London is one of the most staggering cities on the face of the Earth – definitely one worth visiting at least once; but even if you’ve been in the House of Parliament, crossed Tower Bridge, made faces at the guards of the Buckingham Palace, even if you’ve seen every exhibit at the British Museum and the V&A and you’ve been shocked at the Tate Modern, don’t think for one second that you know what’s on in London! These are just a few of the unsung attractions, the great places you’d find out about.
I’ve been hearing this nickname for many places, but few people know that the ‘original Little Venice’ is in London – a term coined by poet Robert Browning in the 19th century, describing the point where the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal meets the Regents Canal. However, just to avoid any confusions, you should know that now it refers to the entire area at the south of Maida Vale.
It’s absolutely sad to see how underappreciated the National Library is, despite it housing priceless treasures of British literary history, including original manuscripts of Beowulf, Le Morte D’Arthur and Alice in Wonderland – among others.
The Tate Modern and the National Gallery are the stars of London art, but Tate Britain is just a hidden gem, highlighting fascinating artwork spanning England’s history. Another argument that should persuade you to visit it is that the Tate Britain is free (except for special exhibits), which actually matters in one of the priciest cities in the world.
The Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park
Quite an unexpected piece of Nirvana in an urban settlement, the Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds, and to help unite them in their search for world peace.
The Peace Pagoda in London has been built solely by buddhist monks and nuns, and seeing it in the morning light is definitely one of the most spiritually charged experiences you can have.
If you want to do some serious quality and seriously-priced shopping – Grays antiques is the place to go; the center of London’s antiquity activities, specializes in… everything! Even if you don’t want to buy anything, just seeing the antiques they sell there is worth a visit in itself.
Why not have a little fun with this small, creative museum? Satire is at its fine, not sparing anyone from Churchill to Bush or Blair. There’s an excellent selection of amusing books and cards in the shop, an extensive library and a regular cartooning workshops.
Every city has its scenic place, and of course, London has a great one! Sadly though, not so many tourists know about Primrose Hill. For an unobstructed view of London and a carper of grass just begging for a picnic, everything is really inviting at Primrose Hill.
For a different, outwordly experience in London, the Magic Circle is definitely the place to go! Audiences get to meet the performers and experience the magic in the intimate setting of The Magic Circle Headquarters in London, often taking part themselves. Oh, and their shop – is pure magic.
When it comes to museums, this one is really a hot shot! Highlighting the entire history of gunpowder, from when it was invented to recent days, the Firepower Museum is absolutely delightful for all ages. Walk by and admire ancient and modern weaponry, including muskets, canons and even anti-tank artillery.
Not something you’d expect to see – anywhere -, a museum of freemasonry is something you shouldn’t miss, if you’re even the slightest bit fascinated by their history. Freemasons’ Hall, the eye-catchingly bombastic stone building where Long Acre becomes Great Queen Street, is the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England and the principal meeting place for Masonic Lodges in London.
The clockworking museum
Definitely a niched sight, but it’s definitely pleasing on the eye to see all those clockwork mechanisms. You’ll also learn a few interesting things along the way too.
So, these are just a handful of the lesser known attractions in London – hope you found it useful and pleasant. What else do you think we should add to the list?