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London’s 10 Most Surprising Travel Attractions
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London’s 10 Most Surprising Travel Attractions

Picture of Angie Quinn
Updated: 24 April 2017
Hidden in the depths of London are some of the most unconventional and surprising tourist attractions. Quirky sites include an old Victorian lavatory that now serves coffee, the city’s only whisky distillery and even a Royal experience in Buckingham Palace. We have rounded up some of London’s best kept secrets for all to enjoy.
The Puppet Theatre © Barge Antonio Escalante
The Puppet Theatre | Courtesy Barge Antonio Escalante

The Puppet Theatre Barge

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Puppet Theatre Barge, London
Puppet Theatre Barge, London | Courtesy Jack the Ripper Tour

The Puppet Theatre Barge

Spending the winter months floating in Little Venice and the summer moored at Richmond-upon-Thames, the marionette theatre is a converted barge seating an audience of 50 at maximum capacity. Performances include both classic children and adult tales such as Aesop’s Fables, The Three Pigs and the Wolf and the works of William Shakespeare. Shows are available daily.

The Puppet Theatre Barge, 35 Blomfield Road, London W9 2PF, UK, +44 20 7249 6876

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© Jack the Ripper Tour
Courtesy Jack the Ripper Tour

Jack the Ripper Tour

Touring through the back streets of London, the chilling walk begins at nightfall and guides you through the long roads of Whitechapel and Spitalfields. Visit the sites where the Ripper’s crimes apparently took place and join the Victorian police through the sinister alcoves of the capital retracing the steps of the infamous serial killer.

© The BFI
Courtesy The BFI

Secret Bar at The BFI

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BFI Southbank, London
BFI Southbank, London | Courtesy The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel

Secret Bar at The BFI

Slide across a bookcase in the lounge of the Benugo Bar and Kitchen at the British Film Institute, Southbank, and discover a hidden cocktail bar. Warmed with a relaxed and retro atmosphere, the haunt is decorated with globes, chessboards and genuine books. The bar is open Friday and Saturday evenings and also available for private hire.

BFI, Belvedere Rd, South Bank, London SE1 8XT, UK, +4420 7401 9000

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© The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel
Courtesy The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel

Charlie and The Chesterfield Afternoon Tea

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The Chesterfield Mayfair, London
The Chesterfield Mayfair, London | Courtesy The Attendant

Charlie and The Chesterfield Afternoon Tea

The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel takes guests through the delicious tale of Charlie and his friends, offering a vibrant and chocolatey take on traditional afternoon tea. Wonka Bars, Oompa Loompa cupcakes and golden eggs are just some of the delicacies on offer along with a selection of sandwiches, scones and a range of hot beverages; champagne is also on the menu.

The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel, 35 Charles Street, London, W1J 5EB, UK, +4420 7491 2622

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© The Attendant
Courtesy The Attendant

The Attendant

Ever fancied a cup of coffee in a Victorian lavatory? The Attendant offers just that! After converting the disused toilet into a quirky coffee shop in Fitzrovia, original distinguished characteristics have been transformed for comfort, including urinals which are now seating and hand driers mounted onto the walls. Seasonal food is also on offer.

Attendant Fitzrovia, 27a Foley Street, London, W1W 6DY, UK, +4420 763 7379

Attendant Shoreditch, 74 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3JL, UK, +44207 739 3143

Royal Collection Trust (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015
Courtesy Royal Collection Trust
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A Royal Welcome at Buckingham Palace

For the first time in history, the Summer Opening of the Palace will include real exhibitions in the State Rooms, recreating occasions when guests have visited on invitation from the Queen. The Palace’s Ballroom will be elegantly assembled to stage a State Banquet, including rich silver-gilt centrepieces as part of the wonderful displays available.

Buckingham Palace, London, SW1A 1AA, UK, +44 20 7766 7300

Maggie and Molly enjoy an ice lolly in the sun © ZSL London Zoo
Maggie and Molly enjoy an ice lolly in the sun | Courtesy ZSL London Zoo

Sunset Safari at London Zoo

Park, Zoo
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London Zoo, London
London Zoo, London | Courtesy The London Distillery Company

Sunset Safari at London Zoo

Watch the sun go down amongst 750 species from around the world at the London Zoo. Self-guided safari tours include discussions about the animals, while the Zoo’s Theatre of Life performances provide a pleasurable insight into the animals’ behaviour. The World Food Market ensures guests are well fed with an array of delightful dishes. Running from 5th June until 17th July 2015 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm.

London Zoo, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4RY, UK, +44 20 7449 6200

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© The London Distillery Company
Courtesy The London Distillery Company

The London Distillery

Explore the boutique distillery, home to the award winning Dodd’s Gin, through a fun and educating tour whilst sipping on a G&T. Situated in the artistic hub of Testbed1 at a former Victorian dairy in Battersea, the whisky distillery is London’s first since the closure of the Lea Valley Distillery in 1903.

The London Distillery, 33 Parkgate Rd, London, SW11 4NP, UK

FulhamPalace-Nomad © The Nomad Cinema
FulhamPalace-Nomad | © The Nomad Cinema

Outdoor Cinema

Popping up across the capital, al fresco cinemas are a cool way to watch a film under the capital’s skyline. The Rooftop Film Club, Where is the Nomad, The Luna Cinema, and more all offer screenings in parks, bars, alley ways and even cemeteries! Movies include classics such as Labyrinth to more contemporary films such as The Theory of Everything.

© London Duck Tour
Courtesy London Duck Tour

London Duck Tour

Explore the famous sites and landscapes of the beautiful city from land and water, all inside the distinguished yellow vehicle. The guided tour offers an energetic commentary of facts before a thrilling splashdown into the River Thames.

London Duck Tour, 55 York Road, London, SE1 7NJ, UK, +4420 7928 3132