The time has almost come, everyone. It feels like we’ve been in lockdown forever, but the end is in sight. Boris Johnson has laid out a roadmap, and, assuming all goes well, the country could resemble some kind of normality by the end of June.
Londoners will be itching to get back out and enjoy this great city, whether visiting cultural landmarks, dining at world-class restaurants or experiencing the five-star nightlife. But if you live in the capital, where should you go first once we emerge from our homes?
There has to be a first (ok, maybe third after family and hairdressers) for everyone when it comes visiting somewhere after lockdown. And to help you decide where to go, we’ve put this guide together with a list of great things to do and see in London.
Shop ‘til you drop
Online shopping is all fine and dandy, but there’s no substitute for the real thing. London is a shopping mecca, and there are hundreds of stores waiting for you with open arms. Head to Bond Street and Chelsea for designer boutiques, Westfield for shopping centre delights or Spitalfields Market for quirky and delightful items. A day out shopping should be at the top of your list when the stores open up again.
Visit a museum
London has some of the best museums in the world, including the V&A Museum, Natural History Museum, The National Gallery and Tate Britain. See amazing works and enjoy being able to soak up great galleries and exhibitions by visiting one of the many world-class museums in the capital.
Columbia Road Flower Market
Browse one of London’s most visually appealing markets and find yourself some beautiful flowers at Columbia Road Flower Market. Located in Bethnal Green, the market is an explosion of colours and was one of the most popular places in East London pre-lockdown. Once it’s open again, why not give your house some more colour with some of the flowers, houseplants, herbs, bulbs and shrubs found at Columbia Road Flower Market?
Gastropubs in Hampstead
Take in the village vibes in Hampstead and spend a Sunday afternoon at one of the many delightful gastropubs. From The Freemasons Arms to The Wells Tavern, the NW3 postcode has some of the best gastropubs around. Sunday roasts never looked so good.
Head to God’s Own Junkyard
When Kanye West wrote All of the Lights, we’re pretty sure his inspiration was God’s Own Junkyard in Walthamstow. The funky art store features colourful neon and lightbulb signs, as well as other eclectic pieces that you won’t be able to take your eyes off.
Enjoy a night out at Boxpark Shoreditch
Oh how we miss a Friday night in Shoreditch, packed to the brim with locals and tourists enjoying great music and a drink or two. You only need to browse social media to see people’s appetite for a night out in London again, and what better way to start than with a visit to Shoreditch Boxpark. Sit on the rooftop, sip a few drinks and listen to great music at the height of summer.
Catch a show in the West End
Who can forget about the West End and the UK’s entertainment sector? It’s been one of the hardest hit during the pandemic, so let’s show it some love when we come back by catching a show. Start in the iconic West End, where you'll find some of the most famous theatres in the world. But don’t forget about smaller independent productions happening all over the capital.
Get yourself down to a cinema
Once you’ve seen the latest play, it’s time to familiarise yourself with cinemas again. Whether you’re looking for a boutique picturehouse or a major movie complex, London has some great cinemas to watch just about everything from the latest blockbusters to art-house movies.
Get cultured along Bankside
Head to the riverside for some serious culture on Bankside. There’s plenty of arts and entertainment to soak up, including the London Eye, Southbank Centre, Globe Theatre, Sea Life Aquarium and a ton of great restaurants and bars. We can’t wait to see the whole of the Backside bustling again with Londoners embracing the best of the capital.
Street shows in Covent Garden
There’s nowhere quite like Covent Garden with its cobbled streets, boutique shops, fine-dining and stylish bars. But most of all, we miss the street performers bringing all forms of entertainment to passers-by. Once we’re out of lockdown, you’ll find us in Covent Garden enjoying the live performances. We miss the vibes of Leicester Square and Soho, too, both of which are just a hop and skip away from Covent Garden.
Coffee in Primrose Hill
Sit back and relax with a coffee in Primrose Hill while you watch the world get back to normal. Then enjoy a stroll around the boutique shops, admiring the pretty multi-coloured houses before heading to Primrose Hill Park to take in sweeping views of the capital. Next, venture into nearby Camden for a different vibe and great markets with thousands of food stalls and more.
The markets at Greenwich
Talking of markets – you can’t beat Greenwich when it comes to shopping for a gem or two. Discover everything from jewellery to books at Greenwich Market and then familiarise yourself with the area’s maritime history at the Cutty Sark before a trip to the Royal Observatory.
Reacquaint yourself with London’s Square Mile
One of London’s most deserted areas during the lockdown, the Square Mile in the City will be full of Londoners once the capital re-opens. Admire history at St Paul’s Cathedral before heading to The Sky Garden, London’s highest public garden. There's a restaurant and bar, too, so you can make the most out of your trip by turning it into a lively evening filled with great food and entertainment.
London after lockdown
Where will you go first once restrictions are lifted? One of the places on our list or do you have somewhere in mind already? Wherever you head first, there’s no doubt that London has an array of attractions and amazing activities for you to enjoy the best of the capital.