Published On: Mon, Mar 11th, 2024

London’s best underrated hidden gems that even Londoners don’t visit | Travel News | Travel

Perhaps unsurprisingly, London is the UK’s most-visited city. A whopping 30 million visitors travel to the Big Smoke every year.

The city is also home to many of the UK’s top-rated free attractions, with the Natural History Museum taking the top spot.

But their popularity means these attractions can get a little overcrowded, particularly if you’re visiting London during the school holidays.

In an exclusive investigation for the , I searched for some of the capital’s lesser-known attractions where there won’t be nearly as many crowds.

Do you have a favourite London hidden gem? Let us know in the comments if you’re happy to share.

Inner Temple Garden

From Hyde Park to Primrose Hill, London has some fantastic green spaces. But if you’re looking for somewhere a little more secluded, there’s nowhere quite like The Inner Temple Garden.

Despite its central location, not many tourists venture to Temple. The city’s historic legal district, Temple is still a legal hub today. Although you are allowed to walk around the inner cobbled streets and find your way to the garden, it does sometimes feel a little like you’re trespassing.

Don’t be put off because The Inner Temple Garden is one of London’s prettiest green spaces. The garden is beautifully cultivated with so many flowers and a water feature. Despite its location in central London, it’s very quiet inside.

The Garden is only open to the public between 12.30pm and 3pm on weekdays but it’s a lovely place to eat a takeaway lunch. Look out for open days on the website.

Religious buildings

Although St Paul’s is one of London’s most iconic buildings, entry to the Cathedral does come with a hefty price tag. Luckily, there’s so many other historic religious buildings you can explore for free.

Visit St Bride’s Church on Fleet Street and head into the Crypt to get a glimpse of the Roman pavement and the Medieval Chapel beneath the church. St Paul’s Church in Soho is known as the Actors’ Church and its walls are lined with memorials to theatrical folk, including some big names. The church is also home to two church cats.

Although it’s a bit of a trip outside central London, the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is well worth the journey. The gleaming white temple is beautifully designed and it’s one of the UK’s most important Hindu sites. Visitors are welcome to enter the mandir but tourists will need to be dressed appropriately.

Canary Wharf

Ok, so Canary Wharf is hardly a hidden gem. London’s financial hub is pretty much visible from every area of the city and you’ll even see it on your way into Heathrow.

However, not every tourist is aware that it’s also one of London’s quietest shopping areas. While it doesn’t have the same number of shops as Oxford Street, it does have one of the capital’s least crowded Zaras.

The Wharf is also home to self-drive picnic boats, hot-tub boats, open water swimming and in winter, it has one of the capital’s quietest ice-rinks. Check out Fairgame for classic style arcade games on a rainy day. It’s also home to the London Docklands museum which offers visitors a fascinating look at the capital’s trading history.

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