London’s Hidden treasure to enjoy at your leisure 

If you are moving to London, or within London and you use our unbeatable Aussie moving services, you will have plenty of free time and energy to explore some of the places that make London a truly unique city. Off the tourist track, some of these places are only known to locals and residents, and make London the exceptional city that Londoners love.  Assuming everyone knows about the big draws like Kew Gardens, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Southbank Centre, and the National Gallery, we can go a little more leftfield in this exploration of London’s hidden riches.   Here are ten places to explore at your leisure, some without any expense involved. 

Contents: 

  1. Swimming at Hampstead Heath Ponds
  2. Sundays at Columbia Flower Market 
  3. Turkish food on the Green Lanes 
  4. Go clubbing at Drumsheds
  5. Picnic near the Kyoto Garden Holland Park 
  6. Time travel in God’s Own Junkyard
  7. Browse books in Cecil Court 
  8. Check out Banksy 
  9. Go gothic in Highgate Cemetary 
  10. Steam, sweat and soak at the Porchester Spa 

Ten places in London to discover and explore

With its layers of history, culture and different ethnic communities, there is so much to explore in London. It can take years to get under the surface and find the pulse of its different zones. Here are a few clues to get you treasure hunting. 

1-Swimming at Hampstead Heath Ponds

Hampstead Heath in itself is the jewel in the crown of North London, but open water public swimming? Yes- at the mens, womens, and mixed ponds there is life-guarded wild bathing to be had.  Set amidst the city skyline, cooling off in the summer at the ponds brings a surreal natural edge to London life. Book here and find out where each of the ponds and Parliament Hill lido is located. The Heath is known as one of the best outdoor swimming places in London, with three natural ponds and one 60m Lido. Plus, Hampstead Heath itself is a reason to live for many Londoners and their canine friends. 

2-Sundays at Columbia Rd Flower Market 

London markets set up city institutions for residents, like Sundays at Spitalfields used to be, or Saturdays at Borough Market. Well, it’s Sundays at Columbia Rd Flower Market and it has been for a long time even before the hipsters caught on. Set in trendy Bethnal Green it still holds a lot of East End charm, which makes the market so popular. Flowers and plants galore, with some cool cafes, boutiques and a bit of antique and vintage treasure troving possible in the locale. Market times are from 8-3, with some potential bargains from around 2pm, mind you the best stock may be snatched in the early hours though. Bring cash and a camera, because flowers always inspire. 

3- Turkish food on the Green Lanes 

Pockets of London house colonies of different communities. The Green Lanes is home to London’s largest Turkish communities, and runs for six miles. Harringay Green Lanes is the section where you want to eat great kebabs, lentil soup and buy greens, Turkish coffee and stock up on shisha tobacco. Baklava, Turkish delight and pistachios in abundance, you can revel in Aladdin’s Cave of North London and find a few bargains as well. For more info on where to eat you can research in advance or see what the locals think when you get there.  If it is Indian food you are interested in, take the Queen Elizabeth Line to Southall, where your eyes will be dazzled with ornate wedding dresses and exotic foods and fruits.  

4- Go clubbing at Drumsheds

For a nocturnal city adventure you can meet with hundreds of others on the dancefloor. Breaking new ground in the old Tottenham IKEA building, Drumsheds is an innovative space for galleries, fashion shows and music events. With 3 dancefloors, five bars, huge LED screens and a terrace and food court it is the venue for epic nights in Edmonton.  Drum and Bass, techno, house and hiphop all reach wide audiences in this innovatively curated industrial space.  Stay tuned for the best  gigs in electronica, pop and events from The Hydra and Radio 1 Dance. 

5- Picnic near the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park (pictured)

Holland Park is a lesser know marvel of the London Parks, situated on Kensington High Street.  Its size and variagated attractions make it appealing in different ways. One particularly pleasing aspect is the Kyoto Garden, with its water features and traditional Japanese horticulture. Holland Park is also home of Opera Holland Park,where each summer there is a stunning 3 months of outdoor opera and music.  Evening concerts and picnics are taken to a whole other level throughout this summer programme. 

6- Time travel in God’s Own Junkyard 

This salvage yard in Walthamstow is becoming a bit of a cult pilgrimage spot where you can view the nostalgic collection of neon lights, collected by Chris Bracey. Where Neon Never Dies, this gallery of the glowing contains many iconic lights from the big screen as well as classic memorabilia. For art lovers and Instagrammers this is worth having on your Walthamstow map. From 

 God’s Own Junkyard to the William Morris Gallery there is a whole day out in Walthamstow to be had mapping different epochs of design in London. Visit the Rolling Scones café at God’s Own Junkyard for refreshments, and enjoy Lloyd Park which surrounds the William Morris Gallery while contemplating London design through time. 

7- Browse books in Cecil Court 

Tucked away on a magical Lane between Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square is Cecil Court.  This 17th Century Lane does feel like time travelling, away from the bustle of the major thoroughfares, you can catch a sense of bygone London. Here you can find collectible books, from first editions to rare children’s literature, esoteric books, collectible jewellry and art. Similar to Museum Street, in Bloomsbury near the British Museum, you can find one-off wonders and sample a hidden vein of London that is far from the high street and the tourist trends. 

8-  Check out a Banksy 

At the back of the Cargo Club in London is the official Banksy Designated Graffiti Area, where the artist’s work has been preserved with plexiglass to protect it. From Shoreditch High Street head to 83 Rivington Street where underneath the viaduct there is a congregation of graffiti. For the Banksy section look for the arch which says London. Here you can see the work of the anonymous street artist Banksy and many others. The piece on display is Guard Dog and is a mockery of the police and the authorities and their prohibition of graffiti. You can also see another Banksy in this area entitled His Masters Voice

9- Go gothic in Highgate Cemetary

If Gothic ruins are your thing, or the Victorian era in general, then Highgate Cemetery is a wonderful place where history meets nature in an overgrown collection of stories.  Particularly of interest to Pre-Raphelite fans, this is the burial place of Christina Rosetti and also of Lizzie Siddal, where the infamous exhumation took place. George Michael, Karl Marx, and Douglas Adams were also buried here along with around 170,000 others. Guided tours can be booked in advance and there is an East Cemetary and West Cemetary, with different admission guidelines. 

10- Steam, soak and sweat in the Porchester Spa 

In a rainy and cloudy city like London, it is good to know where you can find the best Turkish Baths to rejuvenate.  The Porchester Spa has a stunning classic interior, dating back to 1929, giving it an old Victorian Bathhouse vibe, with three hot rooms and one plunge pool. This Bayswater gem is more in line with the classic Turkish Bath than a New Age or hotel Spa. A wide range of spa treatments are available, and there are men only days, women only days and mixed days to choose from. Insights into more Turkish baths and spas in London can be found here. 

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