London has an unbelievable number of places to explore in the city. From modern marvels to ancient attractions there are plenty of sights to visit and explore in this 200 years old historic city. Apart from the main attractions there are numerous other, off-the-beaten-path options that are great to explore on a trip to London.
If you do plan a holiday in London this winter, you could choose to stay at any of the fine luxury hotels in London at a discount! This is because there are several special deals and offers in the off season, which could help you to save substantially on hotel costs.
A great place to stay is The Montcalm London Marble Arch Hotel, a boutique luxury hotel that offers comfort and premium facilities at a great price. And as it is located in central London, you are within a stone throw’s from some of the more unique attractions in the city, which include:
Get a complete view of London: Do you fancy the idea of seeing the entire city at a single go? While it does sound like a too good to be true idea it is actually possible i.e. (in an unusual sort of way). To get one of the most amazing panoramic views while staying on the ground, you will need to visit New London Architecture’s Offices close to Google Street. They have an incredible 1:1500 scale model creation on permanent display of the city and it can be seen for free. The unique model stretches across from Paddington to the Royal London Docks. It covers familiar sites, transport links and new buildings that are proposed, which will give you a unique glimpse into how the city will look in the future. Their office functions on weekdays (9.30am-6pm) and on Saturday (10am-5pm).
Get yourself a trendy brolly: Whichever part of the year you visit London, there will be a time when you will need an umbrella. So why not get yourself well prepared by heading over straight to James Smith & Sons situated on New Oxford Street to get some of the finest wet weather gear! They have been in the business for close to two centuries and have been purveyors of the finest brollies to leading British personalities over the years, even having sold them to a British PM or two. In fact, the shop itself is a great place to visit with original Victorian fittings and a terrific collection of vintage umbrellas and walking sticks, along with the more modern lightweight kind that can be folded and carried with ease. It is still worth a visit even if you just browse through and buy something cheaper elsewhere.
See the traffic light tree: If you are in the Canary Wharf district, how about sparing a few minutes to see one of the more unique attractions in the area, its famous traffic light tree that is the handiwork of famous French sculptor, Pierre Vivant. It is an impressive 8 metres in height and comprises of 75 computer controlled traffic lights. It is located on a roundabout close to Billingsgate Market and does look a rather unusual sight in its surroundings, with no proper vegetation to be found in the area. However, irrespective of its bleak surroundings it does actually look quite stunning when it is lit up at night. It serves a purely ornamental purpose and is not of functional use.
Visit the Barbican’s Tropical Gardens: Did you know that there is a jungle of tropical plants right within the heart of the city in Central London! You need not travel all the distance to Kew gardens, when there is so much of nature to be found within the modernist concrete jungle known as the Barbican. The Barbican is an intriguing place; both admired and criticised by Londoners. It used to be a former residential estate of the 1960s that was built in an architectural pattern that came to be classified as brutalist in style. It is home to a museum, a massive maze like arts centre, and a conference venue billed to be the largest on the European continent.
Within the centre of the complex, there is the second largest conservatory in the city. It is home to an exotic oasis of tropical plants along with a variety of species of fish and exotic birds. The only hitch is that the gardens are not open to the public all through the year, so you will need to confirm before you take a tour of them. Although exploring the massive Barbican Centre is an adventure in itself!
Take a taxidermy tour: Do you have a fascination for looking at stuffed animals. If so then a visit to Get Stuffed, is a unique adventure where you will find an unusual menagerie of curiosities from across all corners of the planet. The place has become a legend of sorts and it is based in the Islington area of London. It has had its fair share of controversies over time as it has dealt with protected and rare species. A visit to the place can only be accomplished by appointment, unless you want to be like the others who arrive at the shop on Essex Road, only to gape through its main window. It has had a truly exotic menagerie over the years that have included a giraffe’s had, a number of foxes and even a lion. And if this is not enough and still want to see more of taxidermy, how about popping in at Les Trois Garcons for a meal? You could enjoy the fine food, while being surrounded by an eclectic display of animals, included a few mythical ones as well!