Monday, 26 November 2012

London's Hidden Gems

London might be one of the most famous cities in all the world, but that doesn’t mean you know every single one of its top spots.

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While there are some tourist attractions that even those who haven’t ever visited London will know of (think the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace etc), there are a number of highly interesting places that most tourists won’t ever think about visiting.

Assuming that you’re thinking of visiting London in the near future and want to think outside the box a little, let’s have a look at some lesser known attractions that might float your boat.

First off, how about the Horniman Museum and Gardens? Situated in South London’s Forest Hill, this fantastic attraction is full of exhibits that are sure to prove a hit with all members of the family. It’s got everything from an aquarium and a stuffed walrus to instruments dating back several hundred years, and best of all it’s free! You can’t ask for much more than that for an educational day out.

If you’re looking for somewhere you can just switch off and enjoy your surroundings however, then head to Primrose Hill, on the north side of Regent’s Park. Offering perhaps the best view of central London you can get in a relatively quiet environment, it’s one of the best places to escape the hustle and bustle of London and enjoy some relaxation time!

Temple Church is one of London’s most famous sights, yet it doesn’t receive nearly as many visitors as it really should. Built by the Knights Templar in the 12th Century, and featured in Dan Brown’s novel the Da Vinci Code and its big screen adaptation, it was built to resemble Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and as such is truly a sight to take in.

Another reminder of London’s past is the Brixton Windmill. Looking rather out of place in such a modern city, the Windmill stands as a reminder of London’s pastoral heritage, and is a great attraction to visit. It’s only open at weekends between April and October though, so depending on when you’re visiting you might not be able to take it in.

Finally, anyone with an interest in the arts should take in the Dulwich Picture Gallery. When it was designed by Sir John Soane in 1817 it was England’s first purpose-built public art gallery, however nowadays it’s often sadly overlooked in favour of attractions like the National Gallery and Tate Modern. Quite why more people don’t visit it is a mystery though – it features paintings by the likes of Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck as well as several differing exhibitions throughout the year, and there are plenty of cheap hotels in the area.

There’s no denying that London is one of the world’s greatest cities, and any visit there is sure to delight. If you really want to have one up on the millions of visitors to the city every year, take in one of the above as well as the usual tourist fare. You’ll be glad you did!

1 comment:

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