London is a city with a long history and a large population from all over the world. It has lots of legendary landmarks to pass by, but…been there done that. It has lots of famous stories, but sometimes the not so famous ones are more rewarding.
You want to be unusual and tread off the beaten path and what better place to do it than in a multicultural city full of vibrant, unusual people? This unusual article will guide you on your journey to feelin’ unusual in swingin’ London town!
You will feel all too usual if you are dragging your luggage to unusual sights, so drop it off first at a convenient Stasher location around London.
How to kick it off? How to make the most unusual holiday you’ve ever seen? Be all that you can be…
Imaginationland: Choose Your Own Adventure in London
Imagine the crowd is cheering, mouthing every word as you show off your moves and your astonishing falsetto, performing some of the greatest rock songs ever made! Imagine you are Freddie Mercury and give an impromptu concert in front of his former studio and apartment Garden Lodge at 1 Logan Place where he created many of his iconic tunes.
It’s easy, everybody knows the words to “We Will Rock You”!
Imagine you’ve been followed, you’re carrying an important message that could save lives and you need to find a safe house! That safe house is Morpeth Arms, where you can imagine you’re a spy, looking over the Thames at MI6 HQ, drinking a martini shaken, not stirred in their spy-themed bar!
Imagine you’re a 19th-century policeman retracing the steps of Jack The Ripper throughout the Shoreditch neighborhood, where many creepy overpasses from that era still stand. Related landmarks include Ten Bells Pub and Shoreditch Town Hall.
Imagine orating passionately on a topic close to your heart, spectators hanging on your every word. If you could just get people to listen to you, you know you could change the world! You can do just that at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, a literal soapbox that has hosted the likes of George Orwell, Lenin and Karl Marx.
Imagine you’re a bandit who is about to pull off the most audacious robbery in history! You can plan your own at The Star Tavern, where the actual great train robbery was planned and where many celebrities rubbed shoulders with criminals. You might not go through with it, but you can dream it up while sipping a classic manhattan cocktail.
Go Somewhere Unusual
Who plans a trip to a cemetery on holiday? Someone unusual, that’s who! One of the most unusual cemeteries is Highgate Cemetery in London. Due to its use as a horror film location in the seventies, an all-out vampire war broke out there! Karl Marx is also buried there, probably long after his speech at Speaker’s Corner.
Novelty Automation is full of a particular kind of unusual novelties. It’s an “amusement arcade” featuring machines built by cartoonist and engineer Tim Hunkin. They are constructed from a combo of old school levers and pulleys and modern sound and video technology. Retro and surreal, they are not just unusual but unique, too.
The future is bright. So is the past. So is every neon sign you can get lost by at God’s Own Junkyard, a neon paradise AKA the neon maze. The trippy vintage neon signs help you discover a psychedelic crossroads of past and future. I guess you could call that the present.
The heart of unusual can be found beating at the Village Underground. It is a haven for East End’s creative culture. Originally an abandoned railway viaduct, in 2007 it became a home for musicians and artists and now hosts a nightclub, theatre, concerts, exhibitions and other unusual events.
Eat Something Unusual
Unusual people have unusual diets. In London, there are a variety of options for satisfying unusual dietary desires. First up, the most unusual of them all.
What’s so unusual about eating insects? Everything! That’s why you should do it. And you can do just that at Horizon Insects. The institute/culinary delight was inspired by a desire to reduce our carbon footprint and explore alternative food sources. So on behalf of Mother Nature, pop a cricket in your mouth, available fresh or dried!
What’s unusual about a steak? How about a 10-pound steak? We’re not referring to the size – that would be unusual too – but the cost. London is an expensive town where it can be hard to find a decent meal at a decent price. And ten pounds for a steak in London is an oddity in itself!
Get to one of Flat Iron Steaks’ various locations long before your tummy starts growling because usually there’s a long line for this unusual bargain.
Mom would not be proud of you for choosing this next option. Because you’re not supposed to eat breakfast for dinner, but hey, you have free will! Become a cereal killer, without all the dirty work Jack had to clean up.
At Cereal Killer Cafe, any time of day you can pour yourself a bowl of staples like Lucky Charms or oddities like Unicorn. They even have Krusty-Os and Pop Tarts!
Clowns are unusual. Maybe that’s why so many people are afraid of them. London offers a few opportunities to face your fear of clowns. Or learn to be a clown, if that’s your kind of unusual.
Start at the Clown Egg Register. It’s a weird place. Like, the kinda place you say “Really? That exists? Someone made that?” What is the Clown Egg Register?
It’s the headquarters of Clown International, inside an old church. When a new member joins, they are “registered” by replicating their personal facial makeup painted on an egg. Seriously. On display at the Clowns Gallery and Museum inside the Holy Trinity Church are about 50 of the 250 registered eggs.
After paying your respects to clown eggs, pay your respects to the man who is considered the godfather of modern clowning, Joseph Grimaldi. He is memorialized in Joseph Grimaldi Park, home to his restored tombstone in the center of the park.
If you can’t stop clowning around, consider a career in clowning! Believe it or not Ripley, there is a university for aspiring clowns in London called Circus Space. Your family will certainly consider it unusual unless your uncle’s name is Bonzo. Circus Space offers drop-in classes on Fridays.
Travel To The Past
From a distance, the past seems unusual. Maybe if you get up close, it won’t seem so strange. There are a number of strange museums in London paying tribute to some subjects not explored in the usual museums.
At the incarceration museum, you’ll find anything but the usual suspects in the line-up. The museum is housed in the former penitentiary known as “The Clink”. You can go home and literally tell your friends you “did some time in the clink”.
The notorious prison dates back nearly a millennium to 1144. Costumed guides and monologuing actors help lend an atmosphere of reality to the proceedings. No pun intended, just punishment.
Lighten up! Stop by The Cartoon Museum. The rich comic history of the United Kingdom is on display here to bring all the world a smile. Exhibits range from animation to caricatures to cartoons, encompassing over nine thousand amusing treasures.
Some of the world’s best-known brands have been sold with cartoons and amusing mascots or logos. Revisit old labels from timeless brands and campaigns from faded brands that have fallen into obscurity at the Museum Of Brands. You are sure to encounter something unusual there.
Is it unusual..or is it Magic? The mystical arts are explored and explained at the Magic Circle Museum. The museum is home to a collection of supernatural secrets from The Magic Circle, a coalition of magicians founded in 1905. Did you know Prince Charles himself is a member of the circle? He used a cup and ball trick to get accepted and it’s on display here. Now that’s unusual!
Being unusual is tiring. Recharge or just reflect on your journey at a most unusual coffee house. It has no definitive name, having existed in one form or another since 1652, making it the oldest coffeehouse in London. It’s currently known as Jamaican Wine House and no longer offers coffee. Better to travel to the site of its founder’s home, now occupied by a Starbucks.
But don’t get stuck in the past. Come back to the present so you can tell all your friends about your unusual adventures in London!