Secret London – Hidden Local Spots

Aerial view of London local spots

London is a city full of secrets, from dark alleys to underground tunnels. These are some of the best local places you can find in London if you want to get away from it all and feel like a long-time resident!

The Painted Hall, Greenwich

The Painted Hall at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich is one of London’s most beautiful and historic rooms. Also, one of the most beloved local spots. Sir Christopher Wren designed this grand, 100-foot-long room to resemble a ship, then embellished with murals depicting naval victories.

The hall is closed most days except during special events, and guided tours are offered every Saturday at 11 am (if there are enough visitors). But you can know what to expect by visiting when the hall is open.

To get there: Take the Docklands Light Railway from Tower Gateway station or London Bridge station to Cutty Sark DLR Station. From there, take bus 17 or 376 (toward Thamesmead) to Stop K outside Greenwich Park Gate Road gate. 

Then walk east along Old Woolwich Road for five minutes until you reach a large brick building on your left with a Riverside Restaurant & Bar sign. Walk down steps to the basement level here until you see signs for The National Maritime Museum and turn left. Enter through the door on the right-hand side just before the stairs down (you’ll have to push the button inside). Go straight ahead through the next room until you see huge double doors leading out onto the terrace with views over the river. Go through these doors into Painted Hall itself (you may have to wait outside if it’s busy).

Little Venice

Little Venice is a relaxing waterside area in London ideal for a day out with friends or family. Located between Warwick Avenue and Kensington Road, this section of the canal was built on land that used to be occupied by Earl Spencer’s mansion. 

It was designed as an entertainment district for the upper classes. It was later taken over by artists in the early 20th century. They wanted to create their bohemian lifestyle away from mainstream society. Since it found its place on the list of favorite local spots in London. 

In modern times, it’s become one of London’s most popular tourist attractions and a favored place for locals to relax on weekends or after work.

The best way to enjoy Little Venice is by renting one of its many barges. They can be rented hourly or daily, depending on your preference and budget. 

From there, you’ll have access to activities like cycling along paths provided by Canal & River Trust in conjunction with National Health Service (NHS) Cycling Training project aimed at promoting healthy living among residents aged 65+. 

If you’d want to visit local spots but rather stay dry, why not try walking around instead? 

Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath is a large park in North London that offers plenty of space to relax, walk and even play golf. The Park features many ponds, the Kenwood House, and the Hampstead Heath Golf Course. It’s also well known for its natural beauty and wildlife, including rabbits, squirrels, and even roe deer.

Hampstead Heath was purchased by Henry VIII when he bought several estates from the Abbots at Westminster in 1538. The area remained untouched until it was opened to public use in 1857 after Parliament passed an Act authorizing its purchase from Lord Southampton. 

A trust held the freehold title deed until 1903, when it was sold back into private ownership but remains under Crown Lease today!

The O2 Bubble

A walkable, interactive experience where you get to play a character in a fantastical world. You can see yourself through a drone and interact with your surroundings. There are several different rooms, each of which has its theme. One room recreates the inside of Big Ben, while another features an underwater scene where penguins swim around and interact with visitors (don’t worry—they’re not confirmed). 

How to get there: Take the Northern line to Embankment station or Waterloo station, then take bus number 15 or 211 for about 10 minutes until you reach Blackfriars road. 

Walk down Blackfriars Road towards St Paul’s Cathedral and cross over towards The O2 Arena (O2). You will see the entrance near The Rolling Stones stage entrance on your left-hand side next door to the White Cube art gallery. 

This is an indoor attraction so prepare yourself for rain or shine! It’s best suited for children ages 6+. The minimum height requirement is 1m tall, but some sections may require crawling, so keep this in mind when choosing clothes/shoes/accessories, etc.

Postman’s Park

Postman’s Park is a beautiful memorial to the victims of the Crimean War.

Located just south of St Paul’s Cathedral and next to the Royal Mail headquarters, Postman’s Park is a peaceful haven where locals like to relax on sunny days.

The Park has a tranquil and inspiring atmosphere. Its black iron gates remind us of London’s past, but inside there are also statues representing figures from many different backgrounds—including civil rights activist Rosa Parks and politician William Wilberforce.

There is also an adjoining cafe (run by volunteers) which serves delicious food at very reasonable prices. They even have an outdoor seating area to enjoy lunch with views over London landmarks such as Big Ben!

The Secret Cinema

Secret Cinema is a London-based film screening company that takes place in secret locations. Their screenings are hugely popular, attracting up to 4,000 people per night at some of their most popular venues.

They hold screenings of classic films such as The Godfather and Back To The Future, as well as contemporary hits such as Mad Max: Fury Road and Top Gun. 

Leake Street Tunnel

London’s Leake Street Tunnel is a hidden underground passageway that runs beneath the streets of London. It was built in 1828 to carry water from the River Thames to various buildings and businesses, but it’s now abandoned and no longer used for its original purpose. Now, it just serves as one of the favorite local spots for the residents.

Tunnel tours are offered during daylight hours on weekends in the summer months between April and September. They sell out quickly, so book ahead if you’re interested in going! Tickets cost £8 per person (children aged 11-16 pay half price). 

The tour lasts around an hour and a half. Visitors are given hard hats to wear. This makes it feel more like you’re descending into an excavation site than just walking down some steps. 

Once at street level again, you’ll have the option of taking another tour through small tunnels nearby. These are less well-lit and narrower than what you’ve just been through!

St Dunstan In The East Gardens

If you’re looking for a place to visit that’s off the beaten track, St Dunstan In The East Gardens is the spot. Located in Stepney Green, this garden is tucked away in an alleyway and surrounded by high walls. This is just one of many beautiful gardens in London.

The reason why few people know about it? You need to enter through a small gate on one of the side streets – and then climb over some railings with a ladder that has been left there for just such an occasion! 

Once inside, however, you are greeted with beautiful flowers and lush green grass. It’s exactly what every city should have! Somewhere peaceful where you can sit down and take in nature (or even just eat lunch). This is why it deserved a place on the list of favorite local spots in London.

This is also good news if you live nearby. There are plenty of benches around so you can enjoy your surroundings without worrying about taking up space for other people passing by. Plus, once you’ve finished enjoying yourself here, there are plenty more things in Stepney Green worth seeing…

Clissold Park

This is a vast park in North London, and it’s popular with locals. It will be a great place to enjoy a walk or picnic. Children will love the playground, and there are lots of events that take place here too. There is also a cafe where you can get refreshments if you get hungry or thirsty.

Manor House Gardens

You’re in for a treat with the Manor House Gardens in London’s Hampstead district. This is a beautiful place to walk around and take some photos of the lush greenery or have a quiet moment to yourself. It’s also great for eating, as there are restaurants in the area serving delicious food and drinks! It is one of the most beloved local spots!

Battersea Park Peace Pagoda

The Battersea Park Peace Pagoda is a gift from Japan. It was built as a symbol of peace and friendship between the UK and Japan. The Pagoda was designed by architect Kenzo Tange, who also designed Tokyo’s 1964 Olympics stadium.

The Pagoda has two paths that lead up to it. One on either side of the pond in front of it. Each route is lined with lanterns lit at night, creating an atmosphere that can’t be beaten (and makes you feel like you’re somewhere very far away).

Besides being beautiful and one of the beloved local spots, this area also serves as a fantastic place for meditation. Or, you know, just plain old sitting down and taking some time for yourself

The Long Water

The Long Water is a water feature on the grounds of Kensington Palace, designed by Capability Brown. It’s one of London’s hidden gems and perhaps its most photographed location. 

The Long Water is popular with locals and tourists alike, who come here to enjoy picnics on sunny days, take long walks or simply soak up some rays with friends. There are plenty of opportunities for great selfies here too!

The Temple Of Mithras

Located in the basement of a pub, The Temple Of Mithras is a reconstruction of a Roman temple built around 70 AD. It’s one of the few remaining structures from ancient London. It is an exciting place to visit because it gives you an insight into life in Roman Britain.

The temple has been restored to look as it would have done over 2000 years ago when worshippers used it at their ceremonies, who believed that Mithras was the god of light and truth. 

Worshippers had to go through several stages before entering this inner sanctum – which was seen as symbolic death and rebirth – so this would have been an important place for them! 

You can see where some statues once stood, but there are no other artifacts inside. So, don’t expect any original artifacts here. Enjoy getting lost in thought and reflect on what life must have been like for people all those years ago!

Today, most visitors will come here just for a drink at The Mitre Tavern. The tavern occupies most of the basement level underneath The Temple Of Mithras (this includes seating areas, toilets, etc.). 

Be aware that if you want entrance into both. Be prepared for crowds during busy periods such as lunchtime or after work hours since they share access points on different floors.


We hope you enjoyed this list of secret local spots in London. The city is filled with so many fascinating places to explore, and these are just a few that we think to make it worth it!