Saturday, June 22, 2024

‘I found some incredible London hidden gems without any crowds’

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Around 30 million tourists visit London every year and the city is never going to find itself on any underrated gem hotlists.

With a population of over eight million, you’d be hard pushed to describe any areas of the Big Smoke as uncrowded.

However, I’ve found a few areas where there are barely any tourists and you can enjoy a much more relaxed experience of the city.

Of course, top attractions like the Tower of London and Covent Garden are well worth exploring, but if you want a little break from the crowds, there’s plenty of places to do so.

So where are some of London’s best uncrowded hidden gems?

History

With a history dating back to Roman times, London has no shortage of fascinating historic landmarks. But where are the best uncrowded spots?

City of London might be right next to the Tower of London but it’s home to some of the capital’s much less-known historic landmarks. Head to Guildhall to see London’s amphitheatre, which barely gets any tourists, or explore the Guildhall Art Gallery, an underrated free spot.

The area also has over 50 churches packed full of history. Skip St Paul’s if you want to escape the crowds and head to St Bride’s Church to explore the crypt or St Vedast-alias-Foster to see a piece of Roman pavement.

The Bank of England museum is also one of London’s quietest museums and it’s much more exciting than it sounds with tourists able to test their strength against a gold bar.

Shopping

Oxford Street might be London’s most famous shopping spot but I can barely handle the crowds on a busy Saturday.

If you’re looking for high street shops – try Battersea Power Station which is much less crowded or Canary Wharf if you don’t need much.

From Brick Lane to Notting Hill, London has some fantastic charity shop haunts but if you want to escape crowds of thrifters – head to Pimlico instead. I’ve never found Pimlico to be crowded but the area’s quiet streets are packed with charity shop gems – I love the Terrence Higgins Trust boutique and the Farah shop.

Outdoor

Southbank is deservedly one of London’s most popular spots for a river walk but it tends to get absolutely packed at the weekends. Try a little further down between Westminster Bridge and Vauxhall Bridge for incredible views of the Houses of Parliament without a crush of people.

Food

Borough Market is a must-visit but it tends to have long queues every day. If you want to try London’s street food scene and you’re here on a weekday- try Whitecross Market near the Barbican. It does get busy but as it mostly serves office workers if you arrive just before 12 or at around 2pm, you can usually escape the crowds. You can then take your lunch to enjoy the Barbican courtyard and visit the free gallery while you’re there.

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