London is big, bold and beautiful, with enough iconic settings and scenes to fill a country.
But the city isn’t all about the well-known attractions and famous locations.
Some of London’s most scenic and photo worthy spots are also the least well-known, even among those who have lived and loved London for their whole life.
How many of them have you visited?
More info: standard.co.uk
1. CROSSNESS PUMPING STATION
Okay so maybe a pumping station isn’t the ideal first date destination but then again those who appreciate fine Victorian architecture just may insist upon this very sort of outing. Completed in 1865 this industrial masterpiece is now a Grade 1 listed building offering guided tours as well as open days. It’s a fascinating albeit strangely gorgeous atmosphere to behold.
2. V&A CAFE
This world famous Kensington museum is well known for it’s remarkable collections so naturally it’s garden adjacent cafe,divided into three equally intriguing rooms, benefits from such glorious surrounds. Better yet, this opulent eatery boasts a more casual atmosphere for those seeking a satisfying intermission between exhibitions minus the suit and tie.
3. THE PALM HOUSE
This indoor rainforest with a waterside view and immaculately trimmed gardens could easily be confused for something a world away from London, but fear not city dwellers this botanical paradise is easily accessible within Kew Gardens.
4. THE RUINS OF ST. DUNSTAN-IN-THE-EAST
Originally built during the times of the Saxons this beautifully crumbling church has seen its fair share of hard times notably surviving the Great Fire and the Blitz. Just barely. Yet, this secret garden of overgrown earth is a stunning example of beauty through destruction.
5. THE BARBICAN CONSERVATORY
The Barbican is certainly no secret but between the theatre, dance, films, exhibitions and general outdoor lovlines you might be surprised to learn this gem of a green space is actually London’s 2nd biggest conservatory, with Kew Gardens in the lead. Home to a staggering 1,500+ different species from tropical palms to rarely seen cacti it’s an easy destination for a quick retreat from city life without leaving London. Just mind the needles when getting that cactus selfie.
Photo: Shutterstock / Tan Zi Han
6. MATHEMATICS: THE WINTON GALLERY AT THE SCIENCE MUSEUM
From the space age architects at Zaha Hadid this beguiling alien-like construct is perfectly at home in a museum that examines the central role of mathematics in an entirely thought-provoking setting void of any tedious schooling. As much a delight for the eyes and camera as it is the mind.
Photo: AFP/Getty Images
7. CENTRAL STAIRCASE AT TATE BRITAIN
Although this transition space from gallery to gallery is not the main event at the Tate Brit it is an achievement in montone style and architectural grandeur.
8. GODS OWN JUNKYARD
A little slice of Vegas, or at least its corena crushing neon, is alive and well in Walthamstow. This multi functional gallery, shop and prop hire destination is a gold mine of “ohh look at this!” Just make sure you have enough storage on your phone, everything in this room is worth the photo.
9. STOMPIE THE TANK
A curious case of a property developer and the local City Council resulted in this supposed Czech military tank being left to whims of Bermondsey nature (as well as graffiti artists) after planning permission was denied for the hopeful businessman. His response was the fully legal purchase of what the City Council assumed was an application for a septic tank and what is now affectionately known as Stompie the Tank.
10. LEADENHALL MARKET
Diehard Harry Potter fans will recognise this glowing Victorian marketplace as the setting for the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley. One of the oldest and finely-detailed marketplaces in London, this cobblestoned conclave easily bewitches shopper and passerby alike. Go in the evening when the lamps are on for a truly glowing stroll.
Photo: Shutterstock / mikecphoto