Features

Quirky London: Unusual Things to Do and Places to Stay in the City

17 April 2019

TheEnglish are well-known for their humour and eccentricity, which is why a visitto London is guaranteed to offer far more variety than the traditional citybreak!
Thereare plenty of popular attractions to enjoy.A refined Buckingham Palace tour, peeking at the crown jewels, andtaking high tea at Claridge’s are all trademark London.
But didyou know you could also sail along RegentsCanal in a self-drive hot tub, re-live the authentic spirit of the Blitz in anunderground bar, and whizz down the world’s longest tunnel slide?
Ifyou’re looking for something out-of-the-ordinary to do in London, then you’ve definitelycome to the right place. We’ve got eightof the city’s quirkiest attractions – not to mention the quirkiest places tostay – for you to marvel at, right here!
1. HotTug UK
Blog-London-Hottug-family.jpg Above and main image © www.HotTugUK.com
Take arelaxing dip in a hot tub to an entirely new level…by sailing it throughLondon’s waterways.
A hugelysuccessful crowd-funding project launched in 2017, you and your friends canhire an electric, self-drive, wood-fired hot tub for 90 minutes’ blissful sailingtime in fresh, 30?C-heated water.
Simplychoose your location, then change into your swimwear and prepare to be thecentre of attention, as you sip bubbles from the comfort of your travellingtub.
(And for your chance to win a VIP HotTug experience for yourself and up to six friends, see our Facebook competition!)
2. Highgate Cemetery
Blog-London-Highgate-Egyptian-Avenue.jpgImage © Highgate Cemetery: Entrance to the Egyptian Avenue
KarlMarx is probably Highgate Cemetery‘s most famous resident, but there are plentymore luminaries to visit here…from Douglas Adams and George Eliot, to MalcolmMcLaren and Jeremy Beadle!
Apeaceful, Grade I-listed park that opened in 1839, Highgate is no ordinarycemetery. Filled with whispering treesand wildlife, it’s also home to some stunning architecture. Visit the West Cemetery to feast your eyes onEgyptian Avenue, the Circle of Lebanon, and Terrace Catacombs.
 
3. ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide
Blog-London-ArcelorMittal-Orbit-Slide.jpg Image © Queen Elizabeth OlympicPark, photographer Frank Da Silva
A workof exceptional design, the looping ArcelorMittal Orbit is a striking visuallegacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games, and is the UK’stallest sculpture. 
Thoughthrill-seekers will be more interested in the fact that it’s home to world’slongest tunnel slide!
At 178metres long, there are 12 exhilarating twists and turns to enjoy as you descend(trust us: the ‘bettfeder’ corkscrew finish is a thrilling experience never tobe forgotten!).
 
4. Cahoots Bar
Blog-London-Cahoots.jpg Image © Cahoots
Bringingthe spirit of the Blitz to vibrant life, the Cahoots experience begins as youenter the disused underground tube station…where you’ll be taken stylishly backto the post-war 1940s.
Sipdecadent cocktails, watch a spot of swing-dancing, and sing along with thepiano, surrounded by authentic 1940s tube carriage seats, mismatched furniture,and a gorgeous tiled platform bar.
Forweekend indulgence, why not enjoy a relaxed, uniquely British Squiffy Picnic,held every Saturday with live entertainment?
 
5. Afternoon Tea London Bus Tour
Blog-London-Bus-afternoon-tea.jpg Image © Brigit’s Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

Ifyou’re going to take in all the landmark sights of London, what better way todo it than from the window of a vintage Routemaster bus, nibbling a cucumberand mint sandwich as you go?
Yourdriver will escort you round some of London’s most famous cultural hotspots,including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and The Royal Albert Hall to name but afew. Meanwhile, B Bakery will supply youwith plenty of sandwiches, cakes and classic French pastries.
With achoice of departure points, and gluten-free and vegan tea options alsoavailable, there’s simply no excuse not to indulge!
 
6. Handel and Hendrix in London
Blog-London-Hendrix-Flat-Andy-Paradise.jpgImage© Andy Paradise

Legendarymusician Jimi Hendrix’s first “real home of my own” is otherwise known as theupper flat of 23 Brook Street, Mayfair. The only officially recognised Hendrix residence in the world, Jimi famouslyused the flat as a base from which to give interviews, write new songs, andprepare for his concerts at the Royal Albert Hall.
Take agood look around, then pop next door to number 25, the former home of the 18thcentury classical musician Handel, and the setting for many of his compositions. Musical or not, you can’t fail to becreatively inspired!
 
7. Hampstead Heath Bathing Ponds
Blog-London-Mens-Pond-Adrian-Brooker.jpg Image: Mens bathing pond © AdrianBrooker, The City of London Corporation
Surroundedby gorgeous greenery and open all year round, the ponds at Hampstead Heath area local institution…though you’ll only spot a few brave souls in them duringthe winter months!
Immersedin nature, it’ll be hard to believe you’re in London at all, as you glide pasttree branches dipped in rippling water.There are three pools; a men’s, a ladies’ and a mixed – whichever oneyou choose, you’re sure to become addicted to the cold-water rush that wildbathing brings.
 
8. Dans Le Noir Restaurant
Blog-London-Dans-le-Noir.jpgImage © Dans le Noir?
Are youbrave enough to dine in complete darkness, with friends you haven’t met yet?
Locatedin Clerkenwell, Dans Le Noir? is a unique restaurant that promises to take youon a sensory journey. After a warmwelcome, you’ll sit at convivial sharing tables with people you’ve never metbefore, as you’re served delicious food by visually impaired waitingstaff. 
Safetyand security are fully taken care of, and with your meal selected from asurprise menu (a surprise vegetarian and vegan menu is available), you couldeven discover a brand-new favourite dish.
This isan experience that promises to challenge your preconceptions, ignite yoursenses…and leave your vanity at the door.
So,there you have it! Which Quirky London experience will be first on your list?
Whileyou’re deciding, why not take your out-of-the-ordinary London break to the nextlevel, by staying in one of these wonderfully unusual city boltholes?

Boutique Barges

London, England
Leave your cares far away on dry land in a relaxing and stylish river retreat, perfectly moored in the vibrant heart of Central London.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 4-5 per boat
From
£460 / 2 nts

The Harpy Houseboat

Tower Bridge, London, England
Welcome aboard London's oldest houseboat, The Harpy, with unrivalled majestic views of Tower Bridge.
Bedrooms: 4
Sleeps: 10
From
£800 /night

The Boathouse London

Paddington, London, England
A design-led boutique hotel barge, indulgently moored on the scenic waters of the capital's first floating park.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: Up to 4
From
£360/nt

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