Please sign in to post.

What to do in London in the evenings on my own?

I'm going to be in London next week, taking a day course at an art school in Chelsea. I'm staying near the Victoria and Albert museum. My question is, does anyone have any ideas for places I could go in the evening on my own? I'm female and, er, well, let's just say mature! I don't think I'd feel too comfortable sitting in pubs, and my bank balance won't stretch to too much shopping in Harrods and the like! Thanks.

Posted by
658 posts

You could try a walking tour of the City or East End.

or

An open top 'hop on - hop off' tourist bus ride.

or

Visit the public gallery of the House of Commons.

or

Take in a show at one of the fringe theatres.

Posted by
11798 posts

Walking tours and shows are some of the best bets. I don't know the museum hours specifically but most have regularly scheduled late nights that you may be able to take advantage of.

Posted by
10914 posts

Ditto the walking tours...I usually wind up going for a drink afterwards with people I've met on the tour. Lots of others on their own as well.

I've also gone to the theater alone. Easier to get "difficult" tickets for one person than 2. You might also want to check to see if there are any music recitals that interest you.

I'm very familiar with the area you're staying in and it's convenient to everything.

Posted by
8293 posts

Get a copy of "Time Out" There are often concerts at St. Martin's in the Fields, or other churches, that if not free, are not expensive.

Posted by
1385 posts

Some museums stay open one evening a week. A few years ago the V&A stayed open on Wed till 9pm - when I went there they had a musical quartet playing and you could purchase wine - a nice way to see the museum.

Check out the museum timings and save some of these for the evenings.

Other things: Stroll along the Thames especially across from Big Ben at sunset.

If staying near the Vic, try out the Bosphorous restaurant (on the other side of South Ken tube station) - it is a little bit of a dive but great kebabs.

Posted by
1627 posts

For walks, try London Walks at http://www.walks.com/ Sorted by day of the week, several evening options. I also second after hours museums (many are free in London).

Posted by
158 posts

I think you would be okay in a pub..........I did this once or twice and felt very comfortable........and let us just say that I am mature as well...

The suggestion for the evening museum tours will serve you very well...

What about a boat ride to Greenwich and back? Great views of Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and many other sites...this would be a nice evening outing............one hour and a half out and back....and Greenwich is easy to walk around.......

Posted by
5668 posts

You should definitely try the pubs. I've gone to pubs in Scotland on my own all the time. There are different kinds of pubs so you might ask about the local pubs where you are staying. Maybe you need to find a family friendly one first so you'll feel more comfortable. Or go to this website. Enter the tube stop nearest your hotel and see what comes up. If you don't like what you see another closer tube stop. http://www.pubs.com/home.cfm I entered South Kensington and found the Anglesea Arms which looked like a good place for dinner! I then entered Knightsbridge and five more came up ranging from one near Harrods to a smaller pub where the publican bans mobile phones. ; ) Check them out.

Pam

Posted by
8293 posts

St. James Piccadilly is another church with evening and lunchtime concerts, and they have a very nice market in the churchyard on weekdays. There is also a grave and headstone for the pet cat of a former vicar in the churchyard, I remember. The church used to serve light lunches at one time but I see no mention of that on its website, which by the way, is quite smashing (for a church!).

Posted by
12040 posts

This may stretch your finances a little, but if you like classical music, one of the world's best music festivals, the Proms, starts on 18 July. If I'm not mistaken, most performaces occur nightly at the Royal Albert Hall. If you want your classical music a bit cheaper, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields perform several nights a week in the church of the same name (can't guarantee they perform on the same schedule during the summer, however...).

Posted by
1631 posts

A few years ago, I was able to enjoy a performance at Shakespeare's Globe. Originally, I just wanted to go across the Millenium Bridge, see the globe and go to the gift shop. As I arrived, someone was selling their tickets at face value for the performance that just started. Wow--did I luck out. Tickets are for either standing or sitting. These were for standing which means you can stand anywhere around the stage. This worked out great for me because the actors, in their beautiful costumes, were right in front of me. I really felt a part of the play. Not sure how to get the tickets on a normal basis, but it would be something different to do. Have fun!

Posted by
964 posts

I'd just like to thank everyone who replied to my post. I got some great ideas that I definitely wouldn't have come up with on my own. I used as many of the suggestions as I could, inlcuding the Thames boat ride, an evening concert at St. Martins in the Fields, and sitting in Covent Garden people watching. I was surprised that a couple of the museums (the Natural History and the Science museum) didn't have a late night opening any more, but I made it to the National Gallery and the Portrait Gallery. That last one was a real inspiration, as the course I took was in Portraiture.

A couple of folks wondered why I was asking Americans for help, when I live here in the UK. Well, I didn't want to fall in the trap of thinking I know everything about England because I live in it ('cos I don't!). This website is a tremendous resource, with people from all over the world participating; it would be a shame not to use it.
And also, when people travel a long way, they usually put a lot of research into the place they're headed for; so I thought you would be the best people to ask- and I am so happy that I did! Thanks again.

Posted by
70 posts

Stay clear of Picadilly Circus... seedy underbelly

Posted by
8293 posts

Steve, Maggie is back home now after her trip to London.