We’ve written a list of 10 things you can go and do in and around England’s capital that’s not the usual sightseeing hotspots. Perfect if you are planning a trip to London, or just curious about what there is to do around England's Capital City.
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral sits atop the Ludgate Hill at the highest point in London, so for the views alone it is worth the trip. The second largest church in the UK is an impressive building, both for it’s astounding English Baroque architecture and boasting one of the highest domes in the world. Having hosted many significant events such as Monarchy Jubilees, peace services following both world wars and Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding, it holds a wealth of history.
Feeling a little peckish? Then head to Borough Market. Home to freshly cooked street food and artisanal food producers offering everything from fresh breads, cheeses, preserves and drinks. It is a haven for amazing food, with street food chefs bringing tastes from all over the world and adding their own unique twists you can head down at any time of day for some of the most delicious and easy food in London.
The Barbican is a world class arts centre, showcasing the best of dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts. With a fully stocked calendar of exhibitions, film viewings, talks, workshops and performances, there is sure to be something that will interest you during your trip to London. Tickets and the event calendar are available on their website.
The Tate Britain is the oldest gallery within the Tate Network of galleries in England (including Modern, Liverpool and St Ives) and is one of the largest galleries in the country. The permanent collection is composed of British art dating from 1500 to present day and is the most thorough collection of British art in the world. It is an amazing way to truly celebrate the variety and changes of British art through the ages.
Baker Street/ SherlockHolmes Museum
Baker street itself is the home of fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, so if you’re a fan of the novels of the more recent TV adaptation it’s a great way to engross yourself in the story. And you will find the Sherlock Holmes Museum if you want to delve further into the world of Sherlock. It is also just around the corner from the very real wax museum Madame Tussauds. And at the end of Baker Street you will find the gorgeous Regents Park for a walk or a trip to the ZSL London Zoo.
What can’t you do in Camden Lock? Home to a plethora of unique independent shops where you will be able to find a range of hidden gems. With food and drink offering plates and tastes from all over the world there will be something for everyone if you become a little peckish, and you’ll be sure to find a cocktail that will quench your thirst. Camden Lock is also home to a range of activities from mini golf, or boat ride, to the less PG Vagina Museum. Camden Lock is definitely a varied experience that will differ from your usual London day trip.
Harrods & Liberty London
If your trip to London needs a little retail therapy, then maybe consider a quick (or long) trip to Harrods or Liberty London. The department store to conquer all department stores, Harrods is the largest department store in Europe, occupying 5 acres (20,234.3m²). And Liberty is famous worldwide for their distinct fabric designs. In both places, you will feel like your entering a movie scene surrounded by immaculate displays and luxurious products. Even if you aren’t buying anything, Liberty London and Harrods are definitely something to experience. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in London at Christmas, both Harrods and Liberty’s window displays are known for their magical ambience.
Next door neighbour to Soho, Chinatown is right in the heart of where it’s all going on in the West End. It contains Chinese restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets and other Chinese businesses. This ethnically rich area of London is the perfect way to experience something completely different to the rest of London and enjoy some traditional Chinese culture.
The National Gallery speaks for itself. Standing in Trafalgar square it is one of London’s iconic buildings and is home to over 2,300 pieces of art dating back to the 13th century. It is an art lovers dream and with free entry why wouldn’t you head on down for a bit of artistic indulgence
Natural History Museum
Home to everything natural. Plants, dinosaurs, animals, minerals and more. You name it, it’s there! Even if science isn’t your thing, the Natural History Museum is bound to have something that will really take your breath away. This could be the enormous animal skeleton they have in the central hall, or one of the fabulous exhibits (a personal favourite is the giant sloth). It is something not to be missed.