When visiting London there are certain places that you just have to see: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, The National Gallery at Trafalgar Square. London is lucky enough to have high quality attractions that are famous the world over, but sometimes it’s even more fun to find an undiscovered gem. Here are just some of the many London attractions you may never have heard of, but you’ll just love to visit.
Have you ever fancied having a delicious cup of coffee while chatting to your neighbour in a urinal? It’s a lot more appealing than it sounds thanks to The Attendant. In the heart of Fitzrovia, an area bursting with literary history, this building used to be a Victorain gent’s toilet. Don’t worry, it’s been thoroughly cleaned and lovingly restored and is now a beautiful cafe based upon a lavatory theme. You’ll feel flushed with happiness when you experience it.
The Hunterian Museum
The Hunterian Museum, based at the Royal College of Surgeons is fascinating, if not for the squeamish. It’s one of London’s hidden treasures, containing items of surgical interest from the seventeenth century onwards. You’ll find body parts preserved in glass jars, centuries old surgical instruments, and even the skeleton of Charles Byrne, known as the ‘Irish Giant’. There are also displays relating the stories of surgery down the ages, you certainly needed to grit your teeth in the days before anaesthetics were discovered.
221B Baker Street
Are you a Sherlock Holmes fan? If so, why not visit his home at 221b Baker Street? There’s just one snag, there isn’t actually a 221b on Baker Street. Don’t be deterred, there are signs along the street pointing the way. Follow the clues and you can find an unobtrusive little museum dedicated to the world’s greatest detective himself.
The Hidden Bar
London has lots of beautiful bars, and the Victorian delight that is The Princess Louise in Holborn is highly recommended with its art deco stylings and individual booths. Even better, however, is the fun that comes from drinking in a hidden bar. That’s what you can find, if you know where to look at the BFI. The British Film Institute shows classic films across the road from the National Theatre. It has a large and busy bar, but if you look carefully at its book lined wall you’ll see a hidden door. Make sure that nobody is looking and push your way through, and you’ll find yourself in a world of leather sofas and walnut tables. It’s a hidden bar, so let’s keep this secret to ourselves!
Dennis Severs’ House
Being a Huguenot for the day is a lot more exciting than it sounds, thanks to this educational, fun, and yet little known museum in Spitalfields. Large numbers of Huguenots fled religious persecution in 18th century France and made their way to London, where they became weavers and spinners. This is a faithful recreation of a Huguenot house, and it’s fascinating to behold. Stepping through the door really is like stepping back in time, and there’s a lot to see and do.
London is full of delights waiting to be discovered, so keep your eyes and ears open as you’ll never know what’s around the next corner.