Unique Ways to See London at Night
London achieves a unique nocturnal charm as soon as night falls on the city. The skyline of the city illuminates giving the appearance of a restless city that is always on the go, the energy being unceasing. From awe-inspiring ghost tours to dawn markets to all-night cinema, discovering this enigmatic city at night is truly an unparalleled experience. If you are in London or have plans to visit this city in the future, do make sure to include a “nocturnal” itinerary in your kitty with this guide. Instead of snuggling yourself in the beds of your London accommodation, come out of the room and discover the “dark” side of the city.
Gazing the Sky
Hampstead Heath in London is the highest point in the city. Considered the best place in London for stargazing, this place is a heaven for night and sky lovers. Go towards east from the majestic Heath House to get the best and unadulterated view of the night sky. If you are craving for a closer look, then trudge towards the Hampstead Observatory. At the Hampstead Scientific society here, viewers are allowed to have a free viewing of the night sky with the help of its telescope. You will also have a free access to the UCL Observatory at Mill Hill.
However, the free access to telescope at the Hampstead Scientific society is allowed from mid-September to mid-April, the timings and days being between 8-10 pm and Fridays and Saturdays respectively.
Tower of London
Witnessing the Historic Key Ceremony
It is the traditional locking up of the Tower of London every night. Been in the tradition for the last 700 years, this iconic building is locked up each night to protect the jewels and other royal valuables of the palace. The ceremony takes place at 21.53 pm daily and above all, admission to this ceremony is free. However, you will have to apply at least two months in advance in order to witness this historic ‘locking-up’ of the palace!
If you want more information regarding the ceremony, visit hrp.org.uk
Immersing into the Mythological Stories
You will not be able to find this monstrous hybrid human here (which is quite good for everyone!). However, you can visit this place and have a peek at the best night clubs and bars of the city. The only connection between Soho and werewolf is through a song called “Werewolves of London” in which there is a direct reference to this LGBT haven of London.
In addition to this, another place which this song has immortalised is Lee Ho Fooks (now known as Golden Harvest). Enter this restaurant and have a go at its Beef Chow Mein. Afterwards, head towards the iconic Bar Italia for some exquisite pints.
Prince Charles Cinema
Night Long Moviethon
Want to involve into a movie marathon with your buddies in the night? Then, Prince Charles Cinema at the Leicester Square is the perfect place for you. Dishing out a heavy concoction of classic movies with other programmes, this cinema is a haven for movie lovers. You can also request a movie here, but you will have to inform the cinema through their twitter handle.
Frommer's London Day By Day Travel Guide
Flying with Bats!
Venture into this iconic London Park and you will be greeted by a swarm of bats in the night. An astounding variety of bats swarms this place at night. At this park, you will have a chance of seeing the smallest bat of Europe, pipistrelles. Along with pipistrelles, noctules (one of the first species of bats that appear in the evening in the city) also make a strong presence here. In fact, the London Bat Group keeps notes of the various bat-related events. Visit londonbats.org.uk for more information.
After you have swarmed the park with bats, head towards 138 Piccadilly and visit the Central London residence of Irish Writer Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Various places in London
Hunting for the Ghost!
London is considered one of the spookiest places on Earth and there are enough reasons for backing this claim. London reportedly has the highest number of ghost-sightings per square metre than any other place in the world. Therefore, if you are out in London night, then be prepared to confront ghosts! There are various places in London where reports of ghost –sightings have been making rounds in the past. Various pubs of London like Black Lion Pub in Hammersmith, the Grenadier Pub in Wilton Row and other such pubs are haunted by one or more ghosts. As far as places are concerned, Margravine Cemetery, Holland Park, and Coronet Cinema are the most likely places for having a meeting with ghosts!
After you have visited these spooky places, do not forget to board on to the phantom bus of Cambridge Gardens to round off your spooky night in the city.
The Illuminating Pagoda
As the dawn starts cracking onto the horizon, make your way towards this exquisitely built pagoda at Battersea Park. Home to one of the biggest Pagodas in the city, the Battersea Pagoda is literally a treat to watch. As you enter this pagoda in early morning, you will find a single Buddhist monk drumming along the way, chanting the sense-soothing Daimoku and heralding the advent of morning. Join that monk and indulge your senses into a heavenly and spiritual experience.
Embarking on a Wholesale Market Tour
After your sleepless adventures in the night, there is nothing better than having a sumptuous breakfast. And what better way to spend the rest of night than accumulating the ingredients for your healthy handmade breakfast in the hotel. Reach the Spitalfields Market that is open all night and navigate your way through juicy mushrooms and tomatoes. However, if your taste buds are craving for delicious sausages and bacon, then arrive at Smithfield (opening time 3 am). Then, make your way towards Tinseltown Diner for an early morning snack.
Polo Bar, Liverpool Street
Remedy for Increasing Morning Hunger!
If morning is still at some distance and your hunger is increasingly frustrating you, then head into Polo Bar. Opened in 1959, this cafe adjacent to Liverpool Station is a 24/7 bar serves up delicious British cuisines. Having satisfied your appetite, make your way to Liverpool station and spend your time roaming around the station.
If you are not satisfied with your first night tour in London, then plan the second night tour with the point of interest being Brixton. Herald the evening with some head-spinning live gigs at Hootananny located on Efra Road and start the evening with a bang. Afterwards, venture into Speedy Noodle to quench the rising appetite after your dancing spree at the Hootananny. Having filled up the stomach, step into one of many night clubs in Brixton and dance your night away. If you have not done with partying even now, then make your way towards Club 414 on Coldharbour Lane and join the fun in the morning after party of the club.
These ten extravagant ways will make your night tour of the city even more enthralling. Choose the best combination that suits you and plunge into the alleys of fun and revelry in the city night.
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