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Sir John Soan's Collection

Top 5: London Hidden Gems

15 February 2018 Lucrezia Alfonsi

London is a city that has plenty of attractions, museums and activities to offer. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the first or tenth time you are visiting the city or if you are a Londoner, there is always something to do and new places to explore.Beyond the well-known museums and landmarks there are hidden gems that will surprise the Londoner and the tourist alike.

Sir John Soane’s Museum

 
Sir John Soane was an architect in the 19th century and this was his personal house and library. It does not only host some of the original projects and drafts that Sir John worked on, but also paintings, sculptures and drawings that he collected throughout his life. The house might appear quite small, but the collection on displays is substantial with about 40.000 objects from sculptures and paintings to books. The museum is free to visit, however a guided tour during the museum’s lates is even more enjoyable.
 
Sir John Soane’s Museum is at 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2A 3BP
 
Leighton House Museum

(c) Leighton House Museum
 
Situated in the residential borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Leighton House Museum looks like a normal house from the outside, the surprise is indeed its interiors. It used to be the house of Lord Leighton, an artist and traveller who adorned his studio-house with his paintings and works of art he collected during his travels. In great hall of Leighton House you’ll be surprised to see the walls are covered in Arab marble in turquoise and green. For anyone who is interested in art, particularly Middle Eastern art, and who wants to know more about Lord Leighton, this is a perfect place to visit.
 
Leighton House Museum is at 12 Holland Park Road, W14 8LZ
 
Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Neasden Temple)

(c) Saurabh Chatterjee
 
Neasden Temple, also known as Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, is a Hindu temple situated in North West London and the biggest Hindu temple in the world outside of India. Looks as if it was transported straight from India to the UK, the temple is 197 ft. long and has domes and towers built of limestone and Carrara marble and moulded paying attention to every single detail. Everyone is free to visit and see a public ceremony, however, you cannot take any pictures in the temple.
 
Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Neasden Temple) is at 119 Brentfield Road, NW10 8LD
 
Queen’s House

(c) Royal Museum Greenwich

Anyone passionate about art, architecture or simply a curious explorer will enjoy a visit to the Queen’s House in Greenwich, South East London. King James I’s wife, Anne of Denmark, commissioned this house from Inigo Jones in 1616. The house was used by the members of the royal family until 1803 and was taken over by the National Maritime Museum only in 1934. Now the house has been emptied of most of its furniture and serves as an art gallery for paintings that explore the theme of the sea. It hosts famous paintings by artists like Canaletto or Stubbs and the iconic Tulip Stairs.
 
The Queen’s House is at Romney Road, SE10 9NF
 
Richmond Park

(c) Andrew Forsyth
 
Richmond Park is quite far from Central London on the last stop on the District Line but it is well worth a visit. Once inside the park it doesn’t even feel like you are in London anymore. Peace and quiet surround the largest of London's Royal Parks, which measures 3.69 square miles. Here you’ll find ancient trees, particularly oaks, birds, insects and animals. If you are a morning person you might be able to spot some deer. It’s easier to find them in the morning when the park is less crowded, rather than in the afternoon. Richmond Park is a great oasis of peace and the perfect place if you are into wildlife and nature or simply looking for a quiet place for a morning run.
 
Richmond Park is in Richmond Upon Thames  TW10 5HS
 
 
 
 
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