August 10, 2017

London is an extremely eclectic city. It is a contrast of odd skyscrapers and medieval architecture, a juxtaposition of polished  parks and grungy street art.

During my time studying abroad in London, I wanted to see more than just the tourist spots and find local hideouts not commonly visited by foreigners. In my list of London hidden gems, I cover a little bit of each of London’s obscured personalities, some of which turned out to be my favorite parts of the city.

London Hidden Gems


I stumbled upon the British Library while looking for things to do at King’s Cross. Although the rooms with books are only accessible to Library members, the Library has four floors of open space and quiet work stations surrounded by white and brick walls. There’s a cute coffee shop and plenty of natural sunlight. Inside the Library, you’ll find the Sir John Ritblat Gallery, a treasury with  sheet music by Mozart (the musical genius), plays by Shakespeare (the literary genius), and more.

5 London Hidden Gems


Part of St. Dunstan’s charm is how unexpected it is in the middle of London’s financial district. St. Dunstan was a church  built in the early 1100s but was severely damaged by the Great Fire of London in 1666, then destroyed in WWII. A short walk from the Walkie Talkie and Gherkin, St. Dunstan is used as a public garden today.

5 London Hidden Gems


I’m a big fan of street art and some of London’s edgier neighborhoods are hotspots for artists to make a statement. East London, in particular Brick Lane, is known for having its walls covered with graffiti and pop culture tributes (you can also find some original Banksys there). The Leake St. Graffiti Tunnel is not in East London, however. It’s located east of Waterloo, near many tourist attractions such as Big Ben and the London Eye, but the tunnel is a jarring escape from London’s south bank.

5 London Hidden Gems

Groups of young 20-somethings smoked, sitting on the ground and rode skateboards, while others stood with gas masks, spray cans, and artworks in progress. Businesspeople and families passed through the tunnel as if it were just any other day on their daily commutes. The tunnel is a cavern of street art. It’s a little hard to find, but with Google Maps it shouldn’t be too hard to get there.

5 London Hidden Gems


London is famous for its sprawling parks, but nothing provides an escape from the city’s hubbub quite like Kyoto Garden. Located in Holland Park, the Japanese garden was built in 1991 and features  royal blue peacocks, still-water ponds, and brightly colored plants.

5 London Hidden Gems


I found myself running up Primrose Hill just to miss the sun setting after two trains and a bus from the Southwest end of London. The winds were freezing and my lungs ached and the pink-orange glow I had seen but couldn’t capture from the bus was rapidly fading at the same time disappointment rapidly set in. Still, I insisted on staying.

5 London Hidden Gems

Eventually, the sky turned to purple, the city lights lit up, and the street lamps along the park’s paths illuminated; Primrose Hill captured the breadth of London, from the pristine land of the parks to the untouchable city life all in one night view.

5 London Hidden Gems

Do you know of any hidden gems in London? Please share with our readers in the comments below! Read Next > The Ultimate London Travel Guide

By We Are Travel Girls Contributor Kimberly Go of
Connect with Kimberly on Instagram

5 London Hidden Gems


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  • Reply Camille August 10, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    This post has me missing London so much! Love everything mentioned!

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls August 12, 2017 at 4:11 am

      Thanks for reading and commenting Camille – happy you enjoyed this post! Becky x

  • Reply Ciara August 10, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    This is such a cool little post and so well-timed for me; I’m a born-and-bred Londoner who is relocating to Kuala Lumpur next week for the next few years, so I’m going to spend one of my final days visiting each of these 5 hidden gems to soak up the last of my eccentric city’s hustle and bustle. X

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls August 12, 2017 at 4:10 am

      Thanks for reading and commenting Ciara. Glad that you enjoyed this post and found it useful even in a city that you have always lived in! Enjoy Kuala Lumpur – I love that city! Becky x

  • Reply Zhanna August 12, 2017 at 1:02 am

    I love hidden gems in every city or place. For some reasons, they are somehow even more beautiful than popular touristic destinations. Maybe the best part of them is that there are not so many tourists in the first place…

    • Reply We Are Travel Girls August 12, 2017 at 4:04 am

      Thanks for reading and commenting Zhanna, pleased that you enjoyed this post. Thanks, Becky x

  • Reply Lynne C. August 12, 2017 at 4:32 am

    I’m not from London (an Aussie living in the Philippines, for now). But oh my – this post makes me want to hop on a plane and go check all those delicious looking spots out! Thank you Kimberley Go and Travel Girls for your marvellous articles!

  • Reply Tim Malcolm December 19, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Thanks for this. I’m teaching English to Japanese students in the Philippines and one of them asked about hidden gems in London that he could visit. It’s perfect. Hope you don’t me using it in my class.

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