Things to do in London when you're bored.
September 6, 2006 3:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm visiting London for the day next Tuesday (cheap rail ticket impulse bought) and I'm wondering what to do ...

I'm definitely going to the V&A's Theatre Museum but I've really been to all the other landmarks. What I would like to see are some of the smaller attractions or places that are still accessible but off the beaten track. Can anyone suggest any places that they love but no one seems to have heard of?
posted by feelinglistless to Travel & Transportation around London, England (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You could try this thread for starters. Some of my suggestions, based on 5 years of living in London and things I have gone back to but which are off the beaten track, are:

- the Cabinet War Rooms
- Sir John Soane's Museum
- the various medical museums
- a wine tasting at Vinopolis
- Dr Johnson's House
- wander round the Inns of Court

Also, I will add another recommendation to another thread of the TimeOut book of London walks. Walking round the city is a great way to get to know specific areas and much more interesting than getting the tube everywhere.
posted by greycap at 3:43 PM on September 6, 2006

The Geffrye Museum is great, although slightly out of the way.
posted by athenian at 3:51 PM on September 6, 2006

Take a stroll down the South Bank.
posted by popcassady at 3:56 PM on September 6, 2006

Response by poster: popcassady -- yes! I did that last year this time and it was great -- walked from Tate Modern up into the West End through Trafalgar Square which included everything from the Wheel to Parliament.
posted by feelinglistless at 4:01 PM on September 6, 2006

London Walks are pretty cool too, if you can find the time.
posted by k8t at 4:49 PM on September 6, 2006

Geffrye is easy to get to. There's a bus right outside that takes you right in to the heart of the City.

How about getting a drink in The George in Borough? It's on Borough High Street, and about ten minutes from London Bridge. It's a great old pub with a good choice of beverages.

How about St. Pancras area - there's the British Library and the St. Pancras Church - both are worth looking in to (although the former is a lot more useful if you are a researcher).

As a University of London student, I have a particular affiliation for the Bloomsbury area. Gower Street and the surrounding area have interesting architecture.
posted by tommorris at 5:22 PM on September 6, 2006

The Cutty Sark, and Greenwich in general. Tends to be overlooked by many.
posted by wackybrit at 5:58 PM on September 6, 2006

Kandinsky at The Tate Modern will still be up. It's one of the better shows I've seen there. Located on The South Bank, The Tate is walking distance from London Bridge Station too, so you can have your drink at The George either before or after.
posted by Mutant at 10:53 PM on September 6, 2006

Gordon's Wine Bar. It's brilliant, underground, sort of secret because you'd never find it if you didn't already know about it. And fun. Good fun to be had there.
posted by twirlypen at 11:58 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

Walking along the Thames from St Katharine's Docks (near Tower Bridge) to Canary Wharf. If the weather is nice, this is a very pleasant walk. Nice places along the way, no tourists.
If you want to drink or/and eat, I suggest Cittie of York (22-23 High Holborn). Beautiful, old pub.
posted by celine at 1:50 AM on September 7, 2006

Catch a train out to Crystal Palace park and see the concrete dinosaurs and the remains of the palace. The south bank walk/tate modern thing is great too - go to charing cross, cross the river, then walk along till you get to southwark cathedral. Then find Borough high street and as tommorris says above, go for a drink in The George. Dickens used to drink there.
posted by handee at 2:05 AM on September 7, 2006

Go to Richmond and walk up Richmond Hill for an astonishing view. Alternatively, visit Richmond Park and try to find the gap cut in the trees from which you can see St Paul's Cathedral, 11 miles away.
posted by randomination at 2:09 AM on September 7, 2006 [1 favorite]

Although the Natural History Museum isn't exactly off the beaten track, the Darwin Centre is always much quieter and you can go on a tour round there, if you're interested in animals. If you ask, you can see the giant squid.
posted by primer_dimer at 5:19 AM on September 7, 2006

See also previously here & here.
posted by i_cola at 5:54 AM on September 7, 2006

I suggest attending vespers at Westminister Abbey - you can sit behind the choir, there is no one there (no tourists), and admire the church at your leisure. Plus the acoustics are amazing!
posted by zia at 7:21 AM on September 7, 2006

The Science Museum (owned by Imperial College I think) is amazing!
posted by divabat at 1:54 PM on September 7, 2006

The Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery (
posted by davemack at 6:01 PM on September 7, 2006

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