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London's Hidden Gems

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Today's guest post is from travel blogger Steph Staszko, who loves visiting Britain’s capital whenever she gets the chance. 

Alternative places to visit in London

London is the second most visited city in Europe and is renowned for its history, culture and booming tourist trade. Almost everyone in the world knows London tourist sites like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. But there are many attractions in London which are far lesser known yet still really intriguing! If you’ve seen Big Ben so many times that you find yourself chiming on the hour, then here are some alternative attractions to visit in London to help keep your spark with the capital ignited.

Tiled London sign in Smithfield Market

Smithfield Market

This historic and architecturally stunning building dates back to a strip of land which was used as a marketplace for livestock and farming for nearly a thousand years. It became a favourite location for medieval jousting tournaments and public gatherings and it also became the “ideal” place for public executions, a heritage which has sealed Smithfield’s infamy. It was in fact the location of Scottish Nobleman William Wallace’s execution which alone makes it a historic sight worth seeing.

Today Smithfield Market is mostly used for the sale of meat, a purpose not far removed from its original use. With the sheer number of historic moments which took place here, and the grandeur of the modern day market building, Smithfield Market certainly qualifies as a cheap and worthwhile day out.

Warner Brother’s Studios

WB studios now offer an amazing tour of the world of Harry Potter with a full 360 degree view of the 1:24 scale model of Hogwarts Castle which was used in the creation of the films. This is a particularly ideal location for those who are trying to find something for those with children in tow, but is also great for the young at heart or anyone with an interest in Harry Potter!

Visitors are also free to visit many different locations from the books and films on the Harry Potter tour; from the great hall, to Dumbledore’s office and even the streets of Diagon Alley.

The tour even gives you an insight into the making of the Harry Potter world’s magical creatures and props from brooms, to dragons. This tour is an exciting day out for the whole family.

The Icecreamists

This is one for those with a wicked sweet tooth. The Icecreamists' ice cream parlour is one of the trendiest places in London to get an ice cold sweet treat. Described as a mix between boutique and ice cream parlour, Icecreamists offers a range of strange quirky ice cream flavours, and cocktails for those who want something a little naughtier.

So if you think you’ve exhausted London’s attractions think again; these are just three less frequently visited attractions in the vast city of London. From medieval executions, to magical castles and wizards, all the way to “Vice Lollies” there is something for everyone to try!

Steph's travel tip: When finding cheap airport parking for a trip to London Steph recommends using an advanced booking Heathrow airport parking, to save money on your trip to and from the capital.

I love the Algerian coffee store in London - tiny but incredible place
Posted by: Mike Fitzpatrick at 03/01/2013 17:37

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