London is a gorgeous, massive cosmopolitan city. It’s a wonderful destination for American travelers looking to spread their wings without having to deal with too much of a culture shock, while still finding some international fun. But, as with any big city, there is tons to see and do. So how do you pick where to go and what to explore?
While London has tons of great traditional tourist traps such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the London Eye, you should really visit some places the locals head to. Here are some hidden gems you should check out during your next trip to London.
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in London, and offers a great oasis for those looking for some nature and a reprieve from city life. Little Venice is an area of quaint, tree-lined canals from Hyde Park all the way down to Warwick Avenue. Fun little boats dot the canals, along with plenty of tearooms and cafes so you can grab breakfast or a quick afternoon snack during your wandering. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find a few tour boats to grab a ride on.
The Seven Noses
An interesting sculpture grouping to say the least, the Seven Noses are littered all over Soho. Created by artist Rick Buckley, you can wander the streets of Soho and sniff out all seven noses, which look as different as can be.
The Globe Theatre
This theatre was built back in 1599, and was the home for many Shakespeare plays. It has since been ruined by a fire and rebuilt to look the same as it did back in the 17th century. It is nestled on the river Thames, and you can even catch a play written by the Bard himself.
The Waterloo Vaults
These are hidden tunnels deep underground the Waterloo tube station. They have been re-created into graffiti tunnels just waiting to be explored. Sometimes you can catch an event going on underground, but most of the time you can just head in to explore on your own. If you’re feeling a bit bold, feel free to add some of your own graffiti artwork.
The Victorian Pet Cemetery in Hyde Park
It may sound a bit grim at first, but the Victorian Pet Cemetery in Hyde Park is an interesting find. Even though the cemetery is closed to the public, visitors can get right up to the gates and see tombstones of pets from the 18th and 19th centuries. Make sure to read the sweet inscriptions on the tombstone, and you’ll soon be wanting to go hug your furry friend at home.
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
This is an interesting find, because if you find it then you’re doing something wrong. The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is a secret bar that is behind a restaurant called the Breakfast Club. But if you ask nicely, you’ll be lead behind a refrigerator into a small bar with welcoming waitstaff. What could be better? In fact, plenty of hidden and secret bars are throughout London, so it could be fun to try to find more than one.
When you are visiting London, you shouldn’t have to worry about all the small details of your trip such as your car and having to park at the airport. So, parking in Gatwick is easy, giving you a safe place to leave your car when you go gallivanting around town.