Central London hotel is the ideal base for exploring the capital

Love London but done all the sights? The Strand Palace Hotel has the solution with its 10 top suggestions for discovering a different side to the capital.

The Art Deco hotel is known for being one of the best-priced independent hotels in central London, making it the ideal base for a city break. A double room starts from £117 per room per night.

Top 10 tips for discovering secret London:

  1. The Quirky London tour from Insider London (www.insider-london.co.uk) reveals an alternative history to some of the city’s most famous locations: the strange stories behind Covent Garden, the misdesigned lions in Trafalgar Square, and a visit to the smallest Police station in Britain. £18pp (minimum two people) to join a 90-minute group tour. Book in advance.
  2. The Coach and Horses pub on Greek St is infamous as a venue for boozy media lunches, but few people know about the vintage-inspired tearoom upstairs. Soho’s Secret Tea Room (www.sohossecrettearoom.co.uk) serves up traditional afternoon, cream and Champagne teas to a soundtrack of 1940s jazz and swing.
  3. One of the largest parks in the City of London, Postman’s Park is way off the tourist Radar. Created from the burial yards of three churches, just north of St Paul’s Cathedral, it is bordered by Little Britain, King Edward Street and Aldersgate Street/St Martin’s Le Grand. Just don’t ask why the ground is elevated above the surrounding streets… suffice to say they ran out of space.
  4. Alternative London launched its East London Markets Tour this March (www.alternativeldn.co.uk). Led by locals, the Sunday tour guides visitors around the best markets and shops in the East End, stopping for a street-food lunch and rounding off with a drink in a local pub. £10pp, three to four hours, including shopping discounts.
  5. Perfect for gallery lovers who feel the gaps in their art history, Moleskine’s London Painting Trail (www.nationalgallery.co.uk) is like having an art expert in your pocket. Packed with information on seven of the capital’s most prestigious art collections, it suggests and explains three must-see works from each and includes maps and pages for notes. Price £12.50.
  6. The Prince Charles Cinema (www.princecharlescinema.com), between Leicester Square and Chinatown, has long been the haunt of London’s film-lovers. It shows reruns of favourite flicks, with tickets starting at just £1.50.
  7. Practise your swing in the urban landscape at EC2’s City Golf Club (www.citygolfclubs.com), where six state-of-the-art simulators will transport keen golfers to a course of their choice – including St Andrews and Valderrama – with the option of 2D video analysis. And it has the City’s only outdoor putting green.
  8. Catch a recording of a live BBC TV or radio show for free (www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours) at either the Shaw Theatre or the BBC Radio Theatre, both centrally located. From comedy, through current affairs, to concerts, you could be part of broadcasting history.
  9. One of London’s most iconic concert venues, the Royal Festival Hall, puts on free talks before some of its Philharmonia Orchestra performances, offering insights into its orchestra and performers (www.philharmonia.co.uk). Book in advance, concert tickets may be required for some talks.
  10. Download the Spotted by Locals app for Android and iPhone or check out the online guide to London (www.spottedbylocals.com). This handy resource is regularly updated by the city’s own residents with tips on where to go and what to do. Search by activity theme or allow it to plot suggestions on a map, so you can see what’s going on in your current location.

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Notes to editors