London is full of secret spots which, although often in plain sight, can reveal a whole load of mystery and history associated with them. For this post we invited Crystal Roman, a guest blogger to write about a few of her favourite spots…
Have you ever been to London? Regardless of what your answer is, I am sure there is the hidden London that will appear surprising to you and mysterious undiscovered attractions not included in any guidebooks.
There are astonishing underground secret places in London that tourists rarely ever visit and here are just a few:
Aldwych station, 171 Strand, London
Closed tube stations always draw people’s attention, they seem to be full of mysteries and inhabited by phantoms. Aldwych station located in the City of Westminster in Central London, is believed to be full of ghosts. It is interesting to know that this station was opened in 1907, but was closed because the amount of passengers was too low and it was not cost-effective to use it. Parts of the station and the tunnels were used during the two world wars as a temporary hideaway for objects from London’s art galleries and museums. The station also appears in a number of films such as Creep, V for Vendetta, Woman in Black II, Sherlock, Mr. Selfridge and The Krays. Visitors can get access to explore the station several times a year, and it is also possible to hire the station for some events. Nonetheless, you can have a look at the entrance.
St Bride’s Church, City of London, Fleet Street, London
The story of the church is connected with the name of St Bride, a daughter of an Irish prince. If you want to travel back in time 2,000 years ago, visit this unusual spot. On this place existed a number of churches, which were several times ruined by fire (in 1666 and 1940). In 1953, Professor W. F. Grimes, an archaeologist of medieval ages discovered the foundations on the site of six previous churches. The church we have there now is the eighth one. In the walls of the crypt, you will see different layers that date back centuries. It is open for visitors seven days a week, and if you prefer a guided tour, come to the place on Tuesday.
The Old Operating Theatre, St Thomas Street, London
One of the most unusual places to visit in London is the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, one of the oldest surgical theatres in Europe. Here you will get to know the history of medicine and surgery. It is situated in the attic of the eighteenth-century church in the old St. Thomas Hospital. See yourself as a medical student present at the surgical demonstration and imagine how the surgery was done in the Victorian times. The museum is open every day till 5:00 p.m.
The ruins of St. Dunstan-in-the-East, Dunstan’s Hill, London
It is one of London’s secret gardens, where trees, ivy and flowers grow among the ruined arches of the ancient church. This is a ruined church that has become an amazing public garden. The garden was designed by the City of London Architects and Parks Departments in 1971. The ruins of a medieval church and Wren Tower formed a charming tourist attraction and a place where you can have a slow walk and think about the eternity. It is located between the Tower of London and the London Bridge. The garden is open daily till 7 p.m. and the entrance to it is free.
The Mail Rail, Phoenix Place, London
This Post Office Railway was built to speed up the delivery of Royal Mail in London. It operated from 1927 to 2003. In July 2017, the site was turned into a Postal museum. Special tourist trains were installed at the end of 2016. It is open every day till 17:00. The last train of the railway departs at 16:30.
The capital of the UK is full of wonderful locations worth visiting, from classic pubs and bars to royal palaces and ancient museums. Come to London and visit these sites to feel the mysterious atmosphere of this city. Happy sightseeing!
This was a guest post from Crystal Roman, a passionate traveller and blogger for Custom Writing. Crystal is fond of travelling and discovering new places all around the globe. For more Inspiring City posts focusing on the history of London, have a look here.