London's Hidden Gems:
London has some wonderful hidden gems among their historical houses and extra ordinary art galleries. Often hidden away even from Londoners, they offer quirky, stunning, and often surprising collections.
Throughout the year Art Historical London offers a number of different Private Visits to many to these little known art collections and museums.
We also arrange private visits upon request, and you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss possible dates and requirements for you and your group.
Visit: Photo Gallery for photos of previous visits
Chelsea Physic Garden
London's oldest botanical garden, it was founded in 1673 in order to train apprentices in the use of medicinal plants. It has around 5,000 plants on display. There’s a book and gift shop, as well as a cafe overlooking the lawn.
66 Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4HS
Turner's house Sandycombe Lodge
Artist JMW Turner's former home in London's Twickenham has been shrunk to its original size, restored and reopened to the public.
Sandycombe Lodge, 40 Sandycoombe Road, St Margarets , Twickenham TW1 2LR
Khadambi Asalache’s house
Behind its unassuming Georgian frontage lies Khadambi Asalache's utterly unique and beautiful work of interior design mixing Islamic, English and African influences. 575 Wandsworth Road, London, was the home of Kenyan poet and civil servant Khadambi Asalache until his death in 2006.
575 Wandsworth Rd, London SW8 3JD
Viktor Wynd museum of curiosities
This museum or rather shop, and spiritual home of the esoterically minded Last Tuesday Society, is a Cabinet of Curiosities of shells, skulls, taxidermy specimens and assorted oddities.
11 Mare St, London E8 4RP
London's most magnificent eighteenth-century aristocratic palace. Built between 1756-1766 for John, first Earl Spencer, an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) it is London's finest surviving eighteenth-century town house.
27 St James's Pl, St. James's, London SW1A 1NR
Georgian building displaying 20th-century Italian art, from futurist to figurative works.
39A Canonbury Square, London N1 2AN
Handel House Museum
House where the composer Handel lived from 1723 until his death in 1759, and flat where Jimi Hendrix lived from July 1968 to March 1969.
Handel & Hendrix in London
25 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HB
Leighton House Museum
The former home of the painter Frederic, Lord Leighton, filled with Victorian art in extraordinary period interiors including this Arab Hall.
12 Holland Park Road, London W14 8LZ
The house, set on the top of Hampstead Heath, is best known for its important art collection, which includes works by Rembrandt (shown), Vermeer, Van Dyck, Hals, Gainsborough and Turner.
Hampstead Lane, Hampstead, NW3 7JR
Dorich House Museum
Dorich House is the former studio home of the Russian sculptor Dora Gordine and her husband the Hon. Richard Hare, a scholar of Russian art and literature. Alongside work completed at Dorich House from the mid-1930s are examples of her early paintings, drawings and sculptures, produced in Paris and south-east Asia from the late 1920s. Also on permanent display is an important collection of Russian art and artefacts, acquired by Gordine and Hare during their marriage.
67 Kingston Vale, SW15 3R
The Guildhall Art Gallery
Established in 1886 it houses a lovely collection of Victorian Art
Guildhall Yard, London EC2V 5AE
The Dennis Severs House
The house gives a breathtaking and an intimate portrait of the lives of a family of Huguenot silk-weavers from 1724 to the dawn of the 20th Century, with props, sounds and smells!
18 Folgate Street, Spitalfields, London E1 6BX
Emery Walker’s House
Emery Walker, friend and advisor to William Morris, lived in this riverside house for 30 years and it preserves the only authentic Arts and Crafts urban interior in Britain, with furniture, wallpapers, textiles and ceramics by Morris & Co, Philip Webb, William de Morgan, etc. Small, pretty garden.
7 Hammersmith Terrace, London, W6 9TS
The Petrie Museum
The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology houses an estimated 80,000 objects, making it one of the greatest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world. It illustrates life in the Nile Valley from prehistory through the time of the pharaohs, the Ptolemaic, Roman and Coptic periods to the Islamic period.
University College London, Malet Place, London WC1E 6BT
2 temple place
Neo-gothic mansion on the Embankment build for William Waldorf Astor. Astor had emigrated to England in 1891 and, as arguably the richest man in the world, he spared no expense on the work for Two Temple Place. Temporary exhibitions are run throughout the year.
2 Temple Pl, London WC2R 3BD
Damian Hirst's Pharmacy 2
Pharmacy 2 – Damien Hirst’s new restaurant in collaboration with Mark Hix – is open to visitors to the exhibitions during the day, and evening diners when the gallery is closed.
Newport Street, London SE11 6AJ
Southside House is a 17th-century house located on the south side of Wimbledon Common. It is Grade II listed Inside, the house contains many examples of 17th century furniture, and memorabilia connected to the Pennington family.
3-4 Woodhayes Rd, Wimbledon Common, London SW19 4RJ
Gallery A (National Gallery)
A staircase leads down from the museum's crowded main galleries to a doorway opening into the totally unexpected Gallery A. The paintings, dating from the 13th to the early 20th centuries, are hung in broadly chronological order; by its compact character the display emphasises the range and variety of the collection as a whole.
Only open on Wednesdays.
Also known as 'Number 1 London'. This London home of the first Duke of Wellington, it has one of the finest art collections in London, with paintings by Velazquez and Rubens among memorabilia of Wellington, and a wonderful collection of silver and porcelain.
149 Piccadilly, Hyde Park Corner, London W1J 7NT
Formerly the home of the neo-classical architect Sir John Soane, it showcases his eccentric collection of plaster casts, antiquities, paintings, and architectural oddities.
13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP
Home, and office, of the Lord Mayor of the City of London, it houses an amazing little collection of Dutch art of the 17th century.
City of London, Guildhall, London, EC2P 2EJ
Dulwich Picture Gallery
The world's first purpose-built public art gallery, founded in 1811, it houses a wonderful collection of Old Masters, far more manageable than the National Gallery!
Gallery Rd, London SE21 7AD
The Wallace Collection
Bequeathed to the nation in 1897, the Wallace Collection displays works collected by the Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace (son of the 4th Marquess) in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN
A museum specialising in the history of the English domestic interior, the museum shows typical middle-class living quarters in a succession of period rooms.
136 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8EA
Strawberry Hill House
Created by Horace Walpole in the 18th century, Strawberry Hill is internationally famous as Britain’s finest example of Georgian Gothic revival architecture.
268 Waldegrave Road, Twickenham, TW1 4ST
Old Operating Theatre
In the 1800s, the Old Operating Theatre was used as an operating space for the deathly sick interned at St. Thomas’s Hospital.
9a St. Thomas's St. London SE1 9RY
Museum of Brands
The Museum shows the development of brands, packaging and advertising through displays of more than 12,000 items of posters, toys, games, fashion and technology.
111-117 Lancaster Road
Notting Hill, London W11 1QT
Gallery for contemporary art, presenting work by largely unseen young artists.
Duke Of York's HQ, King's Rd, London SW3 4RY
The collection stretches from the early Renaissance into the 20th century, but is especially known for its incredible collection of Impressionist art.
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN
Fashion and Textile Museum
A centre celebrating clothing, jewellery and fabric design, founded by designer Zandra Rhodes.
83 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3XF
the Wellcome Collection
The collection explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future.
183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE
Syon House is the lavish home of the Duke of Northumberland, built in the 1500s. Unlike other historical houses, Syon House is completely and extensively furnished, filled from top to bottom with beautiful historical pieces telling the story of the house and its inhabitants.
Syon Park, Brentford TW8 8JF
The UK's first permanent public space dedicated to diversity in the visual arts. The RIBA award-winning building was designed by David Adjaye OBE and houses an art gallery and community hub with a library, cafe and bookshop, which also hosts talks.
Rivington Place, London EC2A 3BA
Claimed by the National Trust to be "unique in Europe as the most complete survival of 17th century fashion and power".
Ham St, Richmond-upon-Thames TW10 7RS
The house and grounds were created by Georgian architect and designer William Kent and his friend and patron Lord Burlington, the third Earl. Influenced by their travels on the Grand Tour, they rejected the showy, Baroque style, fashionable in England, in favour of a simpler, symmetrical design based on the classical architecture of Italy, creating one of the earliest English examples of what is called “neo-Palladian” style.
Burlington Lane, Chiswick, London W4 2RP
William Morris Society
The Society’s small museum is in the coach house and basement rooms of Kelmscott House. William Morris lived at Kelmscott House from 1878 until his death in 1896 and the main section of the house is still a home today.
The coach house is now our seasonal exhibition space. We hold events and exhibitions of work by Morris and those inspired by him.
Kelmscott House, 26 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9TA
Notice these little secrets on your next cultural outing!
London in works of art
Anything missing? Please let us know! We would love to hear from you:
You can book a visit to any of these little known collections and hidden gems
for a group of 2: £60 p.p.; 3-6: £40; 7-15: £20 p.p. excluding entry fees,
by emailing us at email@example.com