London, AKA; Landan town, LDN, The Big Smoke, whatever you want to call it, there is no denying that it is a pretty impressive city. Home to some really great, unique and breath-taking attractions, there really is a lot to see here.
However, away from the tourist trap and the conventional monuments, London also has some pretty cool and crazy venues that you can kick back and relax in whilst exploring and enjoying your stay in the British capital. These venues are not only very instagrammable, but they are also a hipster's paradise and combine themes in an exciting and interesting way. So, to save you the hard work, extensive review reading and relentless googling, Spotahome has compiled a quick and easy guide to the weirdest, most wonderful and unique venues in London.
WARNING: Some of these activities and venues must to be addressed on a must-see/ need-to-do basis.
In 5 words?: Tube carriage meets fine dining
Now, staring with quirky venues Basement Gallery is the best place to start. A tube carriage that is now a restaurant, but not any old restaurant- a fine dining restaurant. I mean, I'm not going to lie, we all snack every now and again on a long tube journey home, but how many people can say that they've had a fine dining experience in an underground carriage? Now you can!
Photo credits: Tomas Anton Escobar on Unsplash
With a monthly rotating menu, Basement Gallery keeps it fresh and exciting and has maintained its reputation as one of London's hotspot and most wonderful and weird venues.
Where?: 10 S Access Road E17 8AX
Swingers Crazy Golf Club
In 5 words?: Old Bunker turned Golfing Haven.
Swingers Crazy Golf Club is the pioneer of the indoors crazy golf phenomena that has hit London. This venue deserves a place on the list due to what the space was before and what it is now, and the interior is pretty spectacular too. Originally an underground bunker in WWII, this space has been transformed into a millennial paradise with plenty of activities, namely crazy golf, as well as a variety of street food stands and a tasty and extensive list of cocktails.
As if it couldn't get anymore accessible, Swingers has 2 branches in London, one in West London and the other in the City, so you most likely won't have to travel too far to get your round of golf in.
- West End Branch; 15 John Prince’s Street W1G 0AB
- City Branch; 8 Brown’s Buildings EC3A 8AL
Word on the Water
In 5 words?: Your literary dream on water
Now here, I'm speaking to the fellow bookworms among us. Word on the Water is a unique venue that is a must visit if you all things literary and cultural. You may have already guessed it by now, but yes... it's a bookshop on water. Europe itself has some pretty awesome bookshops, if you don't believe me check out: 10 Most Magical Bookshops in Europe, but this venue is truly unique and not like anything else you're going to find elsewhere. The bookshop also hosts events that range from live jazz to poetry, so there is something for everyone.
Photo credits: Heather Schwartz on Unsplash
This truly is an experience not to be missed in London, and even if you don't like books, it's worth just visiting for the nostalgia and a sneak peak of the canal itself.
Where?: Regent's Canal Towpath N1C 4LW
In 5 words?: New definition for 'clowning about'
Quirky is one thing we use a lot in the English language to describe unusual things in a loving and affectionate way, but this next one takes that definition to a whole new level. The first Friday of every month Holy Trinity Church opens its doors to the public to unveil the history of some of the nation's most famous clowns- yes you read that right.
Now, no 2 clown can have the same make-up, style and costume, so each individual design is painted on an egg which is proudly displayed in the museum, which also houses the relevant props and costumes that you can go and see up close and personal.
So, if you have a fascination with clowns and all things weird, this is something not to be missed if you're in the English capital on said date.
Where?: Holy Trinity Church, Beechwood Road E8 3DY
Gremio de Brixton
In 5 words?: Your Spanish nightmare come true (and it never tasted or felt so good)
This is one for lovers of all things Spanish and tapas (namely me). Gremio de Brixton is an authentic tapas bars situated in Brixton. Housed in underground in an abandoned church in Brixton, the interior has a devilish theme that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase candle lit dinner.
Photo credits: Stéphan Valentin on Unsplash
As if that wasn't enough, there is also plenty of cultural events that take place at Gremio de Brixton. This includes a Flamenco night the first Wednesday of every month, which sees a professional dancer come in and give a life-changing show that captures every edge, angle and curve of Andalusian culture.
Could it get any better? I think so. The venue also functions as a nightclub on a Friday and Saturday night with live DJ sets and is open until 3am.
Where?: Effra Road SW2 1JF
First Aid Box
In 5 words?: Doctor's orders never tasted so good (oops, that's 6)!
Entering the modern age never felt so good, especially when you can drink in places like this. Taking mixology and the general balance, experimentation and presentation of alcohol to the next level, First Aid Kit deserves a strong mention for its embodiment of everything weird and wonderful. With the theme of doctor's orders, the establishment combines a 1950s-esque doctor's office with the aesthetic of a laboratory but is done so in a tasteful way that screams modern and hipster.
Photo credits: John Fornander on Unsplash
As if that wasn't enough, the drinks are consistent with the theme and come serves in a variety of containers and boast a variety of exciting and delicious combinations. The best visit to the doctor's office that I've ever had!
Where?: 119 Dulwich Road SE24 0NG
God's Own Junkyard
In 5 words?: The title is very self-explanatory.
Now surely you've all heard of Winter Wonderland? Yes, I thought you might have... this London hotspot is known as a Neon Wonderland if anything so crazy was ever to exist... oh wait a minute... it does!
Photo credits: Jason Leung on Unsplash
Owned and run by the late artist Chris Bracey, this place not only keeps his memory alive, but it also maintains his art, legacy and work with an open door for everyone. The bright and colourful light show has attracted so much attention that Selfridges even has a pop-up shop that houses some of the unique designs and lights from the gallery.
As you enter, one thing is for sure, you really won't know where to look!
Where?: Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall Street E17 9HQ
The Stafford London
In 5 words?: The ultimate wine lover's paradise.
I know what you're thinking... why are you recommending a fancy 5-star hotel in Mayfair as one of London's weirdest, most unique and wonderful venues? Well, The Stafford, which is famous for its luxury accommodation, also has a secret underground wine cellar where you can go and taste wine in some WWII era abandoned cellars.
Photo credits: rawpixel on Unsplash
Built centuries ago, this venue actually functioned as a WWII bunker and is home to some of the world's most unique, precious and tasty wines. This experience will really take you back to a darker (in many senses of the word) and authentic age with every drop.
Where?: 16 St James's Pl SW1A 1PE
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
In 5 words?: Your authentic, quirky, London speakeasy
Now, one thing you're going to learn about the London bar scene is that it's not short on its speak-easy inspired bars, so choosing one for this blog post was quite challenging to say the least. However, The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is a clear winner, as it embodies everything cool and quirky about the era whilst still maintaining a classic London-town flair. I mean... just look at the name after all.
Photo credits: David Straight on Unsplash
The entrance is composed of a fridge door, as in yes... you have to enter the bar via a fridge door (how do they think of these things?). Then, as if that wasn't enough there is also a secret password that you need to say in order to enter- really keeping it authentic.
Aside from its quirks, the drinks are also yummy and won't break the bank (especially given the location). So, this really is a must-stop-by attraction on your London adventures.
Where?: 12-16 Artillery Lane E1 7LS
So, if you're visiting London and fed up of the same old tourist stops, there really is a great range of venues to check out. All those mentioned are not only highly instagrammable, but they also encompass a range of exciting new activities combined with your day-to-day ones.
Liked this blog post? Why not check out some of our related posts below on cool things to do in London?