If you really want to get to know London, you’re going to have to ditch the tourist trail and immerse yourself into the heart and soul of London’s cultural identity. You’ve seen big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye… now it’s time to dig deep and explore all the nooks and crannies of this eclectic cityscape. Live like a local and discover the authentic nuances and unexpected surprises that make this place such an incredible city. Discover the secret parks, the riverside walks, the markets and the quirky museums that showcase the real colours and personality of this city.
Today, we’re here to provide you with a guide on off the beaten path attractions that only will make you feel like a true-blue local Londoner. Enjoy!
1. The River Thames’ South Bank
Along the south bank of the River Thames, you’ll find a colourful array of alfresco restaurants, bars and theatres. If you’re planning on visiting London during the summer, why not visit the south bank’s annual Festival of Love? A celebration of all things to do with yearnings of the heart.
The south bank, near Waterloo Station in Central London, is home to the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the British Film Institute and several over iconic creative establishments. The south bank is the perfect place for an evening riverside stroll, a yummy meal, and an evening of innovative theatre.
2. Sherlock Holmes Museum
London is brimming with quirky and unusual museums. Sure, there’s the British Museum and the Natural History Museum, but if you want to experience London like a local, we’d recommend taking a day or two or discover all the bizarre, outlandish and intriguing museums that adorn the city.
There are so many museums to choose form, but today we thought we’d focus on The Sherlock Holmes museum located at 221b Baker Street. The mysterious tales of Sherlock Holmes were first imagined in Victorian England by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and follow the greatest detective in the world as he sets out to solve the greatest mysteries of all times. You may know Mr. Sherlock Holmes as the tweed wearing, pipe smoking gentleman stooping in corners with a magnifying glass or you may know him as an eccentric genius portrayed by the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch. No matter what incarnation you find Sherlock Holmes in, he will always be wickedly intelligent, daring and magnificent.
The Sherlock Holmes Museum is an intricate replica of the famous detective’s house as described in Doyle’s books. It is an utterly charming and unique London attraction.
3. Barbican Art Centre
We’d recommend enjoying the London’s many art galleries and establishments during your next trip to the city.
The Barbican Art Gallery is the perfect Central London location for all art enthusiasts, with diverse and exciting collections of British and international art on display to the public. From valuable historical art collections to cutting-edge conceptual pieces – the Barbican Art Gallery has it all. Expect the unexcepted when entering this art gallery, the most ground-breaking minds in the art world use this space as an experimental canvas to question, challenge and to excite the public.
The Barbican Art Centre is also a trendy place to get a drink and a bite to eat. It is also home to a great theatre and a cinema certainly worth checking out during your next trip to London.
This innovative art gallery space is located near Shoreditch, which a very cool and uncommercial urban district in London. If you are looking for an authentic London experience, we’d recommend staying somewhere like The Montcalm brewery hotel on Chiswell Street London. Get away from those anonymous and faceless luxury hotels London and stay at a hotel with some soul.
4. Little Venice
A series of interweaving canals, tucked away behind Paddington Station in an idyllic North London neighbourhood, has been nicknamed by Londoners as ‘Little Venice’.
This small pocket of scenic paradise provides the perfect escape from London’s busy urban landscape. Picture gleaming blue waters, ornately decorated barges and families of ducks gliding past, and cobbled pathways from another time leading you through this pretty district. If you’re planning to stay in North London during your next trip, take yourself down to Little Venice for a relaxing day out.
What is there to do in Little Venice? Little Venice is the perfect place for an alfresco brunch by the river, or for a canal boat journey through North London. Little Venice is also home to several cool and quirky theatre spaces, including one that may sound a little unusual…
Add a bit of the unpredictable to your day and venture down to the Puppet Theatre Barge for a memorable show. Inside a red and yellow striped barge is an unconventional theatre space that tells the quintessential Shakespearean tales and fables through the beautiful art form of puppetry.
There is also an award-winning comedy club in Little Venice called The Canal Café theatre. This theatre space, open since 1979, has seen the likes of The League of gentleman, Miranda Hart and several other big names in comedy and theatre grace its stage.
5. Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Bar
Ronnie Scott’s is one of London’s original jazz clubs. In 1959 famous tenor saxophonist Ronnie Scott opened up a small bar in London for fellow musicians to jam.
From humble beginnings, this club soon became one of the most popular jazz destinations in the UK, with big names such as Sarah Vaughn, Miles Davis and Count Basie performing here throughout the decades. This is an iconic jazz destination, and a must-visit attraction during your next trip to London. London has a powerful jazz legacy with bars, restaurants and gig venues dedicated to this musical genre’s smooth sounds and risk-taking spirit.
If you want to live life like a local in London, take yourself down to Soho for an evening at Ronnie Scott’s. Soho is a great place to explore during your London visit, full of weird and wonderful shops, bars and clubs.
And there you have it….
The top 5 things to do in London that are off the tourist track. London is full of exciting possibilities, places to see and things to do. What is the first thing that you’re going to do when you get to London?