It’s no secret that London offers visitors an endless amount of amazing things to do and see. From Big Ben to Buckingham Palace, the UK capital has no shortage of ways to fill a traveler’s days. As British Airways writes on their site, London is home to well-known landmarks, designer shopping, and a vibrant arts and theatre community, making it a top destination for those both near and far. With so many tourists visiting each year (approximately 16.8 million, in fact), the usual sights are predictably swamped. Whether you’ve vacationed in London before or simply prefer to explore off the beaten path, taking a less traveled route around town will lead to a unique, and unforgettable, experience.
Tour the Tropical Gardens in Barbican
In the heart of London is the Barbican, the largest multi-arts and conference venue in Europe. Built in the 1960s, this concrete mammoth is home to the London Symphony Orchestra, a library, several restaurants, and oddly enough, a tropical oasis—the second largest conservatory in the city. Tucked away in the middle of the bustling hub that is the Barbican you’ll find enough plants, trees, birds, and exotic fish to get lost in. Though not always open to the public, the tropical gardens are worth waiting for a day when they are.
Catch the Canalway Cavalcade
If you find yourself in London in the early days of May, make sure to check out the annual IWA Canalway Cavalcade in Little Venice. Since 1983, boaters and boating enthusiasts have gathered to celebrate their love of the trade. In addition to the expected boating activities (such as an illuminated procession of boats), the festivities often include Morris dancing, a slew of food stalls, real-ale bars, and a variety of small shops for every interest.