If you’re looking for experiences to try in London that involve the Tower of London, Harry Potter, or something else that’s quite obvious, this is not the article for you. A huge part of experiencing London like you live here (the Love and London motto) is experiencing things that Londoners love to do… things that give the city the buzz you will understand when you get here. These types of experiences are the ones you will remember the most, above a typical tour of Westminster Abbey or Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
Here are some of the city’s most unique experiences to try in London.
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1. Unique classes and experiences at Neal’s Yard Dairy
Let’s talk cheese. Neal’s Yard Dairy is one of the city’s most famous cheesemongers (what cheese sellers are called in the UK.) If you are a cheese buff, this is the place to go. They offer classes that talk through things like the history of British cheese, in addition to hosting cheese-filled lunch and dinner experiences. Neal’s Yard cheese classes are some of the most unique experiences to try in London.
Image Courtesy of Virgin Experiences
2. London Helicopter Tour
Helicopter tours are very exclusive in London, and I believe there is only one company that has a license to do sky-high tours. See the most iconic London sights from the sky, all the way from Battersea to Canary Wharf.
Because it’s a fairly exclusive experience, you usually want to try to book this about eight weeks in advance. This makes for a fab gift, which you can buy a voucher for on Virgin Experience Days.
Image Courtesy of Brush and Bubbles
3. Paint and drink with Brush and Bubbles
Two Londoner artists had an idea to combine learning to paint with Prosecco, and came up with their now-booming-business called Brush and Bubbles. Book onto a class and you’ll be guided step-by-step through painting a certain masterpiece, although you’re free to go totally rogue. My whale tail painting is sitting on my mantlepiece right now, looking more diva-cup-like than tail… but I’m still flipping proud of that thing!
All materials are provided and canvases are small enough to stick in your checked bag to bring home.
Image Courtesy of Virgin Experiences
4. Get a custom suit on Saville Row
Savile Row, located in Mayfair, is world-famous for being lined with some of the best suit tailors in the world. If you’re after something extra special from your trip, a semi-custom suit might be the right fit (lolz, get it). Jasper Littman, a Savile Row tailor with over 20 years experience, will be there through the process to help you choose the perfect fabrics, get the right fit, and more.
You’ll need to be available to go back for two fittings so this experience is best for men who plan to return to London a couple more times in the following few months.
Image Courtesy of Carousel
5. Experience a guest chef at Carousel
Carousel, located in Marylebone, is a creative space and restaurant that has a rotation of guest chefs from all around the world serving up dinner to the lucky few foodies who book in for the once-nightly seating. Tables are family-style, so it’s more like a dinner party than a restaurant. They’re able to accommodate for many food allergies if you let them know in advance, so don’t let that hold you back from this experience.
Image courtesy of Virgin Experiences
6. Make your own personalised rings at Posh Totty Designs
If you are travelling with someone special, you can spend an evening creating your own personalised rings guided by highly skilled jewellers. You’ll have the opportunity to create bespoke sterling silver rings and learn the art of wax carving techniques, which will then be cast into sterling silver and hand-stamped with your personalisation. This experience includes a Prosecco toast (or a soft drink if you don’t drink alcohol).
Image Courtesy of Rooftop Film Club
7. Watch a film on one of London’s rooftops
If you’re visiting London in the warmer months then you can book tickets to watch a film al fresco and on a rooftop while the sun sets in the background. You’ll be given headsets (to hear the film), popcorn, rain poncho (just in case) and a lounge chair to enjoy the classic film of choice that night.
The Rooftop Film Club has locations at Roof East (Stratford), the Bussey Building (Peckham) and the Queen of Hoxton (Shoreditch).
8. Graffiti London walls with Graffik Gallery
Experience a graffiti class run by actual graffiti artists. You’ll create an A4 canvas (so it fits in your carry-on) focused on stencil art. However, if you are feeling a little wilder, you can free-hand spray their gallery garden walls. The sessions run for 2-hours with limited spaces.
Image Courtesy of Design My Night
9. Join a dinner party at The Little Blue Door
The Little Blue Door is a bar in Fulham that sits quietly behind a discreet blue door (duh.) Make it inside and there’s a bar that feels like you’re in someone’s home. Every Thursday and Friday night, they host a supper club, which feels a bit like a dinner party at your friend’s house, complete with games and communal tables.
The food wasn’t anything ground-breaking when I went, but it was great for meeting other Londoners and was good fun.
10. Get professional photos taken to commemorate your trip
Most of us can relate to going on a fantastic trip somewhere, and then realizing once you get home that you have pretty much NO good photos of you and whoever you were traveling with.
To make sure you get some incredible photos of your trip that you’re actually in, and that looks beautiful (even if you’re not a natural in front of the camera), book in for a London Photo Session, where a professional photographer will take you around London’s sights, capturing beautiful candid and posed moments that you can appreciate for years to come when you get your edited photos back just a few days later.
Image Courtesy of Virgin Experiences
11. Indulge at a luxury spa
One of the most lovely experiences you can do in London, no matter the weather, is a luxurious spa treatment. The 5-star Sofitel London St James Hotel has one of the most special spas in the city, and they offer a special experience bundle that covers the works for an incredibly indulgent day. This includes a 25-minute personalised back massage and a 25-minute personalised facial for each, a two-course meal at the Wild Honey restaurant. What a treatttttt….
Image courtesy of Secret Cinema
12. Go to a Secret Cinema experience
This is absolutely one of the hottest tickets in town, and one of the most unique experiences to try in London for tourists. Secret Cinema is an interactive movie experience, and ticket holders not only get to watch the film of choice in a secret location, but they also dress up as their assigned characters (it’s mandatory and people go all out) and there’s a theatrical performance related to the film before it begins. Every single person I know who’s been says it was absolutely so much fun.
Tickets always sell out so make sure you check early on for your travel dates to see if you can snag any.
These aren’t the only unique experiences to try in London, but this list will get you off to a great start to experiencing once-in-a-lifetime moments on your trip that will make it a million times better.
Pin this to your London board…