Last Updated May 19, 2020
I recently returned from an AMAZING trip to London. But because this wasn’t my first visit to this epic city, I made it my mission to find some of the more unusual things to do in London.
The London Eye was great the first time around, but paying a small fortune for the panoramic views at the top is something that I’ll probably only do once.
I used my rather quirky sense of self and my uncanny ability to get into the weirdest situations possible, to discover some of the unique things to do in London.
A list of mildly adventurous things to do in London that you’ll actually want to see during your third or fourth visit to London, long after you’ve seen all those iconic, top London attractions that totally dominate everyone’s Instagram feed.
Cough…Big Ben….Cough…No judgment here.
No one told me Big Ben was getting a facelift until 2021!! So disheartening when I visited and only had a heap of scaffolding to comfort me.
But I’ll ease my sorrows by sharing this list of offbeat things that I did in London since I wasn’t taking 10,000 photos of Big Ben.
No, I’m not bitter, Not one bit (lies, all lies).
And just in case you think I have no idea what I’m talking about, fun little factoid for you, I have been to London will over five times and have actually lived there for the better part of three months.
I actually really do know something about all of the unusual things to do in London.
I pinkie promise!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
***Looking for a great place to stay in London? Then check out the Generator Hostel London, Clink78 Hostel, The Z Hotel Victoria (mid-range), Hub by Premier Inn Covent Garden (mid-range), Ambassador’s Bloomsbury (luxury), and CitizenM London Bankside (luxury).***
Unusual Things to do in London: North or North West London
1. Explore the Kenwood House
By: Amy Chung of Family Globetrotters
Did you know that there is a lone self-portrait of Rembrandt, one of the most valuable pieces of art in the entire United Kingdom, hidden away in a mansion to the North of London?
This mansion is free for all to admire.
Also, whilst you’re here, you can gawk at an impressive collection of furniture and art that includes pieces done by artistic greats like Turner, Gainsborough, and Vermeer.
Located in Hampstead Heath:
Kenwood House is one of London’s hidden gems and is set upon 112 acres of parkland, which include a vast array of well-manicured gardens and exquisite sculptures.
Architecture buffs will love the stunning design and layout of this ethereal mansion, which was designed by famous, 18th-century, Scottish architect Robert Adam.
Gorgeous, building features that include a magnificent, Ionic portico entrance, decadent bedroom chambers, a grand staircase, a parlor straight out of a Henry James story, and stunning drawing rooms.
The real highlight of any visit here is the Great Library, which has a Neoclassical, English design that showcases a myriad of antique books, as well as a series of marble busts and intricate ceiling paintings.
You can’t help but be gobsmacked as you walk through the grand double doors and into this amazing space.
Enjoy some fresh air and a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown London with a trip to the stunning, Kenwood House.
Because it truly is one of the best things to do in London with kids.
Address: Hampstead Ln, Highgate, London NW3 7JR
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, with last admission thirty minutes before closing.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to East Finchley station and board the H3 bus once here. Ride the bus for four stops and get off at Canons Close since you can walk to the house from here.
Price: Free! However, if you would like a house and estate tour, it will cost £19.70 per person.
2. Visit Sherlock Holmes at 221b Baker Street
As a self-proclaimed nerd and a hardcore book lover:
I knew that I just had to visit 221b Baker street during my first trip to London,
Why you may wonder?
Well, it’s the place that Sherlock Holmes called home. Okay, I know that like Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes is definitely not real.
But if he was then this is where he he would have lived.
Near London’ immortal Regent’s Park and opened in 1990:
The Sherlock Holmes Museum was officially opened in 1990 and has expertly brought the living quarters of this famous detective to life; down to the 17 steps that lead up to the sitting room and the beekeeping books that Holmes had in his personal library.
Exquisitely furnished with everything referenced in the novels:
This museum brings a beloved, fictional character to life by giving visitors the impression that Holmes and Watson have momentarily stepped out to solve an intriguing mystery.
Be forewarned though:
I’m not the only one who loves Sherlock Holmes. So avoid the queue and purchase your tickets in advance online.
***If you love Sherlock Holmes then you may enjoy this 4-hour, private, Sherlock Holmes, guided tour through London***
Address: 221b Baker St, Marylebone, London NW1 6XE
Hours: Open daily from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Baker Street station and walk to the museum from there.
Price: Tickets are £15 for adults.
3. Visit The Hardy Tree
By: Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan
The great English novelist, Thomas Hardy, was an apprentice architect at the time, who later was put in charge of disassembling the graves and relocating the human remains.
4. Word on the Water Bookshop
By: Laura of What’s Hot
Address: Regent’s Canal Towpath, Kings Cross, London N1C 4BZ
Hours: Open daily from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to King’s Cross station and walk to the cookshop from there.
Price: FREE (unless you want to buy a book).
5. Admire the Panoramic Views from Primrose Hill
If you’re looking for one of the more unusual things to do in London, then a trip up Primrose Hill is an absolute must!
Just be sure to pack yourself a picnic lunch before you go and make your way to the Camden Town Underground station.
Mosey on over to Camden High Street, where you can marvel at some of the fun and funky bohemian shops here.
Along the way:
Stop to admire some of the extremely decorative storefronts here before visiting Camden Market and savoring the wealth of fantastic, global cuisine hidden inside..
Meander along the scenic canal before visiting the pastel-hued, Insta-awesome homes of Chalcot Square and Chalcot Gardens.
And once you’re impromptu photoshoot is finally complete:
You’ll be ready to explore one of London’s most beloved green spaces, Primrose Hill.
Just follow the winding path up to the top of the hill and take in the sweeping, picture-perfect views of central London below.
Because trust me:
The views here really are next-level awesome since you’ll be able to see iconic, London landmarks like The Shard, Telecom Tower, and the London Eye.
Address: Primrose Hill, London
Hours: The park is open daily from 5:00 am to 9:30 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Camden Town station and walk to Primrose Hill from there.
Unusual Things to do in London: West London
6. Afternoon tea at Cutter and Squidge
I am certifiably obsessed with scones, clotted cream, and afternoon tea.
During my visit to London, I made it my mission to try as many unique afternoon teas as possible.
And I did a damn good job considering I was only there for 5 days!
If you only get to attend one afternoon tea in London, then Cutter and Squidge should be it.
They don’t just throw some delicious food at you. Oh no, no, no.
Believe it or not:
The entire basement of the bakery is dedicated to creating a unique, immersive experience that is centered around a particular afternoon tea theme.
Cutter and Squidge offer a fantastical, Harry Potter-themed afternoon tea where you actually get to attend and participate in a magical, potions making class.
Only with a professor that is infinitely nicer than Snape.
And as a mildly unbalanced Harry Potter freak, I absolutely loved it.
The cake is amazing and the staff members are super kind and only too happy to help you have the best experience possible.
If Harry Potter is not your thing, never fear. Cutter and Squidge continually change the theme of their afternoon teas, so you can always wait until their Harry Potter theme says, “Bye, bye, bye”.
Get it? N’Sync reference? Anyone? Yeah, totally showing my age,
***If you’re a Harry Potter fan like me, then check out this Harry Potter themed walking tour of London. You can also check out my amazing post on Harry Potter things to do in London or read my fantastic list of unusual afternoon tea experiences in London.***
Address: 20 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 0SJ
Hours: Seatings are offered at 12:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm daily but check their website for more up to date information.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Piccadilly Circus station and walk to the shop from there.
Price: Reservations start at £49.50 for an adult ticket.
7. Paddington Bear Statue
I think the only bear that I love more than Paddington is Cuordoray. Okay and maybe Winnie the Pooh.
Paddington is pretty cool too. And that’s why Paddington has his own statue in London.
And how could he not?
I mean, he is the main character of the beloved children’s books, which are based on a lonely old bear that the author saw in a London store near Paddington station (hence the name).
In the stories themselves, Paddington is actually sent to London and gets into all sorts of adorable trouble while he’s there.
Hence the statue, which was designed by Marcis Cornish and unveiled in 2000.
You’ll find this life-size, bronze statue at Platform number 1, with a note attached to his coat, that reads, “Please look after this bear. Thank you/“
One of the many cool things to do in London for children and adults alike.
Address: 19 Eastbourne Terrace, Paddington, London W2 1FT
Hours: Open twenty-four hours a day.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Paddington station and walk to the statue from there.
8. Feeding Parakeets in Kensington Garden
By: Lauren of Always Find Adventure
Parakeets in London you say?
Why yes, it’s true! Because you can find these cute, green birds at none other than Kensington Gardens, which sits right next door to Hyde Park.
Because not gonna lie:
Feeding these ring-necked parakeets was such fun. It’s also one of the most unusual things to do in London all year round.
Although these birds are wild and free and can be found throughout the park, they do tend to congregate in one area since this is where people come to feed them.
These birds are also super friendly and are so accustomed to people that they will actually land on your hand, arm, or shoulder as you hold out food for them.
It gets even better since the cost of this usual London activity is totally FREE, minus the price of food.
To try feeding these magnificent birds for yourself, simply procure some apples, sunflower seeds, or peanuts from the nearby, Hyde Park Superstore.
You also might want to wear some plain, old clothes, or something that can be easily washed, since “accidents” do happen.
You’ll also want to bring some paper towels and hand sanitizer with you so that you can wash your hands afterward.
Address: Kensington Gardens, London, W2 2UH
Hours: Open daily from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Lancaster Gate station. From here, walk towards Kensington Gardens and find the Peter Pan statue. The Parakeets will be in the trees that sit to the right of the statue.
Price: The cost of food.
9. Have a Pint at the Sherlock Holmes Pub
By: Stephen of Copenhagen Rocks
Every time I’m in London, I pay a visit to a themed pub.
A pub that pays homage to my favorite fictional character ever.
Who, you might ask?
Why it’s elementary, my dear reader. It’s Sherlock Holmes, of course.
Located just south of Charing Cross Station:
This pub a great stop for anyone visiting Westminster Abbey or Big Ben.
Bear in mind though:
That like most pubs in downtown London, it fills up rather quickly when people get off work.
Plan on visiting either early in the afternoon or late evening, to avoid large crowds.
Do not leave without visiting the pub’s upstairs museum, which has been transformed into a complete recreation of Holmes and Watson’s study and sitting room.
There’s also a large collection of memorabilia related to the world’s greatest detective, including photographs, objects, books, and more.
It’s a real treasure trove of literary wonder for any Arthur Conan Doyle fans out there.
This wasn’t always the case since seventy years ago, this pub was actually known as the Northumberland Arms. A name that was only changed once a collection of Sherlock Holmes-related objects were moved here.
Stop by for a wee pint and enjoy some traditional pub grub since this unique bar doubles as a restaurant that serves classic, English dishes like fish and chips and steak and kidney pie,
Address:10 Northumberland St, Charing Cross, London WC2N 5DB
Hours: Open daily from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm, with extended hours until 12:00 am Friday and Saturday nights.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to either Embankment or Charing Cross station and walk to the pub from there.
Price: An entree here will cost around £15.00, a sandwich around £7.00 and a beer around £4.00.
10. Hyde Park Pet Cemetery
By: Dave Chant of www.davechant.com
Hyde Park’s Victorian Pet Cemetery is something of an oddity in modern London.
It’s set inside of this famous London green space, just off Bayswater Road and right next door to the Victoria Lodge entrance of the park.
The cemetery was unintentionally started in 1881 when the gatekeeper of Victoria Lodge buried his friends’ dog Cherry in the garden.
Hyde Park quickly became a trendy place for wealthy Londoners to bury their dogs, with over 300 burials here before the cemetery was closed in 1903.
It’s actually not just a resting place for dogs since there are a few cats buried here, including “Ginger, King of Pussies”, as well as a handful of birds, and even three monkeys.
The area is currently closed to the public.
The best way to visit this amazing place is through a private tour, which can be arranged through The Royal Parks (contact [email protected] or call 0300 0612114).
It’s not cheap since an hour tour will cost £60 for a group of up to six people.
This is one of the most unusual things to do in London so I think the price is absolutely worth it.
Hyde Park occasionally offers general tours of the park, for £10 per person, that make a stop at the cemetery (see the Events Page at www.royalparks.org.uk).
You can always just catch a glimpse of the cemetery by peering through the fences along Bayswater Road!
Address: Hyde Park at Victoria Gate, London W2 2NB
Hours: Open daily from 5:00 am to 12:00 am.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Lancaster Gate station and walk to the cemetery from there.
Price: A private, hour-long tour of the cemetery will cost £60 for a group of up to six people.
11. Have a Drink at the Roebuck Pub in Richmond
By: Ben of DriftwoodJournals
The only thing better than an old-school London boozer is an old-school London boozer with an epic view.
Although you may be tempted to head to the more urbane corners of East London in search of your fix, those in the know head south to the leafy riverbanks of Richmond instead.
Here, perched atop the tree-and-mansion-lined streets of Richmond Hill, is the Roebuck.
It’s a Georgian-era public house that offers guests real cask ales, traditional pub grub, and beautiful panoramic views of the winding River Thames below.
Pop in for lunch and demolish a banging ‘Big Ben Burger’ (vegetarian options available too), or a timeless feast of scampi and chips, fish ‘n’ chips, or an iconic, Sunday roast.
Because, truth be told:
There’s absolutely no denying that this is one of the best pubs in the UK.
As can be said for most of Richmond in general, the benches out front (just across the road from the pub) are located on some of the most coveted real estate in all of London.
It’s not entirely unlikely for you to spot an A-lister at this rock ‘n’ roll friendly pub.
Because big names like Mick Jagger, Pete Townsend, David Attenborough, and Fearne Cotton all live in the area and have been known to throw back a pint or two here.
And if you have time:
Be sure to precede your visit to this historic pub with some deer-watching at the glorious Richmond Park, and or s stroll through Richmond Green, where you can be entertained for hours by local cricketers playing the king of all sports.
Address: 130 Richmond Hill, Richmond TW10 6RN
Hours: Open Monday through Thursday from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 12:00 am, and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 10:30 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Richmond station and then board the 65 bus. Ride the bus for five stops, get off at the Nightingale Lane Petersham stop, and walk to the pub from there.
Price: A premium burger here will cost around £9.95
12. Explore Chiswick Neighborhood
By: Claudia of My Adventures Across the World
Chiswick hardly ever gets mentioned in any guide about London.
That’s a real pity since it is a pleasant neighborhood with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, making it the perfect place to relax and hang around for a few hours.
The easiest way to reach Chiswick is via underground, using either the District or Piccadilly Line (depending on the time of day) since you can disembark at Turnham Green station.
Once you exit the station:
Be sure to turn left and walk towards the main street, where you can stop for a relaxing drink at one of the lovely cafés, restaurants, and bars that line the street.
Ther are also an abundance of independent boutiques here that anyone who enjoys shopping will love.
Other points of interest in the area include Chiswick House (a fine example of Palladian architecture), St. Nicholas Church (It has a tower that dates back to the 15th century and offers beautiful views of the Thames River), Christ Church, Duke’s Meadows (an enchanting park), and Gunnersbury Triangle (a lovely nature reserve where you will feel a million miles away from the buzz of the city).
And after you’re done exploring:
Conclude your day at Mawson Arms. It’s one of the nicest pubs in the area and sits inside a quaint-looking building that is the perfect place for a photo op or two.
13. Neal’s Yard
Right down the street from the NOT so secret Covent Garden, you’ll find Neal’s Yard, a quaint courtyard filled with vibrant colors, boutique shops, delightful eateries, and quaint charm (definitely one of the many amazing things to do in Covent Garden).
Only accessible via two tiny, cobblestone alleyways:
Neal’s Yard is hidden from the surrounding neighborhood by a series of tall, brick buildings, that create a secret space of sorts.
You wouldn’t know it was there if you weren’t looking for it.
But once you walk into Neal’s Yard:
It becomes a place where you’ll want to sit, relax, read a book, sip a latte, and watch the world stroll by.
Until you see the hordes of Instagram mavens roll on in…
Neal’s Yard used to be a much more hidden London attraction but has recently increased in popularity as a result of Instagram.
And I get it.
I love the vibrant colors too, but not the onslaught of the duck face making, selfie stick-wielding teenagers who all yearn to become social media influencers when they grow up.
It’s not that bad but you get what I mean.
Don’t walk, run to Neal’s Yard! Do it now before it becomes way too mainstream for its own good.
Address: Neal’s Yard, London
Hours: Open twenty-four hours a day since this is a public street.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Covent Garden station and walk to the street from there.
Not only is this place one of the cutest shops that I’ve ever seen, but they serve amazing, hand-iced desserts that anyone with a sweet tooth will love.
This store is actually found in the uber-posh and insanely photogenic neighborhood od Notting Hill.
So it’s basically like visiting two amazing London attractions at once.
But enough about the location, let’s talk about the food!
From cookies to cupcakes to chocolates, Biscuiteers has it all, with baked goods that are expertly decorated to look like London’s iconic telephone booths, cabs, and more!
And if you feel like doing a little DIY, confectionary decoration:
You can even sign up for a two-hour icing class and learn about the subtle art of icing cakes.
You can leave the decorating to the professionals and just have afternoon tea here instead.
Your choice. Whatever you decide though:
Make a reservation because I am definitely not the only one who loves this place.
Address: 194 Kensington Park Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 2ES
Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to the Ladbroke Grove station and walk to the bakery from there.
Price: Afternoon tea here starts at £30.00 per person.
15. Visit Some of London’s Beautiful, Covered Shopping Arcades
London is home to many exquisitely designed and insanely photogenic covered passages (AKA shopping arcades).
Housing luxury shops I would never dream of walking into:
These historic shopping arcades are a fantastic place to escape the crowds of London and photograph up a storm.
And while these high-end shopping centers are completely safe today, historically, London businessmen were concerned that criminals would destroy high-end shopping centers like the Burlington Arcade and the Royal Arcade.
Prominent businessmen thought it prudent to establish private police forces to patrol these shopping centers (no public London police force had been established yet).
The world’s oldest and smallest private police force was born.
Officially known as the Burlington Arcade Beadles:
These fine dispensers of justice are still in service today and are dressed as they were in the 1800s, with top hats and frock coats that are remnants of an era gone by.
So head over to the Burlington Arcade yourself and see these bad boys in action.
Address: 51 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0QJ
Hours: Open Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Saturday from 9:00 am t0 8:00 pm, and Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Piccadilly Circus station and walk to the Arcade from there.
16. Ziggy Stardust Plaque
Wondering what to do in London? Then why not check out this uber-cool plaque?
David Bowie is my kind of weirdo. And as a fellow weirdo, I absolutely adore this plaque.
David Bowie was the ultimate, super cool weirdo that made it totally acceptable to be totally different.
And this plaque at 23 Heddon Street?
It marks the exact spot where David Bowie introduced the world to his rock and roll alter ego, Ziggy Stardust.
David Bowie shot the cover photo for his legendary, 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars at this very spot.
installed on March 28, 2012:
This plaque is only one of a few plaques in London that commemorate fictional characters (FYI Sherlock Holmes and Lara Croft have plaques in London too).
But if nothing else
You can use this little tidbit of information to win Who Wants to be a Millionaire if that show is even still around.
I live in a Netflix vortex that blocks out any and all cable television shows.
Address: 23 Heddon St, Mayfair, London W1B 4BQ
Hours: Open twenty-four hours a day.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Piccadilly Circus station and walk to the plaque from there.
17. Have a Pint at the Admiral Duncan
By: Derek of Robe Trotting
Any gay London guide will tell you that the city is incredibly progressive and an overall great destination for members of the LGBTQ community.
That being said:
London still had to undergo a long march towards LGBTQ equality. A march that still continues to this very day.
In 1999, one watershed event dramatically shaped the landscape of LGBTQ life in London and it occurred at a small gay bar in Soho that is known as The Admiral Duncan Pub.
On the evening of April 30, 1999, a Neo-Nazi planted a nail bomb inside The Admiral Duncan. A bomb that later exploded, killing three patrons and wounding 70 others.
Earlier that month though:
The very same bomber had planted two additional bombs, in an attempt to ignite ethnic and homophobic tensions in London.
His reign of terror had a far-different result. Because within 48 hours of the tragic event at The Admiral Duncan, the Metropolitan Police held an open-air meeting in Soho.
As a result of that conference:
A police unit was assembled and placed outside the pub to gather witness statements. A unit of crime scene investigators that was staffed entirely by openly gay and lesbian officers.
A stunning series of events that became a turning point in the relationship between the LGBT community and the Metropolitan Police, since both parties had a historically tenuous relationship.
This tragedy also helped generate a wave of support and sympathy for London’s marginalized LGBTQ community, which was just recovering from the AIDS crisis and still facing violence and discrimination at every turn.
If you’re looking for a fun and alternative, lively gay pub in London, then this is the place for you.
Because it is here that you can sip on a pint, watch a fantastic drag show, and honor the history of London’s gay community.
And if you want:
You can also view the memorial plaque outside, which commemorates the victims of the bombing and London’s larger, LGBTQ community.
Address: 54 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 4UB
Hours: Open Monday through Thursday from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 12:00 pm to 12:00 am, and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 10:30 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Covent Garden or Leicester Square station and walk to the pub from there.
Price: Beers here cost around £5.00.
18. Sir John Soane’s Museum
Formerly home to the Bank of England’s architect, Sir John Soane:
This fun and funky museum was first started by the previous owner himself, who was an avid collector of all things historic and wanted to share his vast collection with the general public.
Started in the early 19th century:
This museum, and expensive personal library, now showcases a stunning array of Egyptian, Medieval, Renaissance, and Classical antiquities, as well as vast collection of furniture, time pieces, sculptures, stained glass, paintings, and more than 30,000 architectural drawings.
Does the museum itself does feel a bit half hazard?
Especially since there are way more artifacts packed in here than the residence was designed to hold.
A fact that becomes all too obvious when you marvel at in-house highlights like the sarcophagus of Egyptian pharaoh Seti I and several William Hogarth paintings.
The glass dome that sits at the top of the home more than makes up for this fact since it allows an insane amount of natural light to stream into the space through hidden skylights.
Light that is then reflected throughout the museum by strategically placed mirrors.
Take a stroll through this museum’s exquisite labyrinth of internal courtyards and themed rooms and marvel at unique, architectural attributes like domed ceilings and convex mirrors.
Because contrary to what you might think:
This unique space really does look almost exactly as it did when Soane himself was living here.
Address: 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, London WC2A 3BP
Hours: Open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, with the last admission at 4:30 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Holborn station and walk to the museum from there.
Price: Admission is free while a highlights and private apartments tour costs £15.00.
19. Sip on a Latte at a Cafe Hidden in a Church Crypt
If you’re like me and a super fan of all things macabre:
Then you’ll love sipping on a latte while admiring the vaulted brick ceilings and tombstone lined back rooms of this slightly creepy feeling church basement.
Because believe it or not:
Cafe in the Crypt has been serving up a variety of different foods and drinks from the St. Martin-in-the-Fields church basement for well over thirty years.
And although I found this eatery to have a slightly lame, cafeteria feel to it, with the food and drinks being mediocre at best, the spooky vibes you get while sitting here more than make up for that fact.
If you’re a total history nerd like me, then you’ll love exploring the cafe’s adjoining, slightly cramped feeling chamber.
Just turn right once you’re inside the cafe and you’ll find a small room lined with ancient grave markers and stones of remembrance, including the life-sized gravestone of Henry Croft, among others.
***Check out their website for information about jazz nights and live music nights within the cafe. Who knows, you might have a DEVILISHLY good time (Sorry but that pun was just way too easy.***
Address: Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London WC2N 4JH
Hours: Open Monday and Tuesday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, Wednesday !10:00 am to 10:00 pm, Thursday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, and Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to either Charing Cross or Leicester Square stations and walk to the cafe from there.
Price: A dessert or coffee here will cost you anywhere between £2.75 and £5.00
20. Visit the Leighton House Museum
Home to former fancy pants artist Sir Frederic Leighton (most famous for his work, Flaming June):
The interior of this magnificent home is straight, up next level stunning.
We’re talking magnificent blue tile mosaics, indoor fountains, middle eastern feeling rooms with elaborate Islamic tile floors, decadent peacock statues, and so much more.
Throughout the thirty years that Leighton lived here, he hired architect George Atichison to expand his studio and create a palace of art if you will.
A place where he could mesmerize his guests with a dazzling array of work done by both himself and his contemporaries.
A residence so fabulous that there’s even an “Arab Hall” here with a golden dome.
I mean, come on! Need I say more?
And although you can explore the residence on your own, I’d highly recommend taking a free, descent-led tour of the facility so that can get a better understanding of who Leighton was and the unique history behind the building.
As part of the tour:
You’ll also be taken upstairs, where you can see an expensive, private art studio that houses an impressive collection of works done by Leighton, as well as various other artists.
Before you leave, don’t forget to follow a small path to the back of the brick house, where you’ll discover a peaceful, back garden that feels a world away from the chaos of central London.
**PSST…Just as an FYI, no photos are allowed to be taken while you’re inside the museum.***
Address: 12 Holland Park Rd, Kensington, London W14 8LZ
Hours: Open Saturdays and Sundays ONLY from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.
How to Get There: You can take the Tube to High Street Kensington station or the London Overground to Kensington station and walk to the museum from there.
Price: A single, adult ticket to the museum is £9.00.
21. Step Inside the Museum of Free Masonry
Not gonna lie:
I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect from my visit to the Museum of Free Masonry.
Once I stepped inside this exquisitely designed, art-deco style building from 1933, I was totally mesmerized by the grand staircase, marble columns, exquisite ceiling paintings, and magnificent stained glass windows that were all around me.
Little did I know that the real magic was yet to come.
Because once I ascended the stairs to the second floor:
I was stunned by the impressive collection of artifacts held within the building’s vast museum, library, and archives.
Items that include super-nifty things like Winston Churchill’s apron and King George IV’s throne.
There were so many items on display that I could have easily spent a couple of hours here.
Luckily enough though:
I was able to join a free, 3:00 pm, hour and a half long tour of the Freemasons’ Hall, which included a short film about the history of the Freemasons’, the various ceremonies that they hold, and the guiding principles that the organization was founded upon.
Our group was taken on a walk through the museum, where our guide explained some of the most important items in the collection – a journey that concluded with a visit to the beautifully designed Grand Temple, which is where the society can accommodate up to 1700 people for some of its most important events.
If you can, definitely take a tour of the building since you’ll learn a ton of fascinating things about the organization and be given exclusive access to parts of the building that are otherwise, not open to the public.
Whatever you do though:
Do not leave before visiting their impressive library, which will then lead you into a second amazing collection of artifacts that are stored within this part of the building.
These rooms are not to be missed and are without a doubt, next level stellar.
Address: 60 Great Queen St, Holborn, London WC2B 5AZ
Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, with extended hours until 8:00 pm the last Thursday of every month.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to either Holborn or Covent Garden station and walk to the museum from there.
Unusual Things to do in London: South West London
22. Visit Brompton Cemetery for a Look at Some Famous Tombs
By: Talek of Travels with Talek
Established in 1840:
Beautiful, bucolic Brompton Cemetery is one of the oldest in London and one of the most fascinating cemeteries in Europe.
This 39 acre, heavily wooded, Victorian-era cemetery is listed on the Historic England Registry of Historic Parks.
It also sits in between the West London neighborhoods of Kensington and Chelsea and is frequently used as a filming location for horror movies and period pieces alike, with scenes from movies like Sherlock Holmes and Finding Neverland being shot here.
More commonly though:
Brompton is referred to as one of, “The Magnificent Seven in London”, or one of the seven most enchanting cemeteries in all of London.
Home to over 35,000 monuments:
The graves inside this expansive cemetery range in scale and size from simple headstones to splendid, grandiose mausoleums.
Highlights of any visit here include a trip to the beautiful, on-site chapel, the colonnade, and the catacombs, which are open to the public once a year in September.
If you miss the catacombs opening date, you can always peek through the gate to see a series of elaborately decorated coffins stacked high atop one another, while nestled along a labyrinth of corridors that sit just beneath the surface.
Brompton Cemetery is also the final resting place of many famous people, including Emmeline Pankhurst (a famous suffragette), Dr. John Snow (discovered the cause of Cholera), William Banting (he popularized dieting), Frederick Layland (a shipowner and patron fo the arts), Brian Glover (a television and film actor), Sir John Fowler (engineer of the Metropolitan Railway and the Forth Bridge), and more.
To make the most of your visit, feel free to join any one of the cemetery’s fantastic guided tours, which are conducted every Sunday of the month, at 2:00 pm, between May and August and every other Sunday of the month between September and April.
Tours will meet outside the chapel and will last about two hours, making this a great way to experience one of the most fascinating and unusual things to do in London.
***FYI, if you contact the cemetery in advance, private tours can be arranged on other days of the week.***
Address: Fulham Rd, Kensington, London SW10 9UG
Hours: Open daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to West Brompton station and walk to the cemetery from there.
Price: A guided tour of the cemetery costs £5.00 per person.
23. The Embassy of the Republic of Texas
When I found this plaque in the Pickering Place alley, right next to a historic wine shop, my not so inner history nerd literally died of happiness.
Who knew the Republic of Texas actually had an embassy in London?
Not this chick right here!
But believe it or not, between 1836 and 1845, 4 St. James Street was home to the Embassy of the Republic of Texas!
When Texas was founded, it was actually a sovereign country.
And Texas president, Sam Houston, actually sent diplomatic representatives in England in an effort to build international recognition of their country.
Texas eventually did join the Union in 1845, but this uber-cool plaque still remains as a testament to Texas’ past as an independent country.
Definitely one of the hidden gems of London, in my humble opinion.
Address: 4 St James’s St, St. James’s, London SW1A 1EF
Hours: Open twenty-four hours a day since it is an outdoor plaque.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Green Park Station and walk to the plaque from there.
***While you’re here, you can stop by Lock & Co. since it’s literally right next door and one of the best places to find some awesome London souvenirs.***
24. Churchill War Rooms
Believe it or not:
The first time I actually visited the Churchill War Rooms, I didn’t actually make it inside.
I wanted to go inside but had no IDEA how popular it was (guess it’s not one of the more underrated things to do in London).
That’s why I just rolled on up, expecting to walk right in and what do ya know?
The line literally swung around the block.
I then deluded myself into thinking that the line would move quickly, but no. I waited an hour and a half in line only to walk away because I had an afternoon tea reservation.
The second time around, I learned from past my mistakes and booked my tickets online, well in advance.
And, not surprisingly:
I walked RIGHT in. Which is amazing because hidden inside this awesome museum is a giant network of underground tunnels and a super-secret lair where Winston Churchill plotted out the war against Germany.
Super cool right?
But it makes sense since the British government had to go underground and protect themselves from the German Luftwaffe during the Blitz.
Hence all the secret underground tunnels, and bunkers.
Since the bunkers were basically just locked up and forgotten after the war, the rooms here are remarkably well preserved and basically look like Winston Churchill just stepped out for a quick cup of tea.
Prepare for the best kind of time war ever as you enter through the small door at the base of the Treasury Building in Westminister and learn about anything and everything Churchill related.
And once inside:
Definitely be sure to use your super handy audio guide to explore super cool exhibits like the Cabinet Room (Churchill’s chair still sits here, at the head of the table), the Map Room, a broom cupboard that housed a secure, direct line between Churchill and Roosevelt, and more.
It’s like one giant time capsule, except you, have to pay to get in.
The price of admission is fairly steep, so brace yourself.
Address: Clive Steps, King Charles St, London SW1A 2AQ
Hours: Open daily from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm with the last admission at 5:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Westminster station and walk to the museum from here.
Price: Tickets start at £23.00 per person.
25. The Victoria and Albert Museum
No!! Don’t go away!! Come back!
I swear I haven’t momentarily lost my wonky sense of self just because I’ve put a rather mainstream museum on this list of unusual things to do in London.
Keep reading! There’s a method to my pseudo-normalcy.
So yes, the Victoria and Albert Museum is rather well known.
And for good reason since you really should visit, whether you’re looking for unique things to do in London or not.
But, here’s where the weirdness comes in:
Believe it or not, on the ground floor of the museum, you’ll find an awesome, crank pipe organ that depicts a tiger devouring a British Imperialist.
Sounds like something Hannibal Lector would have in his personal collection, right>
But it’s hilarious and pretty popular since the gift shop sells shirts with this artifact emblazed on the front.
This organ belonged to Sultan Tips, a tiger-loving, ruler of India who hated the British East India Company, and Britain, with every fiber of his being and waged war with them whenever possible.
This organ was a tangible reminder of the hatred felt by many native residents of India towards their imperialist, British rulers,
Embrace the weirdness of the Victoria and Albert Museum and check out this awesomely quirky historical artifact.
Address: Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL
Hours: Open 10:00 am to 5:45 pm daily, with extended hours until 10:00 pm on Friday evenings.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to South Kensington station and walk to the museum from there.
26. An overnight stay in Harry Potter-themed wizard chambers
Although I’ll forever await the arrival of my Hogwarts letter:
I do realize that Harry Potter isn’t actually real.
That doesn’t stop a girl from dreaming, am I right?
I don’t know:
There’s just something so alluring about a world where people fly around on broomsticks and where anything is legitimately possible, thanks to wands and “real” magic.
So why not make the fantasy come to life, consult your handy London packing list, and spend a night in some wizarding chambers (modeled after the Gryffindor bedrooms seen in all the Harry Potter movies and one of my favorite quirky London things to do)?
You actually can spend a night (or 10) in Harry Potter themed, wizard chambers, in the Georgian House Hotel in London.
I did it and it’s everything a Harry Potter fan could ever want, and more.
Hidden behind a hotel “bookcase” :
You’ll walk through a portrait lined hallway and enter your wizard chamber with an antique, skeleton key that has a steel owl dangling off the end.
Once inside your room:
You’ll feel as though Hogwarts has come to life with Gothic-style room details like stone walls, stained glass windows, four-poster beds, vintage tapestries, rotary phones, and more.
You’ll even be treated to a delicious, complimentary breakfast that will render eating totally useless for the remainder of the day.
You betcha, but totally worth it to any Harry Potter fan who wants to feel like they’re living in the Harry Potter films.
How many times are you really gonna get to spend the night in wizard chambers? Exactly my point.
Worth the splurge in my humble opinion.
Address: 35-39 St. Georges Drive, Westminster Borough, London, SW1V 4DG, United Kingdom
Hours: The front desk is open twenty-four hours a day.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Victoria station and walk to the hotel from there.
Price: The Wizarding Chambers here start at £219 per night.
27. Visit the Brixton Windmill
Tucked away at the end of a quiet, residential street in Brixton is London’s last working windmill.
Because believe it or not:
This windmill was originally built in 1816 and still uses its interior millstones, and a little bit of electricity, to produce copious amounts of flour for hungry Londoners.
Wind power isn’t actually used to generate this local food staple since it was first replaced by steam power in 1902.
That hardly matters when you gaze up at this majestic relic from a gone by era.
A towering, vestige of the past that sits here to remind us that the trendy, uber-funky neighborhood where David Bowie grew up (Spoiler Alert! You can also visit the famous David Bowie graffiti mural while you’re here) was once an agricultural hotspot.
And although the windmill had been neglected for some time:
The structure was most recently restored in 2010 and is now open to sporadic, guided tours of the cramped interior.
It also still functions as a working windmill and produces wholemeal flour that is currently sold within several, local shops.
***Two types of tours of the windmill are available. A long, 40-minute tour of the entire windmill that must be booked in advance on the windmill’s website and a short, 15-minute tour that takes you to the first floor only, where you can see the millstones that were installed in 1902. No advance booking is required for this tour.***
Address: 22 Blenheim Gardens, Brixton, London SW2 5BZ
Hours: Open for tours one weekend a month between Easter and October.
How to Get There: Take the London Tube to Brixton station and then board the 118 bus to Morden. Ride the bus for three stops and get off at Blenheim Gardens. You can walk to the windmill from there.
Price: FREE to visit the general area but you will need to book a tour to see the inside of the windmill.
Unusual Things to do in London: East London
28. Leadenhall Market
Any Harry Potter enthusiasts in the house?
I hope so since this gorgeous, Victorian-era architectural masterpiece was actually the filming location for both Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron in the Harry Potter films.
***Meander down the Bull’s Head Passage and you’ll see the blue door of an eyeglass shop. This storefront was the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in the Goblet of Fire. ***
Insanely cool if I do say so myself.
But way before a teenage wizard, with a lightning bolt, shaped scar, took over the world:
This covered, Victorian market bewitched shoppers with its cobbled streets and iconic green and red roof.
With origins dating as far back as the 14th century, this marker is the oldest in London and a timeless piece of city history that is well worth a visit.
Address: Gracechurch St, Langbourn, London EC3V 1LT
Hours: Open twenty-four hours per day.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Bank Street station and walk to the market from there.
29. Ruins of St. Dunstan-in-the-East
The sheer size and number of people in London totally overwhelmed me.
London felt almost claustrophobic and I found myself needing an escape from the masses of people who so eagerly packed themselves into train cars that continually sped through the London underground.
When I found St Dunstan-in-the-East Church, a true UK hidden gem, I felt a bit of peace and eventually, fell even more in love with this city
Located between the Tower of London and the London Bridge:
This English church was originally built during Saxon times.
Like most of London, the church was virtually destroyed by the Blitz of 1941.
The church was eventually converted into a public garden in 1967, a garden that you can still walk through today.
Safely tucked away along a hidden side street:
This secret garden consists of hauntingly beautiful ruins that include a hollowed out tower, exquisitely enlaced in cascades of ivy and flowers.
Vacant windows and decrepit archways complete the scene and serve as a living memorial to all those who lived through and died during the Blitz on London.
A perfect place to explore during a solo trip to London.
Address: St, Dunstan’s Hill, London EC3R 5DD
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Bank Street station and walk to the garden from there.
30. Stop by the Underground Supper Club
By: Emily of London City Calling
It’s a discreet supermarket sandwich hurridly devoured on the way to a meeting or a slightly less discreet, fast-food joint burger that you inhale on your way home from a night out on the town.
Basement Galley’s Underground Supper Club has somehow managed to transform this slightly taboo, altogether mundane activity into one of London’s coolest pop-ups.
Located inside Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum, in the north-east of London:
You’ll find a decommissioned 1967 Victoria Line tube carriage which has been turned into a secret restaurant hosting nightly supper clubs with special guest chefs.
And while the tube carriage remains largely untouched from the outside:
On the inside, you’ll discover a series of tables placed in between existing seats. Some of which are for smaller groups of 2 or 4, while others, in the main body of the carriage, can accommodate up to 12 people, creating a more communal atmosphere to the supper club restaurant.
Another great thing about the Underground Supper Club is that despite the novelty of eating on a decommissioned tube car, they haven’t compromised at all on the taste of the food.
31. Enjoy the Electric Hues of God’s Own Junkyard
By: Caroline of CK Travels
As seen in the movies and magazines:
A quiet warehouse along a secluded industrial estate in Walthamstow is home to God’s Own Junkyard – a paradise of thousands of vibrant, neon-hued, electric signs.
Started by Chris Bracey, who later became known for making strip joint signs that were displayed throughout London’s Soho neighborhood, this gallery is packed to the rafters with some of the most original and unusual ‘lit’ artworks that you ever did see.
From a Jesus with a gun to large, luscious lips:
This is a provocative, stimulating, and altogether dazzling collection of sculptures and light up signs that are sure to suit any and all tastes.
After admiring all these colorful installations, be sure to take a seat amongst the art, enjoy the excellent 70s pop and rock background music, and order either a drink or snack from the onsite café, The Rolling Scone.
It really is a total Instagrammer’s paradise. Although, they do ask that you take photos with your phone and not your camera.
And if you’re looking for something to do afterward:
Then stop by one of the fantastic craft beer breweries in the area or enjoy a nice meal at any of the lovely restaurants in nearby Walthamstow Village
Address: Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall St, Walthamstow, London E17 9HQ
Hours: Open 11:00 am to 9:00 pm Fridays and Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am to
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Walthamstow station in north London and God’s Own Junkyard will be a 12-minute walk from the station.
Price: FREE. Unless you purchase something from the Rolling Scone cafe.
32. Feel Like a Kid Again on the Orbit Slide
By: Helen of Helen of Her Holidays
There are plenty of unusual things to do in London.
None of them have the power to terrify quite like the ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide.
When the Olympics came to London in 2012, the organizers felt that a grand, symbolic sculpture should stand alongside the many stadiums and sports venues that were being built.
And thus, the Orbit Slide was born,
It is also currently, the UK’s tallest standing structure, complete with a viewing platform at the top that gives visitors astonishing, panoramic views of the Olympic Park site, East London, and Canary Wharf.
In addition to this amazing viewing platform, owners also added a long, winding, silver tube slide to the structure in 2016. A feature that is now known as the ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide and that is currently the longest, tallest, and fastest tunnel slide in the world.
If you want to visit this exhilarating slide for yourself, you’ll start with an elevator ride up to the viewing platform.
You’ll be outfitted with a soft helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads while you wait for your turn to ride a comfy mat down the slide.
A ride that will commence once the light at the top of the slide turns green.
When this happens:
You’ll launch yourself down the tube for a twisting, turning, and altogether exhilarating, 178 meter, 40-second ride down to the ground below.
For the safest experience possible, any potential riders must be a minimum of 1.3 meters tall, at least 8 years of age, and weigh no more than 22 stone (308 lb).
Tickets must also be booked well in advance, since, not surprisingly, this ride is incredibly popular.
Address: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 5 Thornton St, London E20 2AD
Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, and Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Stratford station and walk 13-minutes to the slide from there.
Price: A single adult ticket for the Orbit slide costs £17.00.
33. Go Shopping at Brick Lane Market
By: Rai of A Rai of Light
Located in the heart of the East End:
Brick Lane Market is one of the better street markets that you’ll find in London.
It’s also a particularly fun thing to do in the city since you’ll come across a multitude of independent vendors selling an array of traditional gifts, antiques, vintage clothing, books, and organic, handcrafted items.
A wide array of delicious, home-cooked cuisines from around the world are also on offer here, making this a true delight for food lovers of every variety.
The area’s popular Sunday Upmarket and Backyard Market are both situated inside the nearby Old Truman Brewery, another fantastic shopping spot for anyone who loves art and a good bargain
If you’re looking for one of the many unusual things to do in London on Sunday, then this is the place for you.
Especially since this area is an eclectic mix of street performers and musicians from all walks of life.
People who speak different languages, have unique backgrounds, and who are of distinct faiths – characteristics that add to the already dynamic and vibrant atmosphere of this amazing neighborhood.
***Read more about some of the other, beyond fun things to do in Shoreditch right now!***
Address: Brick Ln, Spitalfields, London E1 6QR, United Kingdom
Hours: Open Sundays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Aldgate East station or the London Overground to Shoreditch High Street station and walk to the market from there.
34. Visit the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities
Filling guests with equal parts dread and delight:
This modern-day cabinet of curiosities, or the Last Tuesday Society Shop as it is more commonly known, is a small museum (like it holds no more than ten people at a time small) that is brimming over with weird and wonderful specimens of every variety.
If you dare to step inside this Victorian-re, gallery shop, you’ll find taxidermied specimens, skeletons preserved under glass display cases, erotic memorabilia, a unique collection of books, and basically anything else you can imagine.
Because these shelves?
Well, they’re littered with an array of colorful items that include quartz dildos, vintage speculums, anatomical anomalies, and straight-up mermaids.
And yes, I really did just say mermaids. So yeah:
If you have slightly delicate sensitivities, you may wanna take a hard pass on this curious collection of exhibits.
Dare to be shocked and awed this eclectic assortment of weirdly wonderful items.
Because truth be told:
The “museum” really makes no attempt to educate you about the bizarreness that lies within.
They merely want to evoke a sense of wonder in creators and visitors alike.
There’s even a super snazzy, ultra-vintage bar on-site where you can stop and sample various drinks and cocktails, as well as some absinth in the old school way, using a fountain, spoon, and a little bit of sugar.
Step inside and prepare to have your mind blown, both figuratively and literally.
Address: 11 Mare St, Hackney, London E8 4RP
Hours: Open Wednesday through Saturday from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm and on Sundays from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the London Overground to Cambridge Heath (or the Tube to Bethnal Green) and walk to the museum from there.
Price: A standard admission ticket is £8.00 per person, including a free cup of tea, or £2.50 per person on Thursday evenings between 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm.
35. Take a Stroll through Postman’s Park
Located just 10-minutes away from the hordes of selfie-stick wielding that routinely surround St Paul’s Cathedral:
Postman’s Park is a small green space that stands in memoriam of everyday citizens who died trying to save the lives of others.
First opened in 1880:
A Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice was later installed in 1900, by painter Frederic Watts.
A tribute that is meant to honor Londoners who died while saving the life – or lives – of others.
Featured in the 2004 film, Closer:
Visitors can relax on any one of the small park’s benches, enjoy a bit of self-reflection, and think about the forty-eight heroes who are honored here individuals who remind us that even the most ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
Address: 22 Blenheim Gardens, Brixton, London SW2 5BZ
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to St. Paul’s station and walk to the park from there.
36. Learn About the Most Famous Serial Killer of Them All During an Official, Jack the Ripper Walk
How could I create a list of unusual things to do in London and not mention the most famous serial killer of them all, Jack the Ripper?
Given my eternal obsession with all things murder-related, I just HAD to visit the Jack the Ripper Museum while I was in London.
It was kind of lame.
Womp, Womp, Womp.
Yeah, overall the museum is small, feels really kitschy, and doesn’t provide you with a whole lot of information about the killings and about who Jack the Ripper might have been.
The majority of the exhibits are semi-juvenile recreations of famous Jack the Ripper locations and don’t really feature a ton of authentic artifacts from that time period.
If I were you, I would take a hard pass on the Jack the Ripper Museum and just do the museum’s Jack the Ripper walk instead.
It’s a super fun and informative tour that takes you to some of the most iconic, Jack the Ripper locations in Whitechapel.
This walk is a solid, two-hours long and costs a mere £10.00 per person. An incredibly reasonable price tag when it comes to Jack the Ripper tours.
Follow in the foot steps of good old Jack, learn all about his victims, discuss the evidence, and come up with your own theories as to who Jack might have really been.
***The Museum’s guided, Jack the Ripper walk departs at 3:00 pm daily from the Trader’s Gate gift shop at Tower Hill station and lasts about two hours.***
Address: 12 Cable St, Tower Hill, Whitechapel, London E1 8JG
Hours: Open daily from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm, with last entry to the museum at 6:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Tower Hill station and walk to the museum from there.
Price: A ticket to the museum is £10.00, as is a ticket to the guided Jack the Ripper Walk. However, you can serve money and purchase a combined ticket to the museum and to the walk for £16.00.
Unusual Things to do in London: South East London
37. Explore the historic Queen’s House in Greenwich
By: Noel of Travel Photo Discovery
Address: Romney Rd, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the DLR to Cutty Sark for Martine Greenwich Station and walk to the Queen’s House from there.
Price: General admission is free but if you book a guided tour of the museum it’s £6.75 per person in advance and £7.50 per person the day of.
38. Borough Market
Broke like a joke but still want to experience all the culinary awesomeness that London has to offer?
Then look no further than Borough Market (one of the unofficial best food tours in London).
Definitely one of the best things to do in London, even if you’re not broke.
Located right next door to Tower Bridge and The Shard:
This fantastic food market is super easy to find and home to an eclectic assortment of food vendors; vendors that allow patrons to go on a culinary journey throughout the world, but without ever actually leaving London.
I am a huge fan of Balkan Bites, Borough Cheese Company, Flat Cap Coffee Co., Luminary Bakery, etc.
But even if you’re not actually hungry, this is a great place to walk around, take in the exciting sights and delicious smells, and do a little grocery shopping for later.
But no matter what:
This is the perfect, offbeat place to stop and get a feel for what the local food scene in London is really like.
***Bar Douro is a nice bar here where you can sit, relax, and enjoy the beautiful, Portuguese azulejo tiles throughout the interior.***
Address: 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL
Hours: Open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Fridays from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Saturday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (closed Sundays).
How to Get There: Take the Tube to London Bridge station and walk to the market from there.
Price: Depending on what you buy, most foods here will cost under £10.00
39. Climb Aboard the Golden Hinde Ship
By: Pauline of BeeLoved City
Originally captained by Sir Francis Drake during the 16th century:
Even though the pub does get quite busy during the summer, it’s still one of the most relaxing places in all of London.
40. Visit the Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret
Located just a hop, skip, and jump away from Borough Market (as well as Tower Bridge, the rebuilt Globe Theatre, the HMS Belfast, and Clink Prison):
The Old Operating Theatre is definitely one of the most unusual things to do in London since, well, getting to the museum itself is a bit of experience.
You’ll basically need to hold onto a rope and ascend an almost never-ending set of incredibly steep steps, housed within an insanely narrow space, that will leave you gasping for air.
Once you finally do manage to get to the attic of the St. Thomas Church, hopefully without coughing up a lung, you’ll discover the oldest surviving operating theatre in all of a Britain.
Dating all the way back to 1822:
This slightly scary looking surgical area consists of a central operating table that is surrounded by concentric rings of seats that rise up around it.
Eager onlookers could witness the real life horror of surgery done without anesthesia.
Because believe it or not:
Patients here were actually given nothing more than a wooden cane to bite down on, in a vain attempt to help dull their screams as they writhed around in agony (Sweet baby Jesus, so I was born in a time with anesthesia).
If you dare, explore this wonderfully weird museum, which was founded by doctor Richard Mead and includes a fascinating collection of historic, surgical tools (like skull drilling instruments) as well as preserved, anatomical oddities and wares from an old apothecary.
Address: 9a St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY
Hours: Open Monday 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to London Bridge station and walk to the museum from there.
Price: Adult admission tickets are £6.50 per person.
41. Crystal Park Dinosaurs
Kind of like Jurassic Park, only 10,000 times safer since, well, the dinosaurs aren’t actually real (and I for one am not at all upset by this fact):
The Crystal Palace dinosaurs actually sit inside, not surprisingly, Crystal Palace Park.
A former modern marvel of the Gilded Age:
This park was actually the focal point of the Great Exhibition in 1851, an event that was designed to showcase the overall talent and ingenuity of the British Empire.
Like with most good things, the Exhibition eventually came to an end, leading to an extensive renovation of the area.
Just for future posterity and maybe even a little cold, hard, cash.
Which is why:
Oddly enough, a sculptor by the name of Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins was later hired to create life-size models of now-extinct animals like, you guessed it, dinosaurs.
The Crystal Park Dinosaurs were born, which feature, in total, thirty-three statues of fifteen different species of dinosaurs, including Iguanodon and Megalosaurus.
Now, fast forward a solid hundred years:
And the park fell into complete disrepair and disarray, after a series of unfortunate events like a local fire In 1936.
In an effort to completely revitalize the area, the park was totally overhauled in 2002, which is how the dinosaurs themselves got a much-needed facelift.
Stop by today and you can marvel at a series of fabulous, life-size dinosaur statues that now come complete with their very own, Grade I designation from ye olde 2007.
Address: 13 Orchard Grove, London SE20 8DN
Hours: Open daily from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, with the exception of Sunday, when the park is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the London Overground to Crystal Palace station and walk to the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs from there.
42. Explore the Nomadic Community Garden
Imagine some uber-eclectic, hippie era wonderland that is a modern-day oasis for peace, love, and more than a little weed.
Take whatever you’re imagining and amplify it by like 10,000 and you’ll have some idea of just how unusual this place really is.
Because truth be told:
This is one of those unusual things to do in London that kind of reminds me of Copenhagen’s famed Christiana.
Only on a smaller scale and with any hidden, political agenda.
Sprinkle in a delightful smattering of potted plants, abandoned couches, ultra-colorful picnic benches, rogue cars, and street art laden shacks, and you have the tiniest idea of just how epic the Nomadic Community Garden really is.
This oasis of hippie-inspired greenery actually sits right next door to Alien Park in Shoreditch; making this the perfect place to kick back, enjoy some food, and watch the people stroll by as various street artists scurry around in the background, creating their latest masterpieces.
Although there really isn’t much to do here per se (Besides smoke a doobie. But I say no to drugs and remind you that weeds are for whacking), it is a great place to stop and take in the funky scenery all around you.
Address: Fleet St Hill, London E2 6EE
Hours: Open Tuesday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Friday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm (closed Mondays).
How to Get There: Take the Overground to Shoreditch High Street station, or the Tube to Aldgate East station, and walk to the garden from there.
43. Enjoy the 90s Era Nostalgia at the Cereal Killer Cafe
Not gonna lie:
I was probably partially drawn to the Cereal Killer Cafe because I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with all things Investigation Discovery (a TV channel dedicated entirely to murder and all things serial killer).
Once I walked inside and saw napkin holders made of cassette tapes, walls lined with every type of cereal imaginable, cozy children’s beds used for tableside seating, and wall art made out of VHS tapes, I knew I was home.
Because this place really does put the awe back in awesome.
They had Ace of Base blaring on the in-house stereo system.
Need I say more?
So, go grab your Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers and your Leonardo DiCaprio poster from Teen Beat magazine because this place is a straight-up, 90s fangirl’s paradise.
However, apart from the 90s vibes and the quirky decor:
This unusual cafe offers guests an assortment of cereal-related foods that include pop tarts served with ice cream, lattes made with cocoa pops milk, tater tots breaded with corn flakes, and even, good old fashioned bowls of cereal.
I ordered a super snazzy bowl of Unicorn Poop Cereal since well, unicorns are my not-so-secret spirit animal.
And, to really SEAL the DEAL:
They served my cereal with a wicked awesome side of bubble gum milk.
A total paradise of sugary, carbohydrate related heaven in my mouth.
I even went a little crazy and ordered a cappuccino made with cocoa pops milk because well, why not?
Definitely an insanely fun, one of a kind experience that was elevated to the next level when my check, along with a cereal milk bar, was served to me in a VHS tape case.
Sure, it was a little expensive and a bit over the top.
I still had fun enjoying one of the most unusual things to do in London.
Address: 192a Brick Ln, London E1 6SA
Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Overground to Shoreditch High Street station and walk to the cafe from there.
Price: Most of the items on the menu here will cost between £5.00 and £10.00
44. Pet Some Resident Donkies at Spitalfields City Farm
There’s a full-on, working farm right in the middle of London.
And you can find it right in the ultra-alternative, hipster chic, London neighborhood of Shoreditch.
Locally known as Spitalfields City Farm:
This thin slice of agricultural awesome has been around since 1978 and continues to educate visitors about the importance of animal welfare, sustainable farming, sustainable living, and the importance of ecological biodiversity (FINALLY using that environmental science degree for something).
This farm also gives residents the opportunity to fully connect with their community by creating something that all of London can enjoy; a safe place where children and adults alike can connect to the natural world around them.
If you feel like getting down and dirty with the in-house donkeys at the Spitalfields Community Farm, then swing by this little oasis of greenery and frolic through a series of enchanting gardens that are overflowing with evening primrose, musk mallow, bedstraw, yarrow, vervain, knapweed, and ox-eye daisy.
Along the way, you’ll even get to see, and pet, some wicked wonderful, totally adorable animals like geese, sheep, parrots, ducks, chickens, pigs, cats, ferrets, donkeys, goats, rabbits, and guinea pigs.
Embrace the beyond epic animal cuteness as you enjoy one of the most unusual things to do in London.
Address: Buxton St, London E1 5AR
Hours: Closed Mondays but open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 4;00 pm October through March (and until 4:30 pm April through September).
How to Get There: Take the Overground to Shoreditch High Street station, or Whitechapel station, and walk to the farm from there.
45. Enjoy Afternoon Tea with Some Feline Friends at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium
Stunned that a cat cafe made it on this list of unusual things to do in London?
Yeah, me either.
Especially since cat cafes are all the rage right now.
I was none too surprised to find a chic AF cat cafe in the swagerific London neighborhood of Shoreditch.
And while I normally pride myself in going slightly against the grain when it comes to pop culture trends, in this instance, I hopped on the proverbial bandwagon, enjoyed the ride, and cuddled with all the cool kitties until my heart almost burst with delight.
The first rule of Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium? Always make reservations since this cat cafe is incredibly popular among cat-loving Londoners of every variety.
And although you can enjoy a standard, 90-minute cat petting sesh for £15, why not live a little and experience high tea among some free roaming, or hardcore napping, feline friends?
Because for just £30 per person (come on guys, it’s for a good cause):
You can enjoy an assortment of sandwiches, teas, cakes, cookies, and scones that are, DUH, served with clotted cream and jam, for 90 glorious minutes, between the hours of 2:30 pm and 6:00 pm on weekdays and 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm on weekends.
Minus Wednesday though since Lady Dinah’s is closed that day.
If you want, you can also try and stop by on a Soothing Sunday, when the cafe is filled to half capacity, providing you with a little extra, one on one attention from some of your fave felines.
And with 90-minute sessions costing just £20 per person:
You can savor all this additional kitty adoration with the added benefit of one, non-alcoholic drink being included in the price of admission.
If you’re looking for something a bit more substantial, at least when it comes to food, then check out the cafe’s a la carte menu, which features a variety of sweets, as well as breakfast and lunch items, that are sure to satisfy even the most ravenous of my cat-loving friends out there,
Address: 152-154, Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 6DG
Hours: Open Monday through Friday, except closed Wednesdays, from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the London Overground to Shoreditch High Street station and walk to the tea house from there.
Price: Afternoon tea starts at £30.00 per person.
Unusual Things to do in London: Miscellaneous
46. Mews Streets
So when I say Mews Streets, I really need to clarify for my predominantly American audience.
The term Mews actually refers to a type of street in London that is usually narrow, lined with cobblestones, and basically charming AF.
These streets are behind or perpendicular to busier, main roads since they were traditionally used by carriages and stables, way before the development of cars.
But ever since society said a fond farewell to our four-legged friends, as a mode of transportation, the mews have become some of the quaintest, and most ridiculously expensive, streets in London.
A true must-see for anyone who has even a slight addiction to either photography or Instagram.
And while there are an infinite number of picturesque mews streets in London:
Some of my absolute favorites include Kynance Mews, Stanhope Mews, Colville Mews, Queen’s Gate Mews, and more.
Definitely one of the more charming, and slightly less touristy places to visit in London (one of the awesome cheap things to do in London too).
47. Party Like a Rockstar at Massaoke
By: Alexx of Finding Alexx
Without a doubt:
One of my all-time favorite, unusual things to do in London is Massaoke, a live, beyond epic, karaoke event where the masses gather together to belt their hearts out to some of their favorite songs.
Just think about how much fun karaoke is with your best friends. Then, throw in some super-talented performers, a brilliant playlist, and a HUGE dance floor, and you’ve got a pretty solid idea of what to expect from Massaoke.
The Massaoke band actually hosts this event on a monthly basis, with each performance having a unique, musical theme like the 80s, 90s, pop, rock, Christmas, or Halloween.
A fact that helps make this a full-on extravaganza, with costumes being encouraged and sometimes even rewarded.
If partying like a rockstar is your thing, then I’d highly recommend making a night of it at Massaoke.
Just be sure to grab a bottle of wine, or some M&S cocktail cans, dress up in a snazzy little themed outfit. meet up with some of your besties, warm up your singing voice, and prepare for a night of karaoke fun.
And if you happen to be in London during the winter:
Then definitely check out their annual Halloween and Christmas Massaoke events, which are the perfect opportunity for a holiday party with friends, colleagues, or loved ones.
***TOP TIP:: Be sure to eat and hydrate before the party, which is a solid couple of hours of high energy singing and dancing to tunes from your teenage years. Just minus your teenage stamina!***
Address: The location varies by event, so check their website for more details.
Hours: Shows occur once a month, on a Friday evening, between 7:00 pm and 10:30 pm.
How to Get There: The location varies by event so check their website for more details.
Price: Tickets typically cost between £13.00 and £20.00 per person.