Offbeat London Sights & Activities

People all over the world know two things that London has in abundance: amazing street art and crappy weather. While I cannot help you with the latter, I can show you where to find some magnificent street art — as well as a few other offbeat London sights and activities that should not be missed. It’s time to dive on into the offbeat and off the beaten path side of London!

Wet The Whistle

First things first. You’ve escaped the airport and dropped your bags off at the hotel. Now what? It’s time for a drink! Walk right past that hotel bar though, that’s not where you want to be. Find a nice, quirky watering hole and go mingle with some locals. Top recommendation: the Phoenix Artist Bar — and if you don’t already want to visit there just based off hearing the name then please, just stop reading now, because this guide is clearly not for you.

Phoenix is becoming less-and-less “hidden” every month but that doesn’t make it any less offbeat. The bar is frequented by those in the theatre industry and is in fact a private club. However non-members can get in by presenting a theatre ticket. The interior is stocked full of theatre memorabilia and their upbeat atmosphere will make you quickly feel right at home. Other offbeat options include Cellar Door and the aptly named Happiness Forgets.

Catch A Show

Whirled Cinema, one of the unique and offbeat London things to do
Rule #1 in being offbeat: Don’t waste money on decorations or advertising

London has no shortage of theatres and shows, however the Whirled Cinema is a cool, quirky local favorite. From the outside the building appears to be an abandoned but inside it is the most lavish 60-person theatre that you’ve ever seen. They also have a small bar where you can order cocktails or a pizza to make your movie more enjoyable. Good luck finding the place though! 😉

Learn About Loos

Toilets have become all the rage in recent years, with more and more countries opening up toilet restaurants. London even has a toilet coffee shop. However in order to truly appreciate these necessities of daily life, it helps to learn how far they have come over the years. London Loo Tour is an hour-and-a-half long walking tour that traces the history of toilets all the way up to now. You’ll never look at the loo the same way after!

HoliDaze Guaranteed to be the shittiest £15 you ever spent 😉

Street art in the East End of London -- this one is called The Stinker
“The Stinker” street art in the East End of London

Experience The Street Art Scene

Don’t forget about London’s street art scene. Head on over to Shoreditch Street, Brick Lane or Camden Town to find some of the city’s best street art, including several well-known works by Banksy and other prolific artists. Further north are the neighborhoods of Dalston and Hackney, both of which not only have plenty of street art but also an abundance of vintage stores, boutique cafes, quirky coffee shops and other independent businesses that will make it easy to pass the day away.

Soaking up some offbeat London street art is one of the must-do activities for first-time visitors to London
Seek out some offbeat London street art

Picnic At A Historic Garden

Located in southeast London, the 19 acre garden surrounding Eltham Palace is arguably the best garden — and best-kept green secret — in all of London. Here visitors can escape the chaos and noise of the city without ever actually leaving the city. The entire property is considered a three-in-one getaway: visitors can relax in the park, marvel in the majesty that is Eltham Palace (which dates back to the 1300s), and even tour the 1930s Art Deco house also located there.

Eltham Palace in London, England
Eltham Palace in London

Now that you know where to go and what to do, all you need to figure out is where to stay in London 😉

What offbeat London sights and activities do you recommend?

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel."   Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

3 thoughts on “Offbeat London Sights & Activities”

  1. That garden looks amazing Derek! I can feel the peace through the image. This is one reason why I love Central Park in NYC so much; you cannot hear the city in the middle of the park, from say 75th on up. Insane. Feels like you’re in a wilderness amid the most intense city on earth. Gotta dig nature and its calming powers.
    RTing and Pinning dude.



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