If you’re in London during lockdown 3.0, then you’re probably desperate for the city to open back up so you can reunite with friends at all the places you’ve missed the most. London is packed full of so many amazing things to do that we’re now itching to get back to. We’re holding out for the day that national lockdown restrictions ease in the UK (once it’s safe to do so), so we can get back to the fun London activities the city is known and loved for. From watching a sports game in a buzzing bar to drinking cocktails at sunset, here’s our post-lockdown bucket list of things to do in London that are fun and affordable while you and your friends keep safe and stick to the guidelines.
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1. Go to a sports bar
As a sports lover, there’s nothing better than watching a game with a pint of cold draught beer amongst a load of other sports fans. Going to a stadium to watch live probably won’t happen any time soon, but sports bars will hopefully open up ready to serve up all the pints you can drink along with an incredible atmosphere after lockdown. Keep your eyes peeled for a reopening date at Belushi’s - the best sports bars in London - where you can book out a booth with your own private TV screen or even watch from stadium seating (at the Hammersmith bar). There are branches in London Bridge, Hammersmith, Greenwich, Shepherd’s Bush and Camden, just make sure you book the big games in advance as they’re always sellouts.
2. Head to the countryside
Venture a little beyond the outskirts of London and leave the big city behind for rolling hills, pub lunches and panoramic views over the Surrey Hills. Getting to Surrey is so quick and easy that it’s the perfect while feeling like you’re on a proper holiday from the Big Smoke. You might be sick of walking after yet another lockdown, but once you set foot in Box Hill, the Devil’s Punchbowl or Newlands Corner these Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty will have you skipping along (the flat parts, anyway). Box Hill is one of the most beautiful places in the Surrey Hills, and is only a 40 minute direct train away from Waterloo or Clapham Junction.
3. Support your local restaurants
You’re probably craving all the classic central London eateries like Dishoom, Gloria Trattoria or Honest Burger, but remember what’s on your doorstep, too. Eating out at your local restaurants won’t just help them out, but it means you’re more likely to avoid public transport and find some new hidden gems just a stone’s throw away from your house. One of the best things about London is there are cafes and restaurants around every corner to be discovered, including those just minutes from where you live. Why not make a conscious effort to look after the places local to you once restrictions lift and these awesome independents (hopefully) open again.
4. Make the most of tourist-free museums
When lockdown lifts, that will hopefully mean museums will open up again as they did last summer with pre-booking and masks both essential. A major advantage of getting to the museums ASAP will be avoiding the crowds of tourists. Usually there would be an enormous line for all the , but with tourism at a halt they’re quieter than ever before. Walk around the British Museum, the V&A, the Natural History Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and more without the school trips or tourist groups overcrowding all the best exhibits. The British Museum is currently hosting their scheduled exhibitions online for you to enjoy, so if you’re bored in lockdown and craving some culture, head to the website and immerse yourself in Arctic: Culture and Climate until February 21st.
5. Food markets
London is home to some incredible which serve up dishes from all corners of the world. With a lot of them being outdoors, the food markets in London are a great weekend activity. Make the most of Borough Market’s lack of tourists and visit Juma Kitchen for their insanely delicious Iraqi dumplings, head to north London’s Camden Market for the famous halloumi fries from Oli Baba or head off the beaten track for the ultimate cheese toastie from The Cheese Truck at Maltby Street Market. We know we cannot wait to tuck into all these mouthwatering dishes again. Then there’s Greenwich Market, Spitalfields Market, Mercato Metropolitano (a great evening out), Box Park, the Market Halls and way more serving up some of the most delicious food in the city.
6. Watch the sunset at a rooftop bar
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to . From the cool, quirky car park roofs with wall art designed by locals to the slightly more sophisticated central London cocktail bars atop fancy restaurants, they each have their own unique style with seriously good views. Head down to south London’s Peckham when the weather warms up to watch the sunset over the city skyline at Frank’s Cafe. One of the best summer hangout spots in London is Roof East over in Stratford. Sitting on top of a shopping centre with loads of activities like curling and mini golf, the sunset from here is known for being epic.
7. Book some indoor activities
If you’re anything like us, you’ll be desperate to see your friends in a setting that isn’t virtual and actually get together to DO something. After lockdown, book a few slots for some of the many indoor activities in London which are especially ideal if it’s a . Crazy golf at Swingers in central, curling at London Shuffle Club, bowling at All Star Lanes and even axe throwing at Whistle Punks, the opportunities go on! Grab a cocktail for your round (except if you’re axe throwing, they don’t serve alcohol whilst it’s your group’s turn for obvious reasons) and soak up the post-lockdown atmosphere of doing something fun with your friends in person!
8. Meet your friends for bottomless brunch
Missing your free-flowing bubbles on a Saturday lunchtime? There’s no doubt that plenty of London’s bottomless brunches will open up the second they get the go ahead, so you can go back to weekends of too much Prosecco and not enough egg’s Benedict. There are so many cafes and restaurants around the city now offering up bottomless brunch deals, but if you’re looking for then check out our list. We’re all dying to go out for drinks with our friends when lockdown is over, so get ready to reserve a table at the most popular spots fast. Mimosas, espresso martinis, Prosecco served with a side of all the brunch-time classics - we can’t wait.
9. Go out for a Sunday roast
Crispy roasties, Yorkshire puds overflowing with gravy, sweet seasonal veg and melt-in-the-mouth meat, all washed down with a cold local pint. Many of us will have attempted our own version at home over the lockdowns, but nothing beats going out for a Sunday roast in a proper British pub. Being the English capital, London is full to the brim with traditional pubs and modern restaurants serving enormous roast dinners with all the trimmings. Some of these spots are much more expensive than others, so we’ve put together a list of all the that are beyond delicious and won’t put a dent in your wallet. Vegan? Check out instead.