20 Unique and Unusual Things to do in London
What comes to your mind when you think of London?
When you think of London, landmarks like Big Ben, the London Eye, River Thames, cups of tea and fish and chips come to your mind.
Pretty much all things that are typically British jump to your mind.
But, apart from all those things you see in the movies, on TV and in the magazines, there are cooler things to do than the ones that meet your eye.
You might want to keep reading if you're off the beaten path type. Today in this article, we'll cover all the cool, unusual and quirky destinations and attractions to do while in London.
20 Unique things you must do in London
To give you an idea of what to do in London, here are 20 things you need to know about:
1. Get down with Insta at God's Own Junkyard
Situated in Walthamstow, God's Own Junkyard is an epic place if you want to come to London for good photos. It's not your typical London backdrop. Instead, this place is a building full of cool and quirky neon signs, a personal collection spanning over 40 years of work from a well known artist Chris Bracey.
Some of these signs are so cool; they come from former Soho sex clubs in the 60s to signs from the movie industry like Captain America. You can even buy signs and rent them for yourself from God's Own Junkyard.
2. Seek out Skeleton's at the Grant Museum
If you want to see something natural but don't want to opt for the museum, most go to (the Natural History Museum); you might want to explore the Grant Museum. Unlike its counterpart, this is a less popular museum but has some truly interesting displays to see. In particular, you can see brains, moles, skeletons, dead deers and a major elephant skull and more. The best part of this space is that the museum is free to visit.
3. Go white water rafting
With London being a busy metropolis, we bet white water rafting might have never sprung to your mind? While it's not exactly right in the centre but more near Hertfordshire, it's an experience you might not wish to refuse. The cool thing about this white water rafting is that it has an Olympic sized course, as it was used for the 2012 Olympics. They also let you undergo kayaking, paddleboarding, canyoning and more.
4. Go dining in the dark
Are you a foodie? Maybe you spend a lot of time in front of the camera taking mouthwatering food photos for 'the gram?' If you are that person or just want a completely different dining experience, dining in the dark in London will stimulate other senses than your tastebuds.
This completely different approach to eating makes you put the texture and smell first before the taste. It's an amazing experience whether you wish to dine on your own or on a date. The place is called Dans Le Noir and involves you being led into a dark basement blind by blind waits, and you have to pick a colour coded mystery menu.
5. Drink cocktails in a public toilet
How unusual are you ready to go? If you like to drink and try unique drinks in obscure places, you might want to drink cocktails in Clapham's public toilet. Well, it's not really a toilet anymore, but this former toilet is now known as WC -Wine & Charcuterie. The bar is a part of a regeneration project for Clapham.
6. Put your stamp on London
Make your presence known and felt by many others in London. Leak Street Arches is London's largest graffiti wall and quite cool too. If you like graffiti, you can leave your tag on the wall for others to see or admire the ones already done and take cool photos. Basically, they're eight former arches from railways that have been used for the creative scene in London. It's a must-visit in London if you like culture and murals.
7. Create a glow in the dark life drawing
Another way to get your creative juices flowing is by taking part in a glow in the dark life drawing. Yes, in the hip area of Dalston, East London, is Neon Naked, an epic life drawing place. Many people who've taken part in this have compared it to a relaxing experience combined with artistic characteristics from a rave, psytrance or full moon party. This life drawing lesson draws in movement and life and involves cool models. The models wear neon accessories, body pain and pose in cool outfits to attract attention.
8. Go to an Art Island
Another creative way to spend your time in London is by going to an art island called Eel Pie. It's situated on the River Thames and is a mini island full of 26 artists' studios and creations. Usually, this island is forbidden to go on as it's bombarded with private property signs; however, twice a year, it opens up for the public.
9. Visit the Freud Museum
Are you a fan of psychology? Then you might want to check in at the Freud Museum. While Freud is from Vienna, he later lived in London in the final stages of his life. When you're there, you can step back in time, visit his psychoanalysis clinic and see where he lived with his family. There are over 2500 antiques from Freud's personal collection, which you can see for yourself.
10. Go flying on a trapeze
Are you into circus related activities? If so, you might want to swing through the air like a circus performer on a trapeze. You must travel to the northwest area of Regent's park to find yourself in a flying trapeze school. This trapeze school is called Gorilla circus, and experts safely teach you ticks and fun things to do on the high bars. Typically the sessions at Gorilla Circus last 2 hours and have students aged 8 up to 78 yeards old. Participating.
11. Go to the Petrie Egyptian museum of archaeology
If you're a sucker for history, you should travel to Bloomsbury in West End London. This museum often has one of the best Sudanese and Egyptian antique collections. The museum has over 80,000 objects situated in a small space dedicated to the world of ancient Egyptians. It even has the world's oldest dress inside! The museum takes you on a journey of life in the Nile Valley in prehistoric times to the land of the pharaohs, Ptolemaic, Romans, Coptic and Islamic periods.
12. Go on the mail rail
Take an unusual train journey that's not like the rest with the mail rail. The name is exactly what it is; it's a railway that takes you to the Postal Museum. Yes, this former railway used to be the lifeline of England's Royal Mail postal service. Typically it would transport thousands of letters and parcels to the sorting office at Mount Pleasant between 1927-2003.
13. Join in at bingo at a Grade I Listed cinema
Have you played bingo? If not, you might want to try out this fun-filled prize winning numbers game. But combine that sense of energy, enthusiasm and adrenaline with snippets of history by playing the game in a historical building. This building used to be one of the best cinemas in the UK, with its interior drawing inspiration from the pictures of Alhambra Palace in Granada. It's one of the most stunning places you could ever play bingo. Note that you might not want to play it seriously as it could get slightly distracting.
14. Visit crossbones burial ground
Out of the unique and eerie things to do in the UK, you might want to visit the crossbones burial ground. This former burial ground in Southwark used to belong to the poorest slum of London. Inside this ground are many former prostitutes, paupers and more buried in there.
Today the graveyard does not get any burials as it finally closed in the 1850s; however, it has around 15,000 people buried inside it. Many descendants of these still visit the graveyard today to commemorate their loved ones and cover former graves in flowers, wreaths and ribbons. There are also monthly vigils, where services are held to help remember the outcasts for the dead and living.
15. Get a glimpse of renowned medical specimens
You should check out Barts pathology museum if you love gore and many medical mysteries. Situated in East London, St Bartholomew's Hospital at West Smithfield is one most unique museums in the country. The collection has over 5,000 medical specimens split across 3 levels in a Victorian museum. Here you can check cool human tissues floating in glass jars and even see the skull of John Bellingham, the man who assassinated Britain's prime minister in 1812, Spencer Perceval.
6. Check out teeth at the British Dental Association museum
If you want to stick your teeth into something, you might want to check out the tiny museum, i.e. room in the British Dental Association. It's insightful if you're studying medicine or dentistry as it shows you the history of British dentistry.
Even though it's a small place to visit, there are quite a few exciting interactive exhibits. For instance, you can have a go at pulling people's teeth out with old equipment dentists used to use back in the day. You can also use a treadle-type drill to drill directly into an artificial tooth.
17. Spend the night at the zoo
Are you a fan of animals? If you are, this is your chance to get up close and have a sleepover at London Zoo. Doing this will give you a unique behind-the-scenes insight visitors don't get to see by witnessing these animals in their natural habitats and routines. You can witness penguins diving or waddling around, lions in their natural habits and more. When you spend a night there, you get a two course dinner, full English breakfast, parking included in your stay, an after hours tour and a complimentary drink upon arrival. Alongside this, you get exclusive tours to see the animals and go to a few places the public does not get to go.
18. Rewind in time at a hidden Roman temple
You don't have to travel to Italy to learn about the Romans; you can visit London. What's cool about this city is that there are remains of an ancient Roman temple in the basement of Bloomberg headquarters. Here you can find interesting artefacts originally discovered when the archaeological site was dug up.
Some date all the way back to AD 57, like a wooden tablet with marks on its surface, one of the oldest handwritten pieces found in the UK.The temple itself dates back to 1,800 years ago, where Roman men, a cult is known as Mithras, would drink, misbehave and prey to the 'God of Mithra'. Mithra was a deity renowned back then for slaying a bull; it was basically like a gentlemen's club. Alongside the temple, there's an interesting installation with Latin sounds chanting around the ruins to add to the atmosphere.
19. Go to ghost stations on the London Underground
Did you know the London underground was built in the 19th century? While there have been a few changes to the construction and network over the centuries, there are still some old stations. As time has gone on, there's been a lot of stations that have been closed or repurposed, otherwise known as ghost stations. You can view these stations with London Transport; they host unique tours, giving visitors a unique insight into its historic and creepy interior.
20. Check out the fake houses in London
In London, there are two fake houses in the Bayswater area. Part of the reason they're fake is that these houses were originally demolished to help create an air vent for the metropolitan line. But because of residential complaints, residents demanded the gap be covered up, so fake houses were built. Since then, the houses have been victims of many incidents, such as tickets for fake balls being hosted there. They've also appeared in the famous detective series Sherlock!