Top 5 Alternative London Attractions
by Nina Christopoulou
As I research these articles, I sometimes wonder: has any Londoner actually been to all those places I’ve come across? It seems to me that the sights and activities around the city are endless, and as much effort and dedication as one may put into visiting them all, it’s close to impossible! This week’s post has to do with the alternatives, the types of attractions that you don’t come across when googling “what to do in London”, and the types of attractions that is hard to discover unless you are a local, or… well, a specialist!
1. Freud Museum London
The founder of psychoanalysis fled the Nazis in 1938, and found shelter in a house in Hampstead. This very same house has currently been transformed into a museum, celebrating Sigmund Freud’s legacy and allowing visitors to glance into his personal life. Roam around Freud’s study, gaze at his collection of over 2,000 antiquities and come close to the couch where he examined his patients – or, to put it differently, his patient’s minds. What’s even more interesting about the museum is the fact that it is one of very few places which boast two blue plaques: one for Freud and one for his daughter, Anna, who remained at the house until her death in 1982. The museum currently holds an exciting exhibition: Freud, Dali and the Metamorphosis of Narcissus, for those who are interested in interdisciplinary approaches to the often fragmented understanding of art and science!
2. Maltby Street Market
This Bermondsey favourite is actually a newcomer, having set up shop in 2010. The picturesque location and relaxed atmosphere is ideal for that weekend lunch/getting-over-your-hangover bite, and it’s also one of the very few places in London that still have a strong hold to their warm and friendly character. You can find anything from cool bars to gourmet street food and fresh produce during Saturdays and Sundays, but the market is also open on Friday afternoons all through December.
3. Barbican Conservatory
While Barbican’s reputation proceeds it, Barbican Conservatory is not very well known (quite a shame too!). Roam around over 2,000 species of tropical plants and trees and gaze at exotic fish in this secluded and wonderfully unique paradise of greenery! There’s a catch though: admission may be free, but the conservatory is only open during selected Sundays each month and on bank holidays, so have a more thorough look before you head over!
4. Emirates Air Line
I came across this one randomly and the only thing that came to mind was: why have I never heard of THIS before? It seems like an exciting experience, and yet nobody I know seemed to be aware that the Emirates Air Line existed! Somewhere in between the Excel Center and the O2 arena, the UK’s first urban cable car transports a whooping 2,500 people over the river. Offering stunning views of the City, Canary Wharf, the Thames Barrier and Olympic Park, the Emirates Air Line is one alternative attraction not to be missed!
5. Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
Wimbledon is an exciting venue that has been undoubtedly linked with the history of tennis. However famous the venue itself may be, there’s little talk of the museum which offers a unique insight into the sport. The collection is extensive, with memorabilia dating as far back as 1555 (!!) and one of the highlights is a 360-degree view of the arena from a special viewing platform! This museum is worth the visit for the fans of the sport and curious visitors alike…