London may be cold and grey in the winter, but what it lacks in climatic charm it makes up for with its terrific mix of culture and entertainment. Escape the winter blues (and chills) with these five fun and exciting things to do in the UK’s capital city.
Shakespeare’s Globe is known for its superb, rollicking outdoor performances, but the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse offers an equally unforgettable candlelit, indoor experience. Located on site at the Globe, the Playhouse presents performances 52 weeks of the year, featuring contemporary plays as well as Shakespearean classics. Constructed based on 17th-century indoor playhouses, the replica Jacobean theatre seats 340 audience members in a horseshoe formation, with benches in the pit allowing viewers to get up close and personal with the actors.
Perfect your downward dog while watching the sunrise over London at the top of The Shard, the tallest skyscraper in the UK. Led by Yogasphere, this all-level, hour-long flow practice is Europe’s highest yoga class. For those who feel a bit queasy at 310 metres, Yoga 24 is also available on the 24th level, with views of Tower Bridge and beyond. Don’t forget your camera.
Situated in lively Soho, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club is one of the oldest jazz clubs in the world. It has welcomed musical greats such as Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis and Count Basie to its stage since 1959. With the main club situated downstairs, Upstairs @ Ronnie’s features a rotating and eclectic lineup of artists from slam poets to Cuban bands. The Late Late Show is perfect for jazz enthusiasts and night owls alike, with acts taking the stage as late as 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Discover one of London’s most iconic historic buildings—whilst ice skating. Alexandra Palace, or “Ally Pally,”,as it’s known locally, opened its doors in 1873 and has kept most of its period features, despite surviving two fires. Today, it houses an ice rink, restaurant and a stage that has featured performances by the likes of Jay-Z, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.
Take advantage of Tate Modern‘s late opening hours on Fridays and Saturdays, when the museum is open to the public until 10 p.m. And visit the Tanks, the Tate’s newest galleries, for live performances, interactive art and video installations. Enjoy dinner with a panoramic view of London’s skyline at the restaurant in the Switch House, which features contemporary British cuisine and a curated wine list.
Four Quirky Places to Visit in London
London's famous landmarks are instantly recognizable, but the city is also home to some wildly unique, hidden gems. From a Victorian lavatory-turned-café to a museum of neon signs, here are four quirky places to visit in London that are well off the beaten path.