London is one of the most exciting cites in the world. There’s a plethora of things to do in the evenings – from clubbing, to seeing a movie or going to the theatre, eating out to attending a glitzy party. But while these are great fun, what about heading out to some slightly more unusual evening events in London?
We’ve put together a list of 8 quirky and more unusual activities that you can either do alone, or with a group of friends or family. And afterwards, if you’ve got the energy, you can still hit the clubs as well…
1. Watch bats in Hyde Park
Hyde Park, one of the Royal Parks in London. It covers 350 acres and has some of great attractions, including Speakers’ Corner and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. But it’s also a haunt for Europe’s smallest species of bat – the Pipistrelle, as well as Britain’s largest bat – the Noctule. For your best chance of seeing these flying mammals, head to the Serpentine lake, where at dusk you can spot them darting across the water, searching for their evening meal of bugs and midges.
For more information about bats in the city, The London Bat Group provides events such as public bat walks and surveys during the summer months.
2. Take a night-time terror walk through Whitechapel
Jack the Ripper is perhaps the most infamous of all London criminals – not the least because he was never officially identified. Every night, 7 days a week, you can join the official Jack The Ripper Tour – a 2 hour walk around Whitechapel and the East End, learning all about the killer’s grisly past.
The tour meets outside exit 4 of Aldgate East tube station and starts at 19:00. The cost is £9 per person and lasts around 2 hours.
3. Go stargazing on Hampstead Heath
You might not think of a city, with all its light pollution, as being an optimum place to view the heavens. But Hampstead Heath is the highest point in London, and probably the best place in the city to spot the stars. You can also include a walk back to the Hampstead Observatory, where on Friday and Saturday from September to April, you can use their telescopes for free from 20:00-22:00 hours, for an even closer look at celestial bodies.
4. Climb across the O2
If you’ve got a head for heights, and you crave for an alternative look at the city, then clambering over the O2 arena at sunset or twilight is an experience not to be missed. Up at The O2 will see you donning a safety harness and climbing right across the centre of this iconic London landmark with a group of like-minded people. Don’t forget your camera…
5. Join the London Street Skate
Friday evening sees hundreds of skaters come together to follow a marshalled street skate around the centre of London. At 20:00, the London Friday Night Skate (LFNS) meets at the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner and is open to all skaters who have basic control on wheels. In other words, you need to be able to stop, turn and control your speed on hills. This event follows a different route every week and is totally free to take part in.
6. Dine in the Dark
A restaurant with a difference, Dans Le Noir is all about a completely sensory culinary experience. The whole restaurant is in complete darkness and is staffed by blind guides who gently help you through their ‘gastronomic and pedagogical journey’. Menus are all billed as ‘surprise menus’, so that no-one knows exactly what they’re going to be eating – although you are given a category of the food you can expect to be served. Menus change regularly and are designed around special events and the seasons of the year.
Dans Le Noir is easy to get to, being based in Clerkenwell and well served by the Underground.
7. Enjoy a Highgate Cemetery Evening
You might not think of a cemetery as the first place to spend an evening, but Highgate Cemetery is designated grade I on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. The cemetery runs many different evening events throughout the year, including talks by various authors and artists. Tickets are usually a reasonable £10 per person, but do need to be booked in advance as the evenings prove extremely popular.
8. Watch an Outdoor Movie
Summertime sees a bunch of outdoor film screens popping up around the capital. Backyard Cinema in Camden is known for showing classic films, and Rooftop Film Club shows at various different locations throughout the city during the summer months. You need to sign up to their newsletter to get information about locations and tickets. This one boasts 5 nights a week screenings, with ultra comfortable seats and wireless headphones to make your evening as great as possible.