The May Fair

The May Fair hotel blog

06 Jun 2013

Late Night London: 5 Cultural Ways to Spend an Evening 1  

Posted in Guest blog, London Reporter, Nightlife

There are so many things to do and see in London that it’s difficult to know where to begin. There are the usual attractions, like Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the Parliament Building, and the Tower of London, where you can spend your days exploring the city’s fascinating past, but what about after the sun sets? What kind of things can you expect to do in England’s capital at night? Many of the top sights are open late especially for tourists who want to experience the magic of London after dark, including some of the many museums that London has to offer.

London Bridge

The city is a prime cultural hotspot and has numerous educational and enriching activities to do, such as a multitude of theatre shows, language courses in Ealing, and some of the world’s most famous museums. But you don’t have to pack these into your day time itineraries, as many of them open their doors in the evening and invite visitors to enjoy a relaxed evening full of good food, ancient artefacts, well-known paintings, and live music. Here are some of the best cultural evening events.

Lates at the Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is one of London’s top tourist attractions, and for good reason! There are a range of fascinating exhibitions that display the city’s past, as well as global archaeological findings that influenced how the world is today. Every Friday the museum boasts a late opening, where you can try delicious traditional English food and drink, chat with friends, and watch a live band set against a backdrop of Dinosaurs and other historical exhibits. Find out more here.

Natural History Museum


Tour of the Enlightenment at the British Museum

For a culturally rich evening, take a tour of the Enlightenment which takes place every Thursday in the Enlightenment Gallery. The permanent exhibition is home to thousands of objects that document the Enlightenment period across Europe, which marked a time of reason and learning. Here, you can find out how British people understood the world during this era, with the display revealing how collectors, travellers, and scholars classified objects at this time.

The Enlightenment Gallery serves as a starting point to the rest of the British Museum and its collections, illustrating how the natural world and human accomplishments have evolved over time. Confusing? Don’t worry; the group hit the pub afterwards to talk it over. Find out more here.

British Museum

The Great Court of the British Museum by Damir Fabijanc


Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

This is a museum, but not in the traditional sense. If the thought of ancient artefacts and dinosaurs doesn’t sound like the perfect evening for you, then you might want to check out Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, which showcases a huge range of weird and wonderful items from all over the world. Expect to see sculptures of typical London sights made from matchsticks, strange shrunken heads, and ‘The Last Supper’ painted on a single grain of rice. It’s open until midnight every day, so there’s plenty of time to gawk at the extraordinary displays and, whether it’s your cup of tea or not, it will certainly give you something to talk about over dinner!


Science Museum

The Science Museum is another of London’s most popular tourist attractions, displaying fascinating visual interpretations and information about the world around us. On the last Wednesday of every month, you can explore the gallery when it is at its emptiest, away from the crowds of schoolchildren that use it as an educational tool which gives you more time and space to mull over the questions it tackles. In addition, there are a range of themed activities, gallery tours, speed dating, silent discos, live music, and a fully-stocked bar for you to enjoy.

Science Museum

Science Museum Interior by Lee Mawdsley


Poetry Stand Up

This activity is slightly different from the other offerings on this list, in that it is not a museum of any kind.

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Of course, museums are a great cultural adventure but there are so many other late night arts-based things to do in London. For example, every Thursday you can check out this performance of stand up poetry with Bang Said the Gun which describes itself as ‘stand up poetry for people who don’t necessarily like poetry.’

Sound interesting? It has been named as one of the best spoken word events in the city, and you only have to read the testimonials to see that it is a huge hit amongst locals. Find out more here.

This post was brought to you by Lizzie Davey, who writes for adventure travel agent,

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Posted in Guest blog, London Reporter, Nightlife

One Comment

  • June 6, 2013 Late Night London: 5 Cultural Ways to Spend an …

    […] There are so many things to do and see in London that it’s difficult to know where to begin. There are the usual attractions, like Buckingham Palace, the  […]

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