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Something different in London

After ticking London’s must-see sites off your bucket list, wave goodbye to the crowds and instead discover a different side to the city. Open your mind and you’ll quickly discover there are many layers to life in the giant onion that is the British capital. Kick back with a pint of craft beer or a freshly roasted artisanal coffee and plot your alternative adventure through guerrilla street art, independent attractions and eye-opening tours that have something to teach even the most seasoned traveller.

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Show-stopping street art

While not technically legal, street art is a big part of London’s urban landscape. The city’s walls showcase an ever-changing canvas of human emotion, with works ranging from the beautiful and the inspiring to the provocative and the political. Keep your eyes peeled to spot pieces by famous names such as guerrilla artist Banksy.

A guide to London street art

Independent cinemas

For all its charms, London’s weather isn’t always peachy, so when the clouds open, duck inside an independent cinema. The city’s quirky picture houses offer something different to the flashy chains that dominate much of the UK. From historic venues showing arthouse movies to innovative spaces screening modern flicks, each offers a memorable experience, not to mention a warm and cosy shelter from the rain.

Five of London's best independent cinemas

Craft beer

A few years ago, London may not have been considered the craft beer capital of Europe. But nowadays, the local craft beer scene is booming, thanks to an influx of independent breweries crafting flavoursome new concoctions. From brewery tours and dedicated bottle shops to craft beer pubs and festivals, there are plenty of ways to get involved and sample the city’s best suds.

London craft beer: the city's best suds

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Alternative walking tours

Instead of taking a branded bus tour, explore another side of the city with a themed walking tour hosted by a local expert. A whole variety of eye-opening options awaits visitors, from a Charles Dickens history lesson to an artistic adventure through Shoreditch and even a ‘Beatles Magical Mystery Tour’ that goes far beyond Abbey Road and its famous zebra crossing.

Five of London's best walking tours

Behind the scenes

Everybody knows Wimbledon and the Royal Albert Hall, but how many people have gone behind the scenes at these iconic venues? At once educational and entertaining, backstage tours offer a fresh perspective on many of London’s most famous attractions, lifting the curtain on a world that many will never be fortunate enough to experience.

London behind the scenes

Artisanal coffee

When in need of a caffeinated pick-me-up, avoid the chains and head to one of London’s artisanal coffee houses instead. Many independent cafés across the city grind and roast their own beans, creating delicious blends that often win awards at the annual London Coffee Festival. For something a little harder, many independent roasters serve delicious coffee cocktails, too.

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Image credits:

Friends walking in Shoreditch © iStock: ViewApart

Houses in Shoreditch © iStock: Alija

Artisan coffee © iStock: RyanJLane

Royal Albert Hall © iStock: sharrocks

Beer tasting © iStock: Instants

Filmreel © iStock

Grafitti tunnel in London © iStock: AndreAguirre