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Top 5 Unusual Things To Do In London
I've lived in London for nearly 5 years and come to know it well however along the way, I've been introduced to places I would never have discovered myself and found them to be some of the best bits of London I've enjoyed uncovering so far.
In no way is my intention to draw you away from London's more documented history and sites - one of my favourite places is the Tower of London, from its majestic riverside presence looming over those who peer up from Tower Bridge to get the perfect picture to the crown jewels and stories of Anne Boleyn and the Princes in the Tower. Don't miss the staple London sights but do make time to venture deeper and get to know London from a different angle!
1. Leather Lane Market
Leather Lane, Holborn, London EC1N 7RJ
On a weekday lunchtime just a stones throw from Chancery Lane tube station, office workers, market traders,foodies and coffee lovers flock to the eclectic and buzzing market that pops open Monday through Friday between 11-3pm. Just around the corner from the sparkling Hatton Garden, the market showcases a variety of stalls featuring food from around the globe, falafel bars, gluten free quiches and pies, sweet treats, burgers and jerk chicken being just some of the many options available. Alongside some great coffee shops such as The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs and Prufrock Coffee, flower stalls, juice bars and knock off clothing rails, you can spend hours browsing and indulging among your surroundings.
2. Dennis Severs' House
18 Folgate Street, London E1 6BX
Hidden a short distance from Spitalfields Market, the Dennis Severs House is a bizarre yet utterly facsinating attraction which would easily be missed had you not been looking for it. The idea, created and preserved by Dennis Severs (1948-1999), is real life theatre, featuring ten rooms representing the life and times of Spitalfields between 1724 - 1914. Walking through the kitchen, living room, bedrooms and servants quarters, the smells, objects and even ambient sounds of the building cast an eerie yet incredibly real atmosphere as you uncover the lives and times of those presented as being residents of the house… This is a place I recommend to most people I know who are visiting London and I wouldn't ever hesitate to do so. It is a magical insight into London's history whilst also being a unique and mysterious piece of theatre.
3. Rooftop Yoga
Bold Tendencies, Levels 7 – 10, Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park, 95a Rye Lane, SE15 4ST
Over the Summer months, a multi-storey car park in Peckham welcomes London’s yoga enthusiasts to practice on the top level. Envisioned and pioneered by LUCYOGA, the unusual concept features all sorts of classes in the open air above the streets of Southeast London. With classes ranging from Hatha to Warm Vinyasa Flow and Boxing Yoga, there are options for anyone wanting to embrace the - hopefully - warmer summer air. Held between July and September 2014, 2015 should see classes announced soon!
4. Ghost Walks
One of the best ways to discover any city is to walk it but an exciting twist for both the sceptic and believer on visiting London is a ghost walk through the City streets - at night. With various choices and themes on offer including Jack the Ripper walks and Old City tours you can get lost in the back alleys behind theatres and in the shadows of St James’ Park whilst led by enthusiastic guides with a wealth of knowledge. Even a Londoner, familiar with London’s history and stories, will enjoy one of these spooky adventures, uncovering its dark and sometimes hilarious tales of old.
5. The Midnight Apothecary
Brunel Museum, Railway Avenue, Rotherhithe, London SE16 4LF
Year round, the Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe throws open its rooftop doors and plays host to an evening of cocktails and more for only £5. The rooftop garden at the museum is set atop the Thames Tunnel and brims with herbs and flowers, all of which are included in the delicious cocktails on sale at these magical evenings, the concept as a whole dubbed the Midnight Apothecary. The Cocktail Gardener, Lottie Muir, creates and serves delicious cocktails with a botanical twist, sourcing ingredients from the herbs and flowers of the rooftop apothecary. Think campfires, a warm atmosphere, delicious drinks, riverside sunsets and a great evening out!
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