When visiting London, one might think of its famous landmarks – Big Ben, St Paul;’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, but with so much history and such a breadth of area come many weird and wonderful attractions that you’d only stumble upon if you knew what you were looking for. For centrally housed guests at hotels near Oxford Street London, the world is your oyster in terms of travelling to find them.
WIth so much to see and do in the city, first time guests may gravitate towards the more famous landmarks, the West End bars and the easy to reach restaurants near Hyde Park. but if it’s your visiting for a second time, or even a tenth, there’s plenty more for you to discover about the city. This blog will give you a few tips on London’s hidden gems, helping you unpeel even more layers of this nearly two thousand year old city.
Crystal Palace Dinosaurs
Unveiled in 1854 as the first dinosaur sculpture ever built, the Victorian era statues surrounding the lake at Crystal Palace are, as you’ll probably be able to tell when you see them, rather anatomically incorrect. This is because there were only incomplete remains of the animals to work with. Other attractions in this southeast London Victorian pleasure park include the remains of the Crystal Palace, which was moved here from the Great Exhibition but then burnt down. The steps and many monuments to the palace still exist and make for a beautiful quirk to this popular park.
All Hallows By The Tower
This old church actually predates the Tower of London by at least 400 years and is actually located not far away. The church is home to one of the oldest surviving crypts in London, which includes Roman and Saxon artefacts.
The London Mithraeum
Another hidden gem that gives a sneak peak into London’s Roman past, the London Mithraeum was uncovered in the City of London before being moved to its current location under the Bloomberg Building near Bank. Guests of Hyde Park accommodation can enjoy a multimedia installation bringing the Roman cult temple, dated to the 3rd century AD, to life. The lights and soundscape accompanying your descent into the ruins are paired by contemporary art installations inspired by and artefacts from Roman “Londinium”. What’s more, it’s completely free to book a visit.
Another southeast London oddity, the gaudily embellished arts and crafts architecture of the Horniman Museum is all thanks to Frederick Horniaman. The adventuring heir to a tea fortune founded the Horniman Museum from his collections of ancient artefacts and instruments from around the world. Opened in 1901, this human history museum may be a little smaller than the British Museum, but it has plenty of charm and beautiful exhibitions primed for families with young children.
Sherlock Holmes Museum
For guests of hotels near Hyde Park, the Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker Street is easy to reach. The epitome of British intelligence, Sherlock Holmes and his many incarnations has garnered a huge fanbase. This museum offers a glimpse into the fictional detectives flat complete with Victorian furnishings and information about the publication history of the world famous detective stories.