With an end to the lockdown in sight, many Londoners will be gearing up for some kind of normality in the next few months. And that means heading back out onto the streets of the capital to enjoy everything this great city has to offer.
There's always something new to discover in London, whether you've lived here all your life, are relatively new to the area, or sit somewhere in-between. We've put this guide together, looking at 14 places in London you probably didn't know about. So read on, and discover parts of the capital you didn't even know existed.
1) Epping Forest
Where is it? Erm, in Epping, East London/Essex
London is full of parks, heaths and open spaces, but forests? Like, actual forests? Get out! It just so happens that East London isn't just a place for Olympic legacies, hipster vibes and majestic skyscrapers. It also provides 8,000 acres of ancient oak trees, peacocks, hundreds of flower species and great cycle routes in the form of Epping Forest.
2) Eel Pie Island
Where is it? Near Twickenham, South West London
Discover an elusive and secluded island on the River Thames that was once the venue for David Bowie and Rolling Stones concerts. And while the partying may have stopped, today it's still filled with artists who live in the quaint cottages. Twice a year Eel Pie Island is open to the public for the Open Studios event.
3) Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Where is it? In Neasden, North London
Otherwise known as the Neasden Temple, Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is the largest Hindu temple outside of India. There are some spectacular buildings in London, but this one has to be right up there with the best of them. It really is that magnificent and features over 2,000 tonnes of Italian marble.
4) The Little Yellow Door
Where is it? Notting Hill
There are no points for guessing that The Little Yellow Door sits behind a yellow door, but it sure is a place to have a great time sipping cocktails and chowing down tasty bites. Mix it with other guests while you kick back in this living-room style bar in one of London's trendiest neighbourhoods.
5) Ruislip Lido
Where is it? Ruislip
Who said you need to go to Brighton or Southend to get a full beach experience? Ruislip Lido is as close as you'll get to an actual beach in London with its soft sands and swimming area. Make a sandcastle, take a dip and catch some serious rays without even leaving the capital.
6) Wilton's Music Hall
Where is it? Whitechapel, East London
Did you know that the oldest surviving music hall in the world is located in London? Wilton's has been going strong since it first opened its doors over 160 years ago. It still has its original cast-iron pillars, balcony and decor. Get a slice of history by visiting Wilton's.
7) Dinosaurs at Crystal Palace Park
Where is it? Crystal Palace, South London
Welcome to Jurassic Park… no, wait a minute. Welcome to Crystal Palace Park, one of London's most intriguing open spaces. From mazes to ruins and a park farm, Crystal Palace Park pretty much has the lot. But the most interesting part is, without doubt, the sculptures of dinosaurs, which have been a presence since 1854.
8) The Walkways under the Thames
Where is it? Greenwich, South London
First opened in 1902, the Walkways under the Thames links Greenwich to the Isle of Dogs and is also one of London's eeriest places. Around 1.5 million Londoners use the walkway each year to go between Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs, even though it looks like something out of a ghost tale.
9) Syon House
Where is it? Brentford, West London
Discover 600 years of history at Syon House, a former aristocratic home of the Percy family. The house has art to admire, and it has a park and gardens that feel like you're wandering around the countryside. And of course, we can't forget about the classical interiors, which really make Syon House stand out.
10) Kyoto Gardens
Where is it? Holland Park, West London
The next time you take a stroll around Holland Park, make sure you stop by Kyoto Gardens to admire this Japanese ornamental garden. There are plenty of colourful flowers on show, plus the garden is super calming and a great place to lose a few hours unwinding.
11) God's Own Junkyard
Where is it? Walthamstow, East London
We're big fans of God's Own Junkyard, a mecca of neon lights. Located in Walthamstow, this hidden secret is full of quirks and a one-of-a-kind place in the capital. You might even find a neon gem or two for your home during your visit to this uber-cool East London spot.
12) Ancient Market Place
Where is it? Kingston-upon-Thames
The destination for Kington's fairs and festivals, Ancient Market Place is a bustling hotspot for food, shopping and history. It dates back to the 13th century but underwent a makeover in 2014 to add a touch of modern flair.
13) The Garden at 120
Where is it? Fenchurch Street
Get your cameras at the ready to capture some seriously good views of London at The Garden at 120. Located in Fenchurch Street, it's free to enter and offers iconic views of The Gherkin, The Shard and The Walkie Talkie Building. If you're looking for a few more Instagram followers, The Garden at 120 is the place to be.
14) Alice Through the Looking Glass
Where is it?
Head to Cecil Court in Covent Garden to visit Alice Through the Looking Glass, a quaint little store full of Alice in Wonderland-inspired collectables. There are framed illustrations, Victorian top hats, chess pieces and much more. A must-visit if you're an Alice in Wonderland fan, or just like the kooky and quirky.
London is always ready to throw up something new, and you can enjoy a surprise in the city even if you've lived here your entire life. From charming parks to quirky shops, the capital has something for everyone, and you can look forward to seeing it all once the lockdown lifts, and we're encouraged to explore this great city again.