Secret London Itinerary

Discover a side of London that most tourists (and some Londoners) have never seen.

From an underground amphitheatre to candlelit tours of historic homes, we help you uncover secret London.

Morning: London Stone and Roman Amphitheatre

Spend the morning exploring London's hidden history.

First, check out the mysterious London Stone at 111 Cannon Street (two doors down from the London Stone pub). According to legend, the stone was part of an altar in a temple built by Brutus of Troy. An ancient saying predicts "so long as the stone of Brutus is safe, so long shall London flourish". Today, the stone is visible from the street through a metal grill.

Next, head to the Guildhall Art Gallery, which harbours a secret in its basement: the remains of London's Roman amphitheatre. Entry to the amphitheatre is included in the price of your art gallery ticket. Once a month, the Museum of London runs a guided tour, bringing to life the gladiators, wild animals and baying crowds that once inhabited the building.

Lunch: Café in the Crypt

Enjoy lunch at Café in the Crypt underneath St Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square, which serves reasonably-priced homemade food.

In warmer months, you can stroll across the square for a drink at The Trafalgar hotel's rooftop bar, Vista, which offers stunning views of London.

Afternoon: Chelsea Physic Garden

Spend the afternoon at Chelsea Physic Garden (open April to October). Located on the bank of the River Thames, this magical "secret garden" was founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, and scientists there continue to research the properties of more than 5,000 plants.

Evening: Candlelit Tours and Quirky Cocktails

In the evening, take a candlelit tour of either Dennis Severs' House (silent evening tours on Mondays and Wednesdays) or Sir John Soane's Museum (first Tuesday of the month).

Dennis Severs' House is a time capsule created by artist Dennis Severs. The interior is designed to feel (and smell!) as though a family of Huguenot silk weavers still inhabit the rooms.

Sir John Soane's Museum was the home of architect John Soane (1753-1837), and contains his collection of art and antiques. Ask one of the guides to show you the secret wall panels, which open out to reveal more and more artworks. (Entry is free, but expect to queue.)

Finally, end on your day of secrecy with a moreish cocktail or three in an underground hideaway that lies beyond a magical fridge door. Simply enter The Breakfast Club restaurant near Liverpool Street Station and ask to see The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town. A darkened basement bar will reveal itself only to those who really, really want it. A great place to take someone for a romantic date.

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