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Hidden gems in London.

(108 Posts)
Onionringo Tue 09-Aug-16 13:04:15

Hi,

What are your hidden gems in London? I seem to have found myself with a couple of free days, completely child free, and as I live on the outskirts of London, thought I'd try and explore places I've never been. All suggestions welcome for interesting museums, bars, restaurants for lunch, parks, shops, anything. I've generally stuck to all the well known places and museums, my favourites being the Portrait Gallery and the V&A. That's where I always seem to end up, and I'm determined to stay away from them this time.

Any ideas? What would you do if it were you with these days to fill?

Collectorofcookbooks Tue 09-Aug-16 13:06:25

I'd see if there were any spaces left on a course at Cooks for Books, have a wander down the Portobello Road, and wander down that lovely road packed with antiques shops, ending up at High St Ken.

Lj8893 Tue 09-Aug-16 13:09:39

Portobello road, Camden, southbank, borough market are all my favourite parts of London. Also there's an amazing restaurant in Covent Garden Sarastro which is so quirky.

Lj8893 Tue 09-Aug-16 13:10:51

The old operating theatre museum is interesting too.

Turbinaria Tue 09-Aug-16 13:21:23

The Grant museum of zoology near Goodge Street station
The Foundling museum near Russell Square
The dock lands museum in Canary Wharf
Brick lane for young designer fashion & street food
Denis Severs house in Spitalfields
South bank for people watching
Greenwich for museums, parks and markets

AntiHop Tue 09-Aug-16 13:22:16

The women's pond in Hampstead heath. It's the most amazing place. Swimming in a pond is an unforgettable experience.

Onionringo Tue 09-Aug-16 13:31:20

Portobello Rd is a good idea, I've never really gone to that part of London.

The Operating theatre museum sounds right up my street too.

Artandco Tue 09-Aug-16 13:36:39

Portobello road is just a dump nowdays, I probably wouldn't bother unless something else nearby

newlabelwriter Tue 09-Aug-16 13:39:46

John Soanes museum is amazing. If you fancy a trip East you could try London Fields, Broadway market... Second Hampstead Heath ponds - it really is wonderful. www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/2016/ron-arads-curtain-call/ is on at the Roundhouse in August and looks great and whilst Camden is best avoided, Primrose Hill is rather lovely. I live in South East London and would normally recommend The Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Horniman Museum but they are both a bit hellish in the summer holidays.

Bear2014 Tue 09-Aug-16 13:41:38

Highgate Cemetery is lovely and interesting - can combine with a walk across Hampstead Heath.

Crystal Palace park for the dinosaurs

Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons (if you like that kind of thing!)

Walk from Little Venice to Camden down the Canal and look at the zoo on the way!

SeaRabbit Tue 09-Aug-16 13:46:22

The Wallace Collection is stuffed full of old masters, exquisite snuff boxes, and other lovely, fancy, things, plus armour including (probabaly) Henry VIII's. I don't generally like old master type paintings but I love them at the Wallace - and it's free, and not far from Marylebone High Street - which has Daunt Books on it.

I'd have a wonder round the Conran Shop in the old Michelin Building, and treat myself to some seafood too.

Whatthefoxgoingon Tue 09-Aug-16 13:52:57

Marking place for ideas. I've been to every single one of the above places already!

CeciliaMiddleton Tue 09-Aug-16 14:02:38

I'm obsessed with this website for finding great things to do in London www.culturewhisper.com

also this is hilarious www.culturewhisper.com/r/article/worst_london_novelty_restaurants/7559

LondonHuffyPuffy Tue 09-Aug-16 14:03:32

Not exactly a hidden gem, but a gem nonetheless... Tate Modern has just opened its new additional building. It has a wonderful viewing platform on level 10, with panoramic/ 360 degree views of London. It's fab. The lifts up to it are a bit temperamental though.

Then when you've done that get the Tate to Tate boat to Tate Britain

DonkeyOaty Tue 09-Aug-16 14:06:36

woodberry wetlands highly recommend

Julius02 Tue 09-Aug-16 14:07:18

Leighton House museum in Kensington. It's an absolute gem and very under visited. You could combine it with a trip to Kensington Palace or some shopping. The 'Exhibitionism' Rolling Stones exhibition at the Saatchi gallery at the moment is brilliant and worth going to even if you're not a Stones fan.

In East London the Geffrye Museum is interesting too. And Sir John Soane's house, as someone mentioned earlier.

MissSueFlay Tue 09-Aug-16 14:10:51

If it's a nice day, an afternoon in Lincolns Inn Fields is a lovely way to round it off. Mooching around the old Inns of court, it's a very different corner of London.
The City is also an interesting place to wander around, from St Paul's down to the Tower. Hyper-modern temples to capitalism side-by-side with some of the oldest churches in London - St Mary Axe, St Olave's, St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe, Southwark Cathedral....

LaurieFairyCake Tue 09-Aug-16 14:13:55

Go to a service at St Paul's - they have short lunch time services and one about 4.45

It's free rather than have to pay the £16 quid price smile

Nice shop and cuppa/cake below too

HumptyDumptyBumpty Tue 09-Aug-16 14:22:35

Seconding Sir John Soane's museum behind Holborn. Has the sarcophagus of Seti I! What's not to love? grin If you like that sort of thing, the Petrie Museum of Archaeology & Egyptology at UCL.

MsRinky Tue 09-Aug-16 14:23:36

Ooh, I was going to say Leighton House too, it is gorgeous. Or the Missoni exhibition at the Fashion and Textile museum in Bermondsey.

Onionringo Tue 09-Aug-16 15:16:44

Oh yes, forgot about the new bit at the Tate modern.

Never heard of Leighton House or Woodberry Wetlands. I'll look them up.

FruOla Tue 09-Aug-16 15:48:03

The Chelsea Physic Garden is lovely chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk.

And there's a nice pub round the corner called The Surprise www.thesurprisechelsea.co.uk

FruOla Tue 09-Aug-16 15:50:26

Oh, and the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton www.geffrye-museum.org.uk

MarmiteMakesMeHappy Tue 09-Aug-16 16:02:47

Shameless place mark. Have lived in London all my life but half of these are news to me.

Love sound of the Operating Theatre Museum and the Woman's Pond at Hampstead.

Whatthefoxgoingon Tue 09-Aug-16 16:14:00

I've been to all of these places apart from the new Tate extension, so thanks for the reminder!

My votes go to Leighton house and the Chelsea physic as delightful little gems.

Keep em coming!

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