Top 7: Ways Londoners Can Rediscover LondonBy Angelica Malin
“When a man tires of London, he tires of life.” So said Dr. Johnson, author of the English dictionary, and the man certainly has a point. Even a born and bred Londoner will be the first to admit that they don’t know everything about their own city – since there is definitely a lot of city to know!
With a population of 8.6 million and an area covering 671 square miles, London and its suburbs are home to a number of hidden treasures that are likely to have been overlooked by the locals, let alone the 30 million or so tourists who visit the Big Smoke per year. The sheer breadth and depth of options – cultural, historical and otherwise – means that any Londoner with time and inclination to rediscover their home in all its splendour can, and with consummate ease. Without any further ado, wave down that bus or get your tube ticket and join us on a journey through a London that you probably had no idea existed.
Visit the Linley Sambourne House for a Victorian Twilight Encounter
Get ready for some am dram by take a trip back to the era of the London gentry! As the servants at the Linley Sambourne house prepare to serve dinner, you will find an unexpected intrusion occurs, unravelling a tale of deceit and scandal behind closed doors. The actors intermingle with the guests, providing a thrilling glimpse into the trials and tribulations of Victorian London town. You will find that original furniture from the era is still present along with an environment that perfectly embodies this period of time. This is a great chance to experience bygone old-time London in a way to remember.
Experience a National Gallery Gig
Each Wednesday you can enjoy genteel harp/string quartet live music and talks in the Sainsbury Wing foyer of the National Gallery. One particularly recommendable event is the “Picture in Focus” talk, which explores a chosen artwork from the collection in depth; alternatively, you can partake of smaller, ten-minute talks on various topics. The Gallery also hosts monthly events as a complement to its temporary exhibits, the current one being the “Renaissance Siena” where you can enjoy music, wine, and Sienese gastronomy.
Partake in a Poker Tournament
A new, trendy activity for Londoners of all ages is to participate in a live poker tournament, of which there will be a flurry from 13th to 23rd October as part of the newly launched 11-Day Live Poker Festival. These live games at Aspers Casino at the Olympic Park Loft are much more than just a celebration of this game, but also include performances, music, and drink to ensure you enjoy your time. Most tournaments last a single day and perfect for those who are searching for something new and unique to experience.
Visit Tate Britain After Hours
While Tate Britain is a popular spot for visits during the day, have you ever been after work? This is a unique experience that few Londoners have had, but one all should try. During the after-hours events, you can relax and enjoy wine while browsing the exhibits, as well as unique talks, live music, and other performances. This takes place on the first Friday of each month, and the cost to get in is typically much lower than daytime rates.
Sign Up with Sweaty Betty
Say goodbye to boring gym routines: did you know about the free running club that is being organized just for women? No need for registration or fees – all you have to do is show up and enjoy getting fit in various areas of natural beauty in and around the city. Not only will you be doing something great for your body, you can also explore the London landscape like never before. This is a unique experience that fitness junkies and casual exercisers alike are definitely going to want to be a part of.
Enjoy an Art Safari
Put on by the National Gallery, these are all informal tours that take you through a number of trendy, private galleries throughout London. In addition to experiencing little-known galleries, your guide will also take you to the Haunch of Venison and the Photographers’ Gallery. In many tours, you can actually select a location of interest and the guide will provide an in-depth tour for your learning pleasure.
Enjoy a “Turn”
Organized by London Walks, you can experience London historical locations in a new and intriguing way. Each year, four evening walks or “turns” are organized and called a “Literary London Pub Walk.” Those who wish to participate will gather at Holborn Tube, where the walk will commence. Other locations where the walks may begin include “Along the Thames Pub Walk” where you will meet at the Blackfriars tube and the “Ghosts, Gaslight and Guinness” walk will meet at Holborn tube. Every evening you can also enjoy the “Jack the Ripper Walk” and you will meet at the Tower Hill Tube. Regardless of the weather you can participate in these walks and see London scenery and historic locations in a new and exciting way.
When you start getting tired of the commutes, the weather and price of lunch, remind yourself that you live in one of the most beautiful cities of the world that is still ripe to being discovered and rediscovered. There is plenty of curious and exciting activities to acquaint yourself anew with the city on free evenings and idle weekends. The likelihood is that you will quickly discover a new part of London that not only makes you wonder what else you have been missing, but also expands your knowledge of London’s rich history and diversity.