London’s Hidden Gems: A Budget-Friendly Guide to Unique Experiences

“Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

Samuel Johnson

There is always something new to discover in London, and what’s even better, many of those things are normally either free or very cheap.

Find below a crafted list of hidden gems to add to your London itinerary.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Neasden Temple)

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, also known as the Neasden Temple, is a stunning Hindu temple complex hidden in the suburban neighbourhood of Neasden.

This architectural marvel is crafted entirely from intricately carved Italian Carrara marble and Bulgarian limestone, making it one of the largest Hindu temples outside of India. Visitors can marvel at the ornate domes, spires, and pillars adorned with intricate carvings depicting Hindu deities, mythological scenes, and symbols of spirituality.

The temple complex also includes serene gardens, cultural exhibitions, and a vegetarian restaurant, offering visitors a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of London.

Mosaic House


The Mosaic House is the home of Carrie Reichardt, which can be found in Chiswick, London. This epic undertaking started on the back wall in honour of Luis Ramirez, with a final push in 2017 to complete the house. It features some of the world’s best mosaic artists and was made possible by many people, over many years, with each section telling a story.

Pickering Place

The smallest square in London. Nestled in the heart of St. James’s, Central London, Pickering Place is a hidden gem with a fascinating history. This secluded courtyard tucked away from the bustling streets, is known as one of the smallest public squares in London.

Despite its size, Pickering Place has played a significant role in British history. In the 18th century, it was home to the Texas Legation, the diplomatic mission of the short-lived Republic of Texas, making it the site of the only foreign legation on British soil. Today, Pickering Place exudes a quiet charm, with its cobblestone pavement, historic buildings, and quaint atmosphere.

Miniature Mail Train Adventure (Postal Museum)

The Postal Museum is a hidden gem tucked away in Clerkenwell, Central London, dedicated to the rich history of Britain’s postal service. Visitors can explore the museum’s fascinating exhibitions, which trace the evolution of the postal system from its early beginnings to the present day.

Highlights include historical artefacts, interactive displays, and immersive experiences that bring to life the stories of postal workers, and mail carriers, and the vital role they played in connecting people across the country. The museum also features an underground Mail Rail ride, where visitors can journey through the hidden tunnels beneath London’s streets that once transported mail across the city.

God’s Own Junkyard

Located in Walthamstow, God’s Own Junkyard is a dazzling display of neon artistry hidden within an industrial estate. Visitors can marvel at the vibrant neon signs, retro memorabilia, and psychedelic artwork showcased in this unique space.

It also has a coffee shop inside, with tables in the back garden. Moreover; the shop is surrounded by some of the best breweries in Walthamstow.

Freemason’s Arm, where football was created

Freemasons Arms
Freemasons Arms. 

The Football Association (and modern football) was created and its rules were set by Ebenezer Cobb Morley. He was a solicitor by profession and captain of Barnes Football Club which he formed in 1858 and is now regarded as the father of the Football Association and modern football.

The place where that happened was Freemason’s Tavern, which is now called Freemason’s Arms, and it is still located in the same place in Covent Garden, London (see map below). The closest underground stations are Covent Garden and Holborn, but Leicester Square and Picadilly Circus are also quite close, so any visit to the city centre is a good excuse to visit the pub.

Visit our post Visit the pub in London where football was created for more information.

Lincoln’s Inn Chapel

Nestled within the historic precincts of Lincoln’s Inn in Holborn, Central London, Lincoln’s Inn Chapel is a hidden gem of architectural and historical significance. Dating back to the 17th century, this magnificent chapel boasts stunning Gothic Revival architecture, with its soaring vaulted ceilings, intricately carved stone pillars, and exquisite stained glass windows.

The chapel serves as the spiritual heart of Lincoln’s Inn, one of the four Inns of Court in London, and continues to be used for religious services, weddings, and special events.

The Olde Wine Shades Pub (1663)

The Olde Wine Shades is one of London’s oldest public houses, having been built in 1663 in Martin Lane there is an oft-quoted claim that it somehow survived the Great Fire of 1666. Its origins were as a Merchant’s house, which had a tunnel river entrance like many larger riverside properties in London at the time. The tunnel was sealed after bomb damage during the Blitz in 1940, but its entrance is still visible today. The architectural and historic significance of the Olde Wine Shades is recognised in its status as a grade II listed building.

El Vino was purchased by Davy’s Wine Merchants in 2015 and it had a major refurbishment in the summer of 2017, restoring many original features and allowing the cellar bar area to be opened to the public once again.

The Smallest Listed Building


Richmond in South West London hosts the Smallest Listed Building in London. Located on Richmond Green, this tiny structure, known as the “Ladies’ Conveniences,” was originally built in the late 19th century as a public restroom for Victorian ladies.

Despite its diminutive size, the building’s historic significance and unique architectural features earned it a listing status, ensuring its preservation for future generations. While no longer in use as a restroom, the building stands as a quirky reminder of London’s architectural heritage and serves as a whimsical attraction for visitors exploring the picturesque surroundings of Richmond Green.

The Narrowest Pub

The Coach and Horses (Mayfair) is considered the narrowest pub in London. Located on Bruton Street, this pub is widely considered to be the narrowest pub in London. It’s a very old pub, possibly the oldest building on the street, and pre-dates the invention of UK railways.

Back then, inns provided rest for travelers and their horses, hence the name “Coach and Horses.” The pub itself is very small, with only room for five tables and some standing space by the bar. However, it does have a thin staircase leading upstairs to additional seating and tables.

The Geffrye Museum (Hoxton)

The Geffrye Museum, located in the vibrant neighborhood of Hoxton in East London, is a hidden gem dedicated to the history of domestic interiors.

Housed within a set of restored 18th-century almshouses, the museum offers visitors a fascinating journey through the evolution of English middle-class homes from the 17th century to the present day. Each room in the museum represents a different period in history, showcasing authentic furniture, decor, and household objects that provide insight into changing tastes, lifestyles, and social customs over the centuries. In addition to its permanent collection, the Geffrye Museum hosts temporary exhibitions, workshops, and events that explore various aspects of domestic life and design.

Kyoto Garden (Holland Park)

Immerse yourself in tranquillity at the Kyoto Garden, a serene oasis within Holland Park. This meticulously designed Japanese garden features koi ponds, cascading waterfalls, and meticulously arranged rocks and plants, offering a moment of peace amidst the city’s energy.

Designed as a traditional Japanese garden, the Kyoto Garden is adorned with carefully manicured trees, vibrant flowers, and ornamental bridges, creating a peaceful atmosphere perfect for quiet contemplation and relaxation. Visitors can wander through the garden’s winding paths, admire the koi fish swimming in the ponds, and soak in the beauty of the meticulously crafted landscape.

Timothy Oulton

Timothy Oulton is a British furniture and interiors company known for its distinctive designs and high-quality craftsmanship. Established in 2008, the brand takes inspiration from traditional craftsmanship and combines it with innovative techniques to create furniture, lighting, and home accessories with a modern twist.

The shop offers an outstanding decoration.

Roasting Plan Coffee

Tucked away in the vibrant neighborhood of Walthamstow in East London, Roasting Plan Coffee is a hidden gem for coffee enthusiasts seeking artisanal blends and expertly roasted beans. This specialty coffee roastery and café is dedicated to sourcing the finest beans from around the world and meticulously roasting them to perfection.

Visitors to Roasting Plan Coffee can enjoy a sensory journey through the world of coffee, with the aroma of freshly roasted beans filling the air as they sip on expertly crafted brews. The café’s cozy atmosphere and minimalist décor provide the perfect backdrop for coffee lovers to relax, unwind, and savor the rich flavors and aromas of their favorite brews.

Ancient Underground Spa

AIRE Ancient Baths offers a unique and luxurious spa experience inspired by the bathing rituals of ancient civilizations. Located in Central London, this underground oasis provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Visitors to AIRE Ancient Baths can immerse themselves in a series of thermal baths, each varying in temperature and infused with natural ingredients like salt, wine, or aromatherapy oils, designed to soothe the body and relax the mind.

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