FROM THE SERIES: THE BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN LONDON
Apart from seeing the well known spots that London is famous for, what else is there to see I hear you ask? What are the other little known best places to visit in London?
Hidden, but in plain view is a palace of art and architecture. It is a little gem in London.
HIDDEN LONDON: LEIGHTON HOUSE MUSEUM
Photography above- credits: Will Pryce
Photography credit: Justin Barton
It looked like Morocco, but the location said Holland park. Pretty local for an escapade haha!
Leighton House Museum is a secret getaway, a portal of sorts like the secret wardrobe leading to Narnia. The kind that when you enter, one is transported into a totally different world. Well, that’s how I felt.
It’s about 10 minutes away from High street Kensington Tube, easy enough to get to, 5 mins from Holland Park. And undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in London.
I went armed in full explorer mode with a camera, sadly photography isn’t allowed. What a tragedy, I was envisioning all sorts of creative shots of this magnificent gem of a place. There was a bit of sneaky photography though with phones, (caught red handed) oops! You can take as many pics in the garden though, which is a lovely relaxing spot.
The museum have kindly given me some photo’s to share with you though! They also do art workshops for children in the garden. And there is a free tour (included in the ticket price) every Weds and Sunday at 3pm.
Story time: A little bit of history
In 1866 Lord Leighton made a space that became his private palace of art and architecture. It has middle eastern & victorian elements. An art and architecture lover’s heaven. The Arab Hall has thousands of 16th century middle eastern tiles collected by Lord Leighton on his middle eastern travels. Victorian columns, turkish carpets, & european art by Lord Leighton’s contemporaries grace the walls. This home is described as ‘a symphonic riot of colour and pattern‘. And it is exactly that.
The Arab hall, staircase & study were my favourites.
If you enter Lord Leighton’s study, & bedroom you’ll spot beautifully handwritten letters scattered on his desk. Some are written in french, & start with ‘Mon Cheri’, others in English. There are also many piles & rows of books, that look like they are hiding old secrets.
Lord Leighton’s study // Photography Credit: Justin Barton
I left feeling like I would have loved to meet Lord Leighton, & if I had the chance I would have interviewed him about his inspiration, amongst other things.
Check out Leighton house in London if you have time, it certainly is a little known secret spot in London that many don’t know about. You won’t regret it if you love a good treasure trove & architecture..
Let us know what recent discoveries you have made in the comments below.