London is both the capital and the largest city of England and the United Kingdom. Behind Bangkok (The capital of Thailand), London was the second-most visited city in the world in 2018. The English Capital is also one of the world’s most beautiful cities as well.
London attracts a lot of visitors each year for its’ history, cuisine, museums, famous landmarks, successful Premier League teams, and fashion scene (London is part of The Big Four Fashion Capitals in the world today). Among the most popular tourist attractions in London include The London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Tate Modern, and The Tour of London, to name a few.
While tourists want to be able to hit some of the key landmarks like the ones stated above, the English Capital has plenty to offer and there are several underrated spots across the city that people should visit as well. Checking out these hidden gems of tourist’s spots will produce the same level of excitement that the already popular sites do.
Listed below are 10 Spots to Check Out The Next Time You Visit London:
1. Borough Market:
One underrated spot that everyone has to stop by while in London is Borough Market! Dating back to when it was established in the 12th Century, it is one of the largest and oldest food markets in the entire city. Borough Market is located in Southwark, one of the many London Boroughs, at the southern end of London Bridge.
In the present day, Borough Market operates as a retail and wholesale food market where customers can purchase fresh foods and produce from local vendors. There are many vendor stalls at Borough Market where one can purchase such items and try dishes from, in addition to the several shops and restaurants situated inside The Market Area as well.
Having visited Borough Market the last time I was in London, I would definitely recommend stopping by The Kappacasein Stand for the best grilled chesse sandwiches ever and Fish! Restaurant for fresh seafood (for this place, one must try the fish and chips).
2. Little Venice:
Little Venice is a district in London that is situated in the intersection between the Paddington Arm of The Grand Union Canal and The Regent’s Canal. The district is an underrated tourist spot in London and is known for its’ scenic and peaceful-like vibes.
While in Little Venice, one needs to go on a canal boat cruise! Go on Jason’s Boat Trip, which goes from Little Venice to Camden Rocks. Also, be sure to admire the beautiful houseboats and some of them function as restaurants! The best house boats to enjoy a lovely meal in are Darcie & May Green and Waterside Café. Some of these house and canal boats also serve as tearooms too.
For shopping and other restaurants, Little Venice is a short walk away from Camden Road and Portobello Road, each of which is unique shopping and food areas to also check out while in London.
3. The Vaults:
The Vaults (Also known as The Waterloo Vaults) are a series of underground tunnels which are deep under the famous Waterloo Station, which is located in Central London. It is on Leake Street. If you are an avid fan of street art and/or adore quirky places, this hidden gem is a definitely a place to hit while in London.
At this site, you will come across many street artists painting and repainting the ceilings and walls of the main tunnel. The tunnel on Leake Street also operates as a venue for parties, concerts, and theater performances.
4. Spitalfields Market:
This market is located in Spitalfields, a district in the East End of London. Spitalfields Market is an underrated shopping area that fashionistas and shopaholics will enjoy!
For those who don’t know much about Spitalfields Market, it is well-known for its innovative fashion boutiques and selection of vintage clothing. It is best to visit this market during the weekend as some of London’s best independent fashion designers sell the best quality of handcrafted items during that time of the week. In addition, Spitalfields Market boasts a great selection of restaurants.
5. Tulip Stairs:
The sweeping staircase is located inside of the 17th century Queen’s House in Greenwich. Of all the underrated tourist’s stops in London, The Tulip Stairs are one of the most elegant and stylish looking ones. It is considered as one of the most beautiful spiral staircases in the entire world.
The Tulip Stairs are the first centrally unsupported stairs built in England. Given that this site is in Greenwich, it is best to combine visiting the The Tulip Stairs and The Painted Hall (also in Greenwich) (See #8 below) in the same trip.
6. God’s Own Junkyard:
This warehouse is a great hidden gem to check out and is in Walthamstow, a major district in North-East London. God’s Own Junkyard displays a plethora of neon signs, old movie props, and retro displays. Visitors can spend hours admiring this colorful neon Paradise. The place’s on-site café, The Rolling Scones Café offers delicious items on its menu. It is important to note that God’s Own Junkyard is only opened on weekends.
7. Saint Aymes Cafe:
Located on Connaught Street in Hyde Park, London, Saint Aymes Café is perhaps one of the most underrated spots to check out in the English Capital. It is also one of the most Instagrammable locations in the entire city and trendy amongst fashionistas, bloggers, and social media influencers. Posting a photo of yourself at Saint Aymes Café with its iconic flower wall in the background will rack up major likes on Instagram!
Saint Aymes Café offers signature coffee drinks, milkshakes, and sweets for customers to enjoy. Among the most popular items on the menu include the 24 ct. Gold Cappuccino, Unicorn Latte, 24 ct. Unicorn Frappe, 24 ct. Unicorn Waffles, and the Unicorn Cakes, to name a few. Due to popular demand, one can book a reservation (to avoid long lines) for a minimum of two people but must spend 40 euros.
8. The Painted Hall:
Although Tate Modern and The National Gallery are two of the most popular art galleries in London, The Painted Hall is one underrated spot to check out and admire some beautiful artwork. The Painted Hall is situated in The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, which is in South-East London.
The Painted Hall took 19 years to paint by hand (From 1707-1726) and thanks to talents of Artist James Thornhill, this adorned dining room ceiling became a true masterpiece of English Baroque art. It truly represents the prestige and power of Britain. Fun Fact: Several notable movies that were filmed at The Old Royal Naval College, the site which contains The Painted Hall, include the 1994 film Four Weddings and a Funeral, the 2001 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and the 2012 film Les Misérables, to name a few.
9. Cinema Museum:
The Cinema Museum is located in Kennington, a district in South London. Its collection consists of memorabilia, artefacts, and equipment which all tell the history of cinema from the 1890s to the present day. Out on display at The Cinema Museum includes cinema seats and signs, and film posters and stills. In addition, the museum houses examples of every gauge of film projector (both professional and amateur types) that was ever made.
If you are a film lover, you got to stop by and check out The Cinema Museum the next time you are in London! However, it is important to know that this Museum is only open for guided tour for those who book one in advance! So, sign up for a guided tour at this underrated museum in South London ASAP! Fun Fact: The building that the Cinema Museum is situated in used to be a former workhouse where film legend Charlie Chaplin resided in as a child!
10. Warner Bros. Studios Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter:
Of all the underrated tourist’s spots in London to make this list, this is the only one that is outside of the actual city. If you are an avid fan of the Harry Potter Books and Movies, you have to do The Warner Bros. Studios Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter tour the next time you are in London!
Warner Bros. Studios Tour London is situated inside of Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in Leavesden, which is about 20 miles north-west of London. This is the studio where all eight of The Harry Potter films were filmed at. Warner Bros. Studios Tour London offers visitors a behind-the- scenes look and tour of the sets from the movies, in addition to exhibiting collections of items and costumes from the film series.
Although this attraction is outside of the English Capital, it is worth the drive as you get to step into the magical world that J.K. Rowling has bestowed upon us from the iconic film series.
From these 10 underrated tourist spots, which ones will go and check out the next time you travel to London? Be sure to let us know which ones down below in the comments section!
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I am currently a senior at The University of Miami. I will graduate in December 2021 with a major in Journalism and minor in Sports Administration.