5 Unusual Things To Do in London
London is a city full of charm and history, cobblestone streets and quirky corners. If you’re looking for an original bucket list to follow, there’s certainly no shortage of out-of-the-box activities to try when you’re visiting the Big Smoke. Fill your trip with unusual things to do in London.
Whether you’re in London for a few days, weeks, or a month, below is a list of some original ideas to try during your stay, and some links, tips, and ideas for booking. Have a browse and see what best matches your interests or travel personality.
Local tip: London’s public transport system can take you almost anywhere in the city and its outskirts. When visiting, the best way to travel is by using the extensive bus, train, and underground (Tube) networks. Buy an Oyster card or simply tap your contactless credit card or digital wallet to get around and pay the cheapest pay-as-you-go fares.
Visit the world of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros Studio Tour
If you fancy strolling through Umbridge’s office, riding the Knightbus, or sipping on a foamy butterbeer, then look no further. The Warner Bros Studio Tour in Leavesden is a short distance outside of the city and an ideal activity if you’re interested in movie magic and finding out about the work it takes to make a major blockbuster or 7. You’ll have the opportunity to browse iconic sets, props, and the exact costumes some of your favorite characters wore. A key highlight is discovering the visual and creature effects, and learning how technical drawings turned into your favorite sets.
Getting there: The best starting point is to take the train from London Euston to Watford Junction (it takes 20 minutes and Oyster cards can be used). From there, you can hop on a regular bus to the studios. (These typically run every 30 minutes, the journey will only take about 15 minutes, and are included as part of your entry ticket).
Prices: Tickets start from £49.95 for adults and £39.95 for kids and must be booked in advance. To save yourself money and the hassle of arranging it all, book a tour with transfers.
Visit God’s Own Junkyard
Located in an industrial building in Walthamstow, North East London, God’s Own Junkyard features an overflow of handmade neon signs that light the way for visitors to this maze-like oddity. The current owner, Chris Bracey, has been in the neon world for 37 years, collecting iconic pieces from movie sets and the stars.
This quirky art gallery definitely falls into the category of “perfectly instagrammable.” If you’re in the mood for a cheery day out, take a stroll through the aisles of blazing signs and props, then enjoy a drink at The Rolling Scones cafe/bar.
Getting there: Take the Victoria line (Tube) or Overground to Walthamstow Central station. From here it’s a short walk to the Junkyard.
What to know: This quirky find is only open to the public on weekends. You can check their website for updates and more info.
Add a Jack the Ripper tour to your list of unusual things to do in London
Follow in the bloody footsteps of Jack the Ripper and discover the gruesome history of this unsolved case. Jack the Ripper was a British serial killer back in the 1800s. He was best known for terrorizing the streets of London’s East End streets, killing at least 5 women that we know of. On this tour, you’ll be able to see the pubs and alleyways many of his victims were known to frequent, and the doorway where the Ripper is said to have scribbled a terrifying message.
Details: The tour runs 7 days a week, and meets outside Aldgate East station.
Prices: A 90-minute Jack the Ripper tour starts from £20 per person.
Spend the day strolling through Camden Market
You could choose to spend a whole day in Camden alone. From outdoor food stalls to narrow streets filled with different antiques and trinkets, you’ll find no shortage of things to see and do in this area. The market is open 364 days a year, only closing on Christmas Day, so there’s plenty of time to visit. As one of London’s first crafts and antiques spaces, the market has been known to attract many famous names, including: Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Naomi Campbell, Giorgio Armani, Boy George, and Sir Paul McCartney.
With a huge variety of foodie options, try creating your own food tour and hop around as many stalls, restaurants and cafes as you can. Many nationalities and cuisines can be found here, so whether you’re in the mood for Portuguese desserts, a traditional English meal, or Turkish coffee, you’ll have your pick of the bunch. To properly plan your visit ahead of time, visit Camden Market’s website to browse their events, shops, and food choices.
Getting there: Like many places in London, how you get to Camden Market depends on your starting point. The Northern line will take you to Camden Town tube station, and there are plenty of buses that pass through as well.
Visit the London Dungeons
Aside from Henry the VIII’s brutal crusade and Whitechapel’s very own serial killer, London, without a doubt, has one of the most uniquely gruesome histories in the world. Originally opened in 1974 by Annabel Geddes, London Dungeons are the place to immerse yourself in the city’s dark history. You’ll be spooked by live reenactments, find yourself transported back through time, and meet many infamous figures along the way. If you’re feeling brave and want to try one of the most unusual things to do in London, take the Drop Dead Ride and learn the eerie past of what the “long drop” is.
Getting there: Waterloo station is a 5-minute walk from London Dungeons and can be reached by train, bus, or tube.
Prices: Prices start from £28, and booking fast-track London Dungeons tickets secures your spot and avoids the lines.