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Leisure Time in London and the UK - London Leisure

Piccadilly Circus, LondonGoing out in London

London has some of the most diverse leisure activities of any city.

Whether you are looking to fill and evening or a weekend there is always something going on in London.

The city boasts some of the wining and dining options to be found anywhere. Culture vultures will not be disappointed with plenty going on to suit all tastes.


Going out in London in the Evenings

You should never be bored after work in London. London is one of the great entertainment capitals of the world and there is something for every budget.

Eating and Drinking in London....

Avoid Hangovers

The pub is very much at the heart of British culture and there are places to drink across the capital to match every taste! Antipodean bars such as 'The Walkabout' are found all over town particularly in Central and West London. Last orders is generally at 11pm although some do have late licences, especially when special events are on.

London is fast gaining a reputation for being the culinary capital of Europe. This is mostly down to the ethnic diversity of it's people. Any type of food is available anytime. Costs can vary wildly from cheap pub grub to the michelin rated restaurants of the Chelsea and other upmarket areas.

A word of advice on eating. As with any heavily visited city try and steer clear of tourist restaurants. There are plenty of places ready to trap you into an expensive and tasteless experience.

Below are a few of the popular antipodean pubs/clubs.

We advise you check your weekly copy of Time Out and TNT Magazine for a ?What's on Guide?


Nearest Tube


The Sun

Clapham Common

020 7622 9696

The Walkabout

Shepherds Bush

020 8740 4339

The Walkabout

Covent Garden

020 7379 5555

The Slug & Lettuce

Fulham Broadway

020 7385 3209

The Swan


020 7738 3065

The Springbok

Covent Garden

020 7379 1734

The Dove


020 8748 5405

The Zulu Bar

Putney Bridge

020 7371 7788

The Fine Line

Clapham Junction

020 7924 7387

Any Pitcher & Piano or "All Bar One" bar throughout London


Nearest Tube


Bar Rumba

Leicester Square

020 7287 2715

Ministry of Sound

Elephant & Castle

020 7378 6528

Cloud Nine


020 7735 5590

Bagley's Studios

Kings Cross

020 7278 2777

Clapham Grand

Clapham Junction

0800 783 7485

Fiesta Havana

Fulham Broadway

020 7381 5005

The End

Tottenham Court Road

020 7419 9099

Leopard Lounge

Fulham Broadway

0800 783 7485

The Redback


020 8896 1458

London Days and London Weekends

British Airways London Eye
This huge wheel is London's fourth tallest structure. Passengers get an amazing view across the London skyline.
Nearest Tube Embankment, Waterloo, Charing Cross, Westminster.
Admission £8.50
Online: www.british-airways.com/londoneye

Tower of London
It has the Crown Jewels and ghosts. The Tower is full of interesting things.
Nearest Tube Tower Hill
Admission £11
Online: www.hrp.org.uk

Buckingham Palace
The Queen's London residence is open to visitors throughout summer for tours through certain State Rooms and the Ballroom. The Royal Mews and Queen's Gallery is open to the public throughout the year. The Changing of the Guard occurs at 11:30am, daily from April - July and alternate days thereafter. For further information call 020 7799 2331.
Address Buckingham Palace Road, SW 1
Nearest Tube Victoria/Green Park
Admission £10
Online: www.royalresidences.com

Hampton Court Palace
Take a fantastic tour throughout the Palace - including visits to the Tudor Kitchen where maids roast meat on a spit. The extensive gardens are perfect for a picnic and the world-famous maze makes for a fun afternoon. Call 020 8781 9500
Address East Molesley, Surrey
Rail Station Hampton Court
Online: www.hrp.org.uk

Natural History Museum
This museum is packed with interesting natural exhibits including 'Dinosaurs', and 'The Power Within' where you can experience an earthquake. Definitely worth a visit. Call 020 7942 5000
Address Cromwell Road, SW7
Nearest Tube South Kensington
Admission £9.00
Online: www.nhm.ac.uk

Victoria & Albert Museum
146 galleries host an incredibly diverse collection of decorative arts including the largest collection of Italian Renaissance sculpture outside Italy, and the Dress Gallery which covers over 400 years of European fashionable dress. Call 020 7942 2000
Address Cromwell Road, SW7
Nearest Tube South Kensington
Admission £5.
Online: www.vam.ac.uk

National Gallery
Neo-classical building presenting all great periods of European painting. Call 020 7839 3321
Address Trafalgar Square, WC2
Nearest Tube Charring Cross, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Embankment
Admission Free entry , though some exhibitions are charged
Online: www.nationalgallery.org.uk

Tate Modern
Situated in the spectacular Bankside Power Station, the Tate Modern houses one of the most important modern art collections in the world. Call 020 7887 8007
Address 25 Sumner Street, SE1Southwark
Admission Free
Visit www.tate.org.uk

The Big Bus Company One of the best ways to experience the architectural and cultural magnificence of London is on an open-top live-guided sightseeing tour. A day full of history, amazing facts, and above all lots of fun, is guaranteed. And you will have the best view around Tickets cost: Adults £18 Children £8

Buses run every 15-30 minutes.

Tickets are valid for 24 hours and include:

.  free river cruise

.  free walking tours

.  live guides and commentary

You can hop on or off at any of the stops along the tour

For more information:

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7233 9533
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7828 0638
Email: info@bigbustours.com

Website: www.bigbus.co.uk

London Culture, London Theatre and Film


Roxie, a chorus girl who has murdered her lover but manages to get acquitted with the help of sleazy lawyer Billy Flynn teams up with another murderess Velma to form an unusual nightclub act, which they hope will keep them in the public eye. The musical, which won the 1998 Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production, includes the songs All That Jazz, Razzle-Dazzle, Class and All I Care About.

Theatre: Adelphi Theatre
Cost: £15 - £40

Performance Times (Mon - Friday): 8pm (Fri 5pm & 8:30pm)
Performance Times (Saturday): 3pm & 8pm
Performance Times (Sunday): N/A
Matinee: N/A

Nearest Tube: Charing Cross


Do you want to live forever? Join the students from New York's legendary School of Performing Arts as they climb the ladder to their ultimate goal - Fame! FAME follows the highs, the lows, the romances and the ultimate triumphs of the star struck pupils. So don those leg warmers, dance on that taxi, learn how to fly, but whatever you do, don't miss out, witness the phenomenon that is FAME!

Theatre: Aldwych Theatre
Cost: £14 - £39.50

Performance Times (Mon - Friday): 7:30pm
Performance Times (Saturday): 3pm & 7:30pm
Performance Times (Sunday): N/A
Matinee: Friday 5:30pm

Nearest Tube: Covent Garden

Twelfth Night
St Martin's Lane

A monsoon on the Arabian sea wrecks a ship on the rocks. Twins Viola and Sebastian, are separated and when Viola is eventually washed ashore on the island of Illyria the complications begin.

This new production of Shakespeare's comedy transposes the action from Illyria to contemporary India. The creative team have chosen India, as "the place which most closely resembles Shakespeare's London today". With its honour codes, the rules of marriage, holy men, beliefs and the significance of festival, the Indian setting is intended to find a fresh, contemporary relevance for the world of the play.

Theatre: Albery
Cost: £11.00 - £37.50

Performance Times (Mon - Friday): 7:30pm
Performance Times (Saturday): 2:30pm & 7:30pm
Performance Times (Sunday): N/A
Matinee: Wednesday 2:30pm

Nearest Tube: Leicester Square

We Will Rock You
Tottenham Court Road
W1 0AG

This show is based on the life and times of the band rock band Queen, who got together in the 70's and had a number of hits both in the UK and aboard. The show contains a number of Queens songs and is in recognition of the bands leader Freddie Mercury who died in 1991.

Theatre: Dominion
Cost: £10 - £45

Performance Times (Mon - Friday): 7:30pm
Performance Times (Saturday): 3:30pm & 7:30pm
Performance Times (Sunday): N/A
Matinee: Friday 5:00pm

Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road

The Lion King
Wellington Street

With a cast of over 40 actors, singers and dancers, the story of THE LION KING is miraculously brought to life using masks, puppets and striking costumes to tell the story of young Simba's epic adventures as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and becoming King.
The stunning simplicity of THE LION KING is the work of a team of designers who draw on diverse cultural influences to recreate the rich colours and vast expanses of the African savanna in this daring and inspiring reinvention of one of the most successful animated films of all time.

The Lion King is not recommended for children under 5 and no child under the age of 3 will be admitted.

Theatre: Lyceum Theatre
Cost: £15 - £40

Performance Times (Mon - Friday): 7:30pm
Performance Times (Saturday): 2pm
Performance Times (Sunday): 3pm
Matinee: Wednesday 2pm

Nearest Tube: Charing Cross / Holborn

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Drury Lane

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, one of the musicals which helped establish Andrew Lloyd Webber as the most popular musical writer of the last 30 years, returns to the West End. The show, which is loosely based on the bible story, charts the rise and fall of Jacob's favourite son, Joseph, who is blessed with a talent for interpretting dreams and has a very natty dress-sense. Stephen Gately, best known for his success with Boyzone, and Jason Donavan have both starred as Joseph.

Theatre: New London
Cost: £18 - £40

Performance Times (Mon - Friday): 8:15pm
Performance Times (Saturday): 5:00pm & 8:15pm
Performance Times (Sunday): N/A
Matinee: Wednesday 3:00pm

Nearest Tube: Charing Cros

Mamma Mia!
Old Compton Street

Through the story telling magic of the songs of ABBA, we meet Donna, a feisty forty-something single mum, who recalls the distant memories of carefree days and careless nights whilst her daughter Sophie dreams of tradition, romance and a big white wedding.

This infectious and funny musical features 22 of ABBA's best known songs, including The Winner Takes It All, Money Money Money, Dancing Queen, Chiquitita, Voulez Vous, S.O.S, Thank You for the Music, Knowing Me Knowing You, and, of course, Mamma Mia.

Theatre: Prince Wales Theatre
Cost: £15 - £40

Performance Times (Mon - Friday): 7:30pm & 8:30pm Fri
Performance Times (Saturday): 3pm & 8:30pm
Performance Times (Sunday): N/A
Matinee: Fri 5pm

Nearest Tube: Leicester Square

Les Miserables
Shaftesbury Avenue

Jean Valjean, released on parole after 19 years on the chain gang, finds that the yellow ticket-of-leave he must, by law, display condemns him to be an outcast. Only the saintly Bishop of Digne treats him kindly and Valjean, embittered by years of hardship, repays him by stealing some silver. Valjean is caught and brought back by police, and is astonished when the Bishop lies to the police to save him, also giving him two precious candlesticks. Valjean decides to start his life anew. But will fate allow him to? The acclaimed, long running musical extravaganza continues.

Theatre: Queen's Theatre
Cost: £15.00 - £45.00

Performance Times (Mon - Friday): 7:30pm
Performance Times (Saturday): 2:30pm & 7:30pm
Performance Times (Sunday): N/A
Matinee: Wed 2:30pm

Nearest Tube: Picadilly Circus

For everything you need to know about London theatre - all the news, what to see and how to book ? visit the Society of London Theatre website.


Shopping in London and London Markets

Bond Street
New Bond Street,
London, W15 2EP

Old Bond Street and New Bond Street make up the area commonly referred to as Bond Street. Bond Street is known for its shops which are exclusive and expensive, they include Nicole Fahri, Chanel and Gianni Versace. You will also find a number of auction houses including Sotheby's and Phillips.

Goods: Designer shops / Boutiques / Auction houses

Nearest Tube: Bond Street

Covent Garden
Covent Garden,
London, WC2E 7BB

You could spend a whole day at Covent Garden as it has everything you could want from fashion boutiques and high street shops to street entertainment and a to world famous Opera venue. You can also find a number of different places to get food, from a cafe where you can enjoy live classical music, to top of the range restaurants where you can get a five course meal.

Goods: Arts / Crafts / London Restaurants / Fashion

Nearest Tube: Covent Garden

London, SW1 7XL

Knightsbridge is not only home to Harrods and Harvey Nichols but also home to other well known high street shops and boutiques. There are also a large number of top quality restaurants and bars here.

Goods: Fashion / Designer boutiques

Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge

Oxford Street
Oxford Street,
London . W1

Oxford Street is the place to shop when you come to London. It has over 200 million visitors per year and more than 300 shops. It is said to be one of the busiest places in London day or night. If you are looking for top of the range department stores or one off fashion boutiques than Oxford Street is the place for you. As well as Debenhams and Selfridges you can find Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and you can also find many High Street outlets such as record and shoe shops. Whatever you want to buy you are sure to find it in Oxford Street.

Goods: Designer shops / Boutiques

Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus

Camden Market
Camden High Street

Camden Market has become one of London's top attractions and is spread over almost all of Camden Town centre. You can find hippie clothes, craft stalls, 70's nostalgia and vegetarian food.

Goods: Handmade crafts / Clothes / Food

Nearest Tube: Camden Town / Chalk Farm

Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road

Comprising a collection of smaller markets, Portobello has an unmistakable character of its own. Stretching out for over a mile, you will find antiques, clothes, shoes, bric-a-brac and organic fruit and vegetables all in one place.

Goods: Antiques / Clothes / Shoes / Bric-a-brac / Organic Fruit and Vegetables

Nearest Tube: Notting Hill Gate / Ladbroke Grove

87-135 Brompton Road,
London, SW1 7XL
+44 (0)20 7730 1234

Harrods has been opened for over 150 years and covers a wide range of goods on a larger scale than any of the other department stores. It's legendary food halls are a must see.

Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge

Harvey Nichols
109 Knightsbridge,
London SW1
+44 (0)20 7235 5000

Harvey Nichols is the place for all fashion followers, as it has a large number of designer labels on sale. On the fifth-floor you will find a large food hall as well as a bar and restaurant.

Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge

Oxford Street,
London, W1A 1AB
+44 (0)20 7629 1234

Selfridges boasts the largest cosmetics hall in Europe, and the best food hall in London, so you should be able to find what you want in the way of food and makeup.

Nearest Tube: Marble Arch

334-348 Oxford Street,
London, W1,
+44 (0)20 7580 3000

Debenhams has top designer garments at affordable prices from Jasper Conran to Lulu Guinness. If London fashion is what you are looking for then Debenhams is the place to go.
Debenhams is also renowned for its Home Department that sells everything for towels to cutlery.

Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus

Petticoat Lane Market
Middlesex Street

Petticoat Lane Market is a great place for bargain clothes and shoes, and has an atmosphere to boot.

Goods: Clothes / Shoes

Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street

Annual Events in London


London Parade - 020 8566 8586
This event takes place on the first day of the year and gets bigger and better every year. Floats from all over the world including the USA take part, the parade also includes clowns, dance displays, marching bands and horse-drawn carriages. The parade starts in Parliament Square at noon and ends at Berkeley Square.


Great Spitalfields Pancake Day Race - 020 7375 0441
The Great Spitalfields Pancake Race takes place on the day before Lent, the beginning of 40 days of fasting. Shrove Tuesday is traditionally the day that catholic people feast before fasting, many people used to give up eggs for Lent so in order to use up all the eggs people would make pancakes, this is how pancake day came about.


St Patrick's Day
St Patrick's Day is celebrated on the 17th of March across the country, if you are in London on the day and want to celebrate then you should head up to north London and Kilburn in particular, where many pubs and venues have concerts and celebrations.

Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race
Britain's oldest two universities Oxford (the dark blues) and Cambridge (the light blues) battle it out in this once yearly event to see who can make it form Putney to Mortlake the fastest. Usually held on a Saturday afternoon in spring this is a great day for all the family and is free.


London Marathon - 020 7620 4117 - www.london-marathon.co.uk
Even if you do not know anyone who is taking part in the London Marathon it is a great family day out and the fun runners (who all run for charity) rely on the support of the crowds to help get them around the course. The course is over 26 miles from Blackheath to Buckingham Palace and you will find some form of entertainment most of the way round.


Covent Garden Festival - 020 7379 0870
The Covent Garden Festival takes place throughout May and includes a wide range of operatic musical concerts.

Chelsea Flower Show - 020 7834 4333
The Chelsea Flower show was established in 1913 and has now become world famous. With over forty exhibitions, and experts on hand to answer your questions there is something for everyone from whatever your level of expertise.


Wimbledon - 020 8944 1066
Wimbledon's centre court is world famous and for the last two weeks in June the whole of London goes tennis mad. Tickets are available on the day and discount tickets are available for the afternoon session.

Royal Ascot - 01344 622211
Royal Ascot takes place over four days and is the most popular flat race meeting in Britain. There are 15 races and a grand total of £2.5million to be won. Many famous people attend, including The Royal Family.

July BBC Proms (BBC Henry Wood Promenade Concerts) - 020 7765 5575 The Proms run from July to September offering a variety of classical concerts most evenings, with tickets for the seatless area around the stage selling for only a couple of pounds.

Ealing Summer Festival - 020 8758 5745
As the name suggests this festival takes place in Ealing and includes all types of entertainment for both children and adults. Most events are free and are held in Walpole Park or other parks in the areas, events include shows, sporting events and theatrical performances .


Notting Hill Carnival - 020 8964 0544
The Notting Hill Carnival takes place on August bank holiday and is the largest street party in Europe. The Carnival covers a large area off Portobello Road over the Sunday and Monday. Sunday is children's day and it tends to be the quieter of the two days, with the main float procession on Monday.

Ealing Jazz Festival - 020 8758 5743
Taking place on the first week of August this is the largest free jazz festival in the UK. Concerts take place at lunchtimes and during the evening throughout Walpole Park.

Great British Beer Festival - 01727 867 201
With live music, pub games and a wide range of different merchandise to buy the Great British Beer Festival is not just for people who like beer. With over 700 real ales, ciders and imported beers to choose from, enthusiasts will not be disappointed.


London Open House - 09001 600061
This is an event that takes place every September, where public access is given free of charge to buildings of architectural and community interest across the Capital. Buildings that have taken part include The Royal Courts of Justice, The Guards Museum, Royal Opera House, Royal Court Theatre and many more.

Thames Festival - 020 7401 3610
The Thames Festival celebrates the river that has made London so prosperous and popular. The festival takes place between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge and includes a fanfare, river displays, face painting, craft and food stalls, altogether it is a great day out.


Punch & Judy Festival - 020 7836 9136
With the first Sunday of October see Covent Garden come to life to cries of 'that's the way to do it' and 'behind you' as Punch and Judy take over the Piazza. It is a great day out for children and grownups alike .

State Opening of Parliament - 020 7219 4272
Parliament is reopened after the summer break in October by the Queen with great pomp and ceremony. The Queen wears her crown and rides down to Parliament from Buckingham Palace in a lavish coach. The ceremony offers the best opportunity to see the royal family.


Bonfire Night - 020 7971 0026
The 5th of November sees the celebration of Guy Fawkes attempt to blow up Westminster and the monarch. Events take place all over the capital starting a few weeks before the day, some events are free, lists can be found in local papers.

London Film Festival - 020 7928 3535
For two to three weeks in early November the British Film Institute show new and international films at a reduced price. Most films are shown around the West End and at the National Film Theatre on the South Bank.


Christmas Lights
If you are in the capital over the Christmas period then the illuminations are not to be missed. The lights are switched on at the end of November and can be found in Oxford Street, Regent Street and some parts of Bond Street. It is also worth a trip into the shopping area just to see the amazing window displays of the major shops.

Christmas Tree
Every year the Norwegian people give the British nation a fir tree to thank them for their help during the war. The tree is placed in Trafalgar Square and decorated with lights. Occasionally carol concerts are held under the tree during lunch time.

New Year's Eve Celebrations
Every year the New Year's Eve celebrations get bigger and better. If you want to go out on new year's eve there are a number of different celebrations going on around the capital with street theatre and fireworks, which make for a much better evening out rather than crowding into Trafalgar Square where their is nothing happening.

Boxing Day Sales (the day after Christmas day)
If you are in London over the Christmas holidays then the sales are not to be missed. Starting on Boxing Day the sales last for about a month but the best deals are to be found on the first few days. The sales are not only on in the West End but all over London and there are bargains galore.

UK Public Holidays

1st January

Year's Day

March/ April

Good Friday/Easter Monday

First Monday in May

May Day Bank Holiday

Last Monday in May

Spring Bank Holiday

Last Monday in August

Summer Bank Holiday

25th December

Christmas Day

26th December

Boxing Day


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