Visits to national museums and landmarks may seem the obvious path to connecting with London’s present and the past that it was built upon, but there are lesser-known parts of the city that will allow you to become more intimately acquainted with its history and culture. The Telegraph‘s In the Know section, inspired by the paper’s partnership with American Express UK, shares insider knowledge on how to find London’s hidden gems.
If you’re looking for a quick stop at a quirky location to kick-start a day of touring London, then head for Little Compton Street. Dead in the center of the Charing Cross Road lies an astonishing view of the city’s past. Here you can actually peer down through a grille and see road signs for Little Compton Street, a now vanished road that sits well below ground level. The road hasn’t been used (or seen) for over a hundred years and stands as a fascinating snapshot of an earlier London.
Keeping things subterranean, beneath the vibrant borough of Camden there’s an extensive network of passages and catacombs first built in the 19th century. Running from Primrose Hill to Camden Lock, you can go on a guided tour of these intriguing former stables and canal excavations and experience a rarely seen part of the city’s depths.
Of course, we shouldn’t forget that history is still being made in this living, breathing city. If you want to keep things more contemporary (or just above ground), there are a number of fun and engaging tours of modern street art to enjoy. Passionate experts guide you around the latest works offering entertaining facts and anecdotes along the way, allowing you to appreciate this emerging art form and its place within London’s cityscape.
If you fancy a spot of urban exploration this year, then opting to get a credit card with American Express could help to make the whole experience even more rewarding. The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card enables you to earn exclusive membership reward points on virtually every purchase you make, which can then be redeemed for luxury rewards including flights, hotel stays and more.