Living in a big city has many advantages but the sheer volume of unique things to do is one of the major bonuses. London is Europe’s fourth-largest city with a population of nearly nine million. As a major travel hub, London is home to an incredible diversity of ethnicities and has become a global melting pot. With such variety and opportunity come endless activities to fill your days with.
As a Brit who lived in London for many years, I’ve had ample time to explore all the things there are to do in and around London. From boating the River Thames, world-class theatres, unique bars, white-water rafting, skiing, a cheese conveyor belt – there is something for everyone in London.
Here’s my local’s list of some of the best and most unique things to do in London!
1) Rent A Mini Cooper For A Customized Sightseeing Tour With Small Car Big City
Why share a crowded hop-on hop-off bus with strangers if you can explore the city in your own stylish Mini Cooper? Small Car Big City rents these quirky cars for your London adventures and provides a knowledgeable city insider – on your own schedule.
Listed as the number one thing to do in London by Time Out, no matter if you are a visitor or have lived there for years, you’ll be sure to see something you haven’t noticed before. Renting times vary from 90 minutes to 8 hours and cars can be rented as a private or group tour.
You can either pick a ready made tour or handpick which sights you’d like to see, so you can design your perfect route within the time you have. Check out our Introduction To We Are Travel Girls video which we filmed during this tour!
2) Marvel At London’s Best Views From Sky Garden
There’s two prime locations to see most of London from on top: The Shard and Sky Garden. While the Shard enjoys its reputation of the tallest building in the UK, it costs £25 per person to visit the top. Sky Garden offers similar views, but without the price tag.
Visiting Sky Garden is free of charge, though it requires to book a time slot in advance. Tip: Arrive after 8pm or make a reservation at one of the restaurants to skip the online booking hassle.
Hidden City is a unique and new concept that resembles an adult treasure hunt. Journey across the city and try to solve a trail of clues sent to your phone. Uncover galleries, pubs, museums, and secret locations and stop for food and drinks at built-in break points.
Groups consist of 2-5 players – gather your friends and plan a day of fun treasure hunting while experiencing London from a different angle.
4) Dine In A Panoramic Bus While Experiencing London’s Best Sights With Bustronome
London has more unique experiences to offer than you can count. One of the top ones is going on a tour with Bustronome. We’ve all done sight-seeing tours in some capacity, but this one is different. Dine in a converted high-end double-decker bus while being chauffeured around and experiencing all of London’s best sights.
The bus features a glass ceiling for even better spotting of the main attractions while dining on delicious and freshly prepared food.
5) Dine In The Dark In Clerkenwell
Tired of your regular date night? London has its fair share of unique and quirky restaurant experiences, but Dine In The Dark is a one of a kind activity. Aiming for their guests to reevaluate their approach to eating, guests dine in complete darkness.
You’ll be immersed in a completely new environment that will heighten all your senses, but especially taste and smell to truly appreciate and experience the texture of the food.
6) Splash Down White-Water Rapids At Waltham Cross
Never thought you’d hear the words “white-water rafting” and “London” in one sentence? Roughly 40 minutes north of central London, Waltham Cross is home to one of London’s Olympic Games venues from 2012 and offers adrenaline-fuelled rafting, canoeing and kayaking sessions. Race down the standard competition course or try Hydrospeeding, similar to bodyboarding.
Getting into a wetsuit for a first date might sound a little daunting, but that is actually what happened to me when I mentioned I liked white water rafting and my date booked this for us!
Challenge your partner or group of friends for an action-packed day for a once in a lifetime experience!
7) Brunch Or Get Drinks At Coppa Club
Coppa Club is the pinnacle of Insta-perfect shots waiting to be taken. Small decorated pods that adapt to each season offer space for around ten guests for a meal or drink with views of Tower Bridge.
Make sure to book in advance as they tend to fill up as soon as bookings open, but they do have a small contingency of walk-ins available. Particularly beautiful during the colder months, their winter wonderland setting is beautiful and makes for the perfect cozy girls night to catch up.
8) Whizz Down The Ski Slopes In Fulham
The UK isn’t particularly known for being a winter sport paradise but leave it to Londoners to find a creative way to still have some Alpine fun! Just a ten minute walk from Fulham Broadway station, Chel-Ski offers a workout of a different kind to get you ready for the big slopes in no time.
Learn how to ski and snowboard or hone your existing skills on their giant snowy treadmill, while watching yourself in a mirror to improve technique.
9) Stroll Little Italy’s Canal
Most tourists don’t know that there is a canal flowing through central London with a beautiful path for long strolls alongside it. Take one afternoon to explore the peaceful path and all the neighborhoods it passes.
You can wander from Paddington station to Regent’s Canal and all the way to Camden, past beautiful colorful canal boats and London zoo. Reward yourself with a feast from one of the many pop-up restaurants in Camden Market at the end of the canal path.
10) Swim In Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath is a natural gold mine in northern London. Vast greenery, rolling hills and sweeping views of London’s skyline from some of Hampstead Heath’s lookout points, this park offers a great nature getaway for stressed citizens.
Next to forest walks and ice cream trucks, this heath offers several ponds you can swim in year-round. Separated in a women’s, men’s and general pond, many take their morning exercise here before starting their day.
11) Explore Euston’s Lost Tube Tunnels
There is something eerie about abandoned tube stations – and London has a few! Leave it to Harry Potter to make tube and train stations look magical, but have you ever explored a hidden one yourself? Beneath the Burger King at Euston lies a labyrinth of dark passageways that have been hidden away for over 50 years.
A lot of them are still perfectly preserved with beautiful mid-century designs, like Leslie Green station, but some parts could be destroyed soon due to the development works for a new railway. Book a tour and see it while you can!
12) Eat Cheese From A Conveyor Belt
The Cheese Bar might just be what dreams are made of. With multiple locations, you can enjoy the best cheese has to offer all around London, but their West End location is the one we’re dreaming of.
A never ending supply of delicious artisan cheeses delivered to you on a cheese conveyor belt to choose from, what more could one want?Plates start at only £3 – you’re in for a gouda time!
13) Fly Through The Air At A Trapeze School In Regent’s Park
Learning how to trapeze might not be on your traditional London to do list, but is definitely worth checking out! Located next to Regent’s Park, the flying trapeze school sets up every summer and allows you to live out your circus dreams and propel through the sky with the help of expert acrobats.
No matter whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert, you’ll be sure to have a fun and unforgettable time!
14) Practice Your Downward Dog At Doga
If you’ve ever done a home workout with a dog around, you know that it’s almost impossible to do your routine without some curious sniffs, a nose lick or them being in the way. Regardless, having dogs around always makes for a better time, so why not combine yoga and dogs?
At Doga you can enjoy a relaxing yoga class with your four-legged friend to feel more zen. Don’t have a dog? No problem! You can still join the fun and reap all the benefits.
15) Rise And Shine For An Early Morning Rave
Not a morning person? Partying at 7am might not be on everyone’s bucket list, but morning raves are – you guessed it – all the rave.
Unlike traditional parties, this sober party substitutes alcohol with fresh smoothies and offers massages, yoga, coffee and glitter to great music for the best possible start of the day – all without the hangover. A great way to kickstart your day and mood!
16) Bungee Jump At The O2
If you’re after more adventure and adrenaline, bungee jumping at the O2 might be for you. 160ft above ground with gorgeous views of the Thames, Canary Wharf and Central London, you’ll be able to jump from the crane as one of the few daily jumpers. Because spots are limited, it is essential for you to pre-book your experience. Tickets start at £75 per person.
17) Get Chilly At London’s Ice Bar
An experience usually reserved for the Arctic circle region is now available to witness in London! At -5°C in the ice bar you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of signature cocktails and light bites in this unique environment. One ticket includes a cape and gloves to keep you warm, as well as a cocktail on arrival. Depending on the weekday, tickets range from £14 – £16.50.
18) London’s Most Instagrammable Cocktail Bar: Ballie Ballerson
One of London’s most Instagrammed locations, Ballie Ballerson is a cocktail bar with over one million balls in various themed ball pits to wade through and channel your inner child. Offering both party and play, you can spend your night here or indulge in bottomless brunch with all you can eat pizza the morning after.
The story behind this bar is amazing, and I was fortunate to hear from the founder herself at dinner when we met at Bawah Reserve, Indonesia. Wenny bought a small bar in Dalston that had a little basement space, wondering what to do with it she decided why not fill it with balls.
The idea took off quickly with celebrities clawing to get inside the ball pit, their instant success led them to quickly moving to larger premises.
19) Have A Drink At A Bar In An Old Public Bathroom
One of the more peculiar bar experiences in London, the Attendant has several locations – but the Fitzrovia one is the one you’ll want to visit. Located inside an old public toilet from Victorian times, you’ll find yourself sitting on one of the old porcelain urinals sipping your coffee.
Dating back to the 1890s, the beautiful wrought-iron entrance still looks so authentic that baristas regularly have to turn away people trying to use it as a public toilet.
20) Enjoy Brunch On A Colourful Canal Boat
London’s canal isn’t only beautiful to experience from its path, but also for their distinctive restaurants and bars along the way. Across from Paddington Station’s back entrance lie Darcie & May Green, two colourfully painted canal boats specializing in delicious Australian brunches, cocktails and strong coffees. Perfect to either begin or end your canal stroll with or catch up with friends!
Other Unique Tours You Can Take In London
- Magical Harry Potter Guided Tour No trip to London would be complete without at least visiting Platform 9 3/4’s at London’s Kings Cross. Take this interactive tour around central London with an expert guide. Choose from either a boat or London Underground trip for the experience.
- Toot Bar Bus – Hop on board London’s first bar on a bus. As you drive around the city take in all of London’s magnificent sights while enjoying a few drinks on the rooftop terrace of the bus. Plus take some pictures with the buses Instagram-able floral décor.
- Climb The Roof Of The 02 Arena – See London from a totally unique vantage point at the top of the 02 arena! In this 90-minute experience you will slimb over the iconic roof of the world’s most popular entertainment venue that was once called the Millenium Dome. The dome was built to celebrate the year 2000 and was originally planned to be taken down one year later.
- Ghost Walk and Spooky River Thames Boat Ride – This combined walking tour and boat ride at night will take you through London’s darkest history, visiting royal parks and haunted houses.
- The Beatles Fab 4 Magical History Taxi Tour – The perfect tour for Beatles fans! Visit where the fab four lived, worked and played. Wander along Abbey Road, Paul’s London home, John and Yoko’s flat and much more.
- Private “The Crown” Film Locations Car Tour – For fans of The Crown series this private tour is the perfect way to see London and many of the filming locations in the show.
- Private Visit Bombay Sapphire Distillery & Stonehenge – This activity if for the gin lovers! Take a private day trip out of London to visit the distillery where Bombay Sapphire gin is made and also visit the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge.
We hope that this article has inspired you to experience some of London’s most unique activities. If you have any questions about London please leave these in the comments below!
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- 5 Hidden Gems To See In London
- A Guide To The Best Afternoon Teas In London
- 3 Day London Itinerary and Guide
- London As A Local: The Best Non-Touristy Things To Do
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