Planning a trip to London? Get ready for a wild ride, because there’s never a dull moment in this cosmopolitan mecca full of history, strange museums, and colorful buildings. So, if you’re looking for one-of-a-kind things to do when you get there, then check out these quirky attractions on this list. They’re guaranteed to turn your London trip into a magical adventure you’ll never forget.
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20 Unusual Things to Do in London
1. Drink coffee in a Victorian Toilet
If you’re hungry and looking for a fun and unique place to eat, start off by visiting the Attendant café in Fitzrovia. It’s only 5 minutes away from Oxford Street on foot. So what’s so special about this café? Well, the place used to be a public toilet in Victorian times. But don’t sweat it! They completely repurposed it and now the urinals are there for decorative purposes only. So don’t let their bizarre origin story deter you from paying them a visit. There’s nothing more unique and bizarre than drinking coffee and having homestyle breakfast and lunch in a place where people once did their business.
2. Take a Bunch of Selfies in God’s Own Junkyard
God’s Own Junkyard is an art store that offers all sorts of delightful neon and lightbulb signs. Many of the collections come from neon artist Chris Bracey, who designed these pieces in a Walthamstow salvage yard. The materials come from new and vintage objects as well as old movie props that were discarded. Bracey was able to acquire, repair, and turn the once unwanted junk into a quirky work of art that looks pretty badass in a selfie.
3. Tour a Macabre Collection of Human Organs
Barts Pathology Museum in Barbican offers 5,000 specimens in over 3 mezzanine levels that include human tissues and organs as well as the skull of John Bellingham, the man who assassinated British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval in 1812. They even have the bound foot of a Chinese woman from 1862. It’s a dream come true for any medical student or anyone who finds gory stuff simply fascinating.
4. Marvel at the Beauty of London’s Graffiti Wall and Leave Your Mark
London’s graffiti tunnel is part of the Leake Street arches and is essentially a road tunnel in Lambeth where it’s okay to graffiti the wall, even though it’s against the law. The tunnel is about 300 meters long, and if you’re a graffiti artist yourself, feel free to leave your mark. Don’t forget to get a few supplies on the way there!
5. Check out the Impressive Collection of Skeletons at Grant Museum
The Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy offers an unbelievable collection of zoological specimens and displays cases full of taxidermy animals, as well as some that are preserved in formaldehyde. They even the skeleton of an enormous elephant skull on display that will for sure make your jaw drop. Visitors can also check out The Brain Collection and even a Jar of Moles. Just don’t forget to get there early as the museum closes at 5 pm.
6. Bring a Wooden Stake to Highgate Cemetery
Highgate Cemetery may be one of the creepiest locations around London. It was opened in 1839 and features all sorts of Victorian and Egyptian style tombs. And because of its eerie overall feel, many horror films were filmed in this location. This sparked many legends of grave robberies and vampires. In 1970, two magicians claimed they could hunt an actual vampire on Friday the 13th. Sadly for horror fans all over the world, nothing was ever found.
7. Practice Your Yoga Moves Surrounded by Dogs at Doga
If you’re vacationing with your dog and you want to treat them on your London trip too, take them to do Doga. It’s like yoga but you get to practice with your best furry friend. You can book a class on Airbnb Experiences or book them directly on their site. It’s a great exercise to help you get rid of stress and tension, which helps your dog as well because pets tend to absorb the tension of their human owners. Besides, it’s a whole lot of fun breathing and bonding with your pet for a good 90 minutes.
8. Take a Tour of 18th Century of a London House
Visit Dennis Severs’ House at 18 Folgate Street. It provides a “still-life” drama created by American creator, Dennis Severs, who used to own the house. The 10 rooms found inside give a very personal insight into the lives of a family of Huguenot silk weavers between 1724 and 1914. The house was perfectly recreated to give people the chance to explore what living in the 18th century was like, which will make you feel like a time traveler.
9. Visit the Arty Eel Pie Island
Head west on the Thames river and you’ll find Eel Pie Island, one of the larger body masses among a series of smaller islands. This private island is not only home to an artists’ recording studio, but is also a nature reserve. While you’re there, check out the Eel Pie Island Hotel, which helped superstars like Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones get their careers started.
10. The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & UnNatural History
The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & UnNatural History houses over 50,000 bizarre objects collected by artist Viktor Wynd. His collection of oddities and unique finds feature two-headed lambs, shrunken heads, dodo bones, and occultist artworks. But that’s not all! There are even weirder objects and creatures such as unicorns, fairies and mermaid-like creatures that you have to see to believe.
11. Eat from a Conveyor Belt at The Cheese Bar
Visit The Cheese Bar, a Camden Market-based restaurant focused solely on cheese. You can enjoy some fondue or eat cheese straight out of a conveyor belt that provides a seemingly unending source of various cheese dishes shared at the table.
12. Go on the Magical Harry Potter Walking Tour
Explore the magical side of London by taking a tour around the city where the world of Harry Potter meets the real world in the Magic Tour for Muggles. It all starts at the London Bridge Tube Station. You can even explore the real cobblestoned Diagon Alley and many other Harry Potter locations like Platform 9 ¾ in Kings Cross Station.
13. Reclaim Your Childhood at Pollock’s Toy Museum
The Pollock’s Toy Museum in Fitzrovia is stuffed with mostly Victorian toys, games, puppets, and unbelievable dolls in a maze of small rooms. The six small rooms inside the two historic buildings also feature optical toys, toy soldiers, dollhouses, toy theaters, teddy bears, and toys from around the world that will undoubtedly remind you why being a kid was so much fun.
14. Pay Homage to Outsider Art at the House of Dreams Museum
Artist Stephen Wright calls this the House of Dreams Museum, which is spot on since it pays tribute to outsider art that’s not only displayed on the inside. His home and garden are full of found objects like bottle tops, false teeth, memory boards, and kitschy mosaics that take the adage of “one man’s trash, another man’s treasure” to a whole new level. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
15. Have a Quirky Cocktail at The Last Tuesday Society
The Last Tuesday Society is a pataphysical bar at the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & UnNatural History. Besides a great cocktail, beer, and wine experience, you can also order yourself a cheese board, some roasted cashews, and some kalamata tapenade. It’s a great place to get a drink while enjoying a workshop in taxidermy, too.
16. Take a Gory Tour at The London Dungeon
Get ready to get a flashback of London’s bloody past at the London Dungeon, which offers plenty of realistically gruesome dioramas, animatronics, special effects like fake smoke, and interactive roleplay with a group of actors who never break character. A lot of the chilling recreations represent real-life events like the Whitechapel alleys Jack the Ripper once stalked. Once you leave here, you’ll be plagued with nightmares for weeks.
17. Explore London’s Haunted History on the Ghost Tour Bus
Take the Comedy Horror Show: London Ghost Bus Tour. Once you board the 1960s Routemaster bus, you’ll get a 75-minute insight into some of the darkest stories behind London’s popular attractions, where restless spirits are said to lurk. The conductor is as creepy as the stories but in a very comedic way. The tour is family-friendly, so you won’t have to worry about spooking the kids.
18. Fight Off a Horde of Zombies at Aim Escape
Aim Escape offers various escape rooms with all kinds of adventures, like Patient Zero 2150, where participants are required to contain a bio-hazard, secure the facility and escape without being infected by a zombie in only 60 minutes. The room claims that only the smartest players will escape, so get ready to test your IQ and your tolerance for frustration with this one. You can also avoid the clutches of a psychopath in Psychopath’s Den, another nerve-wracking room. According to their website, this room is complete “with a real crematorium and gallons of O-neg this is the ideal escape experience for lovers of horror and adrenaline-fuelled frights.”
20. Visit the Old Operating Theatre Museum
The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret offer visitors some interesting insight into surgical and medical history – this is definitely one of the most unusual things to do in London! It’s also Europe’s oldest surviving operating theatre, which predates the use of antiseptics and anesthetics. In fact, the timber that framed Herb Garret was used to dry and store herbs for medicines. It’s a perfect venue for medicine enthusiasts and “Grey’s Anatomy” fans.