Photo by Jean Philippe
Photo by Jean Philippe

Recommendations from a local: London's hidden gems

by Emma Bareihs
Stripes Europe

Big Ben, Parliament, the London Eye, the list goes on of the must-see historic treasures of London, England. While the flashy settings you’ve seen in movies are truly incredible, take time to step onto the quieter streets to discover some of my favorite hidden London gems.

St. John’s Wood Church Grounds

Near my home, I would often walk these church grounds on a casual afternoon. The vibrant green grass and flower patches provide a quiet escape from the traffic outside the garden walls. Across the street from Lord’s Cricket Ground, St. John’s Wood Church Grounds are a lovely place to have a picnic or let the kiddos play. Enter the playground or walk around the wildlife woods to decompress from the busy streets.

Carnaby

Close to London’s West End, the nature of Carnaby is too sweet to miss. Nestled off the iconic Regent Street, Carnaby consists of 14 colorful, lively streets of shops and restaurants of every sort. Carnaby is known for its charming character, which brings old buildings to life with new and distinctive creative vibes.

Marylebone High Street

Although leading into Oxford Street, one of the busiest streets in London, Marylebone High Street is a quiet destination for shopping and a cup of tea. A couple of blocks away from the sights and sounds of Baker Street, this high street is the perfect combination of class and hustle.  

Little Venice

North West of the heart of London, Little Venice is a serene canal lined with boats and pubs. Located near Paddington Train Station, you can experience the inviting stillness of this picturesque waterway. Find a traditional pub along the canal with a unique view to pair with a yummy Sunday roast, or stop for coffee at one of the many cafes.   

If you plan on traveling to London soon, make sure to take a break from the busy scenes of the typical tourist route and experience some of the daily views of the local Londoner. I think you’ll find, you’ve struck the right balance between tourist sightseeing and local hidden gems.

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