London has some amazing attractions, but the things I love most are its secret spots. Big Ben gets my heart going, but what keeps me exploring are the hidden spaces that make the capital unique. If you’re like me, read on for my list of 7 secret places in London.
Secret Places in London
I’ve stumbled across many of these places unintentionally, which is one of my favorite things about London. Others have been recommended by friends, and the rest have been results of exploring my own neighborhoods. They’re only a small sample of the under-the-radar spots I’ve come to love in London, but they’re my top picks and I hope you enjoy reading about them.
1. Pergola Garden
The Pergola Garden in Hampstead was my first big discovery when I moved to London. This secret space awed me with its hanging flowers, raised walkway, and stunning reflecting pool. It’s still one of my favorite places to go for a quiet walk in the city, especially in the warmer months when the blossoms are out.
2. Eel Pie Island
I came upon Eel Pie Island by accident. Right in the middle of the Thames, this hidden isle is home to quirky houses and artists’ studios. The open days are worth planning ahead for, as the island welcomes visitors and comes to life with activity.
3. The Mews
While not a specific place, London’s mews streets are my favorite places to wander. From Kensington to Notting Hill, Holland Park to Paddington, the city has no shortage of these secret streets. Pink houses, painted doors, overgrown gardens, and cobblestones all make the mews some of the most beautiful spots in the city.
4. Horniman Museum
I love a good museum, and when it has an off-beat element I love it even more. The Horniman Museum in Forest Hill is the epitome of this phenomenon, complete with an overstuffed walrus and other whimsical amusements. The gardens are lovely, too.
5. Farrier’s Passage
I never thought I would find one of my favorite secret places in London right in the heart of Soho. But Farrier’s Passage caught my eye as I was walking along Brewer Street, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to walk down the covered alley. When I got to the end, I was rewarded with the pretty yard that is Smith’s Court. Lovely shops and a peaceful atmosphere have lured me back many times since.
6. South End Green
I wouldn’t know South End Green existed if I hadn’t lived in Hampstead for so many years. But this little village on the edge of Hampstead Heath quickly became one of my favorite London neighborhoods. And how could it not? With a Daunt Books, plenty of restaurants and cafes, and a village atmosphere, it’s a given I would love this place.
7. Lavender Garden in Vauxhall Park
Vauxhall Park’s lavender garden is another under-the-radar gem I discovered by surprise. Walking by the model village one summer day, I caught a glimpse of purple through pergolas covered in pink roses. I went over to see it, and ended up in a lavender field in the middle of London. It was magical.
I hope you enjoy discovering these hidden spots as much as I have. If you want to explore more, there are a lot of other places profiled in Secret London – An Unusual Guide. You can get it here.
What are your favorite secret places in London?
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