What to see and do on your first visit

10 things to do in London

22 October 2021

10 things to see and do the first time you're in London

If you're in London for one of our 4 week short courses or more, see how many of our list you can tick off.

  1. Shakespeare's Globe and the Southbank
    Take a trip to the Bard's famous Globe. This replica of the original theatre that is said to have stood on the same spot offers a different experience to the rest of London's theatre scene. For just £5, see the latest productions by standing as the groundlings would have done in the 1600s. After catching a matinee, wander along the Southbank which is a buzzy pedestrianised part of London home to the National Theatre which hosts some of the finest productions. Enjoy pop up bars, restaurants, galleries and the British Film Institute all the way along.
  2. Borough Market and the Shard
    Enjoy a huge range of food and drink at Borough Market and surrounding bars in the impressive shadow of the Shard. Take a trip up the Shard to see London from a different view point. For a view to rival that of the Shard, we like the Sky Garden for sunset or an evening. Its sub-tropical planting becomes illuminated at night and plays host to DJs and singers.
  3. See the city in a different way
    From Tower Bridge to St Paul's, the London skyline is the backdrop to so many blockbuster films and a visit is not complete without seeing the famous buildings and bridges along the river. Avoid the traffic and take the Thames Clipper to see London from the water. 
  4. Eat and drink 
    Eat and drink your way around the world from the heart of London. Try dumplings in China Town, step aboard a floating bar in Hackney Wick or relax with a glass at one of London's many roof top bars.
  5. The RSC at Stratford Upon Avon
    Just over two hours by car or train, Stratford Upon Avon may not be a 'thing to do in London,' but it's worth the trip. Set in a quaint English town, the Royal Shakespeare Company's theatres sit waterside, with the main auditorium seating over 1,000 people.
  6. A Sunday roast
    Not only a traditional English meal if you're new to the UK, but a popular wholesome weekend activity for Londoners. Park or riverside pubs offer tradition with a view, try Richmond or Victoria Park for a Sunday afternoon roast and a stroll.
  7. Go Green
    London may be known for its bustling city centre, but it's home to 3000 parks. Explore Kew Gardens in winter as it gets adorned with Christmas Lights, swim in the ponds at Hampstead Heath in the height of summer or see the deer of Richmond Park in autumn, as the leaves turn.
  8. London's West End ​​​​​​
    From award winning musicals and plays to fringe theatre, London's theatre scene is diverse and has something to offer whatever your passions and interest are. See the productions our alumni are involved in here.
  9. London Art, Culture and History
    The British Museum, Tate Modern and Science Museum are an interesting way to spend an afternoon. The best part...you can get in for free.
  10. Shopping
    From Westfield to Oxford Street and Covent Garden, London is a shopper's paradise, offering big brands, markets and independents. Sunday farmers markets in Hackney Wick, Greenwich and Clerkenwell will get you away from the tourist trail.