There are few places in the world that can compare to London. A London tour will bring a lifetime worth of memories — especially if you take the time to see some of the top hidden landmarks London has to offer.
There is so much to see on a London tour, that it can sometimes be difficult to know where to begin. Sure, you know about Buckingham Palance and Big Ben.
While these are all great places to see if you’ve never been on a London tour before, sometimes the hidden gems are the ones that resonate with us the most.
Here are 7 landmarks you need to see on your London tour before heading back home.
1. Wilton’s Music Hall
If you’re a music buff, Wilton’s Music Hall is a must-see stop on your London tour.
Wilton’s is the oldest music hall still existing in the world. The hall was debuted in 1743 and acted as a sea captain’s ale house for its first 96 years in existence. In 1839, a concert hall was built which turned Wilton’s into one of the most popular live music venues in London.
Located close to the Tower of London, today Wilton’s Music Hall is London’s gems when you want to take in concerts, comedy shows, and skits.
Take an hour-long history tour of the Hall and get a glimpse into the oldest remaining building of its kind.
When crafting your London tour bucket list, don’t forget to add Wilton’s Music Hall. You’ll be glad you did.
2. Hyde Park’s Victorian Pet Cemetery
Most everybody knows about London’s Hyde Park. What most people don’t know is that there’s an old-world Victorian Pet Cemetery hidden in the northwest corner of the park, near Victoria Gate Lodge.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to set foot in the pet cemetery because it’s now closed to the public. However several bars in the area offer a clear view of it from windows and patios.
From these bars, you can read such precious gravestone encryptions as “Darling Dolly — my sunbeam, my consolation, my joy.”
Don’t skip this stop on your London tour. It hearkens back to a different time in history.
3. The Whitechapel Bell Foundry
Ever wonder where the Liberty Bell and Big Ben were forged from raw steel? The Whitechapel Bell Foundry opposite of Aldgate East is the answer.
What’s even cooler is that it is still a working foundry even to this day. While the foundry doesn’t offer official, scheduled tours they are always happy when someone interested in its history pops in for a chat. Expect the staff to be very knowledgeable about the foundry’s history and very friendly to anyone interested in learning about its past.
Taking a London tour will give you a special view of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
4. The Water Pump That Lead to a Cholera Epidemic
In 1854 a nasty cholera epidemic swept through Soho that killed over 500 people within a few short weeks.
London physician Dr. John Snow narrowed down the source of the outbreak to a public water pump located on Broadwick Street, directly behind Oxford Street.
This is now known as John Snow’s Water Pump.
Upon discovering this to be the source of the deadly outbreak, Dr. Snow proceeded to remove the handle from the pump — thus making it impossible to draw water from it. Once the handle was removed, new cholera cases stopped almost immediately and the epidemic ended.
The pump still stands to this day. Check it out.
5. Check Out Britain’s Smallest Police Station on Your London Tour
The police are there to serve and protect. But can they do it from a police station the size of an outhouse?
In the 1800’s, on the east side of Trafalgar Square, they could.
Back then, the building was used by police to have a place indoors to stand while keeping a close eye on protest marches in the square.
Interestingly, the ornate lamp sitting on top of the station came from the ship HMS Victory — the world’s most famous warship.
Currently, the tiny building is used by the council for storage. But it still looks the same as it did in the 1800’s when it was a functional (tiny) police station.
6. The Famous Brixton Windmill
Don’t conclude your London tour without a stop at the Brixton Windmill.
No, we’re not talking about the pub that goes by the same name (although that’s a great stop too!) The true Brixton Windmill is a real windmill that’s located right in the middle of the famed Blenheim Gardens.
This windmill was crafted in 1816, then leased to the Ashby family. Joshua-John Ashby died in 1934 and the windmill was taken out of production.
In 2011 the Lambeth Council received a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the windmill was restored.
It has been open to the public ever since, and is a definite London bucket list stop.
7. The Naked Ladies of York House
Located in Twickenham — which is more known for its rugby and beautiful riversides — the York House is an interesting stop on your London tour.
Nobody seems to know about the origins of the Naked Ladies of York House. So who are they?
Most believe they are 8 “Oceanids” based out of Greek mythology. They’re carved in solid Carrara marble and are thought to have come from somewhere in Italy in the late 1800’s.
These pieces may have, at one time, been a part of a much larger display. However, the additional pieces were probably sold off one by one by the owner.
In 1906 the Naked Ladies became part of the outdoor decor at York House when Sir Rantaji Dadabhoy Tata started using them as part of the backdrop for his socialite parties.
These parties were even attended by King George V.
Personalizing your tour by seeing some (or all) of these off-the-beaten-path landmarks will make your tour one you’ll never forget.
Book your London tour today and start making memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re traveling solo, with friends, or with your family, there is truly something for everyone.