You’re visiting London soon and it’s not your first time? Or maybe you are a local looking for some more unusual things to do? Then this article will be perfect for you!
Here you will discover amazing hidden gems in London! This includes cute pubs, statues, churches and plenty more!
London is an amazing city and while there are a lot of famous landmarks to discover, there are also a lot of secret spots and hidden gems.
So, are you ready to discover London off-the-beaten path? Let’s get started!
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Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden
Neal’s Yard is definitely the most colourful and prettiest hidden gem in Central London.
It’s a bit of a fun one because its location is very central (Covent Garden) but yet, a lot of people don’t know about it.
Neal’s Yard is a small alley located between Shorts Gardens and Monmouth Street. Inside you will also find a courtyard with local shops and restaurants.
It’s incredibly colourful and pretty! It looks like a little village completely apart from the city. Yet, you very much are in one of the biggest cities in the world.
HOW TO GET THERE: Take the tube to Covent Garden. From there, walk to Monmouth Street. You will find the entrance to the alley on the side.
It’s not that obvious but there is a sign saying Neal’s Yard as well as a street art painting of Princess Diana.
Walk in the passage and then you’ll start discovering the yard. You need to make sure to walk to the actual court to get the best photos!
Here you will find some awesome (and independent) cafes and restaurants so if you can come before lunchtime, that’s even better!
There are some outdoor dining spots made with wood and old rubbish bins.
The Arcade, Liverpool Street
- Address: 26 Liverpool St, London EC2M 7PD
- Closest tube station: Liverpool Station
Looking for East London hidden gems? This one’s for you! Located just behind the train and underground station, Liverpool Street is one of the most beautiful streets in London.
It looks like something you would find in a Wes Anderson movie. It’s colourful and the store displays are incredibly cute.
Yet, most people ignore that this place even exists.
It’s also home to one of the best London hidden gems, The Arcade.
As you stroll down the street, you’ll see the entrance from the street.
The Arcade is a covered passage. You will find plenty of cute local shops here including shoe repair shops, barbers and plenty more.
It’s a very cute place and it looks like something you’d find in Paris more than London. Definitely worth checking out!
Christchurch Greyfriars Church Garden
- Address: King Edward St, London EC1A 7BA
- Closest tube station: St Paul’s
When it comes to hidden places in London, this one sets the standard!
Surprisingly enough, it’s ideally located very close to one of London’s most famous landmarks, St Paul’s Cathedral.
Yet, most people (even locals) don’t know it exists!
Christchurch Greyfriars Church Garden is home to an absolutely stunning church that was built in 1225.
It is one of the oldest churches in London.
The history surrounding this place is incredibly interesting. It started as a monastic church, and then became a parish church.
Unfortunately, it was destroyed during the Great Fire of London of 1666 but then rebuilt.
Later on, during WWII, it was hit again by the bombings of London.
Now, the church is mainly a ruin. A decision was made not to rebuild it and that’s why a lot of people don’t know about it, nor visit it.
But this is a mistake you won’t be making!
It’s genuinely such a cute and unique church. Also, the gardens are absolutely stunning.
If you want to take beautiful photos in London while staying away from the crowds, it will be an excellent place to do so.
PRO TIP: I actually discovered this little gem while doing a World War II walking tour. As you know, there is a lot to know about the Blitz and this part of London was particularly affected.
If that’s something you are interested in, check out the prices here.
- Address: Goodwin’s Court, London WC2N 4LH
- Closest tube station: Leicester Square
Located near Covent Garden, this is probably the most magical hidden gem in London. Why, you ask? Well, because of its connection with Harry Potter!
Yes, that’s right, there are also some Harry Potter hidden gems in London.
You can easily get there from Covent Garden on foot.
It only takes 5 minutes.
Goodwin’s Court is known as one of the real-life inspirations for Diagon Alley.
Of course, the most famous one is Victoria Street in Edinburgh but there are also a couple of them in London.
The best-known one is Cecil Court. It’s so well known actually that it’s always busy and packed with tourists.
Goodwin’s Court on the other hand is not as well known. If you are joining a Harry Potter walking tour of London, chances are that you will get to see it.
But people exploring on their own rarely do so.
Unlike Cecil Court (or Victoria Street), Goodwin’s Street is a bit more down to earth. It is narrow, quite dark… You will be far from the bright colours of Victoria Street.
However, as all Potterheads know, Harry Potter can be quite dark too!
As you walk through the street, you will quickly recognise the windows as the same kind was used to create the set of Diagon Alley at the Harry Potter studios in Watford.
Dirty Dicks Pub
- Address: 202 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4NR, United Kingdom
- Closest tube stations: Liverpool Street
This is one of the most unique (and funny) pubs you can find in London.
Ideally located right in front of Liverpool Street Station, in East London, the Dirty Dicks Pub is both very famous and quite hard to see.
The facade is entirely black which makes it blend maybe a bit too much. A lot of people walk past it and don’t even notice it.
This pub has been around for over 2 centuries!
Yes, that’s right! It opened in 1785 and has been serving locals ever since.
Now, clearly, the most noticeable (and funny) thing about this establishment is the name itself.
There are a lot of funny and naughty pub’s names in the UK but this one is definitely in the top 10!
The pub was originally called the Old Jerusalem but was renamed in 1866 after one of the famous residents of the pub who was known for his very poor hygiene, Richard Bentley.
Inside, you will discover a beautiful pub with wooden tables, a large bar and pretty tiles. The atmosphere is amazing!
In terms of food and drinks, they have a pretty amazing menu including a delicious Sunday roast!
Prices are what you would expect for London. It’s not particularly expensive but I wouldn’t say cheap either.
St Dunstan of the East
- Address: St Dunstan’s Hill, London EC3R 5DD
- Closest tube stations: Monument and Tower Hill
If you included a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral into your London itinerary and want to discover a hidden gem while you are in City of London, make sure to check out the St Dunstan church.
Though it is one of the most beautiful and serene places in London, most people (yes, even locals!) don’t know about it.
As you may know, London was one of the most bombed cities in the world during WWII. Most of these bombings were in the city of London since that’s where you could find the warehouses.
PRO TIP: If that’s something you’d like to learn more about, make sure to join a WWII tour of London. It’s super interesting!
St Dunstan used to be a stunning church but unfortunately, it was bombed and then decided it wouldn’t be rebuilt.
For this reason, what you will be visiting is, in effect, ruins.
However, don’t let that put you off because it really is beautiful. There is a lot of greenery and you can walk around the cloister (now outdoors).
It’s also one of the best places in London to take photos!
The HAC Castle on City Road
- Address: City Rd, London EC1Y 2BQ
- Closest tube station: Old Street
If you walk up the road from Moorgate to Old Street, you’ll see that most buildings are either very modern or just restaurants.
You may be surprised to discover that there is a lost castle there.
This is pretty unusual because although it’s not technically hidden, it’s just not somewhere you’d expect to find a castle.
It now belongs to the HAC (Honourable Artillery Company) and is sometimes used as a venue.
It was built in 1857 to house the headquarters of the Royal London Militia.
Another surprising thing about this castle is that it’s home to an incredibly large garden behind it. It’s called the HAC grounds and it’s also not something you’d expect to find in this part of London.
Unfortunately, you would need to participate in one of the HAC events to get to see the gardens but the castle itself can easily be seen from City Road.
The Fox Pub
- Address: 28 Paul St, London EC2A 4LB
- Closest tube station: Old Street
If you like to discover hidden gems that are also good Instagram spots, this one’s for you!
Located in Shoreditch, at the corner of Paul St and Scrutton St, the Fox Pub is one of the cutest pubs in East London.
It’s located on Paul St, which is between Old Street and Liverpool Street.
The pub is also beautifully decorated. The outdoor facade is very flowery and it just feels like summer when you look at it.
Inside, you’ll also discover a very cute universe with wooden tables.
Bonus, they serve delicious food and their prices are very reasonable!
Also, it’s important to note that Scrutton St is also worth looking at as it’s very colourful. The walls are painted in bright blue, making it a great spot for photos.
- Address: 1 Camden Passage, London N1 8EA, United Kingdom
- Closest tube station: Angel
Located in Islington, Camden Passage is a cute and narrow street full of antique shops.
This is a bit unusual as you don’t find many of these passages in London.
Also, it’s not a touristy area so most tourists don’t go there.
But this is a mistake you won’t be making!
Camden Passage is super cute and you will love discovering it but there is another reason why you should visit.
It’s home to Angel Comedy, a cute pub that hosts free comedy nights!
Yes, that’s right! You can book your ticket online and simply show up. The ground floor is a normal pub (prices are affordable by the way) and there even is an outdoor area.
Upstairs, you’ll find the comedy club.
These shows are very good fun and perfect for people who love to discover the culture of the places they visit.
Comedy clubs are so very British!
It’s also a great thing to do in London on a budget.
- Address: St Mary Overie’s Dock, Cathedral St, London SE1 9DE, United Kingdom
- Closest tube station: London Bridge
Located on St Mary Overie’s Dock, the Golden Hind is one of the easiest hidden gems to find in London.
Unlike the others that can be a bit out of your way, this one is ideally located near some of the most famous London sites including London Bridge and Shakespeare Globe.
The Golden Hind was a ship that circumnavigated the world between 1577 and 1580.
It used to be called the Pelican but the captain of the ship, Francis Drake, changed it during the voyage.
Now, this isn’t the actual ship that you can see but a replica.
It’s located on the south bank of the Thames which means that you can easily get there.
Fun Fact: Agatha Christie recommended that the replica would be used as a children’s playground at the 1924 British Empire Exhibition.
You can buy tickets directly on-site. The entrance costs £5 per person or £15 for a family of 4.
PRO TIP: The Golden Hind is located right in front of The Old Thameside Inn. This is one of the best pubs in London.
The food and drinks are good but that’s not exactly the reason why you should consider stopping by.
They have an amazing outdoor deck, right above the Thames. From there you can see both London Bridge and Tower Bridge as well as the London skyline and the Golden Hind.
It’s one of the best views of London and on a sunny day, it really doesn’t get any better than that!
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