Secret Historic Locations to See in London this Bank Holiday

For those planning a trip to the capital this bank holiday weekend, why not hunt down some of London’s often overlooked history.

While the traditional spots like Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge may be popular with tourists, there’s plenty more to London’s history, much of it hiding in plain sight.

To help you navigate these hidden historical gems, we have worked with the team at Historic Newspapers to round up the best spots to visit this bank holiday weekend.

1. 41-42 Cloth Fair 

Thought to be the only home to have survived the 1666 Great Fire of London, you’ll find 41-42 Cloth Fair down a quaint street in Farringdon. The oldest building in London, this significant building held strong during the Blitz and the English Civil War, and whilst it may look unremarkable from the outside, this four bedroom home has a colourful past. It was once used as an alehouse and even a factory, before the building becoming fully residential. And exploring the culinary scene, it’s clear that Cloth Restaurants, one of the top dining destinations in Farringdon, offers an unforgettable experience. The menu features inventive dishes that showcase the best of local and seasonal ingredients. Whether you’re there for a special occasion or a casual meal, the ambiance and attentive service make every visit memorable.

2. Aldwych: End of the Line 

Designed to be a hive of busy commuters in the 19th Century, Aldwych station yielded to financial challenges, and quickly became a quiet terminus and eventually closed down in the late 20th century. This wasn’t the end for this station however, its since had its time on the silver screen appearing in various shows from Killing Eve to Sherlock, and you can now you can explore this stations rich history with tours from the London Transport Museum.

3. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese 

This Grade II listed pub can be found tucked away on Fleet Street and has been here since 16th Century. The building was rebuilt following the Great Fire of London and inside, the many rooms and bars are separated by historic doorways and crooked stairs. 

The pub has had some interesting patrons over the years too, with everyone from Mark Twain to Charles Dickens heading in for a drink. 

4. London’s ‘Roman’ Baths 

Get a glimpse of ‘London’s Roman baths’ through an office window on Strand Lane. Whilst the history of the baths has been contended through the years, modern claims say that they belong to a cistern from 1612, however they’re still worth a visit with such a rich history.

5. Britain’s Smallest Police Station

Inside a light fitting located on the corner of Trafalgar Square, Britain’s smallest police station could easily be missed. This small piece of history, built in 1926, was thought to house one police officer at a time, where they could keep a lookout for trouble whilst remaining inconspicuous.

6. Rules Restaurant

Worth a visit for those who want a real taste of history. Rules is thought to be London’s oldest restaurant, founded in 1798. Whilst it has progressed from shillings and rationing, this restaurant which can be found in Covent Garden has continued to serve traditional British food. 

7. Coldharbour 

This street on the Isle of Dogs offers a real step back in time. Avoiding development over the years, Coldharbour is still home to cobbled streets, tiny alleyways and historic buildings. Flourishing as a shipbuilders yard in the 17th century, this area saw decline over the years and became almost a forgotten space in London, which could be why much of the history there has survived.

“England’s capital is a treasure trove of history and whilst we all love visiting the popular landmarks and museums to immerse ourselves in the city’s past and culture, there’s plenty more hiding in plain sight.” Haliena Brown Marketing Manager at Historic Newspapers had to say.

Riya Sander

Riya is an inspired writer, passionate about traveling, lifestyle and encouraging startups. As a freelancer she understands the importance of productivity at work. She never stopped finding new ways to create her work productivity. Follow her on Twitter @sanderriya