When you’re stuck on the Underground with nothing but a suited, sweaty back to look at, you just have to remember that you live in a city that flaunts these magical places. And, all you Central Line Cinderellas – you will go to the ball!
1. Strawberry Hill House
This flawless white building looks like something out of our wildest fairytale dreams, but Strawberry Hill House is, in fact, Twickenham. It was constructed by Horace Walpole (the son of the UK’s first Prime Minister, FYI) in the 18th Century and is one of Britain’s finest examples of Georgian Gothic revival architecture.
268 Waldegrave Rd, Twickenham TW1 4ST
2. Battersea Park Peace Pagoda
The Peace Pagoda, which was completed in 1985, claims a gorgeous Thames side spot in Battersea Park and will be a familiar sight to SW London runners. An enchanting fact about this monument – every morning a orange-robe clad Buddhist monk takes a ritual walk from his temple to the pagoda. If you’re passing at this time, you may well catch the sound of the soft beating of his drum.
Battersea Park, London SW11 4NJ
3. Horniman Museum and Gardens
The Coombe Cliff Conservatory at the Horniman Museum is simply begging to hold a royal fairy tale style ball under its roof. The dazzling amount of light and amazing high ceilings are enough to wow at any make-believe affair. Although the conservatory has only been in the Horniman grounds for around 27 years, the structure itself was originally built in 1894 in the Horniman family home in Croydon. It must have taken a serious amount of fairy dust to move the building over.
100 London Rd, London SE23 3PQ
4. Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Pick up your jaw from the floor. This astonishing Hindu temple is, in fact, in London. More commonly known as the Neasden Temple, it’s one of the biggest Hindu temples outside of India and was constructed entirely using traditional methods and materials. Made with 2,828 tonnes of Bulgarian limestone and 2,000 tonnes of Italian marble (all of which was hand carved in India before being assembled here), it is a truly awe-inspiring place that will leave you feeling instantly transported.
105 – 119 Brentfield Road, Neasden, London, NW10 8LD
5. Soho Square cottage
This cute little Tudor style house in the centre of Soho Square looks like its been taken straight out of something created by Disney. But you won’t find Snow White and her seven dwarves inside here, as the little cottage is now used as a gardener’s hut for storing tools. Although we would be interested in knowing how much rent would be. Prime location and all…
Soho Square, Soho, London W1D
6. Syon Park
To glimpse the gorgeous Great Conservatory within Syon Park, you will need to journey a little outside of central London. But what’s a great fairy tale without a heroic quest? This impressive glass structure was completed in 1827 and was the first of its kind – never before had metal and glass been used for construction on such a wide scale.
Syon Park, Brentford TW8 8JF
7. Ye Olde Mitre
You can imagine Rumpelstiltskin venturing into this lovely old pub for a cheeky pint. Ye Olde Mitre, now a Fuller’s pub, is tucked away behind a little alley near Hatton Garden. The original building was built in the 16th Century for the servants of the Bishops of Ely, making it one of the oldest pubs in London. A trunk of an old cherry, which Queen Elizabeth I is said to have once danced around, is preserved in the bar. Because Ye Old Mitre Tavern is in the heart of The City, it’s only open from Monday to Friday (because who in their right mind would go into the City at the weekend? Even for a nice pint).
1 Ely Pl, London EC1N 6SJ