London by Night

Trafalgar Square at night

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London is a vibrant city by day, but at night it truly comes alive

By night, London takes on a completely different look, with bright lights and buzzing streets and there are literally hundreds of restaurants, theatres, museums, bars, cafes and clubs, all vying for your business.

Museums

One great option, in which you can combine a sociable night out with a little bit of culture, would be to visit a late-night museum. You will be able to take in an exhibition, visit a new gallery or join a guided tour. There are plenty of museums open late at night, including Sir John Soane`s Museum, which on its monthly late openings is completely lit by candles, giving it a uniquely atmospheric aesthetic appeal. The Science Museum is also open late (until 10pm), once a month and generally on a Wednesday and the National Portrait Gallery is open weekly until 9 p.m.

Cinema

For film lovers, London offers the best in cinemas. All of the latest films are shown in cinemas in every part of London, so you just need to find your nearest cinema. If you are anywhere near the Portobello Road, the Electric has rather luxurious leather armchairs for seating and each one has its own footstool and a table.

Tours

There is no better way to see the nighttime splendor of London than in the comfort of an iconic London Black Taxi. Our London By Night Taxi Tour is, in a word, dazzling. You will be treated to live commentary by your London cabbie, who is a specially trained London tour guide. See the historic London landmarks and learn about the deeds of the great people who shaped English History.

Clubs

Another obvious but great choice is to go late-night clubbing and the options here are vast. There are some clubs which are particularly renowned for playing certain types of music. You can choose what type of music you want to dance the night away to, ranging from indie, house, hard dance and rave, hip hop, pop, retro, freestyle and many more. Also, some of the more famous clubs will have specific DJs or special events at certain times of the year, such as Valentine`s Day. It`s worth keeping your eyes out for these.

Of course, what you choose to do in London at night depends greatly on who is in your group. If you are with children or pensioners, neither would be particularly pleased with a rave at the Star of Bethnal Green, London E2. But you might!

Theatre

However, no matter how old or young your group, everyone loves a good show. If you are looking for shows, London is definitely the place to be, day or night! There are a vast range of them on at all times of the year and some do not require advance booking. Despite this, sometimes a bit of forward planning on these occasions does help and there are plenty of tickets available online. When it comes to choosing the best show or play, Boxoffice have some really great options, including pre-theatre restaurant deals that help you to really make a night of it.

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Children Love London

dianas-pirate-shipLondon has an amazing number of things for kids to do. There are plenty of fun activities in London that will keep the whole family amused or make for interesting birthday party festivities.

Museums and Exhibitions

The Natural History Museum is one of London’s most popular attractions,  and it has dozens of Interactive Learning events specially designed to keep children entertained and informed.

The Museum of Childhood is renowned for its brilliant programme of exhibitions and events that give kids a chance to explore their creativity. The Museum is widely praised for their daily activities,  which feature arts and crafts or games that educate children about the exhibits.

Outside of central London you will find the riveting Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, the village where the late author wrote his most popular tales.

Theatre

The Unicorn Theatre has a grand tradition in children’s entertainment that will appeal to the accompanying adults as well as kids.

Polka Children’s Theatre,  which offers a full programme of events and repeat performances of the most popular shows on a Saturday so whole families can attend.

The Puppet Theatre Barge,  moored on the Thames,  specialises in innovative Marionette theatre projects.

In the West End theatres,  classics such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat or Lion King will enrapture the whole family.

Entertainment and Attractions

Some of the larger London tourist attractions such as the London Dungeon and the Mirror Maze at Ripley’s Believe it or Not are very popular with kids.

When it comes time to relax,  visit the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground in Hyde Park. This playground is home to a gigantic pirate ship complete with ropes and pulleys that will tire out even the most energetic of your brood.

Perhaps choose from one of London’s many day workshops,  which will give you a little break as well as teaching your kids some valuable new skills.  Among the best ones available are The Kid’s Cookery School where they’ll learn how to make healthy food and The Circus Space where children as young as eight can pick up some nifty juggling or acrobatic skills.

Tours

Ride the Big Bus.  Or better yet,  treat the family to a London Black Taxi Tour.

So take the kids to London and have a lovely day together!

East London

brick-lane

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There are still some corners of London where quirky fashion,  contemporary art,  &  cultural food thrives.

Go East to find areas that thrive with items crafted by young British designers. Brick Lane is one of those areas.

An old building that used to be the Truman Brewery stands out from the rest of the street and is packed with independent shops. The Truman Brewery has been an important creative and cultural hub.

One shop at the old brewery sells clothing made out recycled material. You can make a one-of-a-kind item from one of your old garments; j ust bring it to the shop and the designer will make it into a new item for you. Other shops sell vintage clothing. You can get an East London Quirky Shopping guide from visitlondon.com

Many shops in the area encourage young designers to display their collections by offering affordable rental rates,  allowing talent scouts from major chains to find budding designers.

Besides Brick Lane and the Truman Brewery,  East London has several neighborhoods boasting dozens of independent shops. Socially aware shoppers can buy a wedge card from www.wedgecard.co.uk for 10 pounds,  of which 5 goes to a local charity. The card allows you to support local shops while obtaining special offers and discounts from over 150 businesses in the East End.

Apart from shopping,  East London is also increasingly known for contemporary art,  with many galleries,  museums and  shops. With more than 80 art galleries, there’s something for everyone’s taste in the East End. Don’t miss the famous WhiteCube and Whitechapel Art Gallery,  but also look out for hidden gems scattered all around this area waiting to be discovered.  Dozens of the area’s galleries host cultural events and contemporary art exhibitions.

And talk about food! If you’re after comfort food,  Brick Lane is THE place for bagels and baltis. If you are craving a curry or just need a quick bite,  head for the famous Brick Lane Beigel Bake,  which is ALWAYS open — 24 hours a day,  365 days a year. (You are sure to see one or two London Black Taxi drivers in there at any time of the day or night!)

At visitlondon.com,  you can download a guide called DIY East that will show you where to find East London’s quirky fashion, comtemporary art, and posh (and not so posh) nosh.