With over 30 million international visitors being attracted to London each year, it is not surprising that whilst London is a beautiful city, it is over-saturated with tourist traps and visitors standing around to selfies in Hampton Court Palace or Tower Bridge. As a result, the biggest historical venues in London tend to be the most crowded.
When you plan your trip to the UK’s capital, the last thing you want to happen is that you are forced to wait in long queues, to the point where you may not even be able to get through the venue’s door without an early reservation. Instead of having your trip saturated with negative experiences, you should be experiencing the best of Britain’s history and Aesthetic Charm. So be sure to pack your camera, for here are some of the most unique historical venues in London.
London’s Roman Remains
Whether you are travelling alone or travelling with a companion, such as a beautiful lady from Hot Escorts Birmingham, if you truly want to take in some of the most gorgeous landmarks hidden around London, you will have to be willing to walk around to find them. For London has a truly remarkable Roman history that is hidden within the Capital’s busy city streets. If you are willing to jump in on a Roman Walking Tour on either Wednesday or Friday, then you will learn London’s history as “Londinium”, a settlement that was established by the Romans in AD 43.
By exploring the capital, you will be able to see the Roman Amphitheatre, which is hidden away in the Guildhall Art Gallery, the Basilica and Forum, the Roman Baths, the remains of the Roman City Wall, the hidden Roman fort and even London’s Roman Temple of Mithras.
As the majority of these heritage sites are outside, you will not need to wait in a queue in order to gain access to them. Instead, you can simply walk around them and view them at your own pleasure. Locating these venues will also give you the opportunity to take in London’s daily life.
Middle Temple Garden
If you are looking for an al-fresco venue that is drenched in historical beauty then you just have to visit the Middle Temple Garden. This gorgeous home is an award-winning site and yet has managed to have been kept out of the public eye, and therefore is not an avidly explored tourist spot.
The Middle Temple Garden has a picturesque garden that is surrounded by a gorgeous red-brick mansion, as well as a fantastic Fountain Court. Here you can enjoy the pop-up bar for a fancy glass of wine, or bring your own picnic to simply sit back and take in the idyllic surroundings. Better yet, if you are looking for a place to hold an event, the actual hall and garden can be fully hired out. That means that you always have the opportunity to host your dinner party or celebration in style.
The Plague Pits
If you are the sort of tourist that enjoys being frightened, and have grown bored of visiting The London Dungeons, then why not take a moment to look back on one of the UK’s worst epidemics: The Plague. The Medieval Period was overcrowded, dirty and flooded with human sewage and trash. It is not surprising that Bubonic Plague wiped over 15% of London’s population in one year alone.
However, that leaves us to wonder, if over 100,000 people died over the space of 2 years, then where were the bodies placed? There were too many to bury in a respectable manner. Thus, the majority were simply left strewn over the countryside and city, churchyards and graveyards became oversaturated by the dead. That is why pits were constructed in order to house the bodies. Whilst the majority of these plague pits became lost in time, there are still 30 that remain that you can visit either by yourself or with a tour group. If you choose to go with a tour group, you can learn more than just about the plague pits. Some tours will include information about the Great Fire of London, others will talk about the characters you would likely see within the plague period, including the dreaded “Plague Doctor” and his treatments.
Newgate Prison Wall
Adding to the horror theme, if the plague pits of London have not yet quenched your palette, why not consider visiting the final remains of Newgate Prison? The Prison itself has a grizzly history, once being known as the most notorious prison in London.
With its prisoners being forced to reside in disgusting conditions, it was not surprising that disease was rampant within this facility, with lice and bedbugs being found in nearly every single cell. What made this place even more squalid was the fact that public executions were carried out almost on a daily basis. Whilst the prison itself is long gone, you can still see the Newgate Execution Bell that was rung whenever there was a public hanging.
If you decide to go and see the final remains of the Newgate Prison, then you simply need to venture behind the Central Criminal Court. There you will see the final wall, standing as a reminder of the cruel treatment of criminals. Keep in mind that some of these prisoners were there for smaller crimes, sometimes as little stealing food! It is truly a chilling sight for any tourist to behold.
If you are on a busy touring schedule, but suddenly find that you have a spare 30 minutes or so to cram in one more monument, why not consider going to see the Mendelssohn’s Tree? Located in Buckinghamshire, the tree is the remains of a 500-year-old Beech tree that fell during a storm during 1990.
Before the metropolis of London was constructed, there was the ancient woodland of Burnham Beeches. Here, it was said that the composer, Felix Mendelssohn, used to visit in order to draw inspiration from the woodland. Some even say that he used to sit under the tree when he wrote his music, the most famous being for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Whilst this little piece of heritage will not require a full day’s visit, it is worth going to see to take in the history of London before it became a major city. It is the perfect thing to cram in between runs to the nearest tube or lunch.
The Remains of Old London Bridge
Everyone knows that London Bridge is one of the most famous monuments in London. However, did you know that there have been many pre-assessors, with the oldest having being dated to 1209 during the reign of King John. Whilst the majority of these bridges did start showing major signs of wear and tear, mostly because the bridge allowed people and livestock to be moved across the water, as well as architectural design flaws, such as having narrow arches that did not allow for the safe passage of ships, their final remains can still be viewed by interested tourists.
If you take a trip to St Magnus the Marytr’s Church on Lower Thames Street, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the stones within the church’s own tower. One archway of the old bridge is used as an entrance, whilst a number of the other blocks can be found within the church’s courtyard. If you are looking for a quiet place to reflect on the culture and history of London, then this church is the perfect place for you to sit back and relax.
The Palace of Placentia
When you think of a royal palace in London, you may think of Hampton Court or Windsor Terrace, however, if you are willing to travel to Greenwich, then you will get the opportunity to explore a true ancestral beauty of these royal homes: The Palace of Placentia
If you explore the palace and its gardens, you can see some of the royal landmarks, including the tree where Queen Elizabeth i “oft partook of refreshments” inside of its hollowed trunk, as well as the pathway where Sir Walter Raleigh placed his cloak over a puddle so that Queen Elizabeth could cross without her feet getting wet. Not only that but once you get tired of exploring the ornate interior and lavished gardens, you can even sit down to relax with a picnic to take in the tranquillity of the scenery.
Reflecting on the Past
Whilst it can be nice to spend some time taking in the major landmarks of the UK’s capital, sometimes the magic of the experience can be sucked away due to the number of people who want to experience the same thing. Overcrowding can seriously spoil a trip. This is why you should consider looking into London’s smaller historic treasures. Not only can they provide some of the hidden contexts of London’s Avid past, but it can truly move you away from the maddening crowd and give you space to breathe and enjoy yourself.
Have fun exploring the Uk!
Content Writer: Hannah Fletcher.