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10 Things to do in London when Lockdown's over

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

It’s been nearly three months since our Prime Minister announced full social distancing measures across the UK. 


Can you believe that? 


Almost a quarter of the year!

I think we can all agree that it’s looking like the possibility of life returning to ‘normal’ is on the horizon. I definitely have my reservations about immediately flying through the streets of London, and attending every event I can cram into my diary.


But lockdown has given me a chance to reflect on what it is about the freedom that I really enjoyed. 

I’m a sucker for Time Out London magazine and getting the best recommendations from friends or online communities. As a result, I’ve been lucky enough to discover some pretty cool things. 


So...I’ve put together a list of local London hotspots! These are things I’d highly recommend you add to your UK bucket list when restrictions have been lifted, and you feel like you're ready for local adventures. 

Platform 9 3/4 - King’s Cross 

I’ve lived in London (on and off) since 2011. And it was only last year that I decided I would finally brave the queue that is always outside Platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross station. I read all the Harry Potter books as a child, have visited Harry Potter World in Universal Studios and spent the day at the WB Studios in London. 


But I have to admit, I always hurried past the crowds at Platform 9 3/4 on my way to catch my own muggle train. 

When I actually waited in the queue, it felt like queuing up for a ride in the theme park. The Harry Potter merchandise shop next door have very cleverly arranged photographers and staff the manage the queue, as well as provide scarves and wands for the best pictures possible. 

I had a lot of fun being a tourist in the train station, and somehow it instantly transported me back to my childhood reading the books. 


It’s worth the wait! 


The Beigel shop

In the middle of Shoreditch on Brick Lane, you’ll find The Beigel Shop. 


It’s been around since 1855 and is a 24 hour bakery! So in the early hours of the morning after a few too many tequilas, or on a Sunday afternoon after rummaging around the vintage clothes shops, you can visit and get the most delicious, freshly baked goods. 

Not only that, but I’m sure it’s the only place in London to feature the infamous Rainbow Bagel. There’s ALWAYS a queue, but it gives you plenty of time to look at the menu and pick out what tickles your taste buds.


P.S. It’s super affordable, too!  


Gods Own Junkyard

In north London, there’s a warehouse in an industrial estate that’s open to suppliers Monday to Friday. But on the weekend, the doors open to the public!


You’re probably wondering why on earth you’d want to visit a warehouse on the weekend, but it’s not just any warehouse - this is neon heaven!

God’s Own Junkyard houses an insane collection of neon lights, signs, disco balls and movie props. And all of them are on display to create the most Instagrammable backdrop you can imagine!

They even have a pop-up cafe and bar with seating amongst all of the neon. 


I’d definitely check it out if you want to bring a little Vegas and sparkle into your life. 


Mayfair in Bloom

In honour of the annual Chelsea Flower Show, a sea of floral installations pop up all around Mayfair. They’re each unique and stunning to look at, some extravagant and outrageous, while others are subtle yet beautiful. 

It’s worth pointing out that they all make brilliant photo backdrops. 

I always follow the hashtag #mayfairinbloom to find out the best locations.


Maddox Gallery

Considering this art gallery is just off one of the busiest streets in London, it can be easy to miss. Most people would only spot it by chance or if they had to turn down Maddox Street to get somewhere. 


It’s a stunning little art gallery, but as fascinating as the art is, it’s the outside that gets my attention.

Maddox Gallery get fully onboard with every season or event. Whether it’s Christmas, Valentines Day, a new exhibition or London Pride, they go all out with decorating the front of the building. 


If you’re on Regent Street, I’d recommend stopping by to see what fun installation they’ve got on the wall. 


Elan Cafe

In a nutshell, a photogenic chain of coffee shops. 


If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to grab lunch surrounded by flower walls, giant love heart sweets, carousel horses and pink bicycles - this is your spot. 


There is always a queue to eat/drink inside! 


But if time isn’t of the essence, and you want to bask in the surroundings of something I can only describe as ‘dream like’, a little queuing won’t hurt you. 


The drinks are delicious too! 


Museum lates

One of my favourite discoveries of all time! 


If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I’m always harping on about late night museum events. They take place in all of the big museums in London and even some smaller galleries. From the Natural History Museum, Tate Modern and Tate Britain, The Science Museum and even the V&A. 

Once a month, after a normal day of operations, each of them close the doors to the public and reopen them again an hour later for adults only!


They have pop up gin bars, street food, some even have DJ’s, silent discos. They always have special interactive exhibitions that you can get involved in. 


The last science museum late I went to, had a slime workshop. To say my inner child was living her best life is an understatement. 

It’s a great way to see the museum, (a little tipsy) without the herds of school trips and everyday tourists. 


They all happen at different times and days of the month, so be sure to check the schedule online if you’re planning to visit.

Oh yes, and it’s free! 


I’d just recommend popping a donation in the jar on your way in. 


The Big London Bake

Ever wondered what it’s like to go on the Great British Bake Off? 


Me too! But, unfortunately I can’t bake! 


So the next best thing is a GBBO style baking class in south London. (I’ve been 3 times because I love it that much.)

They provide the ingredients, the recipe cards, the cooking station and an in-house Star Baker to help you along the way. 


I even went to a ‘Speed-Baking’ version where you get paired up with a different guy for each stage of cake-making. (That was a lot of fun, but none of the guys were a match.)

At the end of the hour, each team takes their masterpiece to the front of the room to get judged by the professionals, and the winner gets a branded kit to take home. 


The last time, I went with my boyfriend and we came 3rd place, which I thought was pretty impressive!

It’s a fun place to get competitive, plus there’s the cake to eat afterwards!


Milk train

They say we eat with our eyes first, and they’re not lying. 


I often scroll through Instagram for food and desserts that make my mouth water, and it works!


One of the desserts that got my attention on social media were the ice creams from Milk Train. It’s a parlour in Covent Garden with a twist!


The ice creams are over the top! 

Piled high with candyfloss, whole biscuits and loaded heavily with enough sprinkles to feed a unicorn. 


If you’re on a budget, I’d avoid this place, but if you fancy something unique as a treat, it’s a fun experience. 

What they don’t tell you though, is that in the heat of summer you probably want to find a freezer to eat it in. If not, you’ll end up covered in melted ice cream, sticky candy floss and gooey sprinkle residue. 


It didn’t end well for me... but I enjoyed it while it lasted. 


Secret Cinema

I’m going to try not to give too much away.


When I first heard of Secret Cinema, I thought it was one of those cinema screens that was decorated and themed when you go in. 


But it is so much MORE than that!

It’s an immersive cinema experience. When you book your tickets, you’ll be given a character to play and directions for what outfit your character will wear. You won’t know the location until the day, there is a meeting point and actors will meet you and direct you to the venue. 


We went to see the Moulin Rouge film. 


A group of us travelled from South London to North London dressed in lingerie. The closer we got the the tube stop, we noticed the carriage fill with other people wearing Moulin Rouge themed outfits. 

On arrival, you’re required to leave your phone in a locked trunk at the door, and the experience begins. 


EVERYBODY is in character, so much in fact that it’s hard to tell the actors from the guests. People would approach me and speak to me as though I was the character I was assigned. I noticed other people wearing the exact same outfit as me, who had also been assigned that character. 

The film part of the experience is unlike anything I’ve seen before in my life. That’s all I’ve going to say…


But you have to do it! 


I hope that this has given you an idea of things to add to your London bucket list. Of course, I’m excited to travel again and get back to seeing the world. But local places and quirky experiences like this will always have my heart. 

I'd love to know some of your favourite things to see and do in London. I still have plenty of things I’d love to add to my list! 


For more top tips on things to do in London, join my travel community https://m.facebook.com/groups/traveladdictsuk/


Thanks for reading

Sherilyn

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