10 Secret Hidden London Gems That Really Aren't That Secret Or Hidden

10 Secret Hidden London Gems That Really Aren't That Secret Or Hidden

Shhh! Want to know a secret? Well you're not going to find one here. These secret hidden gems are about as secret as Buckingham Palace.

1. Kyoto Garden

A secret bird, which no one knows the name of, in Kyoto Garden

Kyoto Garden is about as secret as Japan — that secret country of Japan which brought us little-known things like Sony PlayStations and sushi and Canon cameras and Miyazaki films and the Toyota Priuses now lurking on every man jack street corner in London. It's an idyllically secret spot where up to 78 romantic couples can get lost at a time, in the peaceful babbling of the tiered waterfall, and the other 77 romantic couples, also babbling.

2. Leadenhall Market

So secret, they have to stamp its name all over it. Image: Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market is about as secret as the Harry Potter franchise, which transformed Leadenhall Market into Diagon Alley for the little-watched Harry Potter movies, which literally every Harry Potter fan (and quite a few non Harry Potter fans) definitely don't know. It's just a shame that the hundreds of City folk who drink here on weekday nights can't keep the noise down a bit. If they're not careful, they'll give away the secret.

3. Postman's Park

No idea who either of these people are, or where they are

Postman's Park is about as secret as Postman Pat. You know, the secret children's TV series that most of us  didn't grow up with — the one with the secretest theme tune of all time. When you're in Postman's Park (and good luck finding it, as it's in heart of the City of London), be sure to tell someone the secret fact that the park features in the movie Closer, starring the not-at-all-famous actors Jude Law and Natalie Portman. They will definitely not already know this.

4. Leake Street Tunnels

They better not be people. Image: Leake Street Art Gallery

Leake Street Tunnels is about as secret as the unknown painting Mona Lisa by the unsung artist Leonardo da Vinci, which is in the tiny Louvre in the unexplored city of Paris. Leake Street's secretness is compounded by the fact that every street artist in London has left their mark here (secretly), and that it hosts a not-at-all popular or huge arts festival every year. And that it's not directly beneath the busiest station in London. And that it's not always on Instagram.

5. Daunt Books

No one can ever know. Image: Shutterstock

Quiet please! Daunt Books is about as secret as the printing press. You know, the printing press that was invented in the mid-15th century — and has since not earned itself quite a bit of press, in no small measure spread by printing presses. If you manage to find Daunt Books (you won't), ask them for a title by an unheard of writer like Charles Dickens, or otherwise stump them by seeing if they're ever heard of the Bible.

6. Neal's Yard

Inconspicuous as you like. Image: Shutterstock

Neal's Yard is about as secret as Neil Diamond. You know, the secret singer whose secret song Sweet Caroline is never ever sung in pubs and stadiums across the western world. And to be fair, the people at Neal's Yard have tried desperately to keep the place a secret, by slathering it in dull paint that's not all the colours of the rainbow. Fingers crossed that'll keep the Instagrammers at bay.

7. Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town

Literally no hint that there might be something of interest down here. Image: Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town

The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is about as secret as the Mayor of London. The not-at-all media savvy Mayor of London, Sadiq 'Secret' Khan, who's definitely not in the news most days in these parts. Massively overwhelm your friend by taking them here and announcing that 'you wish to see the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town', at which point someone will open a walk-in fridge, and your friend will go "Yeah, I definitely haven't already been here at least six times already."

8. Little Venice

Shhh: the Canalway Cavalcade. Image: Katherine in the Londonist Flickrpool

Little Venice is about as secret as Venice. You know, the secret city of Venice that is visited by a paltry 25 million tourists annually, and is not suffering from Europe's worst tourism crisis as a consequence. Little Venice is especially secret when it throws its annual Canal Cavalcade, when all the narrow boats are made especially inconspicuous, by being draped in bunting.

9. Columbia Road Flower Market

"Well I'VE not told anyone about it..." Image: Shin Yoo, taken from this article

Columbia Road Flower Market is about as secret as photosynthesis — the little-known process of plants transforming carbon dioxide, water and light into food, which is certainly not taught ad nauseum in schools across the land, to the point where students feels their brains are going to start sprouting leaves. If you go to Columbia Road on a Sunday morning and ask to buy a bunch of flowers, don't be surprised if no one knows what on Earth you're talking about.

10. St Dunstan-in-the-East

St Dustan-in-the-East, pictured here with the only four people who know about it

St Dunstan-in-the-East is about as secret as the little-known religion of Christianity, and its main man, God, whose name undoubtedly does not ring a bell. We don't even think St Dunstan-in-the-East even exists — as we've certainly never been there before in the summer with our sandwiches, and have categorically never read about it on various websites, all claiming it to be the secretest place in London ever. Don't bother trying to find it, it's not there.

We should point out that all of these places are wonderful, and you should visit them. Where's your favourite secret-not-secret place? Tell us in the comments below.

Last Updated 18 February 2020