12 Alternative Things to do in London

By: Flashpacking Duo
Union Jack flag on brick wall. Getty Images / © 2012 Sally Anscombe

Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, Big Ben, St.Pauls Cathedral. They are all famous historic landmarks in London where tourists flock. Rightly so.. while they are great places to visit and a must-see, there’s plenty more to London. But what if you have already seen them? or like us looking for something alternative and off the beaten track when visiting a new city. We have put together a list of 12 alternative things to do in London. Some we have done ourselves and others are recommendations from friends and family.


Jack the Ripper Tour

The greatest mystery in the history of crime. For those who don’t know, ‘Jack the Ripper’ was the name given to an unidentified serial killer who killed and mutilated at least five prostitutes in the East End slums of London back in 1888. Back to the present, by joining a ‘Jack the Ripper Tour’ you can now retrace the steps of the historic killer visiting the actual murder sites and other places of interest while finding out more about the killer and his victims.

Columbia Road Shops & Flower Market

Based in the East End near Brick Lane and Shoreditch, Columbia Road shops & flower market is open every Sunday, from 08.00 till 15:00. Each Sunday the street is transformed into an oasis of color and smells.  Even if you’re not buying flowers there is plenty of quirky shops selling vintage clothes to street art. Also with many places to eat Columbia Road has a great vibe around it each Sunday.

Fuller’s Brewery Tour

Fuller’s have been brewing beer since 1845 at their Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, West London. Go on a Fuller’s brewery tour to discover the history and heritage of a famous working brewery. The tour itself will lead you through historic buildings allowing you to witness the complete brewing process from start to finish, culminating in a tasting session where you can sample the whole Fuller’s range. It’s definitely worth paying the extra £3 for the tasting session.

Escape Rooms London Bridge

The idea originates from Japan and is very popular throughout the rest of Asia, the US, and parts of Europe. Locked in a themed room full of puzzles and mind teasers, you’ve got one hour to escape. Can you do it? If you love puzzles, cryptic clues, and working in a team you will love Escape Rooms.


Traditional Pie Mash & Liquor from Goddards at Greenwich

Goddards at Greenwich is a family run business that has been serving London’s most traditional meal of pie mash and liquor since 1890. They serve fresh handmade pies freshly baked every day, if you want a proper taste of London you must visit Goddard’s at Greenwich. If you want to be a bit more adventurous, jellied and stewed eels are also available.

Zombie Apocalypse London

Taking place at five different locations across London, Zombie Apocalypse is a thrill-seeking, adrenaline-pumping all-out action zombie experience. From the start right through to the end, you are immersed in all-out zombie fun and have a taster of what the possibility may entail. The trainers are amazing, and the effort put into this is immense from actors, makeup, and stage setting you will feel like it’s the real deal. You will be taught on basic survival of an apocalypse and kit you with a choice of weapon.. paintball gun is the one you want! Then the excitement begins, you are released into the zombie horde. You have one aim and that is to survive,  you will be in for a treat of jumps and scares along the way, and be prepared to run… a lot! you will love every second and want to go back for more.

Churchill War Rooms

Head back in time and retrace the steps Sir Winston Churchill took as you walk through the original war rooms. The underground headquarters was used for directing Britain’s war effort during WWII, planning the defense and eventual attacks on Germany. Some of the most important decisions of the war. was made in the very rooms you walk through. The most popular rooms being the map room with original maps and Churchill’s bedroom. If you’re into your history this is a must-visit attraction.

Billingsgate Fish Market

Located in East London, Billingsgate Fish Market covering an area of 13 acres is the UK’s largest inland fish market.  Open from 4 am to 8 am Tuesday to Saturday it’s not for the late risers but if you’re a foodie it is definitely worth the early start. With over 120 stalls, you will see a day in the life of this popular fish market and a chance to see some of the best fish and seafood on offer. If you get a chance, swing by one of the cafes and get the Scallop and Bacon roll.. yes, it tastes as good as it sounds.

Kayak Down the Thames

Escape the busy streets of London and head out on to the Thames in a kayak. Take a trip down this iconic river passing many of London’s famous landmarks. Starting from Chelsea you will pass iconic landmarks such as the London Eye, Tower Bridge, and Houses of Parliament. The tour guides are very knowledgeable and fun and make the trip even more interesting. A great way to view the main tourist destinations without the crowds.


The Castle Climbing Centre

Castle climbing center is ideal for experts and beginners. It features indoor and outdoor bouldering areas and offers challenging top rope and lead climbing. With over 450 routes and changing all the time, you will not get bored. The great thing is it’s not just a climbing center but a social hub to meet new people and hang out.

Brick Lane

Once known for its slums and Jack the Ripper, Brick Lane in the East End of London has now transformed into a hip and artistic area. Featuring markets, bars, restaurants, shops, and galleries you can see why Brick Lane is very popular with locals and tourists alike. If like us you are a fan of a good curry, Brick Lane is the place to go! with its large Bangladeshi community they brought their love of all things to spice to this part of London and it isn’t short on an authentic curry restaurant or two.

South Bank

The South Bank is a buzzing, vibrant part of central London. Situated next to the Thames, the area known as South Bank is home to a large selection of iconic theatres, galleries, and museums. With so much to see and do here all year round it’s no wonder, it attracts thousands of tourists and locals daily. Want a break from the hectic fair, go for a stroll along the river and take in the atmosphere and stop off at one of the many restaurants on offer, sit down and watch the world go bustling by.

So there you have it, our choice of alternative things to do in London. We hope our selection has given you some inspiration to go and find the alternatives on offer and with such a diverse city, London will spoil you for choice. We would love to hear if you have any recommendations, please comment below and tell us about your favorite places to visit.