London is one of the most diverse and culturally exciting cities in the world. The huge numbers of immigrants that the city has attracted and it’s unique history means London has some incredible places to visit.
Because of this its such a shame that some of the more interesting places to visit are often overlooked because people don’t know about them. The main London tourist attractions which are well and truly on the beaten path are visited most often which is of course great because they are well worth visiting, but there is much more.
Here are our tips for some really interesting places to visit in London that you might not have heard of.
The Cartoon Museum
This is really centrally located, very close to the British Museum. The museum promotes British cartoons dating from the 18th century to the present day. You will see cartoons you might recognise from your childhood, together with some of the first British cartoons and some more obscure political pieces. You might be surprised at how vibrant the British cartoon scene is.
Dans Le Noir Restaurant
How about eating your dinner in the dark? That’s exactly what you can do at Dans Le Noir. The experience apparently helps you really taste your food when you have no visual distractions. The restaurant has special guides to help you out, so you’re not on your own in the dark! You can find the restaurant at 30-31 Clerkenwell Green London EC1R 0DU.
If you’re into self development you can visit this little book shop just off Neal Street in Covent Garden. They sell personal development books and promote meditation, relaxation and positive thinking. They have a quiet meditation area where you can relax away from central London’s busy streets.
The Crime Museum
Located at New Scotland Yard this museum houses weapons used to commit murders and other crimes in the capital. There are weapons used by notorious murderers such as Jack the Ripper. It’s a place that shocks and is quite emotive. Unfortunately it isn’t always open to the public. If you are a member of the police force you might be able to find your way in as lectures and seminars sometimes take place there.
Pollocks Toy Museum, Fitzrovia
Despite the name this probably isn’t a museum to take your kids to. Its more a place of nostalgia for parents to find the toys that they used to play with and also find intriguing toys from past generations. If you like old dolls this is the place for you, if you find them slightly creepy then you might want to think twice. Conveniently located in central London near Goodge Street its worth a trip.
The Kensington Poltergeist
At 20 Bute Street, South Kensington on August 18th 1907 a man named Arthur Herbert George and his assistant looked on as books and stationary slid from shelves with a mind of their own. Electric lamps toppled over. The disturbances became worse, boxes were thrown around the room and it became dangerous to be in the shop so the door was closed as customers weren’t allowed in.
There were other eye witnesses to the events. You can now visit the shop where the events happened and see a plaque in memory of the event. You can read about more unexplained events in London here. There are some interesting places to visit where ghost sightings have been frequent.
Chelsea Physic Garden
A really fascinating city garden founded in 1673 as an apothecaries garden to train students from the Chelsea Royal Hospital. Today it’s still used for research and education. The garden has some amazing greenhouses and trails. It’s only open from April to October and Wednesday, Thursday Friday and Sunday. It’s a garden that is little known by many Londoners. It’s located at 66 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea SW3 4HS.
This museum is all about the history of surgery and how it has developed over the years. Most of what is inside comes from the collection of John Hunter the 18th century surgeon and anatomist. If you are interested in surgery this is a fascinating place to go. Even if you aren’t interested you will probably be able to take something from it as well as watch some gruesome surgical videos. There are free tours every Wednesday at 1pm. You also don’t have to pay to get in. It’s located at Lincolns Inn Fields WC2A 3PE.
Grays Antique Market Mayfair
If you’re into antiques this old building is full of them. Inside are over 200 antique dealers over 2 floors. Prices vary from some high priced goods to some possible bargains. It’s a great place to browse. It’s open 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Some dealers are open after 11am on Saturdays. It can be found at 58 Davies Street, London W1K 5AB.
Samuel Johnsons House
This is where Dr Johnson put together the first English dictionary. He lived here from 1748 to 1759. The building has been restored to its original state so you get a feel for how it looked in the seventeen hundreds. It’s open to the public with a collection related to Dr Johnson. You can visit it at 17 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE.
This article is from Patrick Martin who writes for William Russell, an expatriate insurance specialist.