If you’ve ever visited London before, you’ve probably been to the typical tourist spots, like the Big Ben, Tower of London, and Buckingham Palace. However, if you’re a more seasoned traveler looking for a more unique experience off the beaten path, here’s a list of activities and places around London that might give you an unexpected thrill:
1. Try a wellness treatment at a nearby health spa
Sometimes, the hustle and bustle of the city can be overwhelming. If you’re in the mood for some relaxation, we previously wrote about how the Grayshott Health Spa offers an award winning-health program, called the Health Regime. It’s located about an hour’s journey away from London in the gorgeous countryside, so if you’re dealing with any health issues such as arthritis and diabetes, their treatment can help encourage tissue repair and restore the digestive system. As a bonus, you also get a blood and body composition analysis, nutritional and fitness advice, as well as soothing massages and a hydrobath experience to leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
2. Visit some of the city’s most iconic bingo halls
Bingo has long been a popular British pastime and has been enjoyed for many generations. However don’t feel like you are too hip to play, as the classic game of bingo is no longer just for the elderly. It’s experiencing a fun revival in London that is catering to younger generations. Depending on your style, Elephant and Castle’s vintage bingo hall in their shopping center gives you an old-school experience of bingo, while Dabbers Bingo hosts themed bingo nights with an immersive twist such as replacing the callers with top London comedians. Just keep in mind that bingo in the UK is different from bingo in the US. In the UK, they play 90-ball bingo, which Foxy Bingo explains gives you three chances of winning, depending on whether you complete one, two, or three lines. In the US, the format used is usually 75-ball bingo. You might find yourself a bit lost at first, but you’re sure to get the hang of it after a few games and get involved with this iconic part of British culture.
3. Take unique photographs in quirky art galleries
If you’re looking for the perfect backdrop for that Instagram-worthy snapshot, there are plenty of smaller galleries in London that will catch your eye. The Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens features a mixture of contemporary art and stunning architecture, along with the Serpentine Sackler Gallery located in a former gunpowder store. For an incredibly unique experience, God’s Own Junkyard is a neon wonderland filled with an eclectic collection of neon signs by the artist Chris Bracey. The best part is that entry is free, and you can grab some coffee and cakes at the hidden ‘The Rolling Scones’ cafe.
4. Have afternoon tea in a double-decker bus
An interesting mix of two iconic British pastimes comes together in a unique experience by Brigit’s Bakery. While riding a vintage double-decker bus, you get to sample a number of delectable treats, including vegan, vegetarian, halal, and gluten-free options to suit your diet. They offer daily tours that depart from Central London and it’s a perfect way to spend a lovely afternoon. It’s also a great way to view the main landmarks of the city if you haven’t already. Whether it’s cupcakes, pastries, or parfaits, you’re sure to find a dessert that hits the spot!
While all the typical tourist sites of London are a definite must-visit, sometimes having an unexpected adventure and doing something out of the ordinary can help you make unforgettable memories. Asking locals for the best dining options and their favorite sights is also a great way to discover more hidden gems and make your journey all the more special.