London is one of the most tourist-friendly cities in the world. With such a long history and such a varied culture, there’s plenty to distract visitors, from Buckingham Palace to the London Eye. But if you’d like to beat the crowds, and sample something a little more unusual while you’re in the city, you’ll need to be a little bit braver and sample some of the more unusual experiences.
If you’re from a part of the world where cricket is widely-played, then a visit to Lords might seem like a no-brainer. But if you’ve no experience with the sport, and there’s a match on at this most famous of cricketing grounds, then this is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. Attached to the ground you’ll find what must be one of the world’s oldest sporting museums, dedicated to all things cricket-related.
Visit a Pub
While few Brits would consider a trip to the pub as something ‘alternative’, if you’re a foreign tourist traveling here, you might easily miss some of the best of them. When it comes to pubs, it’s difficult to go wrong. It’s best to avoid the major chains like Wetherspoons and Marstons in favor of a quality gastropub.
Of course, the most alternative London experience is to get out of the city itself and take a peek at the British countryside. Hatfield, in Hertfordshire, offers just the right amount of countryside charm; there’s an amazing Jacobean mansion and gardens in the form of Hatfield House. You can catch a train from Hatfield to Finsbury Park and be there within two hours, making this a convenient destination for a day-trip, if you’re staying in the capital.
There are so many museums competing for your attention in the city that it might be difficult to know where to start. An appealing candidate comes in the form of this museum, dedicated to one of history’s most influential psychologists. When Freud fled with his family from his native Austria, they made their home in Hampsted. Visit this museum and you’ll see the writing desk where he refined his ideas and the famous couch on which his subjects would recline.
Make Some Chocolate
Just off Brick Lane, you’ll find Paxton Chocolate – an artisan chocolate maker serving up an array of tasty treats. Every month, they host a chocolate-making workshop, where you’ll receive expert instruction on how to create some of the shop’s creations. If your trip doesn’t coincide with one of these sessions, then you can always just pick up a few samples while you’re here.
If you’re thinking of seeing large portions of the capital from a single vehicle, then you might tend automatically toward those famous open-top red buses. But why not take another form of transport, with a RIB ride along the Thames? You’ll be able to see the London Eye, the Palace of Westminster, and all of the famous bridges, in a style that James Bond himself would approve of.