Home Travel 400+ Cool, Hidden & Unusual Things To Do In London

400+ Cool, Hidden & Unusual Things To Do In London

by SharonKurheg

Joe and I have visited the British Isles a good half dozen or or more times. Regardless of where in the area we’ve gone, we always spend some time in London. It’s one of our most favorite (OK, OK favourite) cities in the world (right up there with New York, Chicago, Tokyo and Sydney) so we can’t see ourselves NOT stopping by for a day or two, if we can.

Because we’ve gone so often, we’ve found ourselves with a dilemma that, so far, we had only discovered in NYC…we didn’t know what to do. We had done just about all of the “regular” tourist attractions (some of them twice – hello, Tower of London circa 1996 AND 2016 and British Museum circa 1996 [yeah, same trip] AND 2018) so we were itching to find some things we hadn’t done before.

A while back, I found a list of 700+ cool, hidden and unusual things to do in New York City and it was a great reference to find oddball stuff that was off the beaten path. Atlas Obscura had culled that list, so I went there to see if they had anything for London. They didn’t disappoint.

I knew the list would be good because they included some places where we had been:

Platform 9 3/4

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, of COURSE you’ll want to get your picture taken at Platform 9 3/4. The space at Kings Cross Station has actually moved several times since its inception, due to ongoing construction. However since 2012, the free photo op (you can also pay to get your picture taken, complete with a scarf representing your House)  has been in its permanent spot, closer to the front of the station, next door to the (of course) official Harry Potter store.

The London Dungeon

This is another attraction we’ve seen a handful of times. It used to be a walk at your own pace walk through that showed the grislier stories of London’s past. Nowadays there’s still some gore, but your visit is part of a tour group led by actors. From Atlas Obscura:

The London Dungeon was opened in 1974 by Annabel Geddes. Originally, it comprised a wax exhibition of gory and macabre local history. Over the following decades, it grew to feature walkthrough theatrical shows. In the 90s, the Dungeon was rebranded, with a shift towards interactive horror, and away from historical accuracy.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Sir John Soane’s Museum

I don’t remember which visit it was, but we went to this museum because we had heard The Adventurers Club, an amazing interactive comedy club at Walt Disney World’s Pleasure Island (1989-2008), had been fashioned after it. There were some definite similarities.

Top: Sir John Soane’s Museum // Bottom: Adventurers Club

Earl’s Court Police Box

I’m not a science fiction fan but Joe is, as are several of our friends. The first time we went to England, during that 1996 trip, one of our friends was thrilled to pieces because he had found a Tardis.

I wasn’t very impressed but was glad he was happy. 😉

Leadenhall Market

Although Joe and I are Harry Potter fans, and have visited many places associated with the movies, we actually visited Leadenhall Market before we were fans of The Boy Who Lived. We just went because of the cool architecture.

As is always the case, some of the places on Atlas Obscura’s list are easy to find, others require a hard ticket (i.e. the handful of places found inside the Tower of London complex), and some may or not be open to tourists at any given time. But if you’re tired and seeing “the same old same old” in London, theirs is a good list to peruse.

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