Weirdest things to see in London  

Londoners are an eccentric lot – as our pick of the weirdest things in London testify. These quirky London attractions have to be seen to be believed!

An over-stuffed walrus and a merman

 

A post shared by Dawn Groundsell (@dgroundsell) on

Marvel at a bloated walrus at Horniman Museum. Weighing just under one tonne, it was famously overstuffed by its Victorian taxidermist who is thought to have never seen such an animal. Other odd displays include giant musical instruments such as a xylophone wall, and a creepy-looking merman.

The smallest police station in London

Head to Trafalgar Square and you'll find the smallest police station in London (some say, the world). Cunningly built into a lamp post, this tiny cubby was just big enough for one policeman and was designed as a way of keeping an eye on demonstrations in the square.

A sham bridge

Look at a bridge by the Thousand Pound Pond in Kenwood House (within Hampstead Heath), and at first glance it appears perfectly normal. But view it from the side and you realise the bridge is totally fake! This strange folly was built in the mid 1700s, when the grounds belonged to the first Earl of Mansfield.

A jar of tweeting moles

 

A post shared by Anne (@northofnormal) on

Gaze at a glass jar of 18 moles, just one of the fantastically bizarre exhibits at the Grant Museum of Zoology. The moles even have their own Twitter account @glassjarofmoles. One of the UK's oldest natural history collections, this quirky London museum homes more than 1,000 species of rare and extinct animals.

London Nose

Walk through the right-hand side of Admiralty Arch from Trafalgar Square, and you'll notice one of London's secret sights, a small protrusion on the left known as the London Nose. According to one popular theory, it's a spare in case Nelson's one falls off!

The Seven Noses of Soho

As if finding a nose in Admiralty Arch wasn’t weird enough, there are seven noses to find in Soho. These unusual additions to the area’s streets were created by artists Rick Buckley as a protest against CCTV cameras in 1997, and remain to this day. You can see them all on a special tour.

Victorian surgical instruments

 

A post shared by Northerner in London (@cult_status) on

Discover a gruesome history of surgery at the The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garrett, one of London's more unusual medical museums. Rediscovered in 1956, this 19th-century operating theatre in the roof of an English Baroque Church examines what surgery was like in the pre-anaesthetic and antibiotics era.

A giant squid

Spot a monstrous giant squid at the Natural History Museum's Zoology Spirit building. Caught in 2004, the 8.62m-long (28ft) giant squid is among a collection that also includes Darwin's pet tortoise and the conserved skeleton of a whale that swam up the river Thames. Tours of the Spirit Collection are free, but must be booked in advance. 

Enlightening curiosities

 

A post shared by Jess (@jesskalau) on

Step into the basement of cocktail bar The Last Tuesday Society and you’ll discover a world influenced by pre-Enlightenment wonder at The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities. Uncover everything from a collection of McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, to two-headed kittens, dodo bones and a stuffed lion seated at a table.

Clown-faced eggs

Clown around at the quirky London Clowns' Gallery in Dalston, which displays sculptures, masks and curios dedicated to the entertainers. Look out for eggs that have been painted with portraits of Clowns International members. Pop in when it’s open on the first Friday of every month.

An artist's House of Dreams

Walk into the weird and wonderful world of artist Stephen Wright at his house and gardens in East Dulwich. This secret London hidden gem is crammed full of his own work and collections, which range from dental moulds to masks and dolls’ heads. It's only open on selected days throughout the year.

Quirky caves

Venture beneath the woods in Chislehurst to a labyrinth of man-made caves. Created when chalk and flint were dug from the ground from the 13th century onwards, the Chislehurst Caves have been a place of smuggling, murder, a wartime munitions store and air raid shelter, plus a latter-day concert venue.

Want more quirky stuff? Take a look at our secret London itinerary for unusual attractions, check out 101 secret things to do in London or discover some of London's hidden gems.