Are you looking for a slightly different view of London?
If riding in black cabs and queuing at Madame Tussauds is not your thing, why not try looking below the surface of this teeming metropolis.
You’ll discover a hidden world of secret tunnels, terrifying tombs, elaborate train routes and ancient cave systems.
1. Cabinet War Rooms
Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Blitz with a trip down into the historic Cabinet War Rooms.
This warren of bunkers under Whitehall was the headquarters for Britain’s war effort during WW2. Start by exploring the War Cabinet Room from where Winston Churchill planned Britain’s next move.
You can actually see the chair (complete with scratch marks on its arms) which he used during highly stressful meetings.
In the Map Room, nothing has been changed since 16 Aug 1945, when the lights were finally switched off. Wartime maps, colour-coded telephones and even rationed sugar cubes, remain exactly as they were when the war ended.
2. Chislehurst Caves
This network of 8000-year-old caves in the greater London area is an unexpected treat. The caves, which extend for 20 miles, were initially created as a result of flint and chalk mining.
You can take a lamp-lit tour deep into this labyrinth and explore the caves’ varied history; from their origins as mines to their subsequent use as an ammunition’s depot and then as air raid shelter during WW2.
You can read more and buy tickets here.
3. The London Bridge Experience / London Tombs
This spine-chilling historical tour takes you through the early days of London.
Begin by discovering the most haunted bridge in the world – London Bridge – then you’ll be taken through Roman, Viking and Victorian times and you can watch Queen Boudicca defeat the Romans in battle and see the great fire of London erupt before your very eyes.
For a really frightful time, you’ll need to go deeper underground into the depths of the London Tombs. This former plague pit has been given a Hollywood inspired makeover and now boasts state-of-the-art special effects and live actors, to bring London’s bloody history to life.
Although The London Bridge Experience doesn’t have any age restrictions, all children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. The London Tombs are not suitable for children under 11.
4. Tour of the London underground
You’re sure to have a renewed respect for the tube after this two hour tour of the world’s oldest metro system.
This feat of engineering has been transporting passengers for 150 years and you’ll be able to see its original plans along with steam engines that were first used.
Along your route, watch out for the ghost station at the British Museum and discover the secrets behind the original hand-dug tunnels.
5. Brunel’s underground tunnel
Discover how Isambard Kingdom Brunel helped his father Marc build one of the world’s first tunnels under a river. The Thames tunnel, which is 170 years old, was originally designed to allow people and horses to cross the Thames without obstructing the passing ships.
Once known as the eighth wonder of the world, the tunnel was reopened in 2010 as part of the London Overground. You can now descend into The Grand Entrance Hall at the tunnel and even discover a secret chamber. Tours can be organized through the Brunel Museum.
Plan Your Trip to London
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Booking accommodation in London
- Check out the properties available in London with booking.com You get free cancellation on most rooms and a best price guarantee.
Booking flights to London
- Skyscanner is a comparison website that searches millions of flights. Once you find your best deal, book directly through the airline (no extra fees).
- Scott’s Cheap Flights is an amazing resource for finding cheap flights
Browse more tours of London
Save Money on London Attractions
- The London Sightseeing Pass: Our favorite of the tourist discount cards is the London Sightseeing Pass for their flexibility and diversity. They offer entry to top London attractions, plus quirky local tours, and discounts on shopping and eating out. See more information and get your pass here.
- The London Pass By GoCity: gives you free entry to 60+ top London attractions, Hop on and Off sightseeing tour, and fast track passes at popular London attractions. Get your London Pass here.
Check out our other London posts:
- Things to Do in London
- London Travel Tips
- Arriving in London Alone and Without Any Money
- 5 of the best accommodation options in London from budget to luxury
- Why you should plan a London vacation
- Is the London Eye worth it?
- 21 Places to visit in London
Have you explored London’s underground before? What do you recommend?