11 places in London that feel like you’re not in London - including Kew Gardens and Little Venice

If you can’t afford a trip abroad this year, why not give one of these London hotspots a try this weekend
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When it comes to London people expect the high-rise buildings like the Shard, historic buildings like St Paul’s Cathedral and shopping galore on Oxford Street to top lists of things to do for tourists. But if you’re a Londoner who’s craving escapism from city life it may be closer than you think.

If you can’t afford to jet off to somewhere fancy this year because of the cost of living crisis, why not explore what’s on your doorstep? There are hundreds of hidden gems across London where you will feel 1,000 miles away from the hustle and bustle.

If you feel like you’re in need of a change of scenery this week, head to one of these places to give you the feeling that you’re in another country. And London’s foodie scene is also not one to miss, so why not try a bite of a new type of cuisine while you’re at it?

11 places in London that feel like you’re not in London

Little Venice

Where: Crompton Street, London W2 1ND

As the name suggests, this picturesque canal mimics the famous Italian waterways. You might not be able to grab a ride on a gondola here but it is certainly worth checking out on a sunny day.

If you fancy a day out, why not pay a visit to the stunning Kew Gardens? Explore the huge greenhouses and unique plants that the gardens have to offer.And of course, have a wander around the Japanese Gardens to pretend you’re in a land far away.

Little Venice, LondonLittle Venice, London
Little Venice, London

Fancy a trip to Budapest’s thermal baths? Well, you’ve got some on your doorstep. The Porchester Spa is London’s oldest Spa and offers access to two steam rooms, Turkish Baths (Tepidarium, Caldarium and Laconium), a sauna, a plunge pool and relaxation lounge. There is a café on site providing hot and cold beverages, sandwiches and snacks

One for the adrenaline junkies. Craving a trip to New Zealand to abseil down mountains and white water raft through rocky rivers? Well, look no further than Lee Valley White Water Centre.

China Town

For a change of culture without heading out of the country, head to China Town to taste authentic Chinese cuisine and see the traditional Chinese decorations that line this part of the city.

China Town, LondonChina Town, London
China Town, London

Where: Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, London SW13 9WT

Right on London’s doorstep, the Wetland Centre gives the impression you’re in the depths of the Norfolk broads with 105 acres of beautiful blue and green spaces. Look out for wildlife and get close to nature at this stunning beauty spot.

Where: Dukes Meadows Golf And Tennis, Dan Mason Drive, London W4 2SH

Missed out on the annual ski trip this year? Then why not treat yourself to a day trip to enjoy the snowy sport? It might not be the Swiss Alps but at least you have the chance to practise the epic sport.

Where: Inverforth Close, Hampstead, London NW3 7EX

Stroll through Hampstead Hill and feel like you’re on a Mediterranean getaway. Enjoy the leafy gardens and explore the Pergola which was once a playground for the rich and famous in the early twentieth century.

Where: 35B Panton Street, London SW1Y 4EA

To get the feeling that you’re in the depths of Tokyo, visit the Japan Centre in London. Pick up some Japanese groceries and why not try to cook a Japanese dish yourself or try out their assortment of sushi made the authentic way?