Five Unkown Great Tourist Spots in London
There are a lot of great tourist spots in London, it is one of the most visited cities in the world for a reason. The problem of course is that all of the most popular tourist spots will have large crowds and lengthy lines that you will have to wait in. Therefore you are probably going to want to check out some of the lesser known tourist spots just for the chance to get away from all the people. The following five spots are great places to visit where you won't run into large crowds of people.
1. Leighton House Museum
While there are plenty of places to see great art work in London one of the better options is also one of the less visited ones. The Leighton House Museum is located in a townhouse in Kensington that once belonged to the painter Fredric Leighton. Admittedly Leighton is not one of the best known painters in history but he was well respected. In addition the museum also contains a number of other works by other artists.
However the real attraction of the Leighton House Museum is not the paintings rather it is the section of the house that is dedicated to Arabic architecture. During his life Leighton made a number of trips to the Middle East where he collected tiles and ceramics, enough of them that he needed to build a new wing onto his house. This wing is built and decorated in the Arabic style and is one of the best examples that you will see anywhere in the world.
2. Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood
This is actually part of the Victoria and Albert museum but it is a part that most people will never get to. That is a shame since it has one of the best collections of antique toys that you will find anywhere in the world. There are toys that date all the way back to the seventeenth century.
Obviously this is a great option if you have children as they will have a natural interest in the toys. There are also activity areas to keep visitors entertained. However you should not assume for one second that adults won't appreciate a visit, the collection is quite impressive and well worth taking a look at.
3. Sir John Sloane Museum
Sir John Sloane was a well known architect in London famous for designing the Bank of England. Therefore you would think that his museum would be dedicated to architecture, and you would be wrong. The museum which is located in Sloane's former home is actually one of the largest collection of oddities you will find anywhere. Sloane collected all kinds of things from the weird to the grotesque and they are all on display in his former house. There are also many priceless artifacts that he collected from around the world ranging from ancient Egyptian to the Medieval period to nineteenth century sculpture.
Despite having one of the most eclectic collections that you will find anywhere the real attraction is upstairs in Sloane's bedroom. The panels are covered in paintings that can be folded out, some of them by quite famous artists. It is hard to describe it since words really can' t do it justice, it is one of those things that you really have to see to believe.
4. Portobello Road Market
This is a street market that happens to be one of the best that you will find anywhere. Located in the fashionable Notting Hill district it is not really on the tourist trail. Instead most of the people down there are locals which gives you a good chance to pick some local culture during your visit. Obviously the primary reason that you would go to a street market is to find a great bargain and at more than two miles in length the chances are pretty good that you will be able to do just that.
The Portobello market is different from a lot of other street markets because in addition to the market the street is lined with antique stores, art galleries and coffee shops which are a great way to spend the day in themselves. Equally important the area has remained remarkably free of chain stores so you are able to find that kind of unique items that the small independent shops carry.
5. Spitalfields City Farm
You would probably be shocked to find a working farm right in the middle of London but that is exactly what you will find. The farm is run like an old fashioned farm with a wide variety of animals like pigs, cows, sheep and horses as well as a garden that grows all kinds of vegetables. Admission is free and it is a great place to take the kids.
There is a lot more than just getting to see how an old fashioned farm worked, there are lots of interactive activities, like the obvious petting the animals to learning about things like composting and sheep shearing. You can try your hand at most of these activities if you want to. In addition there are arts and crafts and pottery that can all be tried. It is a great way to spend a day with the kids and to learn what life on an old English farm used to be like.
These tourist spots are some of the best places that are not on the regular agenda for visitors, which makes them appealing to a lot of people. Obviously you are not going to want to completely avoid the major tourist attractions, many of them are must sees. However the chance to get off of the beaten path can really add to your trip and make the whole experience much more pleasant.
If you want information on other places in this wonderful city, we suggest you also check out the next pages!