As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, London is bursting with signature attractions to see throughout any visit. Whether it’s your first or fifteenth time in the capital, you’ll probably find yourself drawn to the icons of Westminster, shops of Soho and stunning homes of Chelsea. However, there are so many lesser-known sights to take in as well, so to help you uncover them, we’ve rounded up our top 10 unusual things to do in London. And if you’re looking for somewhere to stay as you see it all, check out our luxury London holiday rentals!

Walk along The Line

Emirates Air LineRunning from the Greenwich Peninsula all the way to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, The Line is a free-to-enjoy contemporary art walk along the River Thames. It has 12 sculptures dotted throughout the route, though we’d recommend seeing the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower in Stratford up close by taking a ride down the slide. You can also catch a ride on the Emirates Air Line cable car, getting to see the city from a whole new vantage point. 

Visit the oldest tea shop in London

Twinings TeaYou’ll probably have at least one or two cups of tea throughout your stay in London, but if you want to learn a little more about the much-beloved drink, head to the Twinings Flagship Store on The Strand. It’s been standing there since 1706, and while the shop has seen some changes over time, you can still sample a variety of blends as well as take part in a masterclass.

Get a taste of Italy in Little Venice

Little VeniceReady to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital? Located north of Paddington, the canal area of Little Venice is lined with waterside pubs and cafes that are perfect for people-watching. It’s positioned right where the Grand Union and Regent’s canals meet, and you can even take a boat trip down the waterways. When it’s time to head back to the regular tourist haunts, ZSL London Zoo and Camden Market are conveniently located nearby.

Wander Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall MarketFound in the financial district, Leadenhall Market is an unsuspecting covered area that attracts photographers far and wide for its distinct design. The cobbled streets here are lined with restaurants and characterful shops, creating a truly magical feel. You therefore may not be surprised to learn that it’s served as a filming location for several movies, including Harry Potter, making it one of our favourite unusual things to do in London for aspiring witches and wizards.

See Harry Potter artwork

MinaLimaSpeaking of the boy wizard, did you know that there’s an entire store dedicated to the graphic art from the films? Artists Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima are responsible for many of the wacky props you seen in the magical movies, including Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans boxes, Hogwarts homework journals, Daily Prophet pages and so much more.

At their Soho location, just a few minutes away from The Palace Theatre that houses Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, you can see many of these items up close as well as purchase replicas, limited-edition prints and postcards. Be sure to follow the shop on social media to find out when Mira and Eduardo may be dropping by!

Grab coffee from a toilet cafe

CoffeeI know what you’re thinking – there are so many great places to get your caffeine kick in London, so why would you want a cup that’s prepared in a toilet?! But stick with us. The Attendant has several cafes located across the city, with the most notable being in Fitzrovia. It occupies a space that was once a public toilet in the Victorian era, but today this quirky spot serves up some of the capital’s best cups along with a full brunch menu. 

Measure time in Greenwich

Royal Observatory GreenwichWant to feel like you’re at the centre of the world? Head up Greenwich Hill to the Royal Observatory Greenwich where you’ll find The Meridian Line, which has been used to mark GMT since 1884. Once you’re done, head through the park and market towards the Greenwich Foot Tunnel. It may be a little dark and dingy down there, having first been built in 1902 to allow workers to quickly get across the Thames, but this is a truly unique experience – and a great way to get your steps in!

Visit a Japanese garden

Kyoto GardensThis may be the last thing you expect to see while visiting London, but the Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park offer a welcome reprieve from an otherwise-packed schedule. It was first opened in 1991 as a gift from the city of Kyoto to Great Britain, featuring tiered waterfalls, a koi carp-filled pond and traditional Japanese maple trees. Aaaand breathe.

Afternoon tea with a twist

Brigit's Bakery busAfternoon tea is without a doubt one of the most quintessentially British activities, so it’s probably top of your London to-do list. Looking to amp up the tourist factor further? Brigit’s Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour lets you enjoy your scones, sandwiches and sweet treats on board a bright red double-decker bus. You’ll pass historic London landmarks as you sip and savour too!

For those who would rather sit stationary, there are ample other quirky options to consider as well. Head up The Shard for a Peter Pan-themed afternoon tea, complete with a pirate ship tea stand and panoramic city views. 

Explore Neal’s Yard

Neal's YardCovent Garden is one of the busiest areas of London – particularly on a Saturday afternoon as theatre-goers mill around pre-show! However, hidden among the chaos is a little courtyard known as Neal’s Yard. Colourful buildings are covered in fresh flowers stretching up towards the sky, while at eye level you’ll find an array of restaurants, shops, and of course the renowned Neal’s Yard Remedies.

Whether you leave with a bag full of skincare, camera full of snaps, or just a stomach full of food, this is a spot you’ll surely find yourself drawn back to time and time again.

Now that you’ve read about the top 10 unusual things to do in London, you’re probably ready to take on the big city! We’ve got a growing collection of luxury London holiday rentals to consider, with our concierge team on hand to help you find the right one for you. And for something else fun to do, check out the top 10 best beaches near London to visit on your next trip.

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