Articles

Night Attractions in London

by Elliott Troop Marketing Manager
London is an ancient city, full of history, wondrous landmarks and interesting tales. But it is also a very modern city with all the amenities and attractions that one would expect from such a title. 

Whilst more sleepy places are winding down with the sunset, London moves up another level. There’s no darkness in a modern city and London is no exception. All of the daytime spectacles take on a completely new perspective, and new glittering ones arise as if out of nowhere. The streets are no less busy but the crowds are full of much more frivolity, looking for a good time rather than hurrying along to the next meeting. 

Fortunately, nobody has to look very far in London to find something exciting to do. Night attractions in London are plentiful, and whether it’s a place to eat, drink party, or simply a place to visit that is being sought, it’s easily found. 

For those that want more than eating and drinking, here are a few of the best night attractions in London. 

Catch a Show 

Probably the most obvious and a ‘must do’ on most people’s lists when visiting the capital. The West End is rivalled only by New York’s Broadway when it comes to the magic of live theatre and the sheer volume of choices. 

For the uninitiated, the West End is London’s entertainment district, the main area for seeing a show but also a great place for shopping, eating and drinking. 

It’s located, as you might imagine, to the west of the City of London. The shopping areas include Bond Street, Regent Street and of course Oxford Street. The entertainment district is mainly centred around Leicester Square, Covent Garden and the Strand, although theatres and shows do stretch out over a much wider radius. 

‘Theatreland’, as it is also known, compromises of more than forty theatres. The shows include classic and modern plays of all genres as well as the famous musicals. Booking way in advance (before arriving in the city) is the only guarantee of seeing a specific show, but discounted tickets are available from TKTS booths for same day performances, for people who don’t mind what they see. 

For families there are must sees such as the Lion King, School of Rock and Matilda. There’s also classics such as the Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables. There’s the most terrifying play ever in the Woman in Black, plus the longest running play in the world, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, which opened in 1952. 

The Ceremony of the Keys 

The Tower of London is best appreciated in the daytime, it really is one of the most unique buildings with one of the most richest histories to be found anywhere. But there is a very specific reason for considering a night visit to the ancient prison. 

The ceremony of the keys takes place at the very precise time of 21:53 every evening, and finishes at the equally precise time of 22:05. This is basically when the Tower is locked up for the night. 

The ceremony has been taking place for more than 700 years and was originally significant because it ensured that the monarch in residence was secure until the morning. 

There may no longer be a King or Queen in residence but the ceremony is still significant as the Crown Jewels, the monarch’s most valuable jewellery and baubles, are still kept there. 

This is a must see unique event and it’s completely free. The only drawback is that it is ticketed, space is very limited and tickets can be booked up to a year win advance.  

The experience may be short and sweet, but this is one of the most exclusive night attractions in London serviced apartments

Take in a View 

There are many places to take in a view of the city. It’s worth doing more than one as each gives a very different perspective. 

For further perspective it’s also worth taking in these views in at night when the city transforms into millions of lights for miles around. 

There are a number of places from which to enjoy a view but the daddy of them all has to be The Shard, being the tallest building in Western Europe and all that! 

It is ninety nine floors and 310 metres of shining glass pointing to the sky with its base in London Bridge station on the south side of the river. This is the highest point in the capital and gives a full 360 degree view of the entire city as well as miles beyond. On a clear evening expect to see as far as forty miles away! 

The self guided tours are available on a walk up basis but the key thing to remember is that doing it this way is outrageously expensive. Huge discounts are available when booking in advance. 

The London Eye, whilst achieving nowhere near the heights of The Shard, does offer a unique perspective of the city. Despite only being open since the millennium, it has already achieved the label of an iconic London experience.  

It is ranked by many as the most popular tourist experience in the UK. 

The view is 360 degrees from the capsule and before the Shard it was the highest viewing point in London. Each flight lasts half an hour and booking in advance is again recommended for cheaper prices. 

The Sky Garden, located at the top of the building known colloquially as the Walkie Talkie, is another new viewing platform. It’s a huge dome with public gardens growing as well as a fantastic viewing platform. 

Entrance is free but tickets must be booked in advance, though waiting times are pretty reasonable. There’s a bar and restaurants up there too which are open long after the viewing platform closes. 

For a more natural, free and ticketless view of the city at night, check out Primrose Hill, a popular picnic and kite flying area located in Regents Park. The darkness of the park conflicts brilliantly with the sparkle of the city and is probably the best place to view the city from afar. 

London Walks 

There are walking tours available throughout the day but some are only available in the darkness of night, for reasons that will become obvious. 

Ghost tours of London are aplenty. Cities as old as London have an infinite number of stories attached to them, many of them pretty macabre.  

London’s unsavoury past is the focus on these tours and they explore urban legends, facts and famous true stories that have occurred over the years. 

Executions, murders, disease are all covered when it comes to telling all about London’s ghosts, who naturally inhabit the darker recesses of the city. 

Jack the Ripper is probably the most famous subject of all the walking tours. These take you back to the year 1888 when probably the world’s most famous unknown murderer was stalking the grim streets of London. Poverty and filth are rife, fear is palpable and the streets of Whitechapel will never be the same again. 

The tours are guided by expert actors and orators, who bring the stories to life. Some of the streets and pubs from these historical stories are still there, making it even more enthralling. 

Harry Potter film location walks are newer but obviously no less popular tours. London is featured throughout the books and the real life locations of the Ministry of Magic, Diagon Alley, Knockturn Alley and the chase through London can all be seen on these tours.  

Dinner Cruises 

Eating out, having a drink or going for a dance aren’t mentioned here, simply because they are too obvious. London is literally teeming with restaurants, bars and clubs that it’s easy to take a pick. 

However, there are options for people who want to do something slightly different too. Taking a cruise down the Thames is one of those things. A nighttime cruise down the Thames is not only a completely different experience from the day, it is also a haven from the raucous, crowded nighttime atmosphere that can be too much for some people who prefer to look at it from a safer distance! 

Depending on the cruise and the boat, the trip can incorporate many things, including dinner, drinks, live music and dancing. Sometimes even karaoke, for those that way inclined. 

Most of the tours incorporate the same attractions, starting off at Westminster Pier and taking in the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, stunningly lit up, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and the O2 (Millennium Dome), amongst many other things. 

A trip to London doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down and the lights come on! Some things close but then other things open, some things are just available 24-7. 

London has something for everyone at any hour. Holiday days start at any time and finish when exhaustion hits. Just remember, whatever is packed into the day, leave some energy for the night. Nightlife in London is something that just can’t be missed! 

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About Elliott Troop Freshman   Marketing Manager

4 connections, 0 recommendations, 22 honor points.
Joined APSense since, April 27th, 2020, From London, United Kingdom.

Created on Jun 1st 2020 06:23. Viewed 402 times.

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