Millions of people visit London every year to visit her ancient buildings drenched in an amazing history that rubs shoulders with the world of today. What many don’t know, there are some intriguing places that no one knows about! These precious secrets are just as much a part of England’s past as the Tower of London.
Thames path was first considered in 1948 and opened in 1996. This path is approximately 184 miles long (296 km) leading to many hidden secrets. By foot or by bike, you will discover the “Prospect of Whitby” which was one of Charles Dickens favorite pubs to hang out! Discover public beaches and Rotherhithe Village and many other places that allow you to step back in time. This is truly worth your time!
Ancient Historical Temple Church:
The Temple Church is a must to visit with its Inner and Middle Temple each offering it’s own gardens, libraries, chambers and dining halls. Temple Church, with its rare architecturally circular nave, was founded by the Knights Templar in the Twelfth Century. It has of late, become famous again through Dan Brown’s novel The De Vinci Code.
Sir John Soane’s Museum:
This is one of London’s most incredible museums and was formerly the home of Sir John Soane, architect of the Bank of England. It houses more than 20,000 architectural drawings and amazing antiquities, including Seti’s Egyptian Sarcophagus! Other amazing items include the works of artists such as Turner, Canaletto and Piranesi. It’s said every thing is laid out the way Sir John wanted it. If you love history, this is a must see!
Leighton House in Kensington:
The studio-house of Victorian artist Lord Frederic Leighton, is without doubt one of London’s greatest treasures. The gorgeous tiled Arab Hall will leave you awestruck along with many other interior designed rooms. Leighton House is home to some of the very finest Victorian drawings, paintings and sculptures. Some of these are the works of artists such as Edward Burne-Jones, John Millais and Frederic Leighton himself.
The Wallace Collection:
This 28-room town house, in Marylebone, houses paintings, porcelain, and furniture from 18th-century France. The walls display some of the greatest works of the Old Masters including Rembrandt and Gainsborough. You can also view a fine collection of armoury. If nothing else, the courtyard restaurant is worth the entire trip.
There are not a lot of stately homes and palaces in London, but there is Fulham Palace. You are welcome to visit this palace for free and check out incredible architecture, art, and history. They also offer many programs of events throughout the year.
This has got to be one of London’s best kept secrets. Located behind Upper Street in Islington, Camden Passage offers an array of boutiques, vintage shops and really quaint cafes. This is truly a shoppers delight for party attire and other paraphernalia. Stop by the antiques market which sells everything from war memorabilia, bric-a-brac, furniture and curios. It’s definitely worth hunting down.
The Guildhall Art Gallery:
Little known until 1988, this amazing structure was once used for gladiator combat during the time of Roman Invasion. When unearthed, it’s beautiful circular walls and bloody history was revealed.
This small museum is free to visit and is located next to the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar. It displays cards from famous guests who stayed at the hotel, old photos and even vintage alcohol. Though take note: a vintage cocktail will set you back £5,000! One quirky note, The Savoy lobby is home to Kaspar the Cat. To this very day this statue is used as an extra guest if there is a dinner party of 13 guests, thanks to superstition!
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