Londoners asked to reveal the city’s ‘hidden gems’ tourists never see

Forget Big Ben and London Eye, this week Londoners are being given the chance to promote places they would recommend across the capital that visitors never see.

Thames Beach, a hidden gem for Londoners

Thames Beach, a hidden gem for Londoners. Image by Garry Knight / CC BY 2.0

Among those endorsing the scheme are celebrities like Joanna Lumley and Julian Fellowes, who have also unveiled their own cultural gems which they feel should be better known to tourists.

Absolutely Fabulous actress, Lumley, picked Myddelton Square in Finsbury because she said its “its ravishing house” showed up old London at its best.

New urban trampoline will be constructed on a site near the London Eye.

London Eye is one of 20 places most tourists visit but many would like to see the hidden London. Image by nini003 / CC BY 2.0

Meanwhile Downton Abbey creator, Fellowes, picked 18 Stafford Terrace in Kensington, formerly the home of the famous Punch illustrator Linley Sambourne.

Ordinary denizens are also being given the opportunity to share their hidden highlights together with choosing their favourites from the best-known cultural attractions, the Evening Standards reports.

The paper is using a poll, the results of which will be used to champion London when Mayor Boris Johnson reveals his own vision for such cultural tourism in a few weeks time.

Currently, the majority of tourists go to the same 20 or so high-profile places to visit. However research has shown that tourists would like to explore areas off the beaten track to unearth a more “authentic” culture in the city.

London attracted almost 13.5 million visitors in the first nine months of last year, a 6% increase on the same period from the previous year. The final figure is expected to reach up to 19 million.

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