What to do after work in London
Besides being one of the most bustling and bright cities in the UK, London is also full to the brim of exciting, intriguing, and compelling after-work activities. We’re not just talking drinks on the embankment, but actual activities to get your pulse racing and your mind calm.
With the many after work ideas London has to offer, we’ve collated just a snapshot of what you can expect from the capital – and where to make the most of each activity. Let’s hit the ground running with our guide on what to do after work in London.
10 after-work ideas in Central London
You’ve been busy at work all day and really need some down time. But although it’s tempting to head back home, consume the latest series on Netflix in three hours, and scroll aimlessly through TikTok, your body and mind will thank you for a change of scenery.
Talking of change of scenery, why not head to a new location? A new bar, cafe, bookstore, museum – or even just a street you’ve never seen before. In central London, the possibilities are literally endless, and you’ll find yourself having new experiences at every turn. If you’re feeling particularly creative, maybe take a camera or keep your phone handy to capture your adventures. You could even try a guided tour to help discover a new area, just so you don’t miss out on all the exciting parts. Some of these are free – and include a graffiti and street art tour or even Harry Potter.
Whatever you feel like experiencing in London, you’re not too far away from being able to try it. And even after work, there are plenty of activities to get your cultural juices flowing. From evening art classes, to the British Museum, to contemporary exhibitions, London is teaming with culture. Nothing says ‘work’s done’ more than a nude art class.
You’ll also find that the museums and art galleries will be far less busy after work, than during the weekend. You can avoid tourists and crowds, and really immerse yourself in the art. Some late night openings include the Science Museum, Tate Modern, and the Victoria and Albert.
We don’t want to knacker you out too much before work the next morning, but what’s more thrilling than attending a midweek gig? Take a change of clothes to the office, invite your work colleagues, and hit a central London pub. Midweek gigs are the norm for these types of establishments and they usually have some pretty decent up and coming bands. You never know who you might discover. However, if you want to be more prepared, you can see what’s on and buy tickets here.
Look, when work is finished, we’re on the hunt for something tasty and filling, so why not use your time wisely and explore what London has to offer? Chain restaurants are out – and street food is in. Explore The Real Food Market at the Southbank Centre, or even head to Camden Markets (when most of the tourists will have headed back to their hotels). Try new flavours and cuisines and give your tastebuds a thrill. They’ll be grateful for the break from leftovers and after-work pasta.
Okay, so this might not be everyone’s cup of tea (or flask of water), but sometimes the perfect release for after work is to get sweaty and active – but we don’t just mean at the gym. London is home to a plethora of parks and outdoors spaces that are just screaming to be utilised. From a gentle jog to drop-in yoga sessions, you can really get the most out of them – without breaking the bank. Whatever kind of exercise tickles your fancy, there are classes to join and park benches to collapse onto. Try something new – you might just surprise yourself.
There’s obviously a huge amount of health benefits to this activity too, helping you boost your endorphins and, according to the NHS, physical activity is proven to reduce the risk of major illnesses, boost your mood, and improve sleep quality. If you’re looking to reduce stress after a busy work day and encourage restful sleep, getting moving is a great way to do this. We feel tired just looking at this list, to be honest with you.
Not feeling that active? We’ve got you. The parks and outdoor spaces aren’t just there for fitness fanatics either. Take a snack, maybe even a flask of coffee (or cheeky bottle of wine), find a bench, and sit back and relax. People watching is one of our favourite pastimes – and central London has a whole host of views to take in.
Look, we know we said we were going to give you some unique activities, but nothing quite beats heading for after-work drinks, on a warm summer’s afternoon, arm-in-arm with your friends and colleagues. Upgrade your after-work drinks by picking a different bar to your local, or trying one of the best pubs in London. You might be lucky enough to catch a gig too. Check out the 100 best bars and pubs in London – giving you plenty of choice for the year. Chin chin!
And we don’t just mean on Netflix. London is home to some seriously cultured theatres, giving you a range of genres to choose from. To continue the theme of this article, why not try something out of your comfort zone? If cost is an issue, local cinemas tend to have midweek deals, as do theatres, which won’t break the bank. You might also get to see some up and coming stars before their huge tours – an added bonus.
It’s not just your work colleagues you can hang out with. If you feel like exploring the city, why not visit a friend on the other side of London? Not only does this give you a chance to reconnect with a mate, it also means you’re discovering a new side to the city you might not have seen before. Take pictures, capture the moment, and remember to revisit when you’re looking for something to do after work in London. If you’ve recently moved to London and are looking to make new friends, apps such as Bumble Friends and Meetup are a great way to expand your circle.
London is large, which means it can be overwhelming – and you might forget to look up every now and then. Don’t overcomplicate things – one of the easiest after work activities in London is to simply take a walk. Whether that’s somewhere you already know, or maybe you feel like exploring somewhere new, grab a comfy pair of trainers and hit the pavements. Your mind and body will thank you.
Even if you work from home, getting out and about after the working day is over is so important – for both your physical and mental health. It can be easy to slip into the same routine, so why not mix things up a bit with the ideas on our list? Not everything needs to be planned in advance either – keep things easy by treating yourself to a fun activity on a whim.