London is one of the most recognizable tourist destinations in the world. Days could be spent between hot spots like Buckingham Palace or the London Eye. But if you are heading across the pond and want to escape some of the crowds, check out these local favorites to fill your days.
The “best tacos outside of Mexico”, according to Salma Hayek. The Hampstead Road restaurant and tequila bar by the Euston Square tube station is the perfect spot for Taco Tuesday (or any other day of the week). A market next door by the same name serves fresh ingredients for those who have access to their own kitchen.
2. Little Venice
It doesn’t even feel like you are in West London as you walk the canals of Little Venice. The bustling city is left behind as you take in the canal boats from a cute waterside cafe or pub.
3. Sir John Soane’s Museum
While the British Museum shouldn’t be missed, the Sir John Soane’s Museum is a treasure trove. Named after Regency era architect Sir John Soane, the location at Lincoln’s Inn Fields takes place in buildings he renovated during his life. Every wall, floor, and ceiling are covered with pieces he collected, including the sarcophagus of the Egyptian pharaoh, Seti I.
4. Pelicans In St James Park
The picturesque park in front of Buckingham Palace is filled with Instagram worthy stops but the pelicans who call the park home always catch unsuspecting visitors by surprise. Mostly located near Duck Island Cottage at the east end of the lake, people can gather between 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. each day to see caretakers give the giant birds their fresh fish.
This Shoreditch Italian restaurant transports you back to the golden days of Capri. The raw ingredients are sourced from Italy and then produced in-house for the freshest meal. After dinner, head downstairs to the secret ’80s-inspired bar for an equally impressive set of cocktails. If you can’t get reservations but still want a taste, they offer pizza delivery via Napoli Gang on UberEats and Deliveroo.
READ MORE: Your Foolproof Guide To Visiting London
6. Seven Noses
The Seven Noses of Soho is the perfect treasure hunt to keep you going. The first nose appeared in 1997 with another 30 popping up at London landmarks. While most have been removed, around seven are still out there to be found. Legend says if you find them all, great wealth is coming your way. Artist Rick Buckley was behind the stunt, just to see if he could get away with putting them up undetected. If noses aren’t your thing, a number of ears around Covent Garden from Tim Fishlock could be found. Happy hunting!
7. God’s Own Junkyard
Neon here, neon there, neon everywhere. The Ravenswood Industrial Estate warehouse is filled with neon signs of every shape and size. Curated by neon artist Marcus Bracey, the free gallery is often used for photo and film shoots. DSR cameras can be used but no phone cameras for personnel or social media purposes are allowed.
8. Postman’s Park
Located just north of St Paul’s Cathedral, the park is filled with plaques honoring ordinary people who gave their lives to save someone else. Get the tissues ready as you read the short dedications, many of which are children saving friends and family. George Fredric Watts first unveiled four plaques in 1900 before his death. His wife then took over with the 53rd tile being added in 1931. In 2009, Leigh Pitt, 30, was honored with a plaque for saving a boy from drowning.