London is a city well known for its entertainment, culture and staggering nightlife. The city comes alive after dark, offering tourists a wealth of choice for club nights, nocturnal tours, live performances and restaurants in the West End London. Whether you’re here for business or pleasure, night owls will never be disappointed by what’s on offer from the London evening scene.
From cutting edge drama to foot stomping club nights, this blog will explore everything that visitors to the city centre can look forward to during the evening. We’ll also highlight a few important tips to keep in mind when staying at the hotels near Piccadilly Circus, including nighttime travel, shop closures and more. Whilst London’s sightseeing scene is awash with opportunity through the day, the evening opens up a whole new world of discovery.
London At Night
London is a city that’s half built on its tourist scene. Alongside its financial and cultural sectors, historic landmarks and tour guides offer a lot of income for the city. Whilst not directly tourist related, the city’s nightlife and entertainment scene definitely feeds into the allure of London for overseas travellers. For guests of the Piccadilly West End London Hotel Spa, the world is your oyster when it comes to London’s evening and nighttime scene.
Travelling Late In London
London is an easy city to get around at night. Below are some tips for getting around the city after hours.
Many of the city’s bus services run for 24 hours. Make sure to look for the letter “N” in front of late night buses and their signings on bus stop boards. Some bus routes may have diversions after hours though, so if you’ve only checked its day time routes, make sure to check again if travelling after midnight and before 6 am.
The Night Tube is a series of tube lines throughout London that run between 00.30 and 06 am on weekends. Running on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, night tube services don’t apply to all tube lines or tube stations and services do not run as regularly as they do in the week.
The night tube lines are: the Central Line between ealing Broadway, White City to Hainault or Loughton, the Jubilee Line from Stanmore to Stratford, the Northern Line between Edgware or High Barnet to Morden via Charing Cross, the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow Terminal 5 from Cockfosters and the Victoria Line between Brixton and Walthamstow. The Overground also runs a night tube service between New Cross and Highbury and Islington.
Taxi services are available from throughout the city as are Uber and Bolt app-based cab services. It’s worth remembering that regions of London can be subject to “surges” when using Uber services. This means that prices can increase dramatically during peak times, including at the closing times of certain large events or around clubnight areas of the city.
Shop Closures In London
In major retail areas, London shopping usually ends around 8 pm. On select days of the year, you can see shopping end as late as 10 pm. Sundays usually finish business in major retail areas around 5 pm.
You’ll find a selection of corner shops that stay open all night, but many will cease to sell alcohol after 11 pm, as will pubs that do not have a late night licence in the city centre.
Is The City Centre Safe At Night?
Major areas of central London are regularly patrolled by the police, meaning that visitors can enjoy themselves without worrying about their safety. Of course, certain districts and side streets can see more crime than others, but most of the city’s major thoroughfares, for instance Covent Garden, Oxford Street and Soho are safe to roam at any time of night.
Things To Do At Night In Central London
Below are some of the major areas that are primed for late night exploration. Whether you’re a guest of boutique hotels of London who’s a fan of dance music or you’re simply looking for a theatre show to see, these districts and areas of Central London are primed for nocturnal wandering.
For evening excitement, there’s nowhere better than the South Bank. Set to a backdrop of Thameside landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and London Bridge, the South Bank is home to the British Film Institute, National Theatre and the Southbank Centre, all prime venues for theatre, film and live performance. With all three showcasing their own bars and eateries, riverside dining and unwinding is never easier than it is on the South Bank.
Watch out for summer season DJ sets and riverside cabaret shows, as well as the monthly “Late At Tate” nights at the Tate Modern gallery. Late At Tates are special late night events that incorporate art DJ sets and workshops and are completely free to visit.
Soho Club District
The gay bars and clubs of Soho are some of the best of their kind in England. Enjoy cocktails, cheesy dance music and lavish decor in this raucous district of the city. There are plenty of other bars in Soho too, providing people from all walks of life with electric and exciting club nights with a wealth of themes, styles and aesthetics. Make You’ve not had a true night out in London until you’ve explored Soho after dark.
West End Theatre
If it’s a barnstorming musical or hard hitting drama you’re after, there’s nowhere better than London’s West End. From Broadway transfers to magical singing, Shaftesbury Avenue is the place to be, whilst Covent Garden, Soho, Piccadilly and Leicester Square also home to popular, often historic theatres.
Prince Charles Cinema
From theatre and club nights, to late night movies, there are few places you can watch movies after 11 pm in London. Your go to for late night cinema is the Prince Charles Cinema just off of Leicester Square. This cult cinema is famous for its late night screenings and themed nights for the likes of Rocky Horror Picture Show and horror movie marathons around Halloween. Alongside this, you can find overnight franchise screenings that give you the chance to camp out in front of your favourite movie series. Recent screenings of this type have included the Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as Harry Potter and Die Hard.