Anyone looking to get a taste of what Victorian London was once like, they're in luck. While the day-to-day smog of what was once London in the 19th century (thankfully) is no longer an issue, and the case of unsanitary sidewalks has long since been remedied, all that's left are landmarks that beautifully display the best parts of this Victorian-era city. Some people might visit modern-day London for its new-age hustle and bustle but there are some of us who prefer a glimpse into its decorative and elegant past.
In order to do this, there are a number of places that travelers might want to consider visiting throughout the city. Anything from historic buildings to open gardens still holds the magic and charm that was upheld through the 19th century, and it's easy enough to find if you know where to look.
London's Historic Landmark Buildings
From restored buildings to museums, London has plenty of old places where guests can walk in and practical smell the age of the building. There's nothing like walking into a room and knowing that's it's something special; as though a visitor has literally stepped back in time. That's the feeling that these places will evoke, and it's worth adding them to any itinerary for someone who wants to observe a piece of true Victorian-era London.
Leighton House Museum
Attraction: Gives guests the chance to step back in time in the house that Frederic Leighton, the most famous Victorian artist in London, once lived and created incredible artwork.
- Open: 10 AM - 5 PM, Wednesday - Monday (closed Tuesdays)
- Address: Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road London, W14 8LZ, UK
Ragged School Museum
Attraction: A truly impressive reconstruction of several school rooms in London, as well as an East End Kitchen dating back to 1900. Allows guests the chance to step into the life of a child in poverty during the Victorian Era.
- Open: Wednesdays & Thursdays from 10 AM - 5 PM, and every first Sunday 2 PM - 5 PM
- Address: Ragged School Museum, 46-50 Copperfield Road, E3 4RR
Willam Morris Gallery
Attraction: An art gallery that's filled with interior design work inspired by, and from, the 19th century.
- Open: Tuesday - Sunday, 10 AM - 5 PM
- Cost: Free
- Address: Lloyd Park, Forest Road, Walthamstow, London, E17 4PP
London's Parks Are Home To Victorian Gardens
Anyone familiar with the history of the Victorian Era is likely also familiar with the fact that gardens were a significant part of life in the 19th century. This was the time when poison gardens, such as Alnwick, were created, as well as elaborate, colorful, and bold gardens that adorned lawn spaces. Throughout the city, many of these green spaces still exist and hold true to what was once planted there during the 19th century. If anything is bound to survive the test of time and come back year after year, it's plant life - and these sporting gardens do not disappoint. During the 19th century, these were known as 'pleasure gardens' due to the fact that many would take leisurely strolls through them as a time to reflect throughout the day. Some of the garden's landmarks were tragically destroyed during World War II but a number of them still exist in larger green spaces.
This park was first created in 1845 and was actually the first that was intended to be open to the public or, as they were known back then, the common people. Located in East London, it was believed that fresh air from a park such as this would help to improve the health of many, as the area was known for being somewhat of a slum.
- Notable features: Gothic Baroness Burdett Coutts Drinking Fountain circa 1862, farmer's market on Sundays, park café, and pubs
Crystal Palace Park
This park was created a bit later in 1954 and was home to the relocated Crystal Palace. The green space is home to many interesting features that are quite unexpected of a park today, and denote a unique sense of wonder and awe for anyone happening to stroll through.
- Notable features: a maze, concert bowl, several lakes, a full-range scale of dinosaur models
Though not a park, the Magnificent Seven still speak to the Victorian Era of London - with a slightly darker undertone. This term refers to the seven massive cemeteries that were created in the city during a time when disposing of the dead had become problematic. These cemeteries were created out of an abundance of need when overflow happened at the local parish cemeteries. While this is a somewhat morbid thought, the cemeteries - especially the Kensal Rise and Highgate Cemetery - are home to some incredible Gothic Victorian features.
- Notable features: Neoclassical and Gothic sculptures and grave markers