London's Hidden Landmarks

London is home to some of the world’s most famous landmarks and attractions, from St Paul’s Cathedral to the British Museum. But it’s also home to many lesser-known treasures, many with fascinating histories and unique stories. 

If you’re looking for something a bit different to see in the capital, we’ve got a list of some of London’s best hidden landmarks.  

Berkeley Inspiration - London's Hidden Landmarks - The Monument

The Monument

This particular landmark goes to the very heart of London’s history and character, and yet still remains off the beaten path for many tourists. This is even more surprising when you consider that it’s over 200 feet high and topped with a shining golden urn, though it is somewhat hidden amongst the buildings that have grown around it. The Monument to the Great Fire of London, to give it its full name, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1671 and completed in 1677, and can be found near London Bridge, located 202 feet away from the spot in Pudding Lane where the Great Fire of 1666 began. 

Aside from admiring its history and meaning, a visit is also worthwhile if you can climb the 311 steps to the viewing platform at the top.

Visit The Monument

Berkeley Inspiration - Londons Hidden Landmarks - Dennis Severs House

Dennis Sever's House

This unassuming Georgian terraced house in Spitalfields hides one of London’s most arresting and unique museums. Inside you’ll find rooms completely furnished in various styles from the 18th and 19th centuries, each looking authentically lived in, as if its owner had just popped out a moment earlier. This carefully created effect is the work of Dennis Sever, who bought the house in 1979 and lived there while he built his amazing collection. His intention was to tell the story of an imagined Huguenot family living there from 1724 onwards through the decades, creating a kind of theatrical set where the narrative is played out in the imagination of the visitors. 

Visit Dennis Sever’s House

Berkeley Inspiration - Londons Hidden Landmarks - Little Venice

Little Venice

These hidden canals and waterways evoke something of Amsterdam or Venice, and offer a very different experience of central London. There are canals running all around London, but this particular stretch can be found just above Hyde Park near Paddington station. Here the Grand Union and Regent’s canals meet, creating a picturesque neighbourhood with elegant houses, waterside cafes, and charming bridges. As you’d expect, there are also plenty of colourful canal boats lining the waterways, adding to the overall charm and atmosphere. You can even hop onto one of the canal cruises and take a trip up to Camden Lock Market, taking in London from a different perspective. 

Visit Little Venice

Berkeley Inspiration - Londons Hidden Landmarks - The Clink

The Clink

The prison that became a synonym for the word itself once stood on the site of this museum, dating all the way back to 1144. The Clink was one of England’s oldest and most notorious prisons, with a fascinatingly dark history spanning over 600 years. The museum occupies the same site today, nestled in a narrow street next to the ruins of Winchester Palace, once the home of the bishops of Winchester who had rule over the prison. Inside you can learn about the many prisoners detained there, and the changes in law and society in London that took place over the centuries. 

Visit The Clink

Berkeley Inspiration - London's Hidden Landmarks - The Painted Halls

The Painted Hall

The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich is the second creation of Sir Christopher Wren on this list, and inside there’s a hidden gem that’s been called ‘Britain’s Sistine Chapel’. The Painted Hall was created by Sir James Thornhill between 1707 and 1726, the same artist who painted frescoes for St. Paul’s Cathedral, Wren’s most famous work. The entire surface of this grand Baroque hall is hand-painted, from the breathtaking classical scenes on the ceiling to the imposing columns that stand along the walls. The incredible space has been used for many ceremonial events and occasions over the years, including the lying-in-state of Lord Nelson in 1806, the site of the coffin is marked by a plaque on the floor. 

Visit The Painted Hall

Berkeley Inspiration - Londons Hidden Landmarks - Sir John Soanes Museum

Sir John Soane's Museum

This incredible museum was once the home of Sir John Soane, a 19th century architect. During his lifetime he filled his home with paintings, sculptures, architectural models, drawings, and much more, creating a truly unique and expansive collection. An Act of Parliament passed during his lifetime ensured his home would be preserved and the treasures protected, creating the museum as we know it today. Renovations over the years have restored the house’s rooms to their original states, and placed many of the artefacts in their proper locations. Due to the restricted space inside, only a limited number of visitors are allowed in at one time, so it’s a good idea to get tickets ahead of time.   

Visit Sir John Soane’s Museum

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