Teddington: The Perfect Place to Explore London’s Weird and Wonderful Side

Just outside of London’s skyscraper-clad skyline, where a different type of light shines, Teddington stands. Historically linked to Middlesex but a part of London’s Richmond upon Thames since 1965, Teddington is ideally placed. Outside of the city’s shadows but close enough to access its best bits, it’s little wonder house prices are some of the highest in the UK, even with Heathrow on its doorstep. Of course, the area itself is home to some fantastic attractions. Each year Teddington Together works to ensure there’s more than a festive feeling in the air. From local traders and Christmas stalls to the big lights switch-on, December is always a great time to be in Teddington.

Leaving Teddington…

If it’s not a touch of magic in the air brought about by Christmas, it’s the romantic vibes offered by hotspots such as Richmond Park. In short, there’s plenty to do in Teddington. However, with central London and its wonders so close by, it would be a mistake not to sample its delights. Indeed, with treats available all along the banks of the Thames, a stroll can uncover some hidden gems. For example, you can literally walk The Line between Queen Elizabeth Park and the O2. A unique collection of public art installations placed along the Meridian Line, this free attraction is one of London’s many quirky sides.

If it’s action you crave, how about a casino night on the Thames? With online gaming in vogue since the early noughties, you can now jump on the bandwagon by setting off on a casino cruise. Organised by Turks Launches, the nights are designed to capture the thrill of gaming against the odds. But why a casino cruise? Well, we all know that James Bond was one for cards and roulette. However, since 2000, online gaming has grown in popularity. Today, the Gambling Commission reports that online casino sites generate more than £5.3 million each year.

With the internet opening the industry to new demographics, the demand for casino action both online and offline has grown. Indeed, Betway Casino notes, blackjack offers “tangible drama” as it can be played for stakes ranging from 50p all the way up to £10,000. Online players can also try a wide range of variants from European blackjack to live dealer Atlantic City games and that’s inspired offline operators to follow suit. By taking a Turks Launches Thames casino cruise, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy these blackjack variants onboard a specially adapted boat. After booking a ticket and donning your finest outfit, you can play blackjack, roulette and more under the tutelage of expert croupiers as you sail along the iconic River Thames.

See the Bright Side of London

OK, so doing something on the Thames sounds appealing but you fancy doing something more active than riffling casino chips. How about jumping in a kayak? Even if you’re a complete novice, these river-bound tours are a great way to see the city from a different perspective. Kayaking London offers tours that take you to Big Ben and back in multi-person kayaks. To make things even more impressive, you can take to the water at night. As famous landmarks such as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament light up, you’ll glide past and learn a thing or two courtesy of your guide. For £49 per person, the trips are a bargain. However, be prepared for your arms to ache a little as you’ll be paddling on the water for over an hour.

For a truly illuminating experience, East London’s God’s Own Junkyard is a must. A family-run business that literally shines a light on London’s past, this gallery is unlike anything you’ll have ever seen before. From old movie props to neon lights that once adorned the capital’s curry mile, there’s almost too many unusual artefacts here. In fact, to ensure you don’t burn out, there’s a coffee shop on site. Known as the Rolling Scones Café, this little addition only makes the fact this attraction is free a little bit sweeter.

The Perfect End to a Quirky London Experience

If you don’t like the idea of being blinded by the lights, maybe you should go underground. No, we’re not talking about a ride on the Jubilee Line. Take a trip to Fitzrovia and you’ll find the Attendant. Arguably the most unique café in the world, this miniature coffee stop was once a public toilet. Located below street level, the entrance looks almost the same way it did during the Victorian era.

The only difference now is that you’ll find streams of freshly brewed coffee flowing through the place instead of, well, you get the picture. In fact, the Attendant could be the perfect end to your weird and wonderful tour of London’s quirky attractions. Whether you decide to indulge in some art, play the odds or see the bright lights, there’s plenty to do in London and it’s all just a stone’s throw from Teddington.

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