The academic year has finally washed up to shore –well, for most of us- and for others it is just within reach. With all the knowledge in your brain and no tight deadlines on the agenda, there’s a general need to unpack the stress and rearrange your days from essay writing, to diving into the latest of what summer has to offer. London is a great place to come for a holiday, but it can get a bit monotonous if you live and study here, due to familiarity and the idea that you’ve explored the depths of city. Sounds almost rewarding, that I am able to say such, as I have only been in London for the past year, but low and behold… there’s more!
London has beyond a good deal of well-known attractions, but how much do you actually know about the city? There are hidden treasure spots, regarded as ‘Secret London’ and these are the ones you stumble across, while waiting for the bus and some are slam-bam right in the heart of the city.
The following, is a list of 5 of some of the most exciting ‘secret spots’ to explore in London, to unwind and unknot your noodles over the summer. Shall we?
1. UK’s smallest Police Station
While getting arrested should not be on the list, checking out the smallest Police Station in the UK should be a treat! A monument looking structure (a hollowed out light fitting) situated in Trafalgar Square in Central London, which was previously used as a monitoring station for the Police in order to control protests in the Square. While its purpose has shifted into a broom storage for the Westminster council cleaners and might come across as insignificant… at least you can now go and visit a place smaller than your University Halls dormitory!
2. Dennis Severs’ House
I am not one to get easily creeped out, but the thought of walking into someone’s former 18th century house with everything left in a conceptual manner that suggests that the family is still very much alive, kind of give me goosebumps. The late artist’s home address is 18 Folgate Street, Spitalfields and this is where you can witness the still-life drama in full action, with unmade beds and plates of food left uneaten. This is one of London’s unique treasures and if nothing else on the list entices you, then this one should be it.
Venice dreams, but your wallet disagrees? It’s kind of absurd how Venice is so inspiring and dreamy that it has developed from an actual place into a concept. With Venice in China and America, and now to your knowledge, in London as well, the word globalisation has never been used appropriately before this find! Charming narrowboats for gondolas and exquisite pubs and restaurants, this canal experience is barely a few minutes away from Paddington Station and the view of the Victorian as well as Georgian terraces is a ‘mid-summer nights dream’. With floating art galleries and boat rides, this is a must explore for those who fancy a holiday, with no fancy bills to pay!
Pink walls, pink floors, pink stairs, no cares! The entrance halls of the building are covered from top to bottom in a singular shade of bright pink and then stepping out onto a rooftop landing that overlooks South East London. With alcohol and food and of course a good view of the sun falling asleep behind the city’s skyline, (if you go in time for the sunset) it is also next-door neighbours to the well-known Bussey Building which also has a rooftop chill spot. Serving jugs of Pimms and a good time out with friends, Franks is an experience on its own and it’s also only open during the summer, so get there before it’s time to turn back the clocks again!
5. Isabella Plantation
I am not a flower addict, let alone a nature enthusiast, thanks to my ever so strong case of allergies and hay fever, but some things you just have to do no matter the outcome… unless the outcome involves more than just taking a few tablets and a rash. Fauna and Flora! Who couldn’t resist a bit of a lot of undisturbed beauty in its most pure form? Like walking through vintage pages of an old romance novel, lies the treasure of foliage in comforting full bloom. Richmond Park is home to the Isabella Plantation which is a 40 acre Victorian woodland plantation that was planted in the 1830’s and alive no more than ever. Known for its evergreen azaleas and ponds, it’s a nice slip away from the bustling life of the city for a good book or perhaps to look over at St Pauls Cathedral from an amazing view.
Masego Moselane 21
Student: International Preparation for Fashion