There are loads of hidden London places that we passed by every day and never noticed. The City of London is full of little gems. Some are just hidden others are in plain sight. London is a city that needs to be seen on foot, then and only then you will discover a treasure trove of exciting places.
1-The London Silver Vaults-Hidden treasures
Located in the heart of London, beneath Chancery Lane, is home to The London Silver Vault. What is now a unique underground shopping destination of fine antique and contemporary silver the Chancery Lane Safe Deposit opened in 1876. It was where the rich and famous would deposit their wealth.
There are around 30 specialist shops. The silver Vaults is home to the largest collection of silver in the world. The silver volts were originally used for storage local dealers needed somewhere central and secure- Them people started to come down and this whole place sort of involved into a huge shopping area for silverware. This underground shopping mall is as big as a football field. The collection variety is truly astonishing – Its location makes it an unusual shopping destination in central London. The fact that the London Silver volt is 3 floors underground is quite a strange idea.
Location: Chancery Lane
Time : 9am-5:30pm Monday-Friday- 9am-1pm Saturday
2- London graffiti and street art experience
There is no better place to see Street art than the East End of London. Best to do so with a guide. I stumbled on day in Leake Street. It’s a gigantic tunnel underneath Waterloo railway system where a panorama of modern works of giant graffiti can be found. Artists are still working on images and neon tainted lights give an atmospheric ting to their works. The tunnel seems endless and the images give an insight into another world.
3-Holland Park-Hidden London Park
Holland Park is a magical park in the Notting Hill Gate. There is something for everyone to see or do in the park. Holland Park is home of the Kyoto Garden, a peaceful and serene Japanese-style landscape garden. The Kyoto garden is a traditional garden with waterfall, there is also a beautiful pond all set in a popular part in Holland Park. As you walk around the manicured gardens, you might spot some peacocks roaming around.
Holland Park is also home to the Investec Opera Holland Park, during summer a temporary canopied auditorium is erected against the backdrop of Holland House.
4- Lincoln’s Inn Fields- Hidden London Gem
As I walked up from the Stand on Kingsway, I discovered Portugal Street which led me to Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Lincoln’s Inn Fields is without doubt the largest public square in London. Lincoln’s Inn Fields is the Law court. There are some magnificent redbrick buildings like Westminster Hall, there are some small pubs and some narrow streets . Do you know that here you can also hire a silk to represent you in any court of Law. While walking around look for a small wooden-beamed shop called: The Old Curiosity Shop. Why? because Charles Dickens visited this shop many times and it is the title of one of his novels.
5- British Library :An unusual collection of treasure
The British Library is home to an unusual collection of treasure. In 1973 the British Library became the largest library in the world. It has the private collection of King James III and 2 of 4 the copy of the Magna Carta. Hidden from the public down in the basement is a huge book depository of 150 millions items. So if a person could read 5 books a day it would take 80 thousand years to read all of them. There are 400 miles of shelves with 7 miles added every year. If you want book- all you have to do is to request it online.
6- Hamptpon Court PAlace- Hidden London and beyond
Ok, Hampton Court Palace is located on the outskirts of London on the banks of the River Thames. Nevertheless it is one on my favorite Palaces because Hampton Court Palace is a story of two palaces:
A magnificent Tudor Palace developed by Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII, and a Baroque Palace that William III and Mary II commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to build.
The palace is also set in extensive gardens and park lands.
What to see: Henry VIII’s Great Wall, the Young Henry VIII, heads and hearts exhibitions. The Tudor kitchen is a must.
There is a very intriguing maze set in the manicured garden, worth getting lost in.
How to get there?
The fastest way : by overground train from Waterloo station to Hampton Court Station.
The romantic way: a 3 hours journey by boat on the River Thames from Westminster Pier. This takes you through Battersea, don’t miss the pagoda, and then all the way to Kew Garden, Richmond, Ham house, go through Teddington and Twickenham locks.
After a while you lose count of the number of bridge you go under. There is a bar on the boat and other facilities so one can just enjoy the journey until you dock at Hampton court Palace.
In London for a few days, check our 7 days itinerary.