London has a lot of secrets. Did you know? Often when I am out and about with my camera in the city, I wonder what the scenes, sights, smells, and sounds would have been. I can thank Charles Dickens for this as his works provide such vivid descriptions for us to devour today. Then, I am thankful for modern sanitation, and sewers. True that.
As I have trundled (and sometimes stumbled) the streets of London at night, I come across certain bits that may not entirely be secrets but overlooked. For this post, I am taking time to highlight these areas as they are worth finding, especially if you love London.
One thing I have noticed via Instagram is that many of the “superstars,” in this microcosm of the internet, focus mostly on the obvious. Many photograph London as well. Almost all miss these “secret” areas as they probably do not live in the city to have time to find them. This is all perfectly fine.
What are my Secret London spots? Pickering Place off St. James’s Street with a fantastic sundial in the middle. This is thought to be the smallest open square in London. Passing through to the square you will also find a plaque commemorating the site of the Texas Embassy as England was the only country to recognise Texas as a Republic.
St Dunstan’s in the East (Between Tower of London and Monument) is my favourite place to escape the noise of London. Step in the remnants of this bombed church (now a garden) and London goes away. If there is a magical idyllic space in London, this is it.Any guess where this is? I admit this is not a secret place at all – Threadneedle Street, and part of the majestic Bank of England building. Did you know the first London buses connected this area to Piccadilly Circus?
St Olave’s Church Yard. Officially the church is in Hart Street, but the entrance to the churchyard can be found while in Seething Lane. I love the skulls above the arched entrance. The church survived the Great Fire of London, and “Mother Goose” is buried here. The Smallest Police Box in London. Any idea where this is? Today this answer to a trivia question is used by the sanitation crews of Trafalgar Square. You can find this at the Southwest corner of Trafalgar.
Holborn Viaduct. Take some time to explore this area, above and below, as you will see fantastic examples of Victorian architecture. This is a bit off the beaten path, so easily missed.
Cardinal Place in Victoria. What is interesting about this somewhat new addition to the Victoria area is not the building but some of the night photography that can be captured here. Westminster Cathedral is in view while inside Cardinal Place. The area is again undergoing a transformation with the extensive work being done at Victoria Station and new construction. Broadgate. Many people are aware of the Broadgate area, but this square at night is easily unseen by most. The square floor lights up at night and changes colours. All that is missing is dance music. Do be aware security guards might run you out if you spend too much time here with a camera.