5 Great Things to do Between Meetings in London

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Jul 01, 2015

by STEVE MCKENNA, Writer

For those who can find some spare time in their busy schedule, here are five great London experiences that should not be missed.

1.You may have “done” the British Museum, Tate Modern or many of the capital’s countless other admission-free cultural attractions but what about the Museum of London? Situated between Barbican and St Paul’s Cathedral, it’s a great place to explore when you have a spare hour or two. Multimedia exhibits and vintage objects document London’s history, from its Stone Age beginnings to its global-powerhouse status. Revolving exhibitions showcase many subjects, including Sherlock Holmes’s genius and the city’s fashion trends.

2. Renowned for witty, knowledgeable guides, London Walks operates more than 300 themed public strolls through the city. Topics cover everything from Jack the Ripper haunts and Bondian spy hangouts to literary pubs and secret Soho crannies. Peruse the daily schedule for an anecdote-filled walk that’s much more enjoyable than
a guidebook. Tours last up to two hours and cost £10 ($20). There’s no need to book ahead.

3. Described as “urban mountaineering”, Up at the O2 is a mildly thigh-and-calf-testing outdoor adventure to the 52m summit of North Greenwich’s iconic dome. The towers of Canary Wharf, the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site and the meandering Thames are among the mesmerising views. The guided expedition – including putting on your climb suit, boots, harness and latch – takes about 90 minutes and prices start at £28 ($56). For envy-inducing photos, scale the O2 at sunset.

4. Over the past decade, some of London’s formerly unfashionable neighbourhoods have transformed into super-trendy areas. But while they’re stamped with quintessential hipster tropes – street art, pop-ups, bearded cyclists – they’ve retained a gritty multicultural edge. Brixton, Peckham and Dalston are buzzing locales to explore.

5. Catch a show at the West End. Most of the performances – including acclaimed musical comedy The Book of Mormon and the world’s longest-running stage play, Agatha Christie murder mystery The Mousetrap – do nightly shows, with a few weekly matinées. Prefer film? Pop over to nearby Curzon Soho, one of the city’s coolest arthouse cinemas.