43 Quirky and unusual things to do in London that will blow your mind
This post gives 43 of the most quirky and unusual things to do in London by a local that will blow your mind.
London's big tourist attractions like Big Ben, London Eye, exhibitions and world-famous museums worth discovering with top touristy things to do to boot, but in a city with such a long history, a vibrant mix of cultures, there are so many more interesting, unique and unusual things to do in London.
They don't call the English eccentric for no reason.
Here, I've uncovered some of the most quirky and unique things to do in London next time you've got a few hours to spare in the London Town.
Visit some of these places with an open mind and a childlike curiosity as you'll be visiting some of the more unusual places in London, and of course, it to be fun, entertaining and exciting.
You'll definitely be able to impress your friends with some cool facts about London after visiting a few of the quirky places in London on this list.
For more from my London travel guide series check out my prettiest streets in London, best things to do in London, bottomless brunch Shoreditch, things to do in Shoreditch, best food markets in London, Famous Streets in London, Neals Yard Covent Garden, best desserts in London, best brunch in London, and things to do in Brick Lane.
Unusual Things to Do in London
The Ruins of St. Dunstan in the East
Located halfway between the London Bridge and the Tower of London, the church of St. Dunstan-in-the-East is an English parish Church with lots of history.
Though the church was destroyed by the Blitz in 1941, its ruins and the Wren Tower have made it a charming and serene place as it has been overtaken by white lilies dotted around the ruins, lush green wall vines running along the walls, trees and ivy.
St. Dunstan-in-the-East remains one of London's hidden gems and is now a public garden. If you are looking for offbeat things to do in London, then visiting the ruins at St Dunstan-in-the-East will not disappoint.Address: St Dunstan's Hill, London EC3R 5DD
Leadenhall Market is a covered market in London, this beautifully designed Victorian marketplace and one of London's oldest markets. Leadenhall Market is situated in what was the centre of Roman London and was originally a meat and poultry market.
Sitting under its elegant roof are numerous restaurants, independent shops, flower, meat and cheese stalls, pubs and offices. Owned and managed by the City of London Corporation, the market has been in existence since 1411, underlining its rich history and appeal.
The cobbled floors and richly painted roof of Leadenhall Market and its central location makes it a magical place to do some shopping.Diagon Alley scenes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone were filmed in Leadenhall Market. This undiscovered London market is one of those unusual places to explore in London when visiting.Address: Gracechurch St London EC3V 1LT
Twining Tea Shop
Everyone knows that the Brits love a good cup of tea more than anything, so it is fitting that a 300-year old flagship tea store seats pretty in the heart of London at 216 Strand.
Twinning Tea Shop is the oldest tea shop in London and has undergone some significant changes since its opening in 1706. For posh, fun and quirky things to do in London, look no further than the Twining Tea shop.
Twining has a long and fascinating history: it is not only one of UK's foremost tea shops but has been providing brews for the royal households since 1837 (Queen Victoria granted the company a royal warrant).
A royal warrant is a very fancy title and is issued as a mark of recognition to people or companies who have regularly supplied goods or services to HM The Queen or the royal household.
I told you this was a posh affair. Now all you need is to practice your best posh spice pout and having your pinky up as you sip tea.
Visit Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace offers one of the most magnificent views of London from the South, Crystal Palace is a beautiful neighbourhood that takes its name from the stunning cast iron and glass building to house the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Though the building was destroyed in a fire in 1936, the destination still has loaded in the store for you, if you want to see London from a different perspective. It's also a foodie paradise with its Sunday Market, bars and vintage delights.
God's Own Junkyard
Looking for wacky things to do in London? Then head down to God's Own Junkyard, it's one of those quirky places in London. Located in East London, God's Own Junkyard is kaleidoscopic of handmade neon signs.
From props used for fashion shoots and Chris Bracey's work for the movie industry to old Soho sex-shop signage and even pieces that were used in 'Byzantium' and 'Captain America,' the gallery contains everything that makes it a genuinely colourful space, and fits the bill as one of the most unique things to do in London.
The collection currently has over 1400 pieces of neon signs and art, all made at God's Own Junkyard workshop.
The yard also has its own café – The Rolling Scones Café. So, once you're done with your tour around the yard, you can grab a drink and snacks for some unique refreshment.
If you are looking for things to do in London off the beaten path, then check out God's Own Junkyard.Address: Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall St, Walthamstow, London E17 9HQ
Platform 9 ¾
Platform 9 ¾ was the first Harry Potter shop to be opened outside of a themed visitor attraction. Inspired by the J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Platform 9 ¾ is a fictional train platform located in King's Cross Station.
To catch the train to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter and the other students must board the Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 ¾ (I am sure you all remember the scene in the first movie where all the kids run into the wall with theirs trolly on platform 9 ¾).
Due to popular request, a train platform known as Platform 9 ¾ was placed by King Cross Station authorities.
Visit the venue early so the professional photographer can take pictures of you with the luggage trolley embedded in the wall. Visiting Platform 9 ¾ definitely a quirky thing to do in London.
Cereal Killer Cafe
Cereal Killer Cafe is the definition of quirky London. Opened by twin brothers Gary and Alan Keery in 2014, Cereal Killer is the dream of every cereal lover. If you are into retro cereal or just want to relive your childhood days of sugar induce coma from one too many bowls of lucky charms, then pop into Cereal Killer and grab a bowl.
A trip to Cereal Killer is definitely one of those random things to do in London, but if you're a big kid at heart and love retro cereal - why not?192a Brick Lane, London E1 6SAFor a for even more things to do in Brick Lane, check out my guide to the area.
Ballie Ballerson is a unique venue like no other. With over one million balls, the magical place called Ballie Ballerson offers adult playground fun.
With its bottomless brunch offerings (read my guide on the best bottomless brunches in Shoreditch), you'll be treated to two hours of unlimited prosecco, unlimited pizza and PORNSTAR MARTINIS.
Head to Ballie Ballerson on time so you can eat and drink as much as you want while you play at the main glowing ball. If you're looking for crazy things to do in London, then jumping around in pink neon coloured balls doesn't get any better.
I love this hipster area of London so much I even made a Youtube video about it. Watch my Youtube video and let me know what you think in the comments.
Leake Street Tunnel
In 2008, Banksy held the first Cans Festival in the Leake Street Tunnel. This was a play on the famous French film festival. The first Cans Festival was a debut of the works of 29 famous street artists invited personally by Banksy, including one of the godfathers of stencil art, Blek le Rat.
Each artist covered a section of the wall in their own personal style, showcasing their work and starting a trend that changed the Leake Street abandoned tunnel forever.
Looking for unknown things to do in London then explore Leake Street Tunnel one of those hidden London gems.Leake Street is one of London's hidden gem which celebrates urban art and entertainment, and its prominence is highlighted especially now as former railway arches inside to the tunnel have been regenerated to capture the essence of urban art and culture.
Visit the Leake Street Tunnel to fuel your creativity and savour your opportunity to leave your mark on London.Also, check out the newly opened Leake Street Arches where you can grab some great grub from some of these cool restaurants.
The Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel might not be as well known as the Shoreditch and Camden Street art scene, but I highly recommend checking it out this as one of the unusual places to visit in London.
East London Street Art Tour
Looking for artsy things to do in London? East London is home to some of the best street art in the world – and this has been the case for the last couple of decades.
The unique artworks paint the streets of Hackney, Camden and Shoreditch, showcasing artist from around the world and depicting the current socio- and political climate. From Banksy, Roa, Stik to Mr Cenz, the street art adorning the building of London will have you mesmerised.
So, if you're wondering where to start from, book a street art tour with an expert guide to show you all the best street art spots in London.
Check out this 4 hour street art tour and spray paint workshop, where you not only learn about the different types of street art but also test out your skills.
Visit David Bowie's Mural Brixton
If you are a fan of the late great music legend David Bowie, why not visit the stunning memorial dedicated to him in his home town of Brixton. Just around the corner from where Bowie was born. The mural is as colourful and vibrant as the musician himself and was done by Australian artist James Cochran.
The mural features Bowie as he appears on his 1973 album "Aladdin Sane".
If you are a David Bowie fan, then visiting this mural will be one of the special things to do in London when you visit.
The Bowie mural can be found directly opposite Brixton tube station, just off the main road.Watch my Youtube Channel to learn even more about the murals in Brixton and where you can find them.
The Ashby's Mill (aka Brixton Windmill) was built in 1816. Though 1816 to 1862, the mill produced flour to restaurants and hotels in the West End.The windmill was restored in 2011, and now there are free guided tours to the mill from March to October.
The Brixton Windmill and its surrounding area are just a few of the unusual places in London, you can visit on your first trip to London.
London Mews Streets
Many visitors to London will miss out on some of the prettiest streets in London, by not exploring the hidden Mews streets that line the back streets of London's most beautiful neighbourhood like Notting Hill, Kensington and Holland Park.
Read my guide on the best London Mews streets and where to find them.
Neal's Yard Covent Garden
Neal's Yard London is one of the most colourful courtyards in London. If you are into holistic remedies and raw food, then Neal's Yard Covent Garden should be on the list of top places to visit in London.You can read my full guide on Neal's Yard and the Neal's Yard restaurant to try on your visit.
Visit Burlington Arcade
The Burlington Arcade is one of London's most beautifully adorned shopping streets. It was designed by architect Samuel Ware and opened in 1819, the Burlington Arcade was the first shopping arcade in the world and is now recognised as a historic masterpiece.
You'll have to look at the intricate detailing of the ceiling and floors of this arcade to see why it is considered a masterpiece.
It is now home to almost 50 shops ranging from small designers and pop-up cafés to luxury brands.
It even has a select passageway!Visit the Burlington Arcade – open Monday-Saturday from 9am-7.30pm and Sunday from 11 am–6 pm – to discover the story behind this architectural work of a genius.
Columbia Road Flower Market
The Columbia Road Flower Market is a street market adorned by hundreds of beautiful flowers, plants and seeds. The history, music, and unique atmosphere of the street attracts Londoners from all over. It is the prettiest Sunday market in London. Columbia Road is one of the only streets in London whose shops have not yet been commercialised.
Liven up your weekend by heading to the Columbia Road Flower Market with other Londoners who visit the street market to shop for shrubs, plants, bulbs, and to see an exotic array of blooms.
Looking for different things to do in London then visit the Columbia Road flower market and its surrounding streets to see how everyday Londoners get down on Sundays.
Visit Sky Garden
Located at 20 Fenchurch Street, the Sky Garden is a unique space spanning three storeys which offers a 360-degree view of the city of London.
The public space was designed to create a vibrant green space where visitors have a rare chance of exploring London from a different perspective.
Access to the Sky Garden is free of charge, but only a limited number of tickets are available daily.So, you can book a week ahead of your planned day of visit to explore the uniqueness of the UK's capital.
Visit the Cutty Sark
One of the top attraction in Greenwich, the magnificent Cutty Sark is a celebrated historic ship which was the fastest of its time. A visit to the ship will allow you to discover what life on board felt like, explore London's spectacular views from the deck of the vessel, and if you feel like it, enjoy afternoon tea in unique surroundings.
It is also a great time to learn about geography as there are maps, images, routes the ship took, information about sea voyages and video presentations via the complimentary audio guide. It promises to be lots of fun. Check prices for the latest ticket prices here.
Visit an Outdoor Cinema
There's no better way to escape from the hustle and bustle of the London City life than beneath the stars in one of the city's outdoor cinemas. From hot tubs to rooftops, parks to barges, movies are screened in some of London's coolest locations. There are more unusual cinemas in London than you can shake a stick at, so give one of them a try.
Do a London Food Tour
If its unusual London experiences you're looking for an East London food tour should be at the top of your things to do in London list. It shouldn't come as a surprise that London, and East London in particular, is well known for food tours.
Also known as the East End, this area of London accommodates several immigrant communities that have contributed to its impressive range of cuisine varieties.
Brick Lane is one of the most popular neighbourhoods for food tours as it is adorned with several restaurants and quirky street art, here is where you'll find some of the best curry houses in London. Check prices for the latest ticket prices here for 3 hours food tour around East London, savouring 8 different foods spots.
QUIRKY THINGS TO DO IN LONDON
Pump in Soho
The Soho district was hit by a cholera outbreak in 1854 which caused the death of hundreds of its residents, Dr Snow ultimately persuading authorities at St James parish to disable the well pump by taking off its handle.
As a leader of medical hygiene and anaesthesia, and the one who linked the outbreak to the public water pump in Soho, the pump was named after John Snow.
Their's even a pub nearby called John Snow (Games of Throne fanboys will be lining up to drink here) that you can raise a glass in honour of the great doctor. Looking for obscure things to do in London, well you can't get more obscure than the Soho Pump.
The John Snow pump can be found outside the John Snow Pub on Broadwick Street.
The Seven Noses of Soho
Seven Noses of Soho are hidden in plain sight around the Soho area of London. There were 35 noses created by artist Rick Buckley to highlight the surveillance society and increase of CCTV cameras around London.
You can even find one of the noses by the Instagram worthy Milk Trai in Soho, but you have to look carefully are you'll miss it. Searching for the noses of Soho is one of those unusual London experiences that you have to do.
Attendant Coffee Shop
The Attendant Coffee Shop has several cafés in London, but the one located at Fitzrovia in Central London is the one I would recommend visiting, because of its unique decor.
The coffee shop was a public toilet in Victorian times, and Londoners being the inventive types now serve coffee in the old urinals. This is at the top of unusual places to visit in London.You'll know you're at the right place once you spot the wrought-iron entrance.
Kayak on the Thames
The Thames – one of the most iconic stretches of water in the world (it might not look it though) – is a great place to go on a kayaking trip. Kayaking not only allows you to explore the River Thames but offers a different view of the city.
Small groups go kayaking from the Houses of Parliament or Little Venice in Paddington, try not to fall in the Thames, I wouldn't want too. The guides are knowledgeable and experienced. This should be at the top of your unusual days out in London activities.
Postal Museum - Post Office Railway
The Postal Museum, once used for the delivery of letters in the days when there were two deliveries daily. This automatic electric railway was created to carry Rail Mail deliveries into London at high speed bypassing central London's congested streets.
They found inspiration in Chicago's subterranean freight train system. Exploring the post office railway is one of the original things to do in London for railway lover.
A trip to the museum will take you through a theatrical experience, from the 100-year-old Post-Office railway into the original underground tunnels.Address: 15-20, Phoenix Place, London, England, WC1X 0DA
The Clink Prison Museum
The 'Clink' is a popular nickname for 'jail' in London. The Clink was a prison in South Bank and operated from the 12th to 18th century, England's oldest and most notorious prisons.
The prison is no longer in use but, if you ever have the need to see what prison was like back in the day, you can visit the Clink, where actors in costume will show you around, bringing back memories of Clink's grisly past.
This is hands down one of the most quirky places to go in London. Check out tickets prices here for this cool 209 sights walking tour plus entry to the Clink.Address: 1 Clink St, London, SE1 9DG United Kingdom
The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History - The Last Tuesday Society
Once described as "the most wonderful collection of strange objects ever assembled under one roof" by The Fortean Times, the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History is home to true wonders of nature, art, and curiosity.
Artworks here include Old Master Etchings, winged animals, two-headed lambs, polar bears, Dodo bones, modern British art, Skeletons, and so much more.
The shop is a lifelong project of writer and artist Viktor Wynd. It hosts weekly workshops and lectures and houses one of the lushest cocktail bars in London.
The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities is one of those quirky places to visit in London.Closest tube station - Bethnal Green 55 bus from Old Street
Swim in Hampstead Heath Ponds
They're several amazing open-air ponds in London that allow for quick dips no matter the season. You'd find some of the best outdoor pools in Hampstead Heath great for open water swims all year round.
However, the opening and closing hours of the ponds here depend on the season, so ensure you check the website for the times. The Hampstead Heath Ponds is amongst the few alternative London attractions around.
Visit Hampstead Heath
Just four miles away from Trafalgar Square, Hampstead Heath is a little village, and one of the wildest and largest green spaces in London.
The neighbourhood is filled with charming side streets, beautiful old houses, quaint cafes, a vast park, and offers an incredible view of London's skyline below. Hampstead is an excellent place to visiting during autumn in London to see the autumn colours.
The Hampstead Pergola has long since been a hidden gem in London, know only by wedding photographer and Londoners in the know, it is one of the few unusual places to visit in London.
With stone pillar draped in vines and exotic flowers, it provides a unique space for a quiet wander and a grand venue for photo shoots. Wandering the Pergola, you'll undoubtedly witness two to three engagement photo shoots on the go.The garden opens daily at 8:30 am. It's closing time varies significantly throughout the year, see its website for details.
Mosaic House London
The house that took 20 years to complete! The affluent area of Chiswick stands the Mosaic House triumphantly adorned with colourful mosaic tiles. The tiles tell the stories that influenced the artists who helped create this tiled masterpieces. The house is owned by artist Carrie Reichardt, and the project was started in the 90s and completed in 2017.
The house is covered in brightly coloured titles and the artist's political stance on the death penalty and quoted from Martin Luther King. The house is really a sight to behold and worth a visit.
If you are looking for even more unusual things to see in London, look in the direction of the Mosaic House.The house is a few minutes walk from Chiswick Park tube station. You can also catch the 94 bus from Piccadilly Circus to the house.Address: 4-6 Fairlawn Grove, Chiswick, W4 5EL.
Rainbow Bagel at Beigel Shop
You've probably read of Brick Lane's two notorious bagel shops, with both competing to win customers with their offerings. However, Beigel Shop has edged to the front of the race with its new rainbow offerings.
Sending hipsters and customer into a FOMO frenzy trying to get their hands on these rainbow bagels. Though the rainbow beigels taste similar to the regular ones, they come with a unique feel of fruitiness that keep customers coming back.
You won't want to miss out on this one, your Instagram feed will thank you for it. Buying a rainbow bagel is at the top of the list of fun unusual things to do in London.Address: 155 Brick Ln, Shoreditch, London E1 6SB
Britain's Smallest Police Station
Visiting London's smallest police station is top of the unusual things to do in central London checklist. London's Lilliputian Police Station is tucked away in the Southeast corner of Trafalgar Square. If you wandering around Trafalgar Square, you'll have probably walked by it as there are no signs or shutter-happy tourists to draw your attention to it.
Built in 1920 it served as watch post to keep on eye on Trafalgar Squares increasing protesters and marches. The station was big enough for only one person and had a direct line to Scotland Yard.Today thou, the station is currently used as a storeroom for cleaners.
Sir John Soane's Museum
Sir John Soane was an architect and collector, he was well known for his ability to design notable buildings including the original Bank of England. He was known to obsessively collected architectural ornamentations, art works, and furniture.
He transformed his house into a museum in the nineteenth century, in what is now a fantastic Central London museum open to visitors from Wednesday to Sunday, plus it's FREE! Visiting the John Soane's Museum is one of the free unusual things to do in London.Sir John Soane's Museum is 5 minutes walk from Holborn Station
Dennis Severs' House
The Dennis Severs' House is an original Huguenot house which houses a unique form of "dramatic still life" theatre. The ten rooms of the house have been decorated to recreate a close-up feel of life and a family home in Spitalfields between 1724 and 1914.
You can tour the house and which last around 45 minutes and take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.A tour around the Dennis Severs' House will guide you through the dining room, kitchen and smoking room before you are welcomed into the bedrooms upstairs. Visiting the Dennis Server's House is one of those weird things to do in London.
Spend a Night at the Museum
Looking for unusual nights out London, then look no further than Nights at the museum. A sleepover at one of London's historical museums is a truly unique experience in London. And no, this isn't exclusive for kids, these sleepovers are for adults only.
The sleepover at the Natural History Museum kicks off with welcome drinks at the iconic Hintze Hall. Where you'll be camped next to Dippy the Diplodocus, a massive skeleton replica of one of the earth's most colossal animals. You'd also be treated to drinks, a three-course dinner, live music, as well as a chance to sample several crunchy edible insects and dive into the museum's killer treasure hunt.
Spending the night at the Museum is one of the most unique experiences in London.For more information check out their website
Greenwich Foot Tunnel
The Greenwich Foot Tunnel has gone relatively unnoticed by many in comparison to the famous Cutty Sark in Greenwich. This is one of the top free unusual things to do in London.
The foot tunnel was opened in 1902 and is 50 feet deep below the surface of the River Thames. The Greenwich Foot Tunnel was initially created as a way for workers living in South London to get to the Isle of Dogs from Greenwich without using the ferry.
The tunnel is now predominately 24 hours accessed shared cycle and pedestrian tunnel. Walking through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel is a unique experience in London.Entrances near Cutty Sark (Greenwich side) and Island Gardens (Isle of Dogs side).
London Transport Museum
The London Transport Museum is one of the top attractions in the city and one of those unusual places to visit in London, as it brings the history of London's public transport network to life.
The museum appeals to people of different age groups and exhibits an impressive range of historic vehicles plus prominent examples of the graphic design and poster art of London's famous transport network.You can pick up a ticket to the London Transport Museum.
Visit Soho's Murder Mile
Hailed, as one of the best unusual things to do in London, the murder mile walk is a guided tour of the most notorious murder cases in Soho.
The two-hour walk around Soho will reveal the facts behind the deaths that were swept under the carpets as well as those that grabbed the headlines. That's 18 murders in just 2 hours.
The tour is a great way to uncover some of the most interesting crimes that took place in London.It is definitely one of the strange things to do in London. It is also one of the top unusual London tours, but also pretty cool and exciting to learn all the things the Ripper was up to. Grab tickets here for the Soho Murder Mile tours.
Abseil at Olympic Park
Taking the plunge from the UK's highest free-fall abseil is a great way to see London's uniqueness at 262 feet above the city. The descent to the ground is exhilarating, with a distant view of iconic buildings such as Canary Wharf, St Paul's Cathedral, Gherkin, Wembley Stadium and other London landmarks.
One of the unique experiences in London to do Abseiling at the Olympic Park. You can book your Free-fall Abseil tickets here.
Located at the north-east area of Hyde Park (nearest Marble Arch and Oxford Street), gained unofficial status as a "right to speak" area in 1872 and has since been considered a special free speech zone when demonstrations and protests were held in Hyde Park. Speakers Corner is referred to as the home of free speech as anyone can go there and make their voice heard.
So long as the police consider your speech lawful, you too can speak on any subject.Visiting the speaker's corner in Hyde Park is an unusual things to do in London, but is one of the most interesting things you'll witness in the Park. It's one of those unusual London attractions.
Amongst the many features of London's Holland Park is the beautiful Japanese garden gifted the UK's capital by the city of Kyoto in 1991.
The rushing water from the Zen Lake pond waterfall, Japanese maple trees and tranquil ambience of the Kyoto garden will transport you to the Kyoto prefecture in Japan.
The Kyoto Garden is one of the few hidden London gems and is something different to do in LondonHolland Park is open from 7:30 am. The nearest tube stations are Holland Park and Notting Hill stations.
The Garden at 120 Fenchurch Street
One of the more unusual places to see in London comes in the form of London's newest rooftop garden at 120 Fenchurch Street. This suspended pocket park lives 15 floors high, atop One Fen Court.
The rooftop garden opened February 2019, head there to see 360-degree panoramic views of iconic attractions such as the Gherkin, Tower Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral.
Free to visit, this towering terraced area offers breathtaking views over much of the City of London.I hope you liked this list of quirky and unusual things to do in London.
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