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For my fellow travellers visiting London who are just tired of the obvious list of London attractions such as London Bridge and Buckingham Palace, here is a post that offers fresh, alternative places to visit in London.
These cool and unusual places are sure to inspire you to pack your bags, grab your camera, pop some that lipgloss on, lace-up your Nike trainers, and hurry to the airport. Lets get into these unusual places to visit in London.
Looking for more tips on London, then read my London travel tips on on everything you’ll need to know about the city.
Visit The Oldest Operating Theatre in The World
Atmospheric and well-preserved, the Oldest Operating Theatre is an unmissable quirky place to visit in London.
Tucked in the attic of Old St Thomas’ Hospital’s 18th-century church, this theatre is accessed through a narrow, 50-step spiral stairway.
This is where approximately 100 apprentices could watch amputations being performed live. Gruesome.
Mind you this was the era before anaesthesia and patients either relied on speedy amputations, alcohol, or opium.
Some were even knocked on the head with a mallet to fall unconscious for painless surgeries. Modern medicine has come along way.
If you find this fascinating, wait until you see the surgical instruments and wards.
This operating theatre is truly one of the most unusual places in London to visit.
Sir John Soane’s Museum
Once an open secret and a non-touristy place to visit in London, these days the museum is visited by curious tourists.
So, although you might find the crowd less overwhelming here compared to the National Gallery and the likes, it is best to arrive early to avoid queuing at one of the most unique places in London.
Hunterian Museum London
If there were an award for the strangest museum in London, the Hunterian Museum London would win it fair and square.
Here you will find on display an amazing anatomy and pathology collection amassed by John Hunter. Rows and rows of skulls, skeletons, and fossils will welcome you.
Perhaps the most eccentric objects on display are the Evelyn Tables and one half of Charles Babbage’s brain.
Yes, because everyone should have a brain on display on their coffee table. It’s the new rage on the interior design scene.
But nothing beats the peculiarity of Charles Byrne’s 7’7” tall skeleton, which Hunter readied by boiling the body in a cauldron to get rid of the flesh. You will not get bored visiting this weird London attraction.
Explore The Clink Prison Museum
Apparently, museums in London are determined to give us a great time. The third museum on my list of unusual places to visit in London UK, the Clink Prison is far most outlandish than its name suggests.
Built-in the 12th century, it is one of England’s oldest jails, and also the most notorious ones.
Aside from robbers and felons, some eminent criminals were also the residents of this hair-raising prison.
The names include John Rogers, the man who translated the Bible in English and Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger, who rebelled against Queen Bloody Mary I.
It’s pass residents were notorious, and you can be amongst them.
Filling the dark chambers of this prison is a soundtrack of lamenting moans of misery. Descend into the gloomy dungeon and be witness to a horror show of gore at this museum.
I do not recommend this for the faint of heart.
Clink Prison is one of my weird places to visit in London.
Visit The Brixton Windmill
Why is the Brixton Windmill part of this list of unique places to visit in London. It is just a mill you say – but a mill that is 200 years old, still functional, and London’s last of its kind.
Why not visit it while you still have a chance.
Hidden along a residential street, the windmill is sneaky and a time machine that teleports you into an unknown century. Plus, its photogenic, retro look is gorgeous for Instagram and Pinterest. If you are looking for unusual sightseeing in London, the Brixton Windmill should be on youR list.
Wine Cellar in Whitehall
Next in line of cool unusual places to visit in London is the underground cellar of Henry VIII, hidden in the deep bowels of the modern-day Ministry of Defence building.
Now, who doesn’t want to tipple like royalty? I know I do. While that may remain a far-fetched dream, for now, you can get them HRH tipsy feels at the Wine Cellar in Whitehall.
Sheltered under vaulted ceilings, this time capsule is the last remaining preserved relic of Henry VIII’s Palace of Westminster. The massive cellar is shady but full of art décor that gives it a museum-like quality.
Unfortunately, the cellar, being buried under MOD, is not generally open for public.
The Weeping Church of St. Bartholomew’s
Church of St. Bartholomew’s is the oldest parish church in London. But what makes it one of the most unusual places to visit in London is its weeping statue of philosopher Edward Cooke.
Carved in a type marble that condenses water, the beautiful memorial was often seen in tears until the installation of Victorian heating system. Although the phenomenon has stopped, the palatial interiors of the church itself make it a quaint place to explore and is one of those unusual sights in London.
Dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park
Looking for unusual places to go in London? Well, head to Crystal Palace Park. Experience Jurassic Park in London’s Crystal Palace where over thirty dinosaur sculptures will greet you!
Not only does this makes this park an unusual place to visit in the UK, but also boasts the artistic ingenuity of sculptures from the Victorians.
Sculpted in the mid-19th-century, most statues are wildly inaccurate, but a treat for the eyes.
The best part is that you can now take an audio tour through this wacky London park! Watch out for the labyrinthine maze though.
Saint Dunstan in the East Church Garden
You know the Tintern Abbey, now meet its less popular sister, the ruined church of Saint Dunstan. Rife with climbers, the place is a scenic site with a tad spooky edge.
Its eponymous name is derived from a 10th-century monk who is known to have survived leprosy, black magic, and the Devil himself.
This guy has more lives than my cat. Now tell me if you don’t want to have a look at the residence of this invincible being!
Saint Dunstan-in-the-East is one of the top-rated unique places to see in London.
Admire The Painted Hall
Not really a weird place to visit in London, but rather a baroque display of art and affluence, the Painted Hall is every inch picturesque. Dubbed Britain’s Sistine Chapel, this art gallery will make every aesthete’s eyes pop.
The 200 art-pieces in the chapel are nothing religious. They narrate the story of Britain’s political change, cultural achievements, naval ventures, and so on!
Looking for an idyllic place to explore in the UK? Head to this spectacular palace of art.
Whispering Gallery at Paul’s Cathedral
Ornate and elaborate in its interior, the Whispering Gallery at Paul’s Cathedral is bound to spellbind you.
However, that is not why I included on my list. But it is the mysterious phenomenon that earned the gallery its enigmatic name.
Perched 30 meters above the crossing of the nave, the gallery realised that the popular walls have ears phrase was too true for the walls there.
Whisper along the curves of the wall in this gilded place and someone standing anywhere along the same wall will be able to hear you.
Witness the creepy whispers making their way through the walls, let your secrets out, or just go with the good old “can you hear me”. Or just be nosy and listen to see if you can hear some juicy gossip.
Artsy Places London | Masonic Lodge of the Andaz Hotel
Hidden behind a wall for decades until Renovation, the Masonic Temple at Andaz Hotel is a gorgeous piece of Victorian architecture. One of Lady Gaga’s pictures, where the singer is wearing the Hello Kitty gown, was taken here.
Another singer, Paloma Faith, shot here music video for ‘I Just Can’t Rely on You’ in this windowless temple. See, guys I only recommend to best for my readers.
What makes the temple a must-see sight in London is its swanky interior that oozes of grandiose and luxury.
It features Neoclassic elements, bronze candelabras with claw feet, intricately-carved mahogany chairs, and flooring is done in 12 types of marbles.
Sheltering the opulent Grecian Temple is a gilded ceiling with blue-gold dome bearing a 5-point blazed star and all zodiac signs. The sight is simply jaw-dropping.
If you are looking for unique things to see in London, it doesn’t get any more unique than the Masonic Lodge.
Explore The Hidden Gems Of The Vaults
The Vaults is a hidden gem tucked underground in a maze of tunnels. The location itself makes the Vaults one of those obscure places to visit in London, known mostly by locals.
Stroll in the tunnels to find them filled with effervescent theatres, graffiti, comedy, and many other entertainment venues.
Because the entire vault is underneath the Waterloo Station, the rattle of trains reverberates through its atmospheric tunnels.
The place is like a modern-day wonderland for a hipster Alice!
London Silver Vaults
Add a glint to your eyes by visiting one of the weird shops in London – London Silver Vaults.
The vaults are located in a deep basement, off the Chancery Lane. So hidden, you might pass by the entrance mistaking it for another boutique shop, which would be a damn shame.
Brimming with shops selling silver jewellery and vintage collectables, it is the UK’s most lustrous one-of-a-kind catacomb.
Its high-security repositories and functioning safes are remnants of the vaults’ former incarnation as Britain’s 1st safe-deposit building.
A number of collectables have found secured home here, such as the Shakespearian documents of the late Mr Halliwell-Philipps. This is one of those quirky places to visit in London.
The Churchill Arms Pub
Located in the swanky neighbourhood of Notting Hill, the Churchill Arms knows how to keep up with its glamorous environs. This Instagram beauty is easily recognisable by its floral façade.
The pub foots an incredible bill of over £25,000 (and I cry when I pay £45 for a house plant), every year on its flower installation. That alone makes it one of the strange places to visit in London.
Apart from that, the pub was also London’s first to serve Thai cuisine! That is another reason that calls for a visit at the Churchill Arms, and that’s amongst the list of unique London attractions to see in the city.
Visit The Royal Exchange
Founded in 16th-century, the Royal Exchange is a collection of upscale boutique shops that will make a heyday of any hedonist.
Pegged in the heart of the city, it is surrounded by magnificent architectural gems.
Not really absurd or unusual, but extremely cool, the building houses 30 stores of exclusive, luxurious brands. There are cafés and restaurants offering casual and fine dining too.
Decorating the interior of the palatial Royal Exchange are 24-panel paintings that depict the history of trade and commerce in Britain. Keep your cameras ready, and the strings on your purses loose before entering, because you’ll be snapping up goodies all over the place.
Visit The Magical Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall is a 14th-century market sited in Roman London. The market once sold poultry, meat, and game.
But today it flaunts wine bars, ritzy retailers, speciality restaurants, and pubs.
Sheltered under high, ornate ceilings, it transports you into an imperial era where you’d assume everyone is gold-eating wealthy.
Potter heads will recognise the market from when Harry Potter and Rubeus Hagrid passed through Leadenhall Market on their way to Diagon Alley on in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (movie).
If only there were spell books and wands here! This market always tops the list of best places to visit in London.
Explore Greenwich Foot Tunnel
Greenwich Foot Tunnel is one of the unusual places to visit in London for free. Constructed 50 deep below the surface, it is a walk of 1,215 steps.
When you see a glazed dome building near Island Gardens, enter it to access the deep underground tunnel.
It will lead you to the Cutty Stark on the South Bank beneath the River Thames from Millwall on the north. Cutting through the gushing river, it offers a surreal experience that is hard to find elsewhere in London.
Exploring the route under a river certainly checks for a must-do thing when in the Big Smoke.
Plus, it is a free walking tour that opens 24/7. If you are looking for unique places to go in London, look no further.
Just look out for cyclist riding in the tunnel.
Grab a Drink At The Dickens Inn
Pizza on the Docks!
Smacked in the heart of St Katherine Docks, the Dickens Inn is a unique eatery in an idyllic setting.
Housed in an 18th-century timber frame, the restaurant exudes quaint Victorian charm. It is topped by floral balconies and a lovely garden area.
Adjacent to the picturesque restaurant an equally olde-worlde Tavern Bar. Both illuminate with lighting and energy past the sundown.
Foodies pack your knives and forks; it is time to invade the Dickens Inn!
The Dickens Inn tops the London quirky places list for sure.
Unusual things to see in London | The Seven Nose of Soho
Not your regular walking tour, the Seven Nose of Soho trip takes you nose-hunting or nosing around (yep, my bad dad jokes continues).
Not a metaphor or riddle of sorts, it is about seven sculptures inspired by the human nose. Every location where you find a nose, will be filled with pubs and nose other hunters.
You can start the tour at the Convent Garden or Holborn Underground Station. On your route to the bizarre sculptures.
Though a humorous take on art, these noses marked the protest against the emergence of CCTV cameras on London streets. Who could have guessed that, right?
Visit the Neon Wonderland That is God’s Own Junkyard
God’s Own Junkyard is a neon wonderland, like the ones you see on Pinterest, only better.
Go there for a psychedelic experience that will leave a glint in your eyes and a need to buy a neon sign for your flat.
Cramming the entire place are film props, religious statues, retro signs, disco balls, and many quirky quotes.
You will find Jesus’s painting alongside the Rock n Roll skull, and I Am A Mess sign. Keep limited cash, or you will go home with empty pockets and a neon sign in hand.
Enter at your own risk, and you may crash your phone by taking an unhealthy number of selfies here. Also, check out the toilet it’s s similar to Doctor Who’s Tardis.
Weird and Wonderful Things to do in London visit The Hoxton Street Monster Supplies
That’s right! Hoxton Street Monster Supplies is just what its name says it is – a store where food and snacks are available for monsters of all sorts.
Its run by the charity Ministry of Stories, which encourages children to write. Here you will find tinned fear, children’s ears, gore, cubed earwax candies, and escalating panic!
Making the store even more bizarre is its mysterious history. It looks like it just popped out of nowhere.
What a strange place to visit in London? It’s a delightful feast for conspiracy theorists and an essential business for monsters! Highly recommended for any vampire, ogre, or werewolf reading this.
The Monster shop is one of my top undiscovered London unusual places to explore.
London unusual attractions | Highgate Cemetery
Looking or obscure places to visit in London? Then visit Highgate Cemetery. Home to around 53,000 graves and 170,000 buried, the Highgate Cemetery is capable of sending a chill through anyone’s spine.
As expected, the cemetery is also deemed to be ghostly with many making claims to have seen an apparition while touring it if you believe in such things.
Even if you are not a believer of the supernatural, you will love the architectural side of this place.
Hauntingly beautiful with avenues boasting Gothic sepulchres, weeping angel sculptures, and moving epitaphs, the creepy cemetery draws many every year.
Guided tours are provided here because a large part of the cemetery is off-limits for the tourists, adding to the mystery of what lives or doesn’t live there. Explore and decide for yourself.
The Highgate Cemetery is one of those unusual places to see in London.
See The Golden Boy of the Fire of London
It was in 1666 that an absolute chaos took the streets of London and set thousands of houses on fire.
Many were blown to break the fiery chain. While the people are aware that the birthplace of this massive catastrophe was in the Pudding Lane, not many know where it finally ended. It was at the corner of Cock Lane and Giltspur Street.
Today a memorial of a chubby Golden Boy stands here to mark the end of the great fire.
But it is also a reminder to be wary of gluttony, a major cause behind the fire. A unique place to visit in London!
Secret London Visit The Nomadic Community Garden
Looking for a less-trodden park to spend the day? Head to the Nomadic Community Garden.
A former barren wasteland, the garden is teeming with street art, makeshift theatres, cafés, bars, and much more.
Visit this relatively unknown corner in the boisterous East London to watch a community invent a beautiful space out of nothing.
If you are an environmentalist, you will just fall in love with this inventive garden that has sprouted amid a concrete forest.
From creepy museums to bizarre shops, London is home to an array of unusual attractions, most of which remains an open secret.
Now that I’ve shared them with you hop off the bed and get packing already. These unusual places in London await.
These are amazing ways to experience London and find fun and unusual things to do in London.