Undoubtedly the way we travel at home and abroad is changing, and as we leave behind our baking obsession and weekly quiz nights, our search for adventure in the capital increases.2020 November 13
Undoubtedly the way we travel at home and abroad is changing, and as we leave behind our baking obsession and weekly quiz nights, our search for adventure in the capital increases. However, emerging from a second lockdown has naturally left many of us with questions about what we can and can’t enjoy safely in the City of London.
Even when the lockdown ends, if you’re reading this thinking you have experienced all that the city has to offer, think again! Now more than ever is the ideal time to support London’s local businesses and best-loved attractions. So, put on your favourite winter gear and show the Big Smoke some love with our guide on places to see and things to do in London after lockdown.
One of the safest ways to make the most of a wintery night out in London is to dig into a delicious meal at a restaurant with outdoor seating. In a city that’s a melting pot of cultures, discovering the best places to eat in London will leave you spoilt for choice, even in the middle of a global pandemic.
From luxury chalet-style surroundings to festive private igloos, get yourself and your loved ones down to East London’s Tobacco Dock for a cosy meal at Skylight London. Each igloo is the perfect setting for a small group to warm up and dine together among a picture-perfect view of London’s skyline. Our top tip is to book early to avoid disappointment!
For alfresco rooftop vibes this winter, Pergola Paddington is a must. This West London hotspot will be going all out this Christmas with a Winter Wonderland transformation and will be in high demand post-lockdown. Fear not, however, as the venue accommodates up to 850 seats across its two floors. Best of all, the venue is only an 11-minute walk from easyHotel Paddington.
Travel to the heart of the city where you’ll find another one of London’s trendiest rooftop restaurants and lounge bars. Within a 5-star setting, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city at Radio Rooftop while tucking into delicious tapas meals from the restaurant’s Mediterranean inspired menu.
For tasty pizza and a wide selection of wine, craft beer, and cocktails, The Hawk’s Nest is your go-to. You can find this spacious outdoor restaurant nestled within London’s iconic Shepherd’s Bush Market. The outdoor setting of the restaurant consists of benches that can seat groups of up to 6 people (ideal if the rule of six makes a comeback).
A short stroll from Piccadilly Circus Station will lead you to Heddon Street Kitchen. Famously owned by Gordon Ramsay, this contemporary European inspired restaurant also consists of its very own rooftop terrace serving plenty of seasonal delights this winter. No ‘idiot sandwich’ here, just good food and good company.
For those itching to sink their teeth into some culture after spending most of the year indoors, a visit to a gallery or museum will be a most welcome activity to enjoy in London after lockdown. With many of the city’s major art galleries and museums re-opening with safety measures in place, most will be gearing up to welcome visitors back to both new and existing exhibitions that will aim to re-inspire and take our minds off what has been an unpredictable time.
Notable exhibitions to keep an eye on include - Arctic: Culture and Climate at The British Museum, which runs up to 21st February 2021, and Tate Britain’s renowned Turner Prize 2020 winner’s exhibition remaining open until the 3rd January 2021. We can also expect to see the return of family favourites, such as The Science Museum and The Natural History Museum, which will be filled with their ever-popular interactive exhibitions and educational talks. Pre-booking your tickets is advised to avoid missing out.
Despite its status as one of the busiest and most powerful cities in the world, London truly has it all, even when it comes to getting close to mother nature. Amongst majestic skyscraper buildings, the city also has a variety of green spaces that are perfect for a winter’s walk. Everything from Royal Parks to rural walks and urban trails will be available to the public.
For some festive cheer, visit The Royal Botanic Gardens in Richmond for the annual Christmas at Kew illuminations due to re-open from the 4th December. Book your tickets online in advance to enjoy spectacular light displays as you walk along a 2.6km trail that ends in a mesmerising light show.
You can also escape to one of London’s many Royal parks for a winter stroll through the 5,000 acres of parkland that is made up of each (please note that some public facilities within each park may remain closed). For inspiration, read our guide to Hyde Park, which is a short distance from easyHotel Victoria and easyHotel South Kensington.
For a more off-piste experience, a visit to the London Wetland Centre is highly recommended to get a taste of the countryside. A haven for wildlife enthusiasts, The London Wetland Centre is home to over 180 species of birds and wetland wildlife such as otters and geese.
Get to know a city as rich in history as London with a walking tour this winter. Add in a dash of social distancing and you’re ready to put those walking boots to good use.
Whether it’s a spooky tour of the East End retracing the steps of the infamous Jack the Ripper, or a tour that revisits the magic of Harry Potter, there’s something for everyone in these unique walking experiences. Each experience will have its own guidelines and measures, so please make sure to read ahead of booking before setting off on your adventures.
London's diversity is reflected everywhere you turn and in every borough that you visit. A walk through one of its many markets for instance and you will find yourself taking in the smells of fresh street food in places such as Borough Market, discovering hidden gems within vintage clothing stalls in Camden Market, or getting lost in luxury within Covent Garden Market. Wandering through the city's market areas is a sure enough way to keep you busy for hours. Our top tip - Make sure to check for opening times as there may be specific restrictions still in place.
We know what you’re thinking, Christmas is just around the corner and time is running out to stock up on gifts. Luckily, one of the main changes we can expect at the start of December is the return of our favourite retailers and shopping centres. Certainly, we will still be required to wear our masks indoors, but as London will be open for business, you can shop to your heart’s content in the capitals best shopping areas, such as Oxford Street, Westfield and popular department stores like Selfridges and Harrods (currently selling both beauty and luxury chocolate advent calendars!). Discover more of the best shopping hotspots in London in our handy guide.
London isn’t London without its iconic tourist attractions. From rubbing shoulders with celebrities at Madame Tussauds to coming face-to-face with all things underwater at SEALIFE London Aquarium. Tick off experiencing a 360-degree view of the city on The London Eye from your bucket list after lockdown but be sure to keep an eye on the attraction’s website for the latest updates on future bookings. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to appreciate our surroundings. And if there’s one thing to do post-lockdown, its to make sure you tick off a visit to some of those famous attractions in London.
We didn’t see this coming but going to a drive-in cinema has become one of the most top-rated and sought-after activities to enjoy during the lockdown. For a bit of escapism and a chance to appreciate the charm of a 1950’s drive-in theatre, book a night into one of London’s many drive-in experiences that have been going strong both pre and post lockdown. The best bit? You don’t have to worry about finding a seat!
Enjoy the classics this festive season at Luna Drive-In Cinema who has put together a range of Christmas screenings this winter all in a safe and socially distanced setting. Don’t have a car? No problem – The Drive-In have joined forces with Zipcar so that customers can hire a car for the experience.
Following the re-opening of beauty salons and spas across London, our favourite local beauty spots will be back up and ready for business. Treat yourself to a spa treatment this winter or a fresh hair cut ready in time for those much-needed Christmas festivities. Just make sure to check what treatments are available!
As we adjust to the new normal, there are two key takeaways we can gather from the pandemic. Although life won’t be returning to the way it used to be, many London experiences will continue to ensure that they can operate in-line with government guidance so that we can still enjoy a day out.
Secondly, and most importantly, life is to be appreciated, as are the places we see and our surroundings. London is always waiting to be explored no matter what happens.
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