London is a cosmopolitan city, a true cultural melting pot, and a place that surprises not only for its diversity but for the outdoor spaces, where Londoners have lunch, while others prefer to skate or ride horses.
I went to London on my finalists’ trip and to tell the truth I wasn’t very excited about the choice of destination, but it ended up surprising me a lot because of the life the city has, the freedom it offers to those who live there, and above all, for the mysteries.
I got to know the most emblematic spots. From the famous Big Ben to the wonderful Crown Jewels, passing through the fantastic entertainment area of Piccadilly Circus, whose movement and lights were stunning. I really wanted to see shows so acclaimed, like Cats, and I did. I also visited Tower Bridge and Westminster Palace and Abbey, I passed the Tower of London and I had a great time in Hyde Park and in amazing Madame Tussauds Museum. But what I really retained, were the details that go unnoticed. London is shrouded in a characteristic fog, that contains some of the secrets of this enthusiastic city. I can tell you quietly in your ear, some of the best kept, that this city showed me…
1. The Underground Street
What if a street just disappears?
Well, in mysterious London, a street seems to have disappeared, it is not clear why. It is on Charing Cross Road and the story is divided into several inexplicable versions.
In order for the Charing Cross Road area to be created, “Little Compton Street”, the name given to the east section of Old Compton Street, which connected the old part of the city with a new one, would have to disappear. And it happened…
It is said that in the construction of Charing Cross Road, the Metropolitan invaded “Little Compton Street”, which led to the street being buried under the new road.
To see what I am saying, go through the intersection of Old Compton Street and Charing Cross Road. There, you can lean over a grade of iron in the middle of the road and glimpse a hidden, forgotten and long-buried place, under the modern streets of London. Looking down you will see two signs, both with the inscription: “Little Compton Street”. Confusing, isn’t it?
In fact, the versions are multiplying… Some say that it is not a street, but that is part of the metro network built below the Charing Cross Road, for transporting services. The tunnels have similar signs and serve to guide the workers who carry out city maintenance. The signs placed in strategic places, would allow to walk through tunnels without losing the north. This is one version… The other, appeals more to imagination, simply saying that the street has disappeared thanks to modernisation of the city.
It is said that the upper part of the two boards may have been rescued from Little Compton Street, when the site was demolished. The board does indeed look old enough, but the contradiction is that the wall to which it is attached, does not look like a surviving wall from the old street, which supposedly escaped to the requalification of the area, around the year 1880.
In any case, the idea of a buried and forgotten street intrigues anyone. Many people kneel down in an attempt to observe the old street in the darkness of London’s underground. For me, the relevant question is to know what really happened.
2. Houses that do not exist
If you like mysteries or somewhat unusual facts, I advise to walk around Leinster Gardens, near Paddington and you will find something really strange. At first, it will be difficult to spot anything wrong on the street, but if you look carefully, you will find that houses 23 and 24 simply do not exist. Only the facade remains erect.
Why did this happen? History tells that when the London Underground appeared, it was necessary an open place for the smoke to be expelled, so that it did not enter the tunnels. The idea was also not to dismantle the style of the street whose urbanism is impeccable. Two of the houses in this place should be demolished because it was necessary. They paid two families to leave their houses. Then, the decision was to leave only the facade. Looking at the two houses behind you see that they have only one wall up. The tube goes through there, connecting Bayswater to Paddington.
An interesting curiosity is that these facades appears in the Sherlock Holmes series, in the third episode of the third season.
3. A Tour in Whitechapel
In this scary tour that lasts an hour and a half, the meeting point is in front of the Traders Gate souvenir shop, at number 35, Tower Hill.
Whitechapel is one of the most famous and mysterious places in London. Here you can learn more about the mysteries that plagued Whitechapel and visit the places where the serial killer, Jack the Ripper, murdered its victims.
I was in Whitechapel and it is a dark area, with brick-colored houses and an atmosphere that always seems too dark. There, it seems that the fog is always denser, and the mystery that surrounds it is so intense, that gives me shiver…
In August 1888, a man was walking down a dark street in this place, when he discovered the body of a woman, thus begins the story of one of the most enigmatic murders in History.
In the following months, at the same location, more women were attacked. The case still remains unsolved today and the culprit has never been found. On this tour you will be accompanied on foot by a guide who will take you through the East End, and to the places where the crimes occurred. The tour ends at 7:30 pm, near Liverpool Street station, and costs £14.94.
Discover more mysteries… go to London, will be worth it!