When you come to London, you immediately think of the likes of Big Ben, The London Eye, St. Paul’s… But what about the less-known, equally charming and wondrous alternatives that are yet to be popularly discovered? I speak of the culture-infused back streets of London, bulging with history, excitement and insight into how we Londoners spend our hard-earned tender away from the chock-a-block, world-renowned attractions. These are out ideas of what to do in London this summer.
Now, have you ever wanted to go to a junkyard, drink and attempt to sink the perfect putt? Well, want no longer! Shoreditch boasts London’s version of the vastly popular “Junkyard Golf”, originated from the success of Manchester, located just down Brick Lane. Golf is the marmite sport; some love it, some hate it. However, with the addition of a crazy, fun, alternative atmosphere and the promise of your favourite cold beverage, what’s not to like at Junkyard Golf!?
If you find yourself in London and, like many a tourist or local for that matter, wish to visit the more popular sights; for instance, The London Eye and Tower Bridge you would typically jump on some form of public transport. See, what people may overlook or just not know about, is what lies between both of these prestigious attractions. South Bank is a beautiful stretch along the Thames. Creating a sight-seeing sandwich, if you will. You will encounter many vendors, restaurants, shops and South Banks picturesque skate park. Whether you’re using it as a cut-through or a place to stop-off and absorb the culture, this is a must-see and a very pleasant alternative to a packed tube.
Basement Galley – The Underground Supper Club
A dining experience in a tube carriage! Enjoy a well-made, four-course meal at one of London’s most unique venues; a decommissioned 1967 London Underground Carriage. Scandinavian flavour, presented in a relaxed French Brasserie style. If that doesn’t sound simply amazing; you will be greeted with a complimentary cocktail on arrival! Fully licensed with a great selection of wines, beers, cider and soft drinks. It may not look like much, but how many people can say “Hey, I’ve had a slap-up meal in an underground carriage!” – Quite the experience, I must say!
Musical Entertainment: Covent Garden
Throughout the summer, in the extremely popular Piazza, many jugglers, musicians, comedians and showmen will perform live. Nothing beats starting off your summer than knocking back a locally-brewed cold beverage while taking in one of Covent Garden’s brilliant performances. Embrace the atmosphere, get lost in the amusement and sample the passion. If you’re looking for something more relaxed or more appropriate for the younger audiences in Covent Garden, head up to the local public places and enjoy an intimate, fun setting; ‘Punch and Judy’ and ‘The Print Room’ rarely disappoint.
Black Rock Bar
The first misleading point is the fact that there is no bar… at this bar? Wait – what!? I know, but let me explain. Basically, the Black Rock bar proprietors have taken a large 185-year-old oak tree, laid it on its end, split it in half, and turned it into a gigantic whisky-filled table. And they mean that literally! In addition to that remarkable feat, they have cut two channels down the full length of the trunk, lined them with American & European oak, covered them with glass and filled each with 17 litres of whiskey cocktails which age as they’re stored there. All you must do, is deliver the whiskey from the tap to your glass! It’s not every day you’re able to pour your own on-tap whiskey, let alone from a huge tree; Making this a very attractive destination.
Ride the Slide
Ride the slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit. Bookable until 31st October 2017; you have the chance to slide down the side of the amazing spire, after sampling the views from the top, that once was home to the broadcast studio for the London 2012 Olympics. Hitting a top speed of 15mph coursing through the numerous turns and corkscrews, this slide will certainly excite you! Measuring a staggering 178m high, THE SLIDE is the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide. Go on, release your inner-child.
The world’s largest LEGO store is in London! If that doesn’t grab your attention enough, then the enormous models of a dragon, the Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben, a Royal Mail post box, and a London Underground carriage. Built using 1.7 MILLION bricks and weigh around five tonnes collectively. Now that’s a fair bit of Lego. Stepping inside this spectacular building, viewing these models and the vast amount of Lego is truly a sight to behold. I’ve been here several times, and I am not ashamed.
Easily one of my, if not my most, favourite viewing areas in London. The Sky Garden is a beautiful, 45,000 square foot greenhouse paradise in the ‘Sky’ spread across and complimented by tiered levels on the 35th, 36th and 37th floors. Boasting fine drinks, food ambience and hospitality. 360° panoramic views of London, inside a huge dome of glass along with a balcony and peripherals of the Thames. Not a bad way to spend an evening, eh?
A house of fun with three floors of entertainment, including bowling, dodgems, karaoke, ping pong, and tons more! Not to mention those little tickets you accumulate from hours of hard work, only to be spent over the counter at the prize desk; Whether it’s a cool pencil sharpener or the latest console, you’ve earned it. Many a fun time was spent at the Trocadero in Piccadilly circus, but as that is no more, this is the next best thing, pretty much perfectly replicating the once great amusement arcade.
Now that may sound like an extreme-sport, but it is far from it! Over 100 connected trampolines and innovative zones to get you in the mood for some serious climbing, bouncing, flipping, and my personal favourite, working on your Jackie Chan impressions. A seriously fun alternative to traditional exercise with dedicated sports nights, various classes and birthdays all available for anyone who wants to mix it up a bit!