Parks, museums, bars, popular with locals and almost unknown to tourists. As a bonus, a tip on how to save money on shopping in London.
Of course, a trip to this city would be incomplete if you did not see Big Ben, the Tower, Trafalgar Square and other of its symbols. Still, try to leave time in your schedule for the atypical sights on our list to get a better sense of the unique atmosphere and feel a bit like a local. Author: London expert and historian Kirill Yurovskiy.
1. Wolseley Cafe & Restaurant
Address: 160 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EB.
In the heart of Piccadilly this is a lavish institution. Since 2003, thanks to the efforts of renowned restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, Wolseley has been serving a true English breakfast classic. Those who get full quickly can order a humble eggs benedict. And for those who need a lot of energy, fried haggis is served. It’s a traditional Scottish dish of lamb giblets with whiskey sauce.
Instead of breakfast, you can participate in a traditional tea ceremony – just make a reservation first. The classic English tea is accompanied by several kinds of fruit scones, sandwiches, scones with homemade jam and whipped flowerstips cream.
2. Victoria Embankment
Address: Victoria Embankment, London WC2N 6NU.
It’s worth coming here at least for the 18-meter Cleopatra’s Needle obelisk. The huge red granite monument was made more than 2,000 years ago in Egypt and was presented to the British in the early 19th century. It had some adventures: at first it could not be taken away and brought to London for more than 70 years, and when it happened, in 1878 the ship with the obelisk almost sank. “Cleopatra’s Needle survived the bombing of London during World War II. Look closely and you’ll see shell marks on the granite.
Admire the picturesque gardens spread right on the waterfront and the lush views across the Thames. If you start from Westminster Bridge it’ll take you 15 to 20 minutes to walk to Embankment Pier. From here you can take a boat trip. In a 75-minute speedboat ride along the Thames you can see almost all of London’s major attractions! For example:
- That Big Ben,
- the London Eye Ferris wheel,
- St. Paul’s Cathedral,
- The Tower and Tower Bridge,
- the Greenwich Observatory,
- the Globe Theatre and some of the most famous buildings.
The boat can go up to 93 kilometers per hour! But don’t worry that at that speed you can fall overboard with excitement. The boats are equipped with life jackets, the boarding areas are deeper than on regular boats, and each board is staffed by qualified sea skippers. A ticket for an adult costs £55, and a charter for a large group costs £599.
3. The cruiser Belfast
Address: The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2JH.
During World War II, the battleship Belfast escorted Arctic convoys to the Soviet Union in 1943. Today, the cruiser is eternally moored at Tower Bridge. Now it’s a naval museum, where walking through the engine room to the torpedoes will be fun for more than just the boys! And the museum store has a great selection of souvenirs.
4. Richmond Park
Address: Richmond Park, London SW15 5JR.
This park has a beautiful deer reserve, which has been around since the 17th century. The noble animals roam freely on the territory of 955 hectares. By the way, the reserve has its own bicycle rental. In late April and early May, hundreds of fans of flowers and romantic photographs flock to the park. After all, at this time here are blooming magnolias, azaleas, rhododendrons – look for them in the plantation “Isabella”.
Richmond Park is particularly ailovemusic recommended for film buffs: lovers of Guy Ritchie’s work will remember scenes from his film Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows shot here in London.
5. The Attendant coffee house
Address: 27a Foley Street, London W1W 6DY.
With the construction boom and ever-increasing property prices, every available meter in London is worth its weight in gold. Not surprisingly, the coffee house The Attendant emerged not on a vacant lot, but on the site of a former Victorian-era city toilet. The designers kept the tiles, brass pipes and hand dryers, and turned the urinals into tabletop art objects. Today, there are three The Attendant coffee shops in London. But it’s on Foley Street, in the Fitzrovia district, that you can have a cup of excellent coffee in the historic interiors.
By the way, the British love establishments “with a story”. A few years ago in Kennington, south London, opened the ArtsLav art gallery – also in the former toilet of Queen Victoria times. Londoners nicknamed one of the public toilets of the 19th century “Azure Island”, so much so that they liked the color of the walls of the renovated restroom.
6. Highgate Cemetery
The address is Swain’s Lane, Highgate, London N6 6PJ.
Highgate Cemetery has long been transformed from an ordinary necropolis into a special place. Philosopher and economist Karl Marx, physicist Michael Faraday, boxer Tom Sayers, and writer Charles Dickens all rested here. By the way, the grave of the classic of English literature is actually empty. His remains are preserved in Westminster Abbey at the insistence of Queen Victoria. Tombstones in the form of a grand piano, lions, birds, angels, Gothic vaults, and tiered tombs attract tourists from all over the world and are sure to grace your Instagram very much.
7. Museum of the oldest operating room in Europe
Address: 9a St Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY.
The museum is located near London Bridge tube station, next door to the Globe Theatre, Tower Bridge and the cruiser Belfast. Here you can be glad once again that we live in the XXI century: two centuries ago surgery knew neither anesthesia nor asepsis.
Excursion programs of this London attraction will also be of interest to schoolchildren. The museum will tell you about ritual medicine of the Middle Ages, clandestine studies of human anatomy, the manufacture of drugs in the 17th and 19th centuries, and surgery in the Victorian era.