21 Quirky Things to Do in London

10th April 2019 Liam Porter London Life, News and Events, What's On

If you’re moving to London, it’s no doubt in part due to the many great things the capital has to offer. While there are plenty of great bars, restaurants, and tourist attractions, we definitely recommend looking for quirky things to do in London. Check out our list below and get ready to do something totally out of the norm.

Quirky things to do in london - trampoline park

1. Jump Around at a Trampoline Park

Just a short train ride from Central London and you’ll find a number of trampoline parks. They’ve taken the country by storm of late granting adults and youngsters alike the chance to soar. Expect basketball hoops, foam pits and battle ledges. If you’ve not yet tried one out, you really need to check them out as they truly are one of the quirkiest things to do in London.

Locations:

Oxygen Free Jumping
Kendal Avenue, W3 0AF

Flipout
Bendon Valley, Wandsworth, SW18 4LZ

ZapSpace
High Street, Stratford, E15 4QZ

2. Reach New Heights at a Rock Climbing Centre

Embrace your inner Spiderman at one of London’s indoor rock climbing centres. Go rope-free and take part in some bouldering or stick to the traditional and complete some top-rope climbing. For experienced climbers, you can opt for lead-rope climbing. That said, whether you’re a beginner or expert, you’ll find a wall perfect for your situation at one of the many climbing centres in the city.

Locations:

VauxWall Climbing
South Lambeth Road, SW8 1SR

Castle Climbing
Stoke Newington, N4 2HA

Mile End Climbing Wall
Haverfield Road, E3 5BE


quirky things to do in london - spoken word night

3. Rhyme, Dine & Wine at a Spoken Word Night

Embrace some literature and performance at one of the many London spoken word nights. There’s a huge poetry scene in the capital, making this one of the most impressive quirky things to do in London. Artists like George the Poet and Kate Tempest came through this scene and have gone on to achieve great success. Go and find the next big name at one of the following spoken word nights.

Locations:

Rhymes With Orange
Farr’s School of Dancing, E8.

Bang Said The Gun
Soho Theatre, W1

Apples and Snakes
The Albany, SE8

Credit:
https://www.southwarknews.co.uk/news/old-public-toilet-in-camberwell-park-transformed-into-feminist-art-gallery/

4. Discover the Toilet That Is Really an Art Gallery

Head on down to Brunswick Park in South London and check out the toilet that is really an art gallery. After a successful crowd-funding campaign, The Bower – a voluntary organisation for the arts – transformed an abandoned toilet block into a fully fledged exhibition space. The campaign was so successful, they were also able to convert the old gardener’s hut into a cafe.

Location:

https://thebower.org.uk
Brunswick Park, SE5

5. Visit London’s Oldest Tree

In less than an hour’s train ride from King’s Cross, you can find yourself in the company of London’s oldest living thing. After 24 years of research, experts from The Ancient Yew Group announced that the Totteridge Yew is likely to be around 2000 years old. This means the tree has stood tall and watched on as vikings raided the city, kings were hanged, as the Great Fire of London burned most of the city and as suffragettes bombed governmental buildings. Worth a visit? We think so!

Location:

St Andrew’s Parish Church
Totteridge Village, N20 8PR

6. Get Lost With London’s Abandoned Buildings

London is known the world round for its beautiful buildings – think The Gherkin, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Shard. However, hiding between new high-rises and renovated neo-classics are many derelict and abandoned buildings. From dusty yet majestic chapels churches to history-filled bomb shelters, there’s plenty to check out. If you fancy a full day of quirky things to do in London, plot a tour around the city’s derelict spots.

Locations:

Asylum Chapel
Asylum Chapel, Peckham

Aldwych Bomb Shelter
Aldwych Underground Station, Central London, WC2R 2NE

7. Grab a Brew in a 300 Year Old Teashop

Everybody knows the Brits love their tea. So much so, there’s a teashop in London that’s been going for 300 years. Recession? No problem. Gentrification? Whatever. This tea shop has stood the test of time, avoiding the gaze of developers and city planners, all the while providing the city with some of the best tea around. Sign up for a masterclass or pop in and grab a brew from the Loose Tea Bar.

Location:

Twinings Tea Shop
216 Strand, WC2R 1AP

8. Learn Ceramics at Crown Works Pottery School

Probably not something you’ve thought about but learning ceramics is one of the most fun and quirky things to do in London. It’s messy, it’s fun and there is a ton of history to the British ceramics industry too. It works great as an ice-builder for new teams or flatmates but is also great to check out by yourself too. For those who want to continue, you can sign up to evening classes and carry on with pottery as a hobby. If you’re not quite ready for the full process, there are plenty of cafes where you can paint ready-made pottery to take home.

Locations:

SkandiHus
90 De Beauvoir Road, N1 4EN

Crown Works Pottery
Temple Street, E2 6QQ

Camden Arts Centre
Arkwright Road, 6DG

Sheep Drive - A Quirky Thing to do in London
Credit:
https://www.citymatters.london/alan-titchmarsh-london-bridge-sheep-drive/

9. Watch a Herd of Sheep Lay Siege to the City

In a throwback to olden-time farmers driving their sheep across London Bridge to market, this tradition continues once a year. There’s also a Livery fair so you can browse the stalls and bag yourself some unique products or gifts. Clearly, the prize attraction is the herd of sheep frolicking their way around town. But if you see any of those sheep tearing it in up in local nightclubs later on, maybe let the owner know.

Locations:

SheepDrive
London Bridge, SE1 9RA

10. Drink Absinthe In The Company of Shrunken Heads

Absinthe has long been rumoured to have hallucinogenic properties, but in the Museum of Curiosities, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re seeing things, whether or not you try the infamous alcoholic drink in the cocktail bar beforehand. For £6 you’ll get a ticket to the museum and a cup of tea on request. If you are considering a drink in the bar beforehand, it’s advised to book.

Location:

The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities
Mare Street, E8 4RP

11. Pretend to be a Lord or Lady at the Chelsea Flower Show

It’s one of the hottest dates on the British social calendar. Good ol‘ queen Liz normally shows her face, while plenty of celebs are seen sipping champagne, feigning interest in Japanese Cherry Blossoms and Wisteria shrubs. But there are plenty of tickets available for the public too. Running every year in the last weeks of May, you can book a week’s pass or a day ticket. Get involved if experimental garden design takes your fancy. Or, you might just want to amble about in your best clobber, wining and dining like royalty. Tickets range from £29 upwards. There’s also the opportunity to add on a posh breakfast, lunch or dinner. In terms of quirky things to do in London, the Chelsea Flower Show is probably the most high-brow!

Location:

Royal Chelsea Flower Show
Royal Chelsea Hospital Chelsea, SW3 4SR 

12. Brew your own beer

Craft beer has taken the world by storm in recent years. Nobody wants a standard pint anymore. Instead, oddly flavoured beers have not only taken people’s fancy but become an industry in its own right. However, the next phase in the rise-of-craft is brewing your own! Check out some of the brew-your-own spots for a super fun, slightly drunken, quirky thing to do in London.

Locations:

London Beer Lab
Nursery Road, SW9 8BP

UBrew
Old Jamaica Road, SE16 4AW

13. Visit the House Filled with Hundreds of Butterflies

Inside the Horniman Public House and Museum, there’s a room filled with hundreds of butterflies. Check out rare and beautiful breeds while learning about the lifecycle of butterflies. There’s also plenty else to do at Horniman, including an animal walk, aquarium and 16 acres of stunning gardens.

Location:

Horniman Butterfly House
London Rd, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ

14. Dine the Night Away on Jellied Eels

Despite being one of the most well established London traditions, you may be surprised to find you can still find Jellied Eels for sale in the capital. They may not sound incredibly appetising but they’re arguably the backbone of a city that’s had it fair share of ups and downs. If you’re up for a real slice of history, check out Manzes Pie and Mash shop. First opened in 1905, this is the oldest surviving spot in the capital to get jellied eels.

Locations:

Manzes Pie and Mash Shop
Tower Bridge Road, SE1 4TW

Poppies Fish and Chips Shop
Spitalfields, E1 6QR
Soho, W1D 6HW
Camden, NW1 8NP

15. Take a 108 year old Canal Boat Along the Canal to Little Italy

Take the original Regent’s Canal boat tour departing from Little Venice to Camden or the opposite way. For those interested in the history, start from Camden and you’ll get live commentary on the history of the 108-year-old boat you’ll travel by. You’ll also get plenty of information about the canal and London too. If you’re more interested in relaxing and enjoying the view, start at Little Venice and head back to Camden Lock as this doesn’t have commentary.

Locations:
Jason’s Canal Boat Tour
Little Venice, London W9 2PF
Camden Lock Place, NW1 8AF


16. Step back in time at Highgate Cemetery

In the leafy grounds of Waterlow park is a home to famous name after famous name. So, while the park boasts plenty of attractions in its ground, it’s who is dwelling beneath which takes the accolades. That’s because Waterlow Park is the home of Highgate cemetery, where the likes of George Michael, Douglas Adams, George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) all rest. But the most notable is hands down Karl Marx. If you’re at all interested in socialism, politics in general, philosophy or history, this is a must for quirky things to do in London.

Location:

High Gate Cemetery
Swain’s Ln, Highgate, London N6 6PJ

17. Visit the UK’s oldest prison

Another highly unusual thing to do in London is visit the UK’s oldest prison. Fortunately, it’s no longer filled with violent drunks or angry thieves. That’s because it’s been turned to an exhibition meaning you get the tour risk-free. But don’t think that means it’ll be boring; the prison was home to some notable historical figures from John Rogers (the man who translated the bible from Latin to English) through to Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger (poet and heretic charged with treason by the one and only Bloody Mary).

Location:

Clink Prison Museum
Clink Street, SE1 9DG

18. Kayak along the Thames

Now you can get involved with the river that birthed a city, inspired Monet and even played home to a Beluga Whale. Get ready to Kayak in the shadow of Tower Bridge, the Parliament buildings, and plenty of other incredible sights and attractions. Or go a little further out where the scenery changes to gorgeous drooping willows and sycamores with wildlife-a-plenty.

Locations:

London Kayak Company
Greenwich, SE10 0PA

Kayaking London
Cremorne Riverside, SW10 0QH

19. Helicopter around London’s landmarks

One of the most expensive in our list of quirky things to do in London, but perhaps one of the most spectacular too. See some of the world’s greatest landmarks from an incredible vantage-point while the Thames stretches its way to the Channel.

Locations:

HeliAir London
High Wycombe, SL7 3DP

Adventure001
North Weald Airfield, Epping, CM16 6HR

20. Hot Air Balloon around London

Not a fan of high speed of helicopters? Consider a hot air balloon ride above the capital instead. This truly is an incredible and quirky thing to do in London with prices starting from around £125. Pretend your Jules Verne and starting your world trip safe in the knowledge that you’ll be down in a few hours. And don’t forget, there’s the option for champagne and toasted marshmallows while you’re floating up in the clouds too!

Locations:

Adventure Balloons
London Rd, RG27 8HY

Virgin Balloons
Essex, CM1 4LH

21. Visit God’s Own Junkyard

On the Ravenswood Industrial Estate in Walthamstow lies a wonderland of neon and colour. This is Gods Own Junkyard, a haven of bright lights and retro signs, where plastic and metal are given a new breath of life and reinvigorated for display. Owner Chris Bracey has been known as the Neon Man for 37 years, creating artpieces and signs for Hollywood blockbusters like Batman, Charlie and The Factory, and Eyes Wide Shut to name but a few! Even if you don’t want to shell out on a sign, check out the store and you’ll be left in no doubt as to why this has made our list for quirky things to do in London.

Location:

God’s Own Junkyard
Marylebone, W1A 1AB

Liam Porter

Liam Porter

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