The best things to do in London when you’re not studying

Posted 19 October 2015
Cutty Sark London

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With so much to explore in London, it can be hard to choose what to see or do first. Your number one priority is clearly to work hard and excel in your studies – but you’ll also be keen to make the most of living in London. For students beginning a new course of study, the city is a lot to take in. To help you get started, here are some of the best things for students to do in their spare time.

With so much to explore in London, it can be hard to choose what to see or do first. Your number one priority is clearly to work hard and excel in your studies – but you’ll also be keen to make the most of living in London. For students beginning a new course of study, the city is a lot to take in. To help you get started, here are some of the best things for students to do in their spare time.

Visit Shakespeare’s Globe

Built in the 1990s, Shakespeare’s Globe is a replica Elizabethan theatre with two delightful performance spaces – one tiered, open-roofed theatre and another smaller, candlelit playhouse. Both offer visitors an authentic 16th-Century experience, with cast members entering through the audience wearing traditional period costumes. If your main interest is the architecture, you can take a guided tour, although there’s nothing quite like the magic of a live performance. Ticket prices start at just £5 for a standing (or groundling) ticket, and the repertoire is made up of some of Shakespeare’s finest classics.

Ride the Emirates Air Line

Taking off from North Greenwich and landing at the Royal Albert Dock, the Emirates Airline is London’s cable car, offering spectacular views of Canary Wharf, the river Thames and the ongoing Docklands project. The ride includes a voiceover on the history of the area, and you can use your pay-as-you-go Oyster card just as you would on the tube. It’s a great opportunity to pick which skyscraper your office will be in when you’ve completed your studies.

Take a Guardian Masterclass

London is home to the Guardian newspaper, which runs a series of business-focused masterclasses on topics as diverse as creativity in business and making the most of data visualisation. Depending on what you’re studying at Bellerbys, the sessions can be a great way to enhance what you’re already learning and help you to gain a creative perspective on your ambitions.

Attend the Tech Expo

If you’re interested in the application of emerging technologies in business and industry, then you should make a beeline for the Tech Expo – a three-day event featuring speakers at the cutting edge of innovation in artificial intelligence, with lots of ideas about how these developments can be used to drive the businesses of the future.

Take a guided walk

One of the best ways to get to know London is to go on a guided walk. Led by guides who are often local history or subject matter experts, walks can be a great way of not only familiarising yourself with your surroundings but also uncovering the layers of history that lie beneath. The tours are often themed (Jack the Ripper’s famous East End tour for example), with others focusing on London’s commercial history and the heritage of the Square Mile.

Enjoy the Southbank

London’s Southbank is a popular destination for students, locals and tourists, and it’s not hard to see why. As well as offering wonderful views of the river and riverside architecture, it’s also home to a wealth of culture and things to do – from concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall or Royal Festival Hall to art at the Hayward Gallery and Tate Modern. It’s also home to many pop-up festivals throughout the year, including a popular Christmas market and the annual Udderbelly and Wonderground performance festivals. On Tuesdays you can see arthouse films for £5 at the BFI, and the National Theatre offers student tickets to world-class theatre from just £12. It’s definitely a good place to visit when you’re at a loose end and looking for something to do.

With these suggestions as a starting point, we’re sure you’ll find plenty of entertaining and enjoyable things to do in London. It can take a lifetime to discover the whole city, so pick the areas that appeal to you the most and dive in. With such a wide range of sights and attracttions on offer, there will always be something to grab your interest.


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