If you are planning a trip to London in the near future, if it is your first time there will be places you will want to see.  Tower Bridge, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace will probably rank highly on your list of tourist attractions you want to visit.  However, if you have been to London before or don’t like following the crowds, below you will find some great alternatives to the more obvious attractions.

Take In A Panoramic View Of (Miniature) London

A great way to start any trip to London is by taking a look at a fully panoramic bird’s eye view of the city, with a nice twist.  At New London Architecture’s offices along from Goodge Street, you will find a 1:1500 scale model of the capital.  It covers everything from the Docks, Battersea and Kings Cross over to Paddington and as well as including all the more recognisable buildings and areas, it also features some of the major transport links and buildings that are proposed for the future.

Speedy’s Cafe, Camden

The name perhaps won’t mean anything immediately, until you figure out that Speedy’s Cafe is the same cafe that has been used as a location on BBC’s modern take on Sherlock Holmes starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.  To their credit, the owners haven’t turned it into a tourist trap, though you can buy a t-shirt and mug if you fancy it.  However, as well as being a famous location in a drama series, it does serve a terrific full English breakfast; so if you do decide to visit,do so on an empty stomach.

Forget Kew Gardens, Visit The Barbican

Kew Gardens is obviously a very popular place for lovers of all things floral.  However, there is no need to go all the way out there when you can take a wander and a gander through tropical gardens at a more central location.  The Barbican is a residential estate that was built in the 60’s and is home to the biggest conference centre in Europe, a labyrinthine, a museum and a school.  That is not all the Barbican has to offer though, because right slap bang in the middle is a conservatory that is the second biggest in the capital.  There you can see a plethora of exotic fish, birds and tropical plants.

The Skateboard Graveyard, Hungerford Bridge

Have you ever wondered where skateboards go when they die?  The answer to that query can be found at Hungerford Bridge, at the southern pier.  From 2009, the bridge has been used as a final resting place for cherished boards that have seen their best days.

Drink At The BFI’s Hidden Bar

If you are a lover of film and theatre, then the BFI is and should be high on your list of places to visit anyway.  However, there is an extra special reason for going if you like to uncover secrets.  When you are in the Benugo Bar, take a close look at the bookshelf and you may be able to find the secret door that leads through to a hidden bar.  The Drawing Room is a quaint little place that serves canapés and cocktails to those who venture through the secret doorway.

While we would never want to discourage you from visiting the London Eye, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square or any of the other countless, famous sites the city has to offer; the above shows just what else there is if you dig a little deeper.  We hope if you taking a trip, with Guideline Coaches for instance, that you enjoy London.