Sick and tired of every London tourist guide giving you the same museums and attractions? Looking for things to do in London off the beaten path? Well, that’s exactly what we have for you. Our list of the top 10 unusual things to do in London combine visits to some lesser known London museums and picturesque places right in the heart of England’s capital.
Our tour of London’s alternative attractions begins now …
#10 London RIB Voyage
London is a fun city to experience, but most tours overlook the fun part a go straight down the beaten path. That’s why the first thing you gotta do when you visit is to get yourself down to St. Katharine’s Pier, next to Tower Bridge. That’s two birds with one stone in our playbook – you get to see Tower Bridge (and the Tower of London if you fancy the idea) and enjoy the adrenalin rush of a RIB voyage along the Thames. Besides being one of the most fun and unusual things to do in London, the RIB voyage offers an amazing view of the city. Not many of the capital’s visitors get to experience that. You’re bound to love this tour.
#9 Kyoto Garden
Now that you’ve got the adrenaline pumping, you’ll need some time to sit back and relax. But why do it where everyone goes when you have a real piece of heaven waiting for you at the heart of the city – the Kyoto Garden. Located in Holland Park, next to Hyde Park, the Kyoto Garden is a place you can really enjoy some peace & quiet. Not a lot of people go there since it is not that well-known but that’s exactly why it’s so well-worth the visit. The Kyoto Garden opened in 1991 and was a gift from the city of Kyoto, Japan, commemorating the city’s relationship with the UK. It is truly picturesque, designed in the specific style of Japanese gardens with waterfalls and koi carps swimming in the small pond. Another thing that hugely contributes to the atmosphere in the Kyoto Garden is the animals. Don’t be surprised if a peacock comes to you looking for food or if a squirrel jumps on you from behind while you’re peacefully sitting on a bench. The Kyoto Garden is among the fun and different things to do in London that are completely free of charge!
#8 The Sherlock Holmes Museum
For those of you fans of Sherlock Holmes, both TV series and books, you’re definitely in for a treat! One of the lesser-known London museums that we know you’ll be pleased to see is The Sherlock Holmes Museum. Located on 221B Baker Street (yes, as in the books!) the museum features the “belongings” of Sherlock Holmes and his loyal companion – Dr Watson. The museum is really lesser known in comparison to the Natural History Museum, for instance, however, the building is quite small. That in mind, make sure to visit on a weekday, otherwise, you’ll have to wait just to get in and once inside, you won’t be able to really enjoy the experience.
#7 Petrie Museum
If you have a couple of hours to spare, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archeology is the place to visit! Some incredible artefacts there waiting to be discovered … #UCL #museum #uclmuseums #petrie #petriemuseum #egyptian #archeology #collection #painting #london #museumtour #entrance #mustsee #ancient #artefact #ancientegypt #history #culturalheritage #historical #london #university #europe #unitedkingdom #travelbrutes #travelbrute #awesomeplace
Another of the lesser known London museums is the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. Located on UCL’s campus, the museum is part of one of Britain’s top universities and luckily for us, it’s open to the public five days a week – from Tuesday through to Saturday from 13:00 to 17:00 o`clock. The museum houses an impressive 80,000-piece collection, making it one of the largest Egyptian and certainly, one of the most impressive collections in the world! One of the museum’s most prized possessions is a linen piece of clothing – the Tarkhan dress, which is estimated to be about 5000 years old, making it one of the oldest pieces of clothing preserved to this day. A truly impressive museum that, in spite of being off the beaten track, should be included in your London tour.
Besides, while at UCL, you can go to the main library and check out the mummified head of no other than Jeremy Bentham himself! If that is not among the most weird and wonderful things to do in London, I don’t know what is.
One of the most amazing things I have seen to date. It’s even more impressive in person, especially if you’re familiar with Bentham’s work. . . . #JeremyBentham #severed #head #mummy #mummiefied #ucl #main #library #exhibition #museum #museumsoflondon #museumsoftheworld #mustsee #politicalscience #politicalthought #genuinelycool #photography #nofilter #nofilters #nofiltersneeded #unitdkingdom #uk #trip #thingsoflife
#6 Highgate Cemetery
Visiting a cemetery is a fun and unusual things to do not only in London but in general. Not in a creepy way at night though. Highgate Cemetery is now becoming more and more popular attraction. There are thousands of headstones and tombs which are truly pieces of art. Besides, you can visit some really famous people there that shaped the course of history. One such example is the grave of Karl Marx, i.e the guy who wrote the Communist Manifesto along Frederich Engels. If you’re not that into history or politics, you can visit other famous people, like poets or renowned authors. Like Douglas Adams – the guy who wrote the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Not to mention the shrubs, trees and flowers are left to grow without human interference, which makes the whole experience very authentic. It’s no wonder why this falls under the category of different attractions in London.
#5 Attend an event
You know what tourists don’t do in London – attend events. Somehow everyone is too preoccupied with sightseeing. Granted, there are a lot of things to see in London, however, that should not be an excuse for missing out on the hundreds of events taking place in the city every year. Depending on the season, you can choose between so many things your head will spin. Like for instance, during the winter you might want to go to the Winter Wonderland festival. Or if you’re into sports, in recent years the NFL are trying to popularise American football outside of the US, holding a number of games in London. So if you want to experience something different, go watch some football. The fans are awesome, the hype around the whole event – even more so.
#4 Imperial War Museum
An incredible place to visit for all of you history buffs would be the Imperial War Museum. It is of the little known London attractions but that is not to say there is no general interest in visiting it. It is a genuinely cool place to visit. Right upon entering the beautiful building you’ll be left amazed by the sight of the most recognisable weapons that have shaped the course of human history. A Harrier aeroplane hanging from the ceiling next to a Spitfire, Vau 1 and 2 rockets filling the space from the ground to the very last floor, and a number of absolutely magnificent artefacts on display. The Imperial War Museum London will show you a good time.
#3 Walk The Thames Path
The river Thames is one of London’s symbols for a good reason. Along the river, you can run into some amazing places just waiting to be discovered. Plus, it’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city if only for a minute. The Thames Path is 40 miles long, so hiking the entire length is next to impossible for the normal human being, however, hiring a bike will allow you to cover greater distance while enjoying the magnificent views. Plus, there are a few (too many) pubs along the river, including one of Charles Dickens’s favourites – The Prospect of Whitby, which will take you centuries back! An amazing experience you have to try for yourselves!
#2 Kayaking on Regent’s Canal
Under number two on our list of the top 10 fun things to do in London, we have kayaking in the heart of the city. Sounds as much fun as it actually is. It is something really off the beaten track, so you’re guaranteed to get some peace and quiet should you decide to trust us and go kayaking. The entire kayak journey is amazing. It gives you an entirely different perspective on London, plus it is really awesome and lets you appreciate the beauty and tranquillity of the canal. PS: the water might look scary at first because of its greenish colour, but fear not, it’s clean!
#1 Visit the oldest surviving operating theatre in Europe
Just a short walk away from the Shard, sitting in the attic of the St Thomas’ Church is the oldest surviving operating theatre in Europe. The site can rightfully be counted among the lesser known London museums. It is small and is of interest to a fairly modest group of people which makes it one of the museums that don’t see large foot traffic throughout the year. It is, however, extremely entertaining since you can enjoy a whole lot of quite interesting events and talks, like the Victorian Surgery Talk which you can catch every Saturday at 2 PM.
If you’re looking for things to do in London off the beaten path, there you have it. Our top 10 list combines great activities and amazing places to visit in London. Have anything to share? Please do so in the comment section below. Now go enjoy your stay in London!