The 10 most unusual things to see in London
From London Bridge to just past Tower Bridge, "the Pool of London", offers some of the more unusual and intriguing things to see and you don't have to travel far to find them. This fascinating destination is one of London's oldest neighbourhoods with many maritime, historical, architectural and bloody connections with London's history.
- All Hallows, situated next to the Tower of London, is the oldest church in the City of London, with parts of the building dating from 675 AD. Beneath an original Saxon arch, a Roman pavement was discovered, evidence of city life on this site for over 2000 years. Open all year round, this wonderful church is steeped in history and continues to minister to a community of workers and visitors. Tel: 020 7481 2928 FREE ADMISSION
- Join actors dressed in period costumer aboard the Golden Hinde, berthed at St Mary Overie Dock to discover what life might have been like sailing around the world in a boat slightly bigger than a double-decker bus. The Golden Hinde is an exact scale, operational reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake's 16th century galleon that sailed around the world 1577-80. This floating museum is open all year round. Telephone before visiting: 08700 118700
- If you thought you would have to travel to Arizona to see the original London Bridge, look no further than the magnificent church of St Magnus the Martyr. Inside, you can see a wooden model of the old London Bridge as well as the remnants of the foundation stones in the quiet churchyard outside.
Tel: 020 7623 8022 FREE ADMISSION
- Walk over the uniquely designed footbridge to see the unusual garden barges moored near St Saviours Dock, just downriver from the Design Museum on Shad Thames. FREE ADMISSION
- The yacht marina at St Katharine Docks, located beside the Tower of London and Tower Bridge offers visitors a haven from the frantic pace of the city. Once a working dock, it now boasts an attractive waterside retreat with a mixture of shops, restaurants, offices and luxury apartments as well as yachts and motorboats. When the sun is shining, you could be mistaken for thinking you aren't in London. Tel: 020 7488 0555 FREE ADMISSION
- The ceremony of the keys is one of the best-kept secrets of the Tower
of London. It has to be the best (and shortest) ceremony in London and has been a nightly event for the last 700 years. Led by the Chief Yeoman Warder, dressed in a scarlet Tudor coat, carrying a lantern and with foot guard escort, he makes his way to the gates at exactly 21:53. There is a limited number of tickets available and you must write in advance to the govenor of the Tower. Just do it, but don't be late! Tel: 0870 756 6060 www.tower-of-london.org.uk FREE ADMISSION
- There has been a church on the site of the present Southwark cathedral, next to London Bridge for over 1000 years. Many of Southwark Cathdral's treasures include a Jacobean communion table, a tiny Saxon coffin and one of the earliest wooden effigies in England, a figure of a knight dating from the last quarter of the 13th century. Tel: 020 7367 6700 FREE ADMISSION
- City Hall is one of London's most spectacular new buildings and home to the Greater London Authority and Mayor of London. This landmark is at the heart of the new More London development next to Tower Bridge. It has several public areas that have been landscaped with seating, water features, trees and includes a viewing platform in the building to provide superb panoramas of the Pool of London. City Hall is open on set weekends throughout the year. Telephone before visiting on 020 7983 4100 or visit www.london.gov.uk
- It is not every day that you can see glassblowing in London. Situated in the Leathermarket, a distinctive 19th century building erected by the Leather Warehouse Company the London Glassblowing workshop's are as hot as hell, since there are several ovens burning to melt the glass. Here, mostly art pieces are made in limited editions and are exhibited in the adjoining art gallery. Tel 020 7403 2800 www.londonglassblowing.co.uk FREE ADMISSION
- If blood and guts is more your thing, then the Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garrett is definitly worth a visit. Hidden in the roof of a church, a 300-year old herb garret houses Britain's only surviving 19th century operating theatre which was used between 1821 and 1862 in the days before anaesthetic and antiseptic surgery. On display is a variety of very sharp instruments used to 'help' the desperate patients! www.thegarret.org.uk Tel: 020 7955 4791
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