Insider Tip: London, but not as you know it

London is a city of surprises.

London is a city of surprises.

The "coolness" and quirkiness of London surprised me, a lot. Clown galleries, whitewater rafting and God's Own Junkyard were a few of my favourite surprises.

Open on the first Friday of each month, Clowns Gallery-Museum has photographs, props and costumes used by some of Britain's most famous clowns. There is an unofficial rule that no two clowns can have the same make-up and to ensure they weren't duplicating each other's look, a practice of painting each unique design onto an egg began. This museum has more than 200 of these eggs – strangely cool!

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I also gave whitewater rafting and canoeing a go at a great place just out of London. The Lee Valley White Water Centre was the venue used for the London 2012 Olympic Games and is 45 minutes north of London's CBD by car. Riding the rapids that challenged the world's best made for an adrenaline-fueled afternoon.

God's Own Junkyard showcases neon artist Chris Bracey's personal collection of work in a salvage yard in Walthamstow – this is one for anyone who enjoys quirkiness. With free entry you can enjoy this neon wonderland at your own pace. Be dazzled by bright artwork from 1960's clubs and take a trip down memory lane reminiscing over movie industry pieces from the likes of Captain America, Eyes Wide Shut and more.

- Marina Finau, Flight Centre Queensgate

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