Free & secret spots to visit in London
After living a year in London, I had time to deepen my research concerning what to do in the city. At some point, I wanted to discover original and unknown places that are not too touristy ! Here are some places that I really liked in central London, don't hesitate to share yours with me by subscribing to the newsletter!
1° A beach between buildings
This is the perfect place if you want to get away from the busy world of London. It is soothing to see the water and to be able to feel like at the beach, however I don't know if you can swim there. It is called Bankside beach, you will need to cross a little door and go down few stairs to get there !
Directions : at the south entrance of Blackfriars Station, in front of the Tate Modern or five min walk from the Shakespeare globe
2° An abandoned church in the heart of London
Saint Dunstan Church was built in the early 12th century and was damaged during the Great Fire of London in 1666, it was then rebuilt and damaged over time. As it was last destroyed during the Second World war, the city decided to integrate the ruins to a garden, which is now the Saint Dunstan Garden. If you want to know more about the church, you can read that article.
Directions : 5 min walk from the Monument train/bus station, close to the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge.
3° An amazing and unknown view of London
Called Surrey Quays, it was initially an area full of warehouse and storage for grain and seeds, it is now a place known for residential housing. The South dock became a marina, the Greenland Dock have a water-sports centre and the Russia Dock is now a wildlife reserve ! There is also a Surrey Quays shopping centre.
Directions : five min walk to Surrey Quays station
4° Harry Potter's secret spot
If you are an Harry Potter's fan, you need to know that this place has served as decor for the narrow&magical streets of the Diagon Alley in the movies. Today, if you stroll down Bull's Head Passage, you can recognise the blue door of an optical store that represented the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in the movie "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". Apart from being part of the Harry Potter world, Leadenhall market is one of the oldest market of London and is now a place where businessmen often go for a drink after work. Furthermore, it is also a great place for shopping or dinning. For more information of events at the market, click here.
Directions : 2 min walk from Sky Garden, by bus it is stop Fenchurch street (stop M) and by train, it is Bank station.
5° A secret dock at 5 min walk from Tower Bridge
St Katharine Dock is a cute place with many restaurants and an amazing view of Tower Bridge. The walk around is really romantic, you can seat on a bench and admire the boats, you can get drinks in front of the calm water, you can take a bike ride : overall, this spot is really cool for a first date or if you just want to get out of the busy city that is London (without actually moving).
Directions : 5 min walks from Tower Hill station or Tower Bridge station.
6° An underrated garden
London is full of amazing gardens, however this one is underrated. Queen's Mary Roses Gardens is inside Regent Park and is amazingly beautiful when roses are blooming. The walk is worth the detour ! When you go there, you should also stop at the Japanese Garden Island...
Directions : Go to Regent Park (closest train station is Baker Street) and follow maps you find in the park. It is a garden inside the park!
7° A yard where you will want to stop
This spot might be the most famous one, but it is worth the detour. Neal's Yard is close to Covent Garden and it a colourful yard, one of the best place to take instagrammable pictures, there are also loads of opportunities to get drinks, coffee or to shop around there.
Directions : the train station is Lancaster Square or you can just walk to the yard from Covent Garden