London is filled with amazing places to see, delicious foods to eat and delicious foods to eat and although all the obvious places are a definite must to visit, some of London’s more exciting ‘treasures’ are not as well known as you’d expect. Ever since finding out about St Dunstan’s in the East (see more deets below) which is set in the most unexpected place smack in Central London, I’ve been on a hunt to find more of London’s hidden treasures. Here are 15 amazing secret spots that you have to see in London.

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1.) St Dunstan’s in the East: I first found out about this garden earlier this year and one of the most surprising things about it isn’t its beautiful Gothic architecture or that it was designed by Christopher Wren but how central it is! I lived within walking distance from this garden for years and had no clue there was anything like this here. It truly is one of London’s best kept secrets and, amongst the current secret keepers, an ideal location for photography and filming.

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15 Amazing Secret Spots You Have To See In London! (14)

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Where is it? Between Monument and Tower Hill


2.) The Smallest Police Station in the UK: I don’t even know who thought up this idea but this station was built for the police to monitor protests going on in Trafalgar square. It is no longer actively used as a Police station of course but is a rather interesting sight to see when you’re out and about in Trafalgar Square.

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Where is it? Trafalgar Square


3.) The Seven Noses: Dotted around Soho are 7 noses created by artist Rick Buckley which should definitely make for an interesting sight (and an impressive ‘treasure hunt’) list when in London.

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15 Amazing Secret Spots You Have To See In London! (5)

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Where is it? Soho


4.) Strand Station: Also referred to as Aldwych station, this station is no longer in use but is a key part of London’s history (for instance it was used to protect artwork from museums in London during the war) and although it’s closed now, you might be able to organise a tour if you contact the London Transport Museum to find out more about it.

See Also:  These Are The Other Reasons Why You Really Need To Visit Ibiza

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15 Amazing Secret Spots You Have To See In London! (10)

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Where is it? Temple


5.) St. Martin’s Window: There are so many reasons to visit St Martin-in-the-Fields, especially so the free concerts held in  the afternoons but when you’re around, have a look for St Martin’s Window which is a rather unique window in an already impressive building.

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15 Amazing Secret Spots You Have To See In London! (12)

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Where is it? Trafalgar Square


6.) The Whitechapel Bell Foundry: This is another little treasure I found out about only because I lived almost on the same street and decided to pop in one day. Long story short, this is the very same company that built the bell in Big Ben (formally known as The Elizabeth Tower) and the Liberty Bell in the US (see picture below) which is an iconic symbol of American independence. The most impressive part about this is that it is the oldest manufacturing company in the UK, having operated for almost 500 years – and you can also buy yourself a bell here which is guaranteed to be one of the most exciting/historic souvenirs you can get in London (you can buy it online off their official website here or pop into the store when in London)

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15 Amazing Secret Spots You Have To See In London! (1)

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Where is it? Aldgate East/Whitechapel


7.) Isabella Plantation: This stunning garden is definitely a visual sight when you’re in London. If you find yourself here, do try to hear for King Henry’s Mound where you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of St Paul Cathedral.

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15 Amazing Secret Spots You Have To See In London! (20)

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Where is it? Richmond Park


8.) The Hidden Ears: Similar to the seven noses, these were created by another artists, Tim Fishlock and can be found on Floral Street in Covent Garden.

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Where is it? Covent Garden


If you’re planning a trip to London, don’t forget to check out our book on 101 Free Things To Do In London

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9.) The Bells of St. Sepulchre: The bell does not have a pleasant history. It was used for centuries to mark the execution of offenders at Newgate prison (which is no longer in existence today). The bell is also known as the Newgate execution bell and is kept in a glass case in the nave of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate church.

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15 Amazing Secret Spots You Have To See In London! (8)

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Where is it? Holborn Viaduct


10.) John Snow’s water pump: And no, I’m not referring to the Game of Thrones character here, John Snow is a Doctor who traced the 1854 cholera outbreak in London to this very tap. He is one of the founding fathers of Epidemiology and his work spurred a major change to the water systems in London. It seems almost ironic that a tap that was actually at the centre of spreading this disease should be named after him but hey ho… :-)

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Where is it? Broadwick Street (Behind Oxford Street)


11.) Number 10 Adam Street: The main reason this is a pretty good find in London is due to its striking resemblance to Number 10 Downing Street – the home of the British Prime Minister. Get a photo here and you can pretend (on Facebook and in your mind, at least) that you have had a private audience with the Prime Minister.

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(The real number 10 Downing Street below)
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Where is it? The Strand


12.) Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden Bar & Cafe: A visit to at least one roof top bar in London is a must. Even if not for the drinks or for a cool place to hang out with your friends, then for the amazing view of London you can get from it – especially during sunset. The South Bank Centre’s roof top garden bar is definitely one of those places worth visiting in London.

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Where is it? The South Bank


13.) Big Ben Bell Tower: I’l just start by saying, this is only available to UK residents however, on the plus side, it’s free! You can essentially climb up to the very top of Big Ben and see the actual bell that you can hear ringing on the hour every hour across all of London. It’s a special sight to see and better still – you can stay up there on the hour and hear (and watch) it ring. Don’t worry, you’ll be provided with ear plugs for this. To get in to see this (and to watch Prime Minister’s question time), get in touch with your local MP’s office.

See Also:  Where We Stayed In Gdansk, Poland...

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15 Amazing Secret Spots You Have To See In London! (26)

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Where is it?  Westminster


14.) Chislehurst Caves: This is one of the secret spots that’s the furthest out of Central London but its not often you can say you’ve gotten to explore a cave in London so you should definitely check it out. Also, this is a venue where artists such as The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin have played in so its got lots more reason that just cave appeal to visit it. 😉

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Where is it? Chislehurst


15.) Cockney Cash Machine: Cockney rhyming slang is almost a language and an art-form of its own and in keeping with the Cockney tradition of East London, you can find a tiny handful of cash machines where you can select ‘Cockney’ as your language of fun and watch the fun ensue as you try to decide whether you’ve just selected opted to give all your money away or just done a simple balance check! (I exaggerate by the way – you can’t actually give all your money away using a cash machine. 😉 )

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15 Amazing Secret Spots You Have To See In London! (22)

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Where is it? Commercial Road & Roman Road (and a few other locations) in East London


Also, don’t forget to check out our post on the places with the best views of London and all you need to know about visiting them.



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  • MissLilly

    I only knew about the Isabella plantation in Richmond Park, I have a lot to discover then

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yes indeed you do Lilly! :-) (And do share if you find more!)

  • I’ve lived in London my entire life and I had no idea there are ears and noses hidden all over the city! Or that there’s a Cockney case machine for that matter! haha. I’m definitely going to keep my eyes peeled next time I’m in Covent Garden or Soho!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Haha! I know right – it’s one those things that you never realise is just under your nose! (Feeling so pun-tastic today!) Hehe!

  • This post was lovely and I’m sure will serve me well for my move to London in a few weeks! Thank you.

    Bethany (curlyandwordy.blogspot.co.uk) x

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Deffo! Good luck with your move Bethany!

  • I’ve been to London a lot of times, especially this month it seems – but I’ve never heard of some of these interesting places or things to see! Especially the Chislehurst Caves, so cool! I cannot wait till the next time I go, thanks for the inspiring article!

    http://www.roisingrace.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Sounds like you have a challenge then Roisin! You’ve gotta try to find all of these in London! :-)

  • goodness. I’ve been to London once so far but next time I’ll make sure to check these places out. these look awesome.

    Hannie Arden,
    huemorist.blogspot.com.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Definitely Hannie! Most def!

  • This is such a great post

    Xoxo

    http://fashionbackyard.blogspot.fr

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Camille!

  • Natalie Minniss

    This is so great! These are all on my list. I’ve been to St Dunstan’s in the East and it was beyond amazing. It was a rainy Sunday morning and we had the place all to ourselves.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Its such a cool place isn’t it Natalie? Almost hard to believe it’s in Central London!

  • This list is an excuse for me to plan another trip to London! Such fun hidden gems!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yes definitely Rachel!

      Yaya

  • St Dunstan’s is so ethereal and quiet. It was totally empty last time I was there. A lovely spot to sit in silence with a book and a cup of tea.

    http://fortforgrownups.co.uk/

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Absolutely Aoife! :-) It’s a lovely place!

  • hey, just bumped on your post on Bloglovin’ the minute I set my Bloglovin’ profile;) I’ve just started my travel blog and I’m too a huge London fan! This post is very informative and useful for my future London trips!

  • Katya Jackson

    hhah, I love this thing with cockney ATM :) :) :)

    Just got back home from Covent Garden, a pity that I didn’t read your post earlier today.

    Katya

    Ok, But First Coffee

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Me too! Such a random thing to find in London. :-)

  • Hahaha that Cockney atm is amazing.
    I love that London is a city that keeps on giving and even the locals who have been there for years haven’t managed to explore it all yet xo

    • HandLuggageOnly

      I know right? Its so full of all these amazing little things. Love London!

  • Amazing post, I love London!

    http://hedgefundgirl.blogspot.co.uk/

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks!!!

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  • I’m So delighted to find your blog,Really found many interesting things to explore in London.I would like to say many thanks for tremendous post

    • Yeah Exactly !

      With Awesome Photography too…

      • HandLuggageOnly

        Thanks!!! Really pleased you like the post!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thank you so much for your comment! It took a little while to round these up so I’m so grateful for your kind words! Makes it all worthwhile! :-)

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  • Russell

    Excellent article!!

    I’ve lived in London for 3 years and some of these were totally new to me! I’ve just added St Dunstan, smallest police station, noses and ears, and “No 10” to my To Visit List.

    I’ve visited Aldwych and Chislehurst Caves and loved them!

    Great read, thanks!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! So glad you liked it Russell!

      Chislehurst Caves are stunning aren’t they! Let us know if you manage to find all the noses and ears! :-)

      Lloyd & Yaya

  • Roma

    Great post guys! Happy to admit there’s plenty in that list I knew of, but the best bit are the little known secrets in areas I regularly find myself in!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much! :-)

      Ohhhh Do you have any little secret areas that you like best? We’d love to find some more to visit! :-)

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • georgiana

    Current list is a reason for me to make a strategy for a new London tour. It’s such a calm place The Bells of St. Sepulcher? Exactly hard to trust it’s in Central London! I’ve remained to London as soon as so far but next time I’ll make definite to check these Sights.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      This is amazing! So glad you love London too! :-)

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • KenyanMoments A

    little did i know…thanks for the post!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! So glad you like them! :-)

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  • Becky Bedbug

    This is such a great post! I’ll definitely be looking out for some of these!

    One little point- Big Ben is the bell inside the tower, not the tower itself. That’s called the Elizabeth Tower.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, thanks so much Becky. So glad you like our post! :-)

      You’re totally right, it’s just been renamed hasn’t it? Was it last year? :-)

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

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