unusual things to do in London

13 Unusual Things To Do In London

When it feels like you’ve exhausted the usual tourist spots in London, it’s time to discover some of the best unusual things to do in London.

In a city such as London, there really is no end to the adventure, and we’ve collated some of the best things to see and do that are slightly off the beaten track.

13 unusual things to do in London:

1. Have a sleepover at London Zoo

Staying in a ZSL London Zoo lodge is the ultimate way to feel at one with wildlife without having to leave the City.

You’ll be surrounded by roaring lions, honking flamingos, hooting monkeys and more.

unusual things to do in London - sleep at ZSL London Zoo

After a wild day exploring the zoo, the cosy animal-themed lodges are a perfect place to unwind as you hear the surrounding animals.

Three incredible behind-the-scenes animal tours at early morning, sunset and night time are included in the experience, along with two full days to access the Zoo.

zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/london-zoo-lodge

Tickets: one night stay for two adults and a child is from £428.

2. Have a coffee in an old toilet

This former Victorian toilet was built in 1890 and after two years of restoration, has become a trendy café.

The Attendant interior remains very toilet-like, with porcelain urinals now serving as decoration!

The Attendant Fitzrovia

Located in the heart of Fitzrovia, there is an array of speciality coffees on the menu, along with delicious foods for breakfast, brunch and lunch.

27A Foley St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 6DY

the-attendant.com/locations/fitzrovia/

3. Walk on nearly 2,000-year-old Roman ruins

There’s no better place to get a feel of Roman-era London than at London’s only Roman amphitheatre, which dates back to the 2nd century CE.

As you amble through the amphitheatre, you can picture scenes of the notorious gladiators surrounded by the savage crowd and even more wild animals.  

London's Roman amphitheatre

Entry to the amphitheatre is free and you can book a tour with a trained archaeologist where you will get the chance to hold historic objects.

Roman Amphitheatre, Guildhall Yard, London EC2V 5AE

cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visit-the-city/attractions/guildhall-galleries/Pages/londons-roman-amphitheatre.aspx

4. Play video games while fine dining

inamo Games Room has become a cult favourite among teenagers and gamers who want a truly unique private dining experience.

The two games rooms in Soho and Covent Garden feature everything from PS4s and Wiis to karaoke machines and an Atari gold.

Playing Mario kart while eating dinner

A four-metre projected screen makes this great for large groups, and up to 30 people are welcome for events.

Guests can savour the delicious variety of Pan-Asian dishes, along with some innovative drinks as they compete with friends.

From £30 per hour at inamo Soho.

inamo-restaurant.com/promos/gamesroom/

5. Go undercover at a cocktail-infused escape room

Escape rooms are on the rise and this cocktail-themed version is a perfect excuse to have two complimentary tipples (or ‘sci-fi potions’) while you attempt to crack the code and escape The Grid.

best-escape-room-london the grid

thegrid.london/home

2 Robinson Rd, London SE1 8BU

Tickets: £29.99 per person for a group of eight.

6. Watch a film in your own private booth

If you’re looking to escape the hamster wheel for a bit, a visit to the Mediatheque at BFI Southbank may be what you need, for an offbeat way to escape into the cinematic world.

You are assigned your booth and given a pair of headphones to watch the film of your choice.

Mediatheque at BFI Southbank

There are more than 30,000 titles to enjoy, so whether you want to re-discover a classic or get lost in a new picture, there’s something for everyone.

Entry is free.

bfi.org.uk/archive-collections/introduction-bfi-collections/bfi-mediatheques/bfi-mediatheques-around-uk/mediatheque-bfi-southbank

Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8XT

7. Play hide and seek in London

City dash is a fun scavenger hunt/hide-and-seek with cryptic codes to crack.

Starting off in a pub, a team of up to 100 players set off to find checkpoints through the game app to crack the hidden code.

city dash London

After an hour, the team head back to the pub for a pint and to dish out the prizes.

At various locations across London.

fire-hazard.net/citydash

Tickets start from £10 per person.

8. Go kayaking down the River Thames

Most of us have crossed the Thames via Tower Bridge, so why not incorporate water sports with a spot of sightseeing?

A member of the British Canoe Union will teach you basic kayaking skills and give you a safety briefing before you make your way down the river.

Whether it’s a gift experience or a hen/stag do, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable day out on these tours.

The trips operate from Regents Canal, Windsor and Hampton Court from March to October, but these months can be negotiated for interested customers.

londonkayaktours.co.uk/sales/kayak-tours

Tours start from £39 per person for a 90 minute tour.

9. Dine in pitch darkness

What better way to sharpen your taste buds than to eat in complete darkness?

This eccentric dining experience may sound bizarre, but it claims to help you both challenge and rediscover your senses on a truly unique culinary experience. 

london dans le noir

All waiters are visually impaired and, on arrival, you will choose from one of three surprise menus, which will be revealed to you after you have had your meal. 

london.danslenoir.com/en/home/

30-31 Clerkenwell Green, Farringdon, London EC1R 0DU

Tickets: from £48 per person for a two-course meal.

10. Try axe-throwing

Vent all your anger out at Whistle Punks Urban Axe Throwing, a very hip place where you are instructed on how to (safely) sling an axe at your target.

Whistle Punks Urban Axe Throwing London

Your instructor will guide your technique before you can get involved in axe throwing games and competitions, where you can compete with friends and see who is crowned the tournament winner.

Dodgy throws are kept in check with safety cushions and a padded floor, so you can put your mind at rest as you feel the adrenaline rush to the pumping music.

Group sizes can vary from less than 10 up to 50.

whistlepunks.com

Tickets: from £22 per person for a 70 minute experience.

Arch 25, Handel Business Centre, 73 Bondway, London SW8 1SQ

11. View a gruesome Victorian operation

Not for the faint-hearted, The Old Operating Theatre is Britain’s last surviving operating theatre from the 19th century.

The Old Operating Theatre London

Every weekend mock demonstrations of the surgeries that were performed in the Victorian era take place, which will make anyone grateful that they live in a world where anaesthetic and hand-washing exist!

oldoperatingtheatre.com

Tickets are £7.50.

9a St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY

12. Have a Medieval feast worthy of a King

If you’ve ever wondered what a Middle-Ages banquet would be like (and taste like) then wonder no more.

This dinner-theatre experience is led by ‘King Henry VIII’ along with queens, knights, acrobats and more from the era.

unusual things to do in London

You can be part of the action as a royal guest by hiring one of the costumes along with a hat, sword or other accessories.

You’ll be tucking into a rich array of foods such as meat platters and fruit-filled pies. Both meat and vegetarian options are available.

medievalbanquet.com

£50 per adult ticket.

13. Become acquainted with the law in London

If you’ve ever been curious as to how the legal system works, the Old Bailey’s Legal London tour is for you.

Uncover both historical and present-day judicial cases on a fascinating behind-the-scenes view of the Crown Court.

Starting in the Royal Courts of Justice, visitors are taken to the place where the Lord Chief Justice resides, before they listen in on a real-life criminal appeal.

visit the old bailey in London

Following a historical tour of the Old Bailey, visitors are informed of what further cases are taking place that day, as they see another criminal case in action.

As you embark on the tour, you’ll get to see some famous filming locations where ‘Pirates of the Carribean’ and ‘Downtown Abbey’ where filmed. 

old-bailey.com/legal-london-tour/

Tickets £12 per person.

What are your favourite unusual things to do in London?

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