It’s hard to believe I landed in London two months ago today! This city certainly has some can’t miss sights and experiences: Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, The London Eye, and Trafalgar Square certainly come to mind. These are all awesome places, of course, but discovering underrated spots is key to feeling like a local. Here are a few of my favorite, lesser-known spots in London!
Hampton Court Palace. Built in 1515 for the notorious Henry VIII, visiting Hampton Court is like stepping back in time. The art and architecture itself is reason enough to hop on the train and visit. Not only is Hampton Court a Tudor masterpiece, but it also has an entire wing built in the Georgian style by William III. Packed with history (and according to some visitors, even some ghosts), Hampton Court cannot be missed!
Oxford. Okay, this is a cop-out since it’s not technically in London, but that doesn’t mean you should skip this fantastic city! Known for the University of the same name, the city of Oxford was first established in the 12th century. Oxford has a bustling High Street with lots of fun shops, a delightful covered market, and plenty of history. Only a quick coach or train ride from London, a day trip to Oxford is definitely worth it!
Borough Market. Like almost everything in London, Borough Market carries a long history. Despite being 166 years old, Borough Market is packed with life. Anything you could possibly want to eat is packed into the small area beneath London Bridge, from coffee and vegan pastries to local fruits and vegetables, to cheese and truffles.
Sky Garden. The skyline of London is one of the most iconic in the world, and the best place to view it is absolutely from the Sky Garden. Located in a building known as the Walkie Talkie, the Sky Garden has free entry if you book your ticket in advance! Not to mention the restaurants located inside are super tasty.
Brick Lane. Brick Lane is located in East London and is home to some of the most underrated and artistic cafes, restaurants and galleries. All of the buildings are covered in street art, and on Sundays, you can find Brick Lane Market. You can find almost anything at Brick Lane Market, from antique books to art, to bicycles.
Covent Garden. The land around Covent Garden has been inhabited as far back as the 7th century, but the Covent Garden Market was opened in 1652. What started as a small fruit and vegetable market has now grown into the 21st century. On any given day, there’s live performers, magicians, and musicians demonstrating their skills.
Saint Martin in the Fields. This church is so much more than just a place of worship. Saint Martin in the Fields is also a spot for classical music concerts, sometimes even for free. Not only that, but the crypt has been turned into a cafe. You can enjoy a cup of coffee while sitting in one of the most ancient churches in London!