Top 5 hidden gems in London

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Photo used with permission from fietzphotos/Pixabay

Leadenhall Market displays empty halls lined with lit shops. London’s charm meets modern-day shopping in this market where the historic architecture is combined with contemporary clothing stores, restaurants and souvenir shops.

Abby Dichter, Staff Writer

Everyone knows the classic must-see tourist destinations in London: the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Tate Modern, Big Ben. But, lesser-known attractions may bring a more traditional London feel, providing a glimpse of what the city truly has to offer. 

From hidden markets to quaint tea shops, London has many hidden gems. To become a true Londoner, here are five hidden gems that stray from the typical tourist approach. 

Columbia Road Flower Market 

Each Sunday, Columbia Road, a picturesque Victorian-era street in Bethnal Green, overflows with every type of flower imaginable. Some sellers even have family history at the market that dates back generations. From its limitless supply of blooming flowers to promising local shops, artisan cafes and art galleries, this boulevard of flowers makes for the perfect Sunday outing. 

Columbia Road transforms into a vibrant flower market on Sunday mornings. (Photo used with permission of Julian Walker/Flickr)

Leadenhall Market 

As the weather warms and spring nears, this historic London market is a must-go outing. Leadenhall Markets’ stained glass windows and light-filled halls are an unmissable sight. It is easy to turn our eyes to online platforms for spring shopping, but London has much more to offer with this historic take.

Through a number of passageways, pedestrians can access this airy market home to an array of unique stores, beautiful architecture, classic taverns and even Harry Potter filming locations. 

St Dunstan in the East

A hidden oasis, St Dunstan in the East is a hidden church garden in the heart of London. Though it is surrounded by skyscrapers and busy roads, all evidence of the city is erased as you step foot into the renovated 1698 church destroyed in World War II. Covered in vines and greenery, the ruins have been converted into a beautiful garden connecting the dark past of conflict to a hopeful, peaceful space. 

A testament to British History and simultaneously the perfect place to read and relax, the church hosts quiet nooks and benches. Whether to simply absorb the beauty of the garden or take a break from hectic London life, this garden is a must-visit for Londoners. 

Twinings Tea Shop 

A London trademark, tea shops have maintained their popularity throughout the centuries. As London’s oldest tea shop with over 300 years of history, the Twinings Tea Shop on the Strand is a valuable experience for all tea lovers.

Offering an unimaginable array of teas, gifts and even masterclasses, Twinings Tea Shop is the essence of Britain’s favorite pastime. The picturesque entrance opens up to walls lined with tea before leading to a narrow passage into a small tea tasting room and museum. As the oldest store in its original location in London, this tea shop is a flagship of English culture. 

God’s Own Junkyard 

Its own personal neon paradise, God’s Own Junkyard is one of the most unique places tucked away in the city. This warehouse has an endless supply of one-of-a-kind, eccentric neon signs that boast traditional approaches to art. 

Whether looking to purchase a sign or simply window-shop, browsing through the corners of this junkyard is the perfect activity. From old movie props, event signs and personal creations, the sky is the limit for creativity at God’s Own Junkyard. Although the National Portrait Gallery, The Tate and the Victoria and Albert are great attractions to visit, this gallery – with a more immersive experience – provides a special outing.

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