When most people think of London, images of the Tower of London, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace immediately come to mind; however, London is a city rich in history and culture, and it hides some lesser-known treasures. Discovering less popular tourist attractions in the city of London can feel as difficult as answering questions like, “What is this bump on the side of my foot?” Luckily, we’re here to help! For the intrepid traveler looking to stray from the beaten path, here are five of London’s most underrated gems that are sure to enrich your British adventure.

1. The Grant Museum of Zoology

Tucked away in the University College London, The Grant Museum of Zoology might be London’s best-kept secret. This historic collection, founded in 1828, is home to a staggering array of skeletons, taxidermy, and specimens, including the bones of the now-extinct quagga and dodo. With over 68,000 specimens, it’s one of the most valuable natural history collections in the United Kingdom.

2. Little Venice

A short walk from Paddington Station, this peaceful and quaint area offers a calm retreat from bustling London. Here, you can enjoy a canal walk, take a boat down to the lively Camden Market, or simply relax by the water’s edge. The picturesque setting, with its charming cafes and narrowboats, is a local favorite yet often missed by tourists.

3. The Dennis Severs’ House

Prepare to step back in time at The Dennis Severs’ House in Spitalfields. This “still-life drama” provides an evocative and unforgettable experience as you wander through a series of rooms, each designed to evoke a moment in the life of a fictional family of Huguenot silk weavers. It’s a unique sensory experience that captures historical London.

4. The Leighton House Museum

Nestled in the heart of Kensington, the Leighton House Museum was the former home and private studio of the Victorian artist Frederic Leighton. The house is renowned for its stunning architecture, intricate mosaics, and impressive art collection. It’s a serene space that offers a glimpse into the aesthetics and inspirations of a bygone era.

5. The Monument to the Great Fire of London

Completed in 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London, The Monument stands at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill. For a small fee, visitors can climb the 311 steps to the top and enjoy panoramic views of London — a fantastic alternative to the often-crowded London Eye. Don’t forget to pick up a certificate to prove you’ve made the ascent!