Top 5 Quirky Spots
The Bermondsey tank
Bermondsey, south-east-central London: probably not the typical tourist haunt, but you won’t find something like this in the wild anywhere else in the city. A decommissioned Soviet T-34, used in WWII and other wars, sits among stinging nettles and other shrubs partially fringed by two strips of chainlink fence. The fence doesn't join up, so feel free to wander inside the overgrown triangular patch and see the tank up close. It's covered top to tail with grafitti and, a few years after it was installed back in the nineties, it was given a bubble-gum pink makeover. Let's face it, even in battle, you'd still run from a tank that looked like it belonged to a Barbie doll.
Image credit: Guy Arnold
Drink, Shop & Do
This is a one-of-a-kind place in London. Half café, half curiosity shop, Drink, Shop & Do sells cocktails under the same roof as pots of tea (which are constantly refilled by the efficient staff). They can cater for hen parties as well, giving it an extra dimension of diversity. Based in King’s Cross, you should check this place out for its memorability factor and unusual charm. Where else in London can you buy handmade retro tea towels, mugs or buttons in the same place as an Old Fashioned or Strawberry Mojito?
Image credit: Daniel Gianini
Just off Charing Cross Road, between an Indian restaurant and a shoe shop, opposite a gym equipment shop and a Mediterranean restaurant, is one of the most famous locations in the Harry Potter series, Diagon Alley (or ‘diagonally’ if you will). Its real life name is Cecil Court and it was here that several hours of filming for the HP movies took place. Feel free to take a wander. You don’t need to be a muggle or touch any special bricks in the wall to get here.
Image credit: Guy Arnol
Running underneath Waterloo Station is a 300m stretch of underpass, easily accessible to the public. And just as well, because it's definitely something worth checking out if you've even the slightest interest in urban artwork. It is colloquially known as 'Banksy Tunnel' because, in 2008 at Banksy's Cans Festival, dozens of fellow street artists flooded the area and smothered the entire tunnel with tags and graffiti art. Go on any given day and you're likely to see a few lone taggers, headphones on, spraying away. Sometimes they bring their vans and stay the whole day painting. Feel free to take photographs here, but make sure to ask the artist's permission if it's of a specific piece.
Image credit: Guy Arnold
London's Smallest House
Officially London’s smallest house and home to only one tenant in history, this peculiar little locale is an unusual feature of London. Now part of Tyburn Covent, this minuscule building (barely a metre wide) has very little purpose beyond its unusual stature. Inside, for example, there is only an alleyway and bathroom. Undoubtedly mysterious, however, this rare architecture find is certainly worth the venture.
London's Smallest House is located at 10 Hyde Park Place, Marble Arch.