Top 5: Hidden Gems on The Strand

  1. Home
  2. London
  3. Arts & Culture
  4. Top 5: Hidden Gems on The Strand

Unearthing the Strand's best-kept secrets: Dive into our list of the top 5 hidden gems on the Strand that you otherwise may miss...

This mile-long stretch isn't just about business suits and briefcases – it's a playground of hidden delights waiting to be uncovered. From secret cafes to tucked-away boutiques, The Strand has more than a few tricks up its sleeve for those with time to kill in the area...

The Maughan Library

Kings College

Chancery Ln, London WC2A 1LR

The Maughan Library stands as a testament to both knowledge and confusion – after all, it's been tongue-tying Kings College London students since the university took hold of its halls in 2001. Wander down Chancery Lane just off The Strand, and you'll stumble upon this neo-Gothic marvel, a true bibliophile's delight! Once the formidable stronghold of the Public Record Office, affectionately known as the 'strong-box of the Empire', this 19th-century gem is a sight to behold. Designed by the esteemed Sir James Pennethorne and erected in 1851, the Maughan Library boasts more than just its imposing facade. Venture inside to discover a dodecagonal reading room reminiscent of the British Museum's grandeur and a medieval chapel transformed into a space for showcasing the library's prized collections. Maughan Library's doors are open to all from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 10 pm.

10 Adam Street

British Listed Buildings

10 Adam St, London WC2R 0DE

Ah, the age-old game of political peek-a-boo continues as tourists flock to the infamous 10 Downing Street, only to be met with a deceptive doppelgänger just a stone's throw away at 10 Adam Street! Nestled snugly off The Strand, this cheeky imposter has been causing confusion and camera clicks galore, thanks to its uncanny resemblance to the Prime Minister's abode. While Downing Street may boast regal lions and reinforced steel, 10 Adam Street offers a more pedestrian charm, complete with a bog-standard gold knocker and a lock that actually functions – sorry, Larry the cat, you're out of a job here! So, if you're itching for that perfect prank picture or just fancy a bit of political parody, swing by 10 Adam Street any day of the week and strike a pose – after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

The Carting Lane Sewer Lamp

Look Up London

Carting Ln, London WC2R 0DW

This lamp might look like your run-of-the-mill street light, but don't be fooled by its unassuming facade. Designed by the ingenious Joseph Webb in the late 19th century, this lamp wasn't just about shedding light on the streets; it was a pioneering solution to the city's stinky dilemma. Powered by a concoction of sewer gases and town gas, its flickering flame bravely battled the noxious odors wafting up from London's underbelly. Although the lamp's original purpose may have fizzled out over time, its enduring presence on Carting Lane – affectionately dubbed "Farting Lane" by locals – serves as a quirky reminder of London's fragrant past.

Aldwych Tube Station

Living London History

London WC2B 4NA

Originally opened in 1907 as Strand station before its rebranding to Aldwych in 1915, this subterranean marvel boasts a colorful history that's as varied as its filmography. From sheltering Londoners during the Blitz to starring roles in blockbusters like "Sherlock" and "Atonement," this disused station has seen it all – including the occasional homemade bomb explosion! Despite its closure in 1994 due to lackluster foot traffic, Aldwych remains a time capsule waiting to be explored...

"Roman Baths"

National Trust

5 Strand Ln, Aldwych, London WC2R 1AP

Tucked away just off the Strand on Surrey Street lies a quirky relic of London's past – the enigmatic Strand Lane "Roman Baths." Despite its name, this historical gem's true origins remain shrouded in mystery, with some claiming Roman roots while others argue for a Tudor lineage. Regardless of its murky past, these baths have certainly made a splash throughout history, once renowned for their purported cleanliness and refreshing spring water. Today, visitors can catch a glimpse of this intriguing piece of London history by peering through a murky window on Surrey Street or by arranging a visit through the National Trust.