Hidden Gems: Explore London as an Adventurer, Not a Tourist

Freud Museum in LondonLondon has been a major city for the better part of two millennia. This sprawling metropolis is steeped in rich history and centuries-old traditions. It is a favourite of tourists, and thousands spill onto the streets every year to see all the famous sites: the Tower of London, the London Eye and the Palace of Westminster.

However, London offers more than its celebrity landmarks. The city is rich with hidden gems just waiting to be explored. Instead of being a tourist, be an adventurer — tourists only scratch the surface of this beautiful city.

Accommodations

For an authentic experience, a true adventurer will want to stay in one of the many hostels in London. Hostels are an attractive, affordable alternative, and allow you to meet locals and like-minded people. Some hostels are old, refurbished buildings while others have a colourful history: from old schools to defunct courthouses.

Museums

While the British Museum and the National Gallery are both wonderful, London is also host to a number of less famous museums. You have the Wimbledon Windmill Museum, which features windmills both old and new.

There is the Household Cavalry Museum, which managed to preserve its 18th century stables. The Cavalry is the Queen’s personal guard during ceremonies. The museum allows visitors to learn more about the history of the Horse Guard and their role through history.

For fans of the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, the Freud Museum would be of interest. It was his old home in 1938, and has since been converted into a museum.

Offbeat Places

For those looking for stranger fare, London has the Bibendum Restaurant found in South Kensington. It features little statues of the Michelin Man, as the restaurant used to be a tyre-fitting bay.

There is the White Chapel Foundry, which offers tours for those interested in the history of the bells. The foundry were the artisans behind the Big Ben and the Liberty Bell.

There is also the Abbey Mills Pumping Station, a beautiful Victorian building that worked with sewage. Yes, it is the great pumping station that hauled away all the feces of the Great Stink that permeated London in 1858!

You will not see these places at a standard tourist itinerary. To truly see London, be an adventurer!