Top Social

HIDDEN LONDON

Thursday, 16 February 2017

After a trip abroad fell through, I spent last weekend in London exploring and catching a show (separate blog post about that to follow!). I wanted to see some of the lesser known spots London had to offer, away from the huge crowds of tourists, and here's what I managed to find...


Two Temple Place



Two Temple Place is a late Victorian neo-Gothic mansion owned by The Bulldog Trust, and hosts annual art exhibitions (between January and April) displaying publicly owned museum and gallery collections form across the UK. The house is only open to the public during the exhibition season (although tours are given outside of the season to those with a membership), but is free to visit during these times. The house is currently open, and it's current exhibition, 'Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion', ends on the 23rd April 2017. The house itself is just as beautiful as the art it holds, but sometimes, as with this exhibition, contrasts the pieces on display. I think the great thing about Two Temple Place is that it displays pieces from both well known and lesser known artists, and showcases them in an intimate setting. It's quieter and more personal than visiting a museum, with enthusiastic volunteers in each room ready to answer any questions you may have regarding the pieces or the building. You're given a small yet detailed guide book upon arrival, to provide you with even more information about the exhibition pieces and the building, but there are also plaques next to each piece detailing the art and the artist, as well as providing some thought provoking questions. The house also has a café offering light refreshments, should you need a quick pit stop during your visit. I didn't have time to use the café, but I did poke my head round the door and it seemed very cosy and popular. This is definitely one for the art lovers, but even those less artistically minded can still enjoy a look around the house and the gardens opposite.

Know before you go: Admission is free, pictures can be taken of the building but not of the exhibition pieces, 0.07 miles from the nearest tube station (Temple - Circle and District lines), also accessible from a number of bus routes (4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 26, 76, 87, 91, 139, 172 and 176), visiting times are as follows: Mondays: 10am-4:30pm, Tuesdays: closed, Wednesdays: 10am-9pm, Thursdays: 10am-4:30pm, Fridays: 10am-4:30pm, Saturdays: 10am-4:30pm and Sundays: 11am-4:30pm

St. Dunstan in the East



The Church of St. Dunstan was built around 1100. In 1666, the church was severely damaged during the Great Fire of London, but, instead of being rebuilt, was patched up in the years following. Around 30-40 years later, a steeple and tower were added to the church by Sir Christopher Wren. The church remained unharmed for 240 years, before being severely damaged once more in the Blitz. Much of the church was destroyed, but Sir Christopher Wren's additions remained standing. After the Second World War, the Anglican Church decided that St. Dunstan's would not be rebuilt. The remains of the church (now a Grade I listed building) were turned into a garden, which opened to the public in 1970. It's easy to miss the ruins, which are tucked away amongst the modern office buildings and houses, but stepping a foot inside the ruins is like taking a step back in time. As well as the addition of a water feature, benches and some flower beds, the ruins have naturally been taken over by a variety of climbing plants and trees. Sitting in the quiet garden almost makes you forget that you're in the middle of a busy modern capital. You should definitely make time to visit this secluded spot on your next trip through London if you want to see some of London's history that's not frequented by many people.

Know before you go: Admission is free, pictures cannot be taken inside the ruins without proper permission being obtained beforehand (which is why my pictures were taken from outside of the ruins' gates), 0.3 miles from the nearest tube station (Monument - Circle and District lines), also accessible from a number of bus routes (15, 17, 21, 35, 40, 43, 42, 47, 48, 78, 133, 141, 149, 344 and 521), visiting times are as follows: open year round, 8am-7pm or dusk (whichever comes first), excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day

Camley Street Natural Park



Once a coal drop for the nearby Kings Cross Station, Camley Street Natural Park was created in 1985 by the London Wildlife Trust as a nature reserve for local wildlife. The park has woodland, grassland and wetland habitats and is home to a variety of wildlife, including bats, frogs, birds, bees and a range of different plants and trees. The further into the park you travel, the quieter and more tranquil it gets. The park has information boards dotted throughout, to provide visitors with information about the plants and creatures that call the park home. Volunteers are also on hand to provide more information about the park and the trust's work. There are self-guided activities for families to enjoy while at the park, and tours are also available for schools. There is seating throughout the park and an outdoor eating area, as well as a new viewing point along Regent's Canal. The café at the back of the visitor's centre serves vegetarian food on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30am-4:30pm, and is also open some weekdays during the summer. The footpaths around the park have a wood chip surface, which can get a bit messy and slippery during the rainier days, so I'd advise wearing boots if visiting in wintry weather. The park obviously has a bit more going on in the spring/summer season, with more plants and creatures around, but it's equally as nice to walk around the park in the winter months when it's quieter. It's so lovely to find a thriving natural park in the hustle and bustle of London, and is a perfect way to get away from it all for a while.

Know before you go: admission is free, 0.3 miles from Kings Cross Station, visiting times are as follows: 10am-4pm every day during winter, 10am-5pm every day during summer


I hope I've inspired you to explore some of the hidden gems London has to offer, and maybe you can find some in your local towns. Have you found some already? Let me know in the comments!

“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” 
- G.K. Chesterton
15 comments on "HIDDEN LONDON"
  1. There really aren't so my cute parts of London. I'll never understand why people think it's ugly! I always tell people that if they don't find a city beautiful then they haven't really been looking 💖

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree! There's beauty everywhere, you just have to open your eyes and look ❤ xx

      Delete
  2. Neat spots! I think it's important to dig into a location once you've already seen the "highlights." These look like fabulous spots to go for a visit with a friend for a relaxing afternoon.

    Breanna Catharina
    toocuteforlife.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely, never understand why people give up visiting somewhere after they've seen the 'main' things once xx

      Delete
  3. Wow - this is so interesting! I lived in London and have never been to any of these places but am now really inspired to go! Thank you for sharing, lovely blog.
    Freya - freyasnook.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I inspired you! Thank you for the lovely comment ❤ xx

      Delete
  4. Hi, I am going to have to pop along to Camley Natural Park it does indeed look like a hidden gem to enjoy. Thanks for sharing, Chloe #TeacupClub

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a lovely little place, definitely worth the visit xx

      Delete
  5. Youre photography of these places is absolutely gorgeous, I've travelled a bit but I have never heard of these spots! Great post x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Only had my phone to hand so was quite chuffed with the pictures I got 😂 xx

      Delete
  6. Ahh what hidden gems! Definitely going to find an excuse to go to London early in the year because Two Temple Place sounds amazing.
    Cora x
    http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is! Hope you enjoy it if you make it there!xx

      Delete
  7. Looks like you've found some lovely hidden gems. I love exploring the unknown. It's definitely nice to see something a little different to what a lot of other people post. It's a breath of fresh air! ��

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awh thank you! I much prefer exploring unknown places than ones everyone goes to, it's more exciting that way!xx

      Delete
  8. I live in London and know all these places! You've done well to find the little nooks!
    Did you go to the Temple gardens too? I stumbled across them my first week in London and 3 years later they remain my favourite place in London.

    Also, I work on the big Kings Cross development on the opposite side of the canal to Camley Reserve. It used to bigger but they've gutted it to make way for a new bridge!

    Chelsea - www.TastetheTea.co.uk

    ReplyDelete

Auto Post Signature

Auto Post  Signature