You’ve probably heard of London’s ridiculously popular Oxford Street, 1960s-styled King’s Road, and Beatles-famous Abbey Road. These well-known streets and lanes are must-visits for first-time travellers to London and attract millions of tourists every year.
But if you’re like me and enjoy stepping off the beaten track, there are some hidden London streets you have to see for yourself.
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Read more on the top streets in London
Amble down Lambs Conduit Street and enjoy a glass of wine with the owners of the curious mix of intellectual and unusual shops. Foodies will love getting to grips with the gastronomical paradise that is Seymour Place.
Whatever your flavour, add a few of these hidden gems of London into your exploring plans and you’ll have a trip to remember. Especially after seeing Farting Lane…
12 Street Secrets of London: Hidden Gems
With no further ado, here are your 12 street (read: state) secrets in London. Remember to take your camera to get some snaps for Instagram.
Seymour Place can be easily overlooked thanks to its proximity to glamorous Chiltern Street in the Marylebone area. This hidden place in London is just a short stroll from Marble Arch, Baker Street, and Bond Street. It’s easy to reach by tube, car, train, or foot.
It may not offer the best in terms of retail, but culinary fans will adore the varied selection of global cuisine. Enjoy finger foods with some Basque-inspired tapas and pintxo dishes at Donostia. Or, sink into a cosy seat while appreciating the British classics at The Portman pub and restaurant.
St. Christopher’s Place
Another treasure off the beaten track in London is St. Christopher’s Place. You’ll find it off of Oxford Street – just keep an eye out for the purple clock on Oxford that marks the entrance. Several buses stop right outside this entrance too, so it’s not difficult to find.
Londoners love this social hub with its morning coffee stops and outdoor dining. Plonk your shopping by an outside table and pig out at one of the over twenty delectable eateries in the area. There are also many independent shops and high-fashion boutiques for casual browsing or dedicated consumerism.
When people think of Marylebone, most think of the brightly-lit, dazzling High Street. So many folks walk right by the historic Marylebone Lane entrance without a clue. It’s a pity because this off-the-beaten-path London road has a wealth of dining options and boutiques dotted along its narrow street.
Indulge in your inner Boho Chic with a visit to the V V Rouleaux for your ribbons, tie-backs, and tassels. Head to old-fashioned Paul Rothe & Son for some tasty jams and good sandwiches. There’s also the fancy 108 Brasserie for those with a love of cocktails. Try the Espresso Martini for an interesting take on two beverage favourites.
Lambs Conduit Street
Secret yet central, Lambs Conduit Street is a short walk from The Bloomsbury and The British Museum. If you’re looking to check out quirky, unusual spots in London, spend an afternoon on this street of peculiarities.
Your first stop should be the well-named Darkroom with its striking black walls, geometric patterns, and stunning accessories. For us feminists, Persephone is a delight as it publishes its female authored, out-of-print books from the 20th century.
Baked goods are also easy to come with plenty of apron-clad shop owners and pastry-filled counters to ease your appetite. Stay at the Holborn Two just 100 metres away from this street if you’re looking for nearby accommodation.
St. Martin’s Courtyard
City vibes and an oasis atmosphere combine in the heart of Covent Garden at St. Martin’s Courtyard. It’s an open-air dining sensation with popular restaurants like the buzzy Indian restaurant Dishoom and Italian Wine Bar, Dalla Terra.
This courtyard also hosts several events and promotions throughout the year, making it a really lively area to visit. It’s a hot destination for pre-theatre and post-retail meals. You can pop in here and catch your breath in-between fun, sometimes crowded London activities.
For a smart-looking place to stay in the thrum of St. Martin’s Courtyard, book an apartment at SACO Covent Garden.
Also known as the ‘Golden Mile of Vinyl’, Berwick Street is a haven for musos. This street was the inspiration for an Oasis album cover, making it an Instagram favourite in London.
You can find the vibrant Berwick Street in the centre of Soho. Vintage lovers will drool over the old-school fashion and bespoke tailors. There are plenty of record shops to peruse while soaking up London’s music scene.
Berwick Street also features for foodies as it hosts one of London’s oldest markets – packed with fresh artisanal bread loaves, fruits, and flowers.
Considered Soho’s hidden gem, Kingly Court is a three-floored mini-mall with food as the order of the day.
You’ll need to loosen your belt before dining at one of the exciting bars, cafes, and restaurants at this foodie heaven.
Many of these establishments are temporary pop ups with new eateries opening most months. There’s always something different so your tastebuds never get bored.
You can find Kingly Court off of Soho’s Beak Street. A narrow alley will lead you to this dining destination – a hidden retreat from the bustle of the West End. It’s a great choice for winter travel when open-air dining can get a little frosty.
Avoid the crowds on the King’s Road. Take a detour to Brompton Cross, renowned for the Michelin House Building, the first permanent UK HQ for Michelin Tyre Company Ltd.
Once you “tyre” of checking out the commercial history, there’s also a range of fashion outlets and stimulating art galleries to see. It’s also incredibly dog friendly, so feel free to march your little fido around the restaurants and shops with you.
Little Compton Street
And now for something completely different. A street that once was. This is one of the best hidden gems London has to offer because it is buried and concealed.
A quick history lesson, Little Compton Street was destroyed in 1886. It was razed to make room for a connection between Oxford Street and Trafalgar Square.
To find it, visit the traffic island at the intersection between Soho’s Old Compton Street and Charing Cross Road. Peer down through the metal grate and you’ll see two Victorian-age street names set into the wall beneath the grid, one bearing the namesake Little Compton Street.
Farting Lane (aka Carting Lane)
You’ve been waiting for this one since it was mentioned in the introduction, haven’t you? Farting Lane, really Carting Lane, received its name thanks to its aromatic history. This street hosts London’s last surviving sewage lamp.
The Webb Patent Sewer Gas Lamp was engineered as a way of burning off the rancid smells and germs that came from London’s sewer system. It was intended to be a low-maintenance way to keep London’s lights on.
You’ll find this novel and slightly noxious invention around the back of The Savoy.
Picture cobbled streets and railway arches, and you’ve summed up Acton Mews in Hackney. Even better, London’s hidden gem embodies all things hipster. Grab your yoga mat and check out cultural spot, Trip Space, or hit Berber & Q for flavours from across the Middle East, North Africa, and the Ottoman.
One of London’s best-kept secrets, you’ll find this beauty near Haggerston Station. Take a stroll and get your fill of converted factory houses and stunning waterways. Then head to the Draughts bar and cafe for some competitive board games.
Decided Acton is all the action you need? Book a room nearby like the Soho London Suite.
If you’re looking for a secret photography spot in London, visit Formosa Street in Maida Vale for some lovely sunset old-architecture cityscapes. Positioned between Regents Park and Kensington Gardens, it’s a great destination for a day out in warm weather.
The neighbourhood is chock a block with local restaurants, including a Victorian pub called Prince Alfred. There’s also the Waterway pub perched on the canal at the end of the street. End the day off here with sundowners on the terrace. You’ll understand why this area is known as Little Venice.
If canals, craft beers, and cobblestones are your idea of a great vacation, book an apartment in Little Venice as your home base. It’s the perfect spot to return to after searching out the secret places to visit in London.
Ready to Experience London Off the Beaten Track?
You’ve had a look at the top hidden gems of London. From cheeky Farting Lane to the buried treasure of Little Compton Street, you’ll love searching out these secret locations in London.
But, before you start out discovering secret places in London, be sure to check out my city travel tips. It’s the best way to prepare yourself so you have an unforgettable, stress-free trip.
To find out more about the beauty and adventure that London holds, you can browse the rest of my streets in London content, beginning here;