A few London Secrets…
For many, it would seem London conjures the same images of landmarks and museums and huge shopping areas and not much else. It is for these people that I write this post. I would like to show you a different side to this beloved city and reveal some of its biggest secrets. Not too many mind, just enough to put you on for now.
Oxford Street’s Secret Garden
This place reopened in 2013 after closing in the mid eighties so you’ll be forgiven for having not heard of it. Mere minutes from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street’s busy crowds, just beyond Bond Street Station lies the tranquil Brown Hart Gardens. Built on top of an old Victorian Substation amidst beautiful surroundings, this place is well worth a visit – if you can find it!
Wimbledon Common is famed thanks to those friendly litter picking creatures known as The Wombles. But more than a century before their conception, a windmill was built to serve the local community. It only had a short life span; closing in 1864 nearly 50 years after it was built, it was revived as a museum of rural, local and everything scout (in a former life it was a Scout club house).
Little Compton Street
Old Compton Street is no big secret, famed as the epicentre of Soho’s gay community. Often literally overlooked is Little Compton Street. Alright, it’s hardly a place for a great night out and it’s less of a landmark and more of a point of interest. Next time you’re crossing the road where Old Compton Street meets Charing Cross Road, pause on the traffic island at its centre and look down through the metal grill. There you will see evidence of the lost Little Compton Street, a street sign.
Neasden Temple (Shri Swaminarayan Mandir)
Neasden isn’t generally a touristy area, but this impressive building and its surroundings are simply beautiful, a masterpiece of Indian architecture. Hours can be lost here experiencing Hindu traditions and marvelling at this beautiful environment. This one is a bit of a trek, but should you need a taxi…
Certainly no secret – it’s difficult to hide. Of course Trafalgar Square has its many draws whether visiting Nelson’s Column or the National Gallery, but this point of interest is almost always missed by visitors. The plinth at the south east corner has an unusual characteristic: a set of black doors. Behind these doors is an old telephone that once had a direct line to Scotland Yard. Yes this is, or rather was the UK’s smallest police station, boasting just enough space for one officer to stand.