Head Concierge, Ben Malpass shares his favourite hidden gems in London. From historical tours of old London to breath-taking views from the capital’s greatest green spaces.
Enjoy London from a completely new perspective by travelling along the Regents Canal, onboard a traditional narrow boat. From unique architecture to landscaped gardens & wildlife, this route gives an insight into the unique and beautiful mix that make up London. Our favourites being the picturesque views of Little Venice and the vibrant Camden Town, home to the world-famous Camden market.
Photo Credit: London Waterbus Company
Ever since 1872, there has been a corner of Hyde Park dedicated to free speech, with the likes of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and George Orwell all having expressed their opinions here. Speakers’ Corner is located on the north-east edge of Hyde Park, nearest Marble Arch and Oxford Street, and to this day, still finds crowds gathering to listen to enthusiasts expounding their views on a Sunday morning.
Photo Credit: The Royal Parks
Situated between 10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament, the Red Lion is probably the best pub in the city for lovers of political history. Standing so close to Downing Street, meant that the Red Lion became a popular haunt for British Prime Ministers – welcoming the likes of Sir Winston Churchill and Clement Atlee for a drink. So, there’s every chance you’ll catch a glimpse of some of our government’s elite in the bar, too!
Photo Credit: Red Lion Westminster
Pickering Yard in St James Street is a tiny courtyard with a wealth of history attached to it. Not only was it home to the smallest square in Britain, but it is also the last place in London where a duel was fought! Rumour has it, that the looser staggered to the Red Lion, just around the corner and died promptly after!
Photo Credit: Matt Brown
Explore ‘forgotten’ parts of the Tube network and go behind the scenes at some of London’s busiest stations with London Transport Museum’s private ‘Hidden London’ tours. Led by experience guides, the tours share stories of secret sites and abandoned stations right across the capital.
Photo Credit: London Transport Museum
Hampstead Heath is one of London’s most beautiful and popular open spaces. Located in the south-east corner of the Hampstead Heath, is Parliament Hill, offering spectacular views of London’s breath-taking and iconic skyline. On a clear day you are able to see all the way to St Paul’s, The Shard, The Gherkin and other notable landmarks.
Photo Credit: Hampstead Heath
Dulwich Picture Gallery sprung out of one of the most successful art dealerships in London during the late 18th century. It houses a collection of over 600 paintings, rich in European masterpieces by the likes of Rembrandt, Rubens, Gainsborough and Canaletto.
Photo Credit: Dulwich Picture Gallery
The Crown Jewels have a special significance in British public life, making them one of the nation’s most popular tourist attractions. The Tower of London’s private tours let you beat the crowds and experience the stories, legends and traditions that surround these magnificent regalia at your own pace.
Photo Credit: Historic Royal Palaces
If it wasn’t for the curious collection of ribbons and flowers in varying states of decay decorating the railings of London Bridge, you might never know that you’d come across Cross Bones Cemetery: London’s morbid hidden gem. It’s estimated that the bodies of over 15,000 people are buried here.
Photo Credit: Crossbones
One of the most impressive sections of London’s Roman City wall can be found just outside the entrance to Tower Hill Underground Station. It stands 35 feet high, although only the first 14 feet is, in fact, Roman… The upper 21 feet consists of medieval additions placed on top of the Roman remains at various stages between the 12th and 17th centuries.
Photo Credit: Historic-UK
Gordon’s Wine Bar is a hidden gem, just minutes away from Trafalgar Square (and yes, they only sell wine!). The bar is renowned for its history with a vaulted candlelit cellar and old oak barrels filled with sherries and port. The walls are covered with old photographs and newspaper clippings, so you can discover historic events whilst sipping award-winning wines, and indulging in delicious dishes.
Photo Credit: Gordon’s Wine Bar