Whether you’re locals seeking the unique or a tourist craving hidden gems, check out the definitive lowdown on unusual attractions in London. From subterranean rail rides and treasure vaults to derelict churches, this quirky guide has all bases covered.
Bethnal's Green murder mystery-themed immersive, theatrical dining experience will have you whisked back to the golden era of train travel, where nothing is as it seems. Tuck into an incredible four-course menu designed by Masterchef The Professionals finalist Louisa Ellis, as you try to guess who the elusive offender is at The Murdér Express Part Deux.
Gather around cocktail convicts, as Alcotraz is one of the hottest fun activities for adults in London. After successfully outsmarting the warden to smuggle in your choice of spirit, contrabands will be ex-cell-ently blended by the prison’s master mixologists with liqueurs, bitters and syrups. The result? Delicious bespoke quaffs based on your exact tastes and preferences. For once, we just can’t wait to be locked up.
London's multi-award-winning event has not one, but two marquees where you whip up your very own masterpiece. You'll get everything you knead to produce quirky creations and themed sweet treats at The Big Bakes, including all ingredients, tools and an expert baker on hand for advice. There's also an amazing cake-themed bar serving up tasty cocktails and a drinks deck to watch the action as it happens.
Featuring one million balls and a beaut selection of sweetie retro cocktails, this Shoreditch bar is an attraction in its own right and a perfect escape from the troubles of reality. Ballie Ballerson has two huge rooms complete with adult-sized ball pits, mirrored backdrops, bottomless brunches and the slickest tunes. Bring on the balls.
To get a taste of London’s rich heritage, you’ll need to go underground. Deep underground. Originally designed to transport letters in the 1800s, The Mail Rail provided a handy solution to the problem of moving large amounts of mail across the city. When it was officially closed in 2003, The Postal Museum was born. With activities including an interactive gallery, a swish private hire area and an immersive subterranean ride, who thought parcels would be this much fun?
Visit the Brixton Windmill
A short stroll from Brixton tube station stands something that has been a part of Lambeth's history for over 200 years. Harking back to its agricultural past, Brixton Windmill is the fully functional flour mill that's the last of its kind in London, and right next to the gig venue of the same name. Browse through Brixton's best bars for a post-walk pitstop.
Neon Madness At God's Own Junkyard London
Nestled in a Walthamstow warehouse, this psychedelic paradise (Vegas-meets-strip-club vibe) has been papped by fans across the globe. The brainchild of Chris Bracey, who made and installed signs for Hollywood movies, God's Own Junkyard is a totally trippy attraction that's completely free to enter. There’s also a cafe inside where you can sink a tipple or two. If your stomach is now rumbling, make a beeline for Walthamstow's awesome restaurants.
It’s safe to say that London has accumulated its fair share of ghouls and goblins over the years. Learn more about their story and deep dive into our capital’s fascinating history with our selection of ghost tours... and there's not a dead end in sight. From spooky bus trips to a haunted pub tour, these events aren't just for Halloween so buckle in and enjoy the ride. Our advice? Wash down with your favourite spirit after.
Hidden London Beaches
Have you heard of Wapping Beach? Come out of station, walk down past New Crane Wharf, take the stairs and right in front of you will be a small yet secluded waterside spot. Also, a six-minute walk from the above is Pelican Stairs, next to The Prospect of Whitby. This area is steeped in history: smugglers and thieves met here, plus Samuel Pepys, Charles Dickens, James Whistler and J.M.W Turner have all visited the aforementioned pub. It has also appeared as a backdrop in Only Fools and Horses and Whitechapel.
A Derelict London Church With A Colourful Past
Shrouded behind Tower Bridge lies the quiet, tranquil oasis that is St Dunstan in the East. This Grade I listed building was originally built around 1100 and has lived an interesting life. Wrecked by the Great Fire of London in 1666 and suffering massive damage during The Blitz, the church declared it a public space in 1970 after it became too expensive to repair. We love the gothic architecture and lush botanical feels. In need of more green? Here are London's lovely gardens.
A Gothic London Cemetery
After unusual places to visit in London for free? The second biggest of London's Victorian graveyards, Nunhead Cemetery near Peckham, is a peaceful place to wander through. Largely abandoned between the 1970s until 2001, a lot of the area has been reclaimed by the woods but this gives it an almost beautiful aura. Go up the hill on the western side for a stunning view of St Paul's Cathedral.
Ok, so the Hard Rock Café is hardly a hidden attraction, but did you know it houses a secret space full to bursting with rock memorabilia? Tucked away in what was an old branch of Coutts Bank, rumour has it that the Queen had valuables stored inside. Nowadays, some of music's greatest names have donated guitars, signed lyrics and iconic costumes. It’s completely free too, just need to be accompanied by a guide. Debrief from all that exploring over a juicy burger and chips.
Chances are you haven't seen South London's beaut Grade II listed historic secret garden tucked away behind Streatham Common. Originally The Rookery was part of a massive private house in the middle of West Norwood and Norbury, this mainly unexplored space features ornamental ponds, botanical plants, wildflowers, a mineral spring and an old English garden. Need a pint to search for more secret places in London? Uncover Streatham's beaut boozers.