A city of culture, of diversity, and of more royal tea towels and magnets than you could ever hope for, there’s a lot to see and do in London – with many of the top attractions and place to visit highly marketed and well visited every day of the year.
But while walking down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace and riding the London Eye are definitely bucket list items worth doing on your trip to London, this is a city with more than a few hidden gems. Which is why we’ve created this article – taking you on a tour of the lesser known hotels near Lancaster Gate Station in London, the quieter attractions and museums, and the corners and views that most tourists overlook.
Pay close attention to the Royal Parks
The Royal Parks really come into their own during widescale events and when the different seasons dictate new experiences being held within their boundaries. Hyde Park, for example, plays host to concerts in the summer and to the iconic Winter Wonderland during the run-up to Christmas – but have you considered visiting simply to enjoy the green space in the heart of a vibrant city?
Hyde Park is just one of the large parks in central London and is surrounded on all sides by eateries and restaurant, boutique stores, and elegant hotels such as the Park Grand London Lancaster Gate. On the inside, it hosts Speaker’s Corner, the large boating lake known as the Serpentine, the Italian Gardens, a multitude of sports pitches, and the boundary of Kensington Gardens.
A short walk from Hyde Park, past the accommodation surrounding Lancaster Gate UK, there lies Regent’s Park – another large park which combines seasonal events (such as Taste of London in the summer season) with its proximity to ZSL London Zoo and a variety of different garden settings and paths perfect for a walk or morning jog.
Other parks include Green Park, Victoria Park, Battersea Park, and the plethora of small gardens in the centre of townhouse blocks which dot and cover the city. And then we come to one of our standout hidden gems in London…
… and the gardens that aren’t as well known
The Kyoto Garden is situated in Holland Park and is a tranquil place of peace and relaxation which was first gifted to London by the city of Kyoto in 1991. Across the 55 acre plot, the garden features a koi carp pond and all manner of seating areas and walkways, many of which are lined with lamps and ornate trees.
Best of all, because this garden is located in Kensington, it couldn’t be closer to the hotels and convenient attractions of central London – meaning you don’t even have to go out of your way to enjoy it.
Moving away from green spaces and expanses of parkland, Camden Passage unites that vibe of old London with the new and more modern surroundings – playing host to several coffee houses and cafes which compliment the regular street market which focuses on the sale of antiques.
To look at, Camden Passage is like one of those destinations from a movie set – lined with brightly coloured store fronts, pained front doors, and old brick buildings which seem to warp and lean together to present the perfect passage. The slightly uneven, cobbled street adds to the character and charm of the passage, while the access to a multitude of cafes and coffee stops makes this a perfect place for a morning walk from your hotel.
The train stations
Yes, we’re going to get a little more specific in a moment by highlighting our favourite station stopping points – but before we do, it is worth mentioning the grandeur and beauty of London’s major stations on their own.
Taking you as far afield as cute cottages on the south coast, attractions in Wales, and hotels in Lancaster England, London’s railway stations boast a very important job in the city’s transport hub – but they also showcase some of the best architecture in the city.
And that’s not all. London’s train stations are also home to some movie magic, with Paddington Station paying tribute in more ways than one to Paddington Bear, while King’s Cross station has built an entire Platform 9 ¾ attraction and complimenting store for Harry Potter lovers. This is not particularly highly advertised which makes it all the more special, if and when you do come across it.
Dennis Severs’ House / Museum
This is one of the best stopping points for those who are in London and seeking a little history and culture – as the house-turned-museum pays homage to London as it was in both the 18th and 19th centuries. The townhouse, which was owned by Severs between 1979 and 1999, is laid out to reflect the lifestyle of a fictional silk weaver, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in traditional London life – no phones or electricity allowed!
In a city where modern influence is around every corner, this secret gem of an attraction is unique and completely immersive in the way it builds the experience around its visitors.
Wilton’s Music Hall
Music lovers listen up, because this attraction combines music with history and plenty of stories from old London. Wilton’s Music Hall is located in the East End of London and is in fact the oldest surviving music hall in the world – with several bars surrounding it and the vast stage still playing host to musical performances and plays even today.
The Hall is gradually being restored to its former glory, paying homage to London’s commitment to showcasing the best of its past and its present.
Many people know the Barbican as a creative hub and a place where plays and musical performances are held on a regular basis – but have you visited the conservatory? Despite being last on our list, this is one of London’s very best hidden gems as it is home to all manner of plant species and the most gorgeous green surroundings, all under the clear glass ceiling looking up towards the sun and the stars.
All of these attractions and more can be easily accessed from any corner of London, giving visitors the opportunity to see and try something a little different during their stay.