The Alternative London Guide Book: I Never Knew That About London


As someone who has now lived in London for over a year, I feel I definitely have strayed away from being a tourist when you finally find common background in a city that you can now call your home. However I often find myself still wanting to learn something new and visit museums and famous landmarks. The other week gazing upon the National Portrait Galleries array of London Guide Books I stumbled across ” I Never Knew That About London” it stood out to me as it was the only hardback book there but also it abandons the generic A to Z guide. I didn’t want the same recycled facts I wanted something new and fresh which Christopher Winn did perfectly.

IMG_9611Christopher Winn is an author specialising in his trivia of various cities and the United Kingdom, with his other books being:

  • I Never Knew That About England
  • I Never Knew That About Scotland
  • I Never Knew That About New York
  • And many more… Check them out here

As someone who is creative and likes to looks at objects from an aesthetic point of you, this book in on point the hard back book and the off white paper inside gives off the illusion of an old journal which will be on your side throughout the captivating journey of London. This is one of the reasons it stood out for me on the book shelf, as I am drawn to books from a visual point of view.

Whilst I recommend this book to high heavens I would say as a first time London visitor I would opt for the more traditional one, but as your journey and time unfolds in the city definitely opt for this one. Even before you leave buy this as a souvenier as this book goes into much more than just your basic trivia. It  unearths the hidden gems, which as a permanent Londoner will have you going “No way, that’s so cool” or “I never knew that”.

IMG_9612 copy

I am currently in the process of re-reading it, and it’s even better the second time round. I have found myself glued into, the whole aura of the book made me escape, and once again leave the hussle and bussle of London behind (yes, that should probably be my catch phrase by now.)

One of my favourite facts from the book is that the original design proposals of St Paul’s cathedral had intentions of having a 60ft pineapple shape high stone on the top of the dome… How weird!!

I hope you enjoyed this review. I definitely want to read more of his books, the next one on my list is “I Never Knew This About New York” ready for my trip in the summer.

If you have any other recommendations for London guide books let me know!

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