There are a couple of areas of London that I found less crowded than most of the popular sites in the city. You read about them in the guidebooks but you often don’t find visitors going there. But when I visited these places I thought it was worth seeing. These are just some of what I think are underrated landmarks in London I suggest you check out.
Borough Market – I arrived early in the morning at Borough Market. At 10:00am, it is early enough that some of the merchants were not yet open for business. There were some tourists in the market, mostly Asian but not enough to make this a busy tourist attraction. After all, Borough Market is the oldest working market in the city. To get to Borough Market, take the tube and get off at London Bridge Station.
Leadenhall Market – okay, I visited this market on a Sunday when all the merchants and cafes on this site were closed. Some parts of it were being restored. But I visited it anyway and I’m glad I did. It has the most beautiful architecture a public market could have. During my visit, I saw a group of tourists walking around the market. Even though it was a Sunday, it is still visited by people. Both Leadenhall Market and Borough Market are perfect examples of how the city and its people had lived for centuries. To get here, take the tube and get off at Monument Station. The market is only about 2 blocks away.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre – Legend has it this was the original site of the original Globe Theatre where Shakespeare’s plays were performed during his time. The current Globe Theatre at the banks of the Thames was build by American actors and Shakepearean Sam Wannamaker who was exiled from the United States during the McCarthy trials. The end result of his life and legacy is this building. Visitors can now see the theatre and its exhibitions. To get here, the theatre is just a short walk from London Bridge Station walking down the footpath on the river banks.
The Courtauld Galleries – The galleries are owned and managed by the Courtauld Institute of Art, one of the finest art schools in London. It is relatively small compared to the galleries in London but it is worth seeing. It has one of the best art collection in the city – from early renaissance to post-impressionist. During my visit, there were a good number of visitors but not as much as the National Gallery. For more information about visiting their galleries, check out their website at http://courtauld.ac.uk/gallery .
The Royal Academy of Art – established by one of the most respected English painters in history, Sir Joshua Reynolds, it is still a working art school only accepting only up to 17 students per year. Just like the Courtauld Institute, it has its own art collection in its galleries and people are still flocking to see it. For more information about visiting their galleries, checkout their website at https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/plan-your-visit#information .
I honestly think as a traveler we should try and see the lesser known landmarks when we travel. When I visit these types of places, I can sometimes see the real character of the city I am visiting. There are also times that these types of places would cost less to visit or, if you are lucky, sometimes free to the public. Sometimes it is great to be in a less crowded place so you can experience things better.