10 Secret places in London

Would you like to know some secret places in London that usually go unnoticed by most tourists? Get your camera ready because they will not leave you indifferent!

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

8 min read

10 Secret places in London

The Shard skyscraper, London | ©Dimitry Anikin

If after seeing the most emblematic monuments of the British capital you feel like discovering original places that do not usually appear in the travel guides of the city you have come to the right place because in this post you will find 10 secret places in London with a lot of charm that will surprise you.

1. Little Venice

Spring in Little Venice| ©Matthias v.d. Elbe
Spring in Little Venice| ©Matthias v.d. Elbe

Little Venice is one of those secret places in London that you can't miss during a vacation. Located in the district of Maida Vale, near Camden in Regent's Park, this place is a little oasis of tranquility not well known to go to spend some time (especially in spring in London and summer in London) away from the bustle of the city when you want to disconnect.

Little Venice is located in a beautiful natural setting with tree-lined streets and cobbled streets where Georgian-style cottages abound on the banks of the canal. This was always a very bohemian place where artists would escape to for inspiration.

The best way to enjoy the canals of this secret gem of London is to walk. At the junction of the Regent`s Canal and Grand Union Canal there is a small pier full of colorful ships of unique appearance, where in some cafes where you can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and in others live the locals of the area. During the route you will get some great pictures.

  • Address: Maida Ave, London W2 1ST, UK
  • How to get there: By subway, Paddington Station (Bakerloo, Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines) and Warwick Avenue Station (Bakerloo line).

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2. Camden Passage

Walking through Camden Passage| ©Edward
Walking through Camden Passage| ©Edward

Another of London's secret places you have to visit during your stay is Camden Passage, in the Islington district. This pedestrian street of the eighteenth century houses a lot of charming antique stores and cafes that I recommend you to drop by either to buy a special souvenir or just to relax with a cup of tea in such a picturesque place.

But if you love flea markets, on Wednesdays or Saturdays you must go to Camden Passage because since 1960 is organized here one known as The Camden Passage Antiques Market. Here you can find all kinds of decorative objects, jewelry, books, clothing or vintage furniture.

Camden Passage is a street little traveled by tourists, so if you are looking to do something original in London do not hesitate to visit it because you will spend a very entertaining time in a place where time seems to have stopped.

  • Address: 1 Camden Psge, London N1 8EA
  • How to get there: By subway, Angel station, Northern line.

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3. Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market| ©Simon Rae
Leadenhall Market| ©Simon Rae

Not far from the Tower of London is Leadenhall Market, another of London' s secret places that if you are a fan of the Harry Potter saga will be familiar but if not, you may not have it yet located on your radar and it is a beautiful place that you should definitely know during your trip.

It is one of the oldest markets in the British capital since it dates back to the 14th century. The Great Fire of 1666 completely destroyed it and later another one was built whose appearance was redesigned in the nineteenth century and gave rise to this beautiful Victorian-style market with steel and glass structure that can be visited today.

In fact, it has been the scene of numerous films such as 'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider', 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus' or 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'.

If you are strolling through the City of London I recommend you to go to Leadenhall Market. Here there are many stores where you can buy some souvenirs as well as restaurants where you can take a short break to enjoy the atmosphere.

  • Address: Gracechurch Street, London, EC3V 1LT
  • How to get there: By tube, Bank station, Central, Northern and Waterloo & City Lines.

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4. Lewisham Micro Library

Visiting Lewisham Micro Library| ©Seb Handley.
Visiting Lewisham Micro Library| ©Seb Handley.

Since everyone has a cell phone glued to their hands, street phone booths are a vestige of the past, although in cities like London they enjoy the status of cultural icon like Big Ben or Tower Bridge.

To prevent their deterioration, many of these red booths have been converted into defibrillators, advertising panels and even kiosks. But there is one in particular in southeast London that has been transformed into the smallest library in the city.

Its name is Lewisham Micro Library and it is located at the junction of Tyrwhitt Road and Lewisham Way. It grew out of an initiative to exchange books between neighbors and today there is even a book club (The Phone Box Book Club) in a nearby pub.

If you are looking to make an original photo tour in the British capital, don't forget to add this London secret spot to the list.

  • Address: Lewisham Way, London SE8 4DL, United Kingdom.
  • How to get there: By train, Brockley station.

5. Kyoto Garden

In the Kyoto Garden| ©Daniel Cupples
In the Kyoto Garden| ©Daniel Cupples

In front of the most famous parks of the British capital such as Hyde Park, Regent's Park or St. James's Park there are some secret places in London that escape the eyes of tourists where there are real treasures to discover.

Such is the case of Holland Park, very close to Kensington Palace, probably one of the most unknown but also one of the most beautiful for its original landscaping. And in its interior there is a beautiful Japanese-style garden that will awaken all your senses: Kyoto Garden.

It was designed in the twentieth century by Japanese landscapers on the occasion of the centenary of the Japan Society of the United Kingdom and walking through its vegetation you will feel as if you had teleported to Japan with that fabulous combination of water, stone lanterns and different plants and flowers.

I recommend visiting Kyoto Garden during autumn in London, when it looks more beautiful with the explosion of color that nature experiences in this season.

  • Address: Holland Park Ave, London W11 4UA, UK
  • How to get there: By subway, Holland Park station, Central line.

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6. Neasden Temple

Neasden Temple exterior| ©Commons
Neasden Temple exterior| ©Commons

If the idea of getting to know other cultures without leaving London appeals to you, another of the secret places in London that you must visit is the Neasden Temple, the first Hindu temple in Great Britain.

It is located northwest of London, near Wembley Stadium, and in addition to its large size is striking for having been built using traditional techniques and materials as would be done in India.

The Neasden Temple is divided into several areas that you can visit: the sanctuary, the cultural center and the permanent exhibition on Hinduism. This last part is paid but the entrance to the rest of the sanctuary is free.

If you want to visit it, I advise you to go early in the morning because a religious service is held at noon. It is open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM.

  • Address: Pramukh Swami Rd, Neasden, London NW10 8HW, UK
  • Directions: By tube, Neasden station, Jubilee line.

7. Neal's Yard

Walls of Neal's Yard| ©Elisa.rolle
Walls of Neal's Yard| ©Elisa.rolle

Near Covent Garden Square is located Neal's Yard, one of the most charming secret places in London for its photogenic, being decorated with many flowers and plants and have painted colorful facades of its buildings and stores.

It is a well-known area among Londoners but not so much among tourists, so it is a corner you should go if you want to discover the side of the city that does not appear in the typical travel guides. In addition you will get some super cool pictures for your Instagram!

In Neal's Yard abound cafes and stores specializing in healthy eating and natural cosmetics. A very original place to take a coffee break or treat yourself by buying some special souvenirs.

  • Address: Neal's Yard
  • How to get there: By subway, Covent Garden station, Piccadilly line.

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8. St. Dunstan's Church

Exterior of St. Dunstan's Church| ©Elisa.rolle
Exterior of St. Dunstan's Church| ©Elisa.rolle

Located halfway between London Bridge and the Tower of London, St. Dunstan's Church is one of the most charming secret places in London that you can discover during your vacation.

With more than 900 years of history, the temple was built during the Saxon period and throughout its history it has suffered great vicissitudes. The Great Fire of 1666 devastated it and it was rebuilt on numerous occasions until the Nazi bombings destroyed it almost completely and the Anglican church decided not to rehabilitate it again, leaving it in a ruinous state.

In the 60s of the twentieth century it was decided to convert the remains of the church of St. Dunstan in a public garden of bucolic appearance where you can take some beautiful pictures.

  • Address: St Dunstan's Hill, London EC3R 5DD, UK
  • How to get there: By subway, Tower Hill or Monument stations, Circle and District Line.

9. The Shard

The Shard at sunset| ©Fred Moon
The Shard at sunset| ©Fred Moon

Although the views from the London Eye are probably the most popular in the city, actually the most impressive are in The Shard, a skyscraper that often goes unnoticed among tourists and whose observatory The View is almost one of those secret places in London that fascinate us so much.

But what is it that makes tickets to The Shard such an attraction for everyone who goes to London? Mainly that it is the tallest building in the UK and its silhouette has transformed the skyline of London, not forgetting that from its observation deck you can see stunning 360º panoramic views of the city center.

From there you will have the opportunity to see several London attractions such as Tower Bridge, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster, the Tower of London or the London Eye, among many others.

  • Address: 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG, UK
  • How to get there: By subway, London Bridge station, Northern and Jubilee lines.

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10. Sherlock Holmes London Tour

Visiting the Sherlock Holmes Pub| ©Vazbo
Visiting the Sherlock Holmes Pub| ©Vazbo

Another of the walks you can take around the city to know some of the secret places of London is a route about Sherlock Holmes that takes you in the footsteps of the popular detective. His story is linked to that of the British capital!

This tour can be done on your own or joining a guided tour through the streets of London, showing you the places that inspired the writer Arthur Conan Doyle, the places that appear in the novels and some locations that appear in the various adaptations for film and television.

I recommend this last option, the guided tour, because being accompanied by a local guide you will always have a greater context of what you are seeing and also will tell you a lot of curiosities about the character and the author that you may not know.

Ah! And do not forget to visit the Sherlock Holmes Pub, an essential place in your route about the detective if you are a lover of Arthur Conan Doyle's books.

  • Address: Sherlock Holmes Pub. 10 Northumberland St, London WC2N 5DB, United Kingdom.
  • How to get there: By tube, Charing Cross station, Bakerloo and Northern lines.

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