There are many hidden places in London that the general public will never have the opportunity to see, including areas of renowned institutions that have been walled off or abandoned for decades.
In our capital, you’ll find a chamber housing every piece of public transportation trash ever left behind, a spooky abandoned Victorian theater, and even a workshop for repairing huge spiders. Intrigued? Is that the case? This list of London’s best-kept secrets is part of our ongoing mission to make the city’s hidden gems more accessible to visitors. Take this as your city’s “Access All Areas” card.
Surprising Hidden Places in London
The Secret Beefeaters’ Pub
With all that their duties entail, keeping an eye on the Crown Jewels and making sure that no ravens escape from the Clock tower, the Yeoman Warders (better known as Beefeaters) have their own private bar on site. Beefeater Bitter & Yeoman 1485 Craft Lager (produced especially for them by Marston’s brewery) are beers offered on tap that are not available anywhere on the globe.
Swords adorn the walls, a 1679 grandfather clock, and a glass cabinet with an inscribed pewter chalice for each Beefeater to use during formal toasts can be found at the Yeomen Warders’ Club, which is located in the Tower of London. With all that, it has become a popular hangout for celebrities, like Tom Cruise, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart, who have all recently been seen sneaking into the hidden place.
The London Zoo’s Animal Kitchen
This is something you won’t see every time you visit London Zoo: the animals’ kitchen. If you ever invite squirrel monkeys over for lunch, make sure you know how to gently blend steaming aubergine mixed with wet cat food on the chalkboards that border the walls. Many cartons of blueberry & apple tea are on hand because gorillas, it turns out, are like a soothing herbal drink.
The star anise and ginger are stored in large containers (the latter is like a catnip for tigers). As a result, it takes a full three to four hours of chopping to get all of the fresh produce from Covent Garden Market ready for use. To be honest, it makes your office’s fruit delivery appear like a little inconvenience and an exciting hidden place.
TfL’s Lost Property Office
NW1 is home to a convoluted network of chambers crammed to the rafters with mind-boggling artifacts that people have left behind on the city’s public transportation. Think of a forest of umbrellas, a tower of iPads, and a morning chorus of expletive alarms every morning. Aside from that, there are some very bizarre relics on display, such as urns holding the cremated remains of the deceased, face masks, Viking swords, and a stuffed gorilla in Hawaiian garb sitting in a wheelchair.
310,000 things were sent to the office between 2015 and 2016, thus the sheer amount of material is astounding. While it may be tempting to leave your umbrella on the vehicle in an effort to get entry, it’s best to avoid it. Unfortunately, the reception room on the second floor is the closest you’ll get to this hidden place.
The Harry Potter Spider Workshop
Just eight months ago, the room you’re looking at didn’t exist. Nick Dudman and his colleagues have used this pre-fab since June as a big spider workshop to finish monsters for the Warner Bros Studio Tour’s new Forbidden Forest display. This hidden place is filled with a strong scent of wood, cans of expanding foam, and signs reading “Please be cautious with our webs” dominate the vast space. Hippogriff feather boxes, wood shelves, and plastic goblin heads are used for what?
For 15 years following ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Secrets,’ the six spiders have had their hair reattached to them. One person can do around a foot of spider work in a single day, no matter how hard they work. What a way to ruin one’s day.
A Lost Victorian Theatre
This 130-year-old theater is tucked away in the heart of Ally Pally. It’s been hidden from view for 80 years a very secretive hidden place you see! And has one of the most original décor and stage apparatus has remained in place from the day it was shut down. Bringing it back to life as a 1,300-capacity theater is a goal, but they need to raise $1 million by the end of the summer to do it. Donations may be made at support.alexandrapalace.com till then.