Big Ben, the London Eye, Hyde Park… you’ve seen it all already. So, where can you go to really uncover the best London hidden gems that will make your trip unforgettable?
While it’s nice to tick the big ticket landmarks off your bucket list, once you’ve done that, you want to find places with character. With an atmosphere or experience or offering that you’d struggle to match elsewhere…
That’s where these six London hidden gems come in. From the finest to the freshest food and drink to shopping with a difference and even city centre wildlife watching, you’ll find all of this and more in this London hidden gem round-up. Where will make it onto your itinerary?
Drink a dirty martini at Dukes
Sure, everyone has heard of Dukes. One of the most iconic hotels in London, you’ve probably walked past it more times than you can count, but have you tried their infamous dirty martini yet? The bar at Dukes is both intimate and excellent, so it’s a must whenever you’re next in London.
A dirty martini here packs a punch on both your purse and your sobriety (they’re seriously strong!), so you won’t need to drink too many, but you will want to soak up every second of the theatre involved in this iconic London hidden gem for drinks.
Eat local at King’s Cross Skip Garden
Who would imagine that in the heart of King’s Cross, you’d find a vegetable garden, chicken coops and even beehives to rival even the best rural allotments. This London hidden gem is a real find, not simply for the pocket of green it creates, but for what it stands for, too.
Taking recycling to new levels, you’ll find crops growing in all kinds of containers, including the skips that give the garden it’s name. Stop here for lunch for one of the best opportunities to eat food that is fresh, local and community-grown in London.
Wildlife spot at Camley Street Natural Park
While you’re in King’s Cross and embracing the great outdoors, be sure to call into this natural park too. It’s a haven for wildlife in London, so we recommend you take a picnic and plan to while away a few hours here, seeing what you can spot! Camley Street Natural Park is open from 10am to 5pm throughout the summer.
Have lunch in St James’s Park
Despite counting St James’s Palace and Buckingham Palace as neighbours, this park is much smaller than Hyde Park and often overlooked. Many tourists pass by it as they travel from Big Ben and the Thames towards Buckingham Palace and the Mall, leaving St James’s Park as a pretty backdrop, but not a destination in itself – but it should be!
I recommend making time for lunch at St James’s Cafe. Surrounded by pretty views, showcased by huge windows, choose from hot and cold options and enjoy a cool, crisp glass of wine. Want a menu recommendation? We loved the kedgeree, served with an oozing poached egg on top, when we visited!
Rummage for antiques in Fulham
Fulham’s Lillie Road is the lesser-known Portobello Street. But with 19 antiques merchants on offer, there’s a veritable hoard of interesting items to sift through. You never know what you might find!
Hit the high street in Marylebone
Marylebone High Street is a high street… but not as you know it. Rather than overflowing with chain stores and charity shops, this high street offers a carefully curated collection of independent boutique shops and quality purveyors. If you need some retail therapy, then this might be the best one of these London hidden gems for you. From the shopping experience to the things you take home, every bit of buying here is a cut above even the best.
Never been to London before, but this is a nicely comprised list of essentials. Thanks for sharing and i’m sure a picnic will be on my priority list too should i visit in the summer.
I haven’t been in London for ages. I plan to head there in the new year so I am definitely going to use these suggestions. First stop for me is going to be Marylebone High Street for a bit of retail therapy.
What a perfect list to take when I visit London next!!
I grew up in London and I have never heard of any of these places… Well done on your research!!
Eventhough I use to live in London for 10 years I have yet only done one thing on this list! Been toMarylebone high Street and it was lovely! Used to go there a lot before!
This is so perfect!! Im going to London this winter, and I would really love to visit some places off the beaten path, as I feel like I’ve exhausted the touristy options. Thanks so much!
London!Definitely on my list.
Brought back memories of London! But I have not been to any of these places 🙂 Next time!
Already been in London but don´t know some of that places. When visiting London most people don’t visit this places, great job sharing this hidden gems. Definitely, will check next time.
Wonderful tip! I love little less-thought-of spots that offer character and a bit of a different look at a city than the big tourist stops. I think I especially need the dirty martini at Dukes! 😀
I live and work in London and totally agree with you. Marylebone High Street is totally awesome. I love buying my sausage rolls and pies from the Ginger Pig there! 😀 Proper meat!!!
I love Marylebone high street, so many hidden gems there. St Christopher’s place is another great area for exploring, and less crowded than oxford street. Gosh I love London.
I love this post! I love going to places and kind of pick the local’s mind to see the real side of the area and not just the touristy places (which, like you said are also important to go and check out). St. James’s Park looks like a magical place!! Thank you for sharing!
Gods Own Junkyard would be my must-do. It’s a bitty out of the way, but SO worth it!
I have visited all the usual touristy spots in London, but I’m yet to explore the places you have mentioned in the post. I’m so disappointed that I missed out on St. James’s Park when I visited Buckingham Palace. Cannot wait to go back to London and explore all of the above places!
Very cool activities! I think we will go straight to Camley Street Natural Park first, considering that we are mountaineers and trekkers. Then probably, we’ll “refuel” and reward ourselves with a great meal at King’s Cross Skip Garden. Awesome!
thats cool! I really like London and living in Paris, it’s so easy to go there, too! Luckily! 🙂 I will keep your tips in mind when I go there next time… I think I even have been to a few of the spots already but I will definitely try the dirty Martini next time!