour speed. After almost 80 years, the Mail Rail was closed and abandoned, while many entrances were sealed off.

Interesting fact: During that time many extreme adventurers forced their way into the underground Mail Rail system. Their videos and photos can be still found on the internet.

In 2017, the Mail Rail in London was turned into the Postal Museum that includes the 20-minutes ride on some kind of miniature trains through the Post Office Railway old tunnels.

Sherlock Holmes Museum in London

Sherlock Holmes Museum

Sherlock Holmes house in Conan Doyle's book was located on the Baker Street number 221 in London, just near the Regent's Park. But at the time author of this famous book was writing, this house number did not exist. It's probably because Conan Doyle didn't want to affect any real house.

But this all changed when in 1930 the famous Baker Street expanded and the house number 221B really showed up. This new Sherlock House was given to the Abbey International society, and almost immediately they started receiving many letters asking for the detective's help. Funny thing is that the Abbey International hired a real full-time staff to deal with that cases.

Let's go back now to the actual Sherlock Holmes Museum which was opened in the 1990s on 237 Baker Street, just a few meters from the Abbey International house. The museum succeeds to recreate the quarters of Holmes and Watson from the book, with all the furniture and decorations. The Sherlock Holmes Museum in London is small, but it looks like Sherlock and Watson just left it.

Notice: The Sherlock Holmes Museum in London is small and it's a popular tourist attraction, so there might be queues and a lot of people. Prepare for that.

Gods Own Junkyard in London. Source: Paul Hudson / Flickr.

God’s Own Junkyard

God's Own Junkyard in London is located in Walthamstow, which was known for many years as a district with grey streets and boring houses. After some time, many hipsters came into the neighborhood and together with current locators started to build the purple God’s Own Junkyard.

Well, it's not an easy thing to describe what it's really is. It's some kind of warehouse maze of handmade neon signs that looks like some kind of Las Vegas in industrial style. The whole collection in God’s Own Junkyard in London includes thousands of unique props and signs, as well as many figures, all closed inside a single warehouse. 

Notice: Please remember, that the God’s Own Junkyard is opened for public only during the weekends, but if you have no time in Saturday or Sunday, you can always come here to the cafe of hew other places to drink beer or eat some food. If you want to get here, get to the Walthamstow Central station, and from there it's just about 10 minutes walk.

The Churchill War Rooms

There is a very interesting place in London that it's invisible from the surface. The Churchill War Rooms lies underneath Westminster and during the World War II were the most protected part of England. This is the place which was protecting whole British government as well as Winston Churchill and from here came all the plans how to protect England against the Nazi Germans.

The Churchill War Rooms in London

The whole complex of the Churchill War Rooms in London is really well preserved, despite the fact that after the war bunkers were just sealed up and forgotten. In 1984 English government decided to open the tunnels and make here the Imperial War Museum. Nowadays the Churchill War Rooms looks the same as in 1945 and you can imagine that Winston Churchill just left a minutes ago.

Old Operating Theatre Museum in London. Source: Michelle Enemark / Atlas Obscura.

Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret

Old Operating Theatre Museum in London can be found in the attic of beautiful English Baroque Saint Thomas Church. It's an oldest operating theater in England and it looks almost the same as it looked in the early 19th century. In can be found in Central London, South of London Bridge.

The museum was founded by Richard Mead who was a doctor of Saint Thomas. Patients usually were transported to the theater by a pulley system behind the current chalkboard. During the surgeries, many people died here of many different infections. Also, an old apothecary was located here and was called the Herb Garret.

Patients in Theatre Museum had a few choices: being hit in a head, get opium or whiskey before the surgery, as the anesthetic wasn't known yet.

Natural History Museum of London

Natural History Museum of London was founded in the 1880s and it's probably the most impressive museum of its kind. It was firstly based on Hans Sloane collection, but growth a lot from that time (more than 70 million specimens!).

One of the best attractions that can be found inside Natural History Museum of London is the 8.5 meters long Archie the Giant Squid, which can be found in the Darwin Centre Spirit Collection of jarred specimens, mostly because the main hall's floor could crash of its weight.

Some of the specimens in the Natural History Museum of London were collected by Charles Darwin himself.

There is no entrance fee to get inside Natural History Museum of London, it's totally free. The museum is opened every day from 10:00 to 17:50.

Queens Mary Gardens in London. Source: David Hawgood / geograph.org.uk.

Queen Mary's Gardens

Opened in 1932 and famous from the 101 Dalmatians movie, Queen Mary's Gardens (named after the wife of King George V) are located inside the Regent's Park in London. It's the perfect place to rest a bit during the trip to London. Those gardens have the biggest collection of roses - more than 12 000 roses and about 400 different rose varieties. It's a famous location for busy Londoners, who come to the park to spend some time resting in quiet. Not only Queen Mary's Gardens, but also the whole Regent's Park is worth visiting.

Conclusion

There are a lot of less known tourist attractions in London and this article only scratched this subject. If you know any other great interesting places or tourist attractions or have any questions about my London travel guide or England travel blog, feel free to write about it in the comment section below.

Wojciech Kuźma

Hey there! My name is Wojtek and I am very happy that you came to my travel blog. I've been traveling the world for a few good years now and I still want more.

On my website I describe the adventures that have happened to me, you will also find here a collection of valuable tips for tourists and travelers. If you liked this article, be sure to leave a comment and read some more!


4.93 | 15 votes
Comments: 5
  •   30th May 2018, 11:48

    Cant wait to see all that new great tourist attractions and interesting places in London! Ive never been to any of them! Thanks :-)

  •   6th June 2018, 10:48

    Im traveling to London in the next month and this travel article totally changed my plans about which tourist attractions and interesting places visit in England! Thanks mate, you are writing an awesome travel blog.

  •   20th June 2018, 16:48

    London is a great city with a lot of different interesting places, but Ive almost didnt hear about this great places! I love Highgate cemetery and Gods Own Junkyard! :-)

  •   25th June 2018, 16:28

    What a great list of less known tourist attractions in London! I love traveling to England and London is still my favorite city. I didnt see many of that great interesting places, but I need to see them! Great travel blog mate.

  •   16th July 2018, 16:26

    Ehhh, all of London! I lived here a lot of time and to be honest I have not seen most of these tourist attractions! You have invented quite a few interesting places here, as I will return there one day, I will definitely visit them. This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Ehhh, cały Londyn! Przemieszkałem tu sporo czasu i szczerze mówiąc nie widziałem większości z tych atrakcji turystycznych! Wynalazłeś tu sporo ciekawych miejsc, jak kiedyś tam wrócę, to na pewno je odwiedzę.

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