We all know about Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and Hyde Park… but there’s also a vast range of undiscovered attractions and activities all over London just itching to be found.
When visiting a new city you want to crack through the squeaky clean, touristy surface and dive deep into the city’s cultural identity. How do you do this? It’s not hard, all you have to do is a little exploring. London is an eclectic whirlpool of neon-lit highstreets, intriguing museums, parks, pools, utopic shopping destinations, mega-malls, market stalls, bars, zoos – the list could go on forever. If you’re staying at a hotel in the heart of London, such as London City Suites by Montcalm, you’ll be able to explore all the nooks and crannies of London and all the exciting things it has to offer.
Perhaps, you’re looking for something a little different to the usual tourist destinations during your next trip. If you’re looking for something that tickles your curiosity, satiates your yearning for the slightly odd, and feeds your craving for the downright weird – London is the place to go. Ditch the tourist track and venture into London’s quirkier side.
Here’s a guide to all the quirky and unusual things to do around London.
Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel
London is famous for its incredible street art. If you’re a fan of graffiti, we’d recommend exploring Brick Lane or Camden Town for a visual feast beyond belief. Around every corner in London you’ll find political statements from Banksy, portraits paying tribute to the iconic Amy Winehouse, and other colourful renditions of the British psyche manifested in fascinating artistic expression.
Underneath Waterloo Station is an entire tunnel of graffiti that’s certainly worth exploring during your next trip to London. Journey through this ceiling-to-floor gallery of explosive creativity. Countless graffiti artists have left their mark in this inconspicuous tunnel, making it a powerful mosaic of different artistic voices. This is a great attraction, perfect for anyone looking for something off the beaten track. It’s also a great place for pictures, so make sure to bring your camera along to Leake Street Tunnel!
If you are interested in seeing some of the best street art in London, staying at The Montcalm brewery hotel on Chiswell Street London is a great place to start. Chiswell Street is surrounded by countless street art galleries and is only moments away from some of the most impressive examples of graffiti London has to offer. Take yourself to Shoreditch, only a quick walk away, for even more street art galore.
Secretly located between the two buildings that make up Great Ormond Street Hospital, is a musical installation like no other. First created to bring joy to patients and hospital visitors, the Lullaby Factory is a musical concoction of old-fashioned horns, pipes and gramophone style speakers that play out musical soundscapes created by sound artist Jessica Curry. If you’re planning to visit the Russell Square area in Central London during your next visit, make sure to stop by Great Ormond Street Hospital for an unexpected musical treat.
Leighton House Museum
London is filled with quirky museums, one of them being the Leighton House Museum. This museum, located in Hammersmith West London, is a space dedicated to the life and works of pre-Raphaelite artist Frederic Lord Leighton. You don’t need to be a fan of Victorian art to enjoy this visual paradise though. This house, designed to perfection by Lord Leighton himself, is extravagantly embellished with stuffed peacocks, glamorous golden domes and ornate Arabesque mosaics that climb up the walls. Everything within the walls of Leighton House Museum oozes otherworldly beauty like no other. It not only teleports you back in time to the days of bohemian Victorian artists, it teleports to another world.
The recently reopened Design Museum is dedicated to exploring cutting-edge creative ingenuity. Get yourself down to Kensington and dive head first into the world of design. Through unique photography exhibitions, installations, sculptures and everything design related on display, the Design Museum will enlighten you on the importance of aesthetics.
Future exhibitions include:
• Imagine Moscow: Architecture, Propaganda, Revolution – 15 March 2017 – 4 June 2017
• AXA PPP Health Tech & You 2017 – 25 April 2017 – 8 May 2017
• California – 24 May 2017 – 15 October 2017
The Churchill War Rooms
The year is 1939, Britain is at war. Hidden underneath the streets of Westminster, we see Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other members of the Cabinet journey through an intricately designed tunnel system and congregate in a dimly lit underground bunker. Winston Churchill, now safely hidden and in the company of allies, collaborates with his chiefs of staff in a desperate search for ideas on how to distinguish the ever growing threat of the Nazi invasion; an action he would continue to do for the next six years as World War 2 continued to destroy nations.
Instead of escaping to the countryside – as so many people recommended government officials to do – Churchill firmly remained in the city, fearing that his departure would make the people of London feel abandoned. And so, the Churchill War Rooms were created. The greatest military and political minds of the era planned defenses against the Germans in these rooms, it was also a shelter that shielded important government figures from the attack of German Luftwaffe during the Blitz attacks.
During your next London adventure, make sure to check out this important historical attraction hidden under Westminster in Central London.
Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret
Welcome to England’s oldest operating theatre, unchanged since 1822. Discover the triumphs, and failures, of British medical science in this fascinating museum located near London Bridge. It may sound a little eerie at first – and upon further inspection, you discover that, yes, it’s actually quite eerie. This is the perfect attraction for anyone intrigued by the history of London and tales of scientific discovery – with all the gory bits left in.