Keeping secrets is one of London's talents and the city's most interesting family attractions aren’t always most obvious. Here are just a few hidden delights worth seeking out. There won’t be crowds to follow and the tickets won't bankrupt you – but you might have to ask directions.


Photo: © Ragged School Museum Trust

1/6  The Ragged School Museum, E3

Next time kids complain about school, take them for a day of privilege-checking at The Ragged School Museum. Set up by Thomas Barnardo in 1867 to provide free, basic education to impoverished Victorian children, this was London’s largest Ragged School and taught tens of thousands their 3Rs (at least), right up until the early 1900s.

Today’s kids can visit the original classrooms and kitchens, learn about their 19th century counterparts and discover how tough ordinary people had it in the East End while Britain was Empire Building. Fascinating and fun, without a hint of stuffy moral high-ground.

Sunday Open House, on the first Sunday of every month, invites visitors of all ages to take a 45 minute lesson in the Ragged School classroom with costumed Victorian teachers. Free and first come, first taught, so go along early.

Where: 46-50 Copperfield Road, E3 (nearest tube: Mile End)

When: 10am to 5pm Wednesday and Thursday; 2pm to 5pm on the first Sunday of every month

Cost: Free, including all holiday activities

Find out more about the Ragged School Museum