London Museums: Late Openings

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British Library

Tuesdays until 8pm | FREE

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British Library
Sir John Soane's Museum
Science Museum Lates
Camden Arts Centre
Chelsea Physic Garden
Barbican Art Gallery
Handel House Museum
Institute of Contemporary Arts
National Portrait Gallery
Wellcome Collection
Whitechapel Gallery
British Museum
National Gallery
Royal Academy of Arts
Tate Britain
Tate Modern
London Zoo
Victoria and Albert Museum
Somerset House
The View From The Shard
London Eye
Ripley's Believe It Or Not!
 

 

For those of you who are too busy at work during the week and always occupied on the weekends, then try one of London's many museum evening openings or 'lates'. Switch off the TV, forget the gym and instead head out for some nocturnal culture at one of the capital's many museums which keep their doors open late.

 
 

British Library

Tuesdays until 8pm | FREE

96 Euston Road, King's Cross, London, NW1 2DB

Tube: King's Cross Station, Euston Station

 
 

The largest public building constructed in the UK in the 20th century keeps its doors open until 8pm on Tuesdays so visitors can enjoy the temporary displays as well as the permanent John Ritblat Gallery. With over 150 million items, a copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland, artwork by artists such as Antony Gormley and Eduardo Paolozzi, and a host of historically momentous works - including the Gutenberg Bible, Shakespeare's First Folio, the Lindisfarne Gospels, Handel's Messiah, drafts of the Magna Carta and The Beatles' lyrics, the only surviving copy of Beowulf and the Diamond Sutra, the world's earliest dated printed book - the British Library also boasts a flurry of attractions for the casual visitor, including films, musical performances and poetry readings. Tours cost around £6 and are an invaluable way of soaking it all in with a bit of direction.

 
 

Events at British Library

Shakespeare in Ten Acts Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

15th April to 6th September 2016

 
Shakespeare in Ten Acts British Library 2016-04-152016-09-06 Where:
British Library, 96 Euston Road London, NW1 2DB
Category: Museums
Get Started Workshop
On SoonFree Event

Tuesday 30th August 2016 - 10am-5pm | Free

 
Get Started Workshop British Library 2016-08-302016-08-30 Where:
British Library, 96 Euston Road London, NW1 2DB
Category: Museums

Find out how to successfully launch a business.

Getting That New Product To Market
On Soon

Tuesday 30th August 2016 - 10am-5pm | £20

 
Getting That New Product To Market British Library 2016-08-302016-08-30 Where:
British Library, 96 Euston Road London, NW1 2DB
Category: Museums

A one-to-one meeting with an experienced product development practitioner working out the route to market for your product.

Marketing Masterclass
On Soon

Wednesday 31st August 2016 - 2pm-6pm | £98, £48 with discount code

 
Marketing Masterclass British Library 2016-08-312016-08-31 Where:
British Library, 96 Euston Road London, NW1 2DB
Category: Museums

A practical class in how to improve a small business's marketing.

Mini-Masterclass: Social Media For New Business
On Soon

Thursday 1st September 2016 - 10am-1pm | £20

 
Mini-Masterclass: Social Media For New Business British Library 2016-09-012016-09-01 Where:
British Library, 96 Euston Road London, NW1 2DB
Category: Museums

Examine social media platforms and get tips on how to use them effectively to engage customers.

All events at British Library
 
 
 

Sir John Soane's Museum

First Tuesday of the month until 9pm | FREE (first 200 people)

13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Holborn, London, WC2A 3BP

Tube: Holborn Station, Chancery Lane Station

 
 

Widely recognised as the best house-museum in the world, Sir John Soane's Museum is lit by candlelight on the first Tuesday of each month from 6pm until 9pm. The popularity of the evening event is such that at 5.30pm tickets are issued to the first 200 people who arrive - with no reservations possible. Visitors can only take one ticket per person and so cannot hold a space in the queue for late-comers. This may mean you have to leave work early to stand a chance of enjoying the candlelit museum - but it's certainly worth the hassle for this is one of the quintessential London experiences. The extraordinary museum is an appealingly higgledy-piggledy treasure trove of artefacts - with a delight lurking in each nook and cranny. The neo-classical architect Sir John Soane's former residence boasts over 30,000 architectural drawings and antiquities - including works by Turner, Canaletto, Piranesi and Hogarth, whose eight canvasses of 'A Rake's Progress' are worth a visit in their own right.

 
 

Events at Sir John Soane's Museum

Below Stairs On SoonFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

13th September 2016 to 4th March 2017 | Free

 
Below Stairs Sir John Soane's Museum 2016-09-132017-03-04 Where:
Sir John Soane's Museum, 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields London, WC2A 3BP
Category: Museums
All events at Sir John Soane's Museum
 
 
 

Science Museum Lates

Wednesdays until 10pm | FREE

Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD

Tube: South Kensington Station

 
 

Adults-only Lates nights on the last Wednesday of the month keeps the doors of the Science Museum open till 10pm and allow visitors to enjoy a free evening of entertainment and exhibitions without a constant stream of mischievous children. The Science Museum Lates cover a broad range of themed topics - anything from Sexuality to Sexual Health, Zombies to Broken Hearts, the Science of Comedy to Climate Change - and operate alongside regular returning activities, including gallery tours, lectures, a pub quiz, speed dating, a silent disco, live music, a bar and child-free playtime in the interactive Launchpad gallery. The Science Museum is one of the most interactive in the city, with loads of hands-on exhibits, and these special evening openings are a great way for adults to recreate the old school field day vibe of their youth with topically themed activities, events and entertainment.

 
 

Events at Science Museum

Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Genius Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

10th February to 4th September 2016 | £10 (Adults), £7 (Concessions)

 
Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Genius Science Museum 2016-02-102016-09-04 Where:
Science Museum, Exhibition Road London, SW7 2DD
Category: Museums
Robots Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

8th February to 3rd September 2017 | £15, concs £13

 
Robots Science Museum 2017-02-082017-09-03 Where:
Science Museum, Exhibition Road London, SW7 2DD
Category: Museums
All events at Science Museum Lates
 
 
 

Camden Arts Centre

Wednesdays until 9pm | FREE

Arkwright Road, London, NW3 6DH

Tube: Finchley Road Station

 
 

The Camden Arts Centre - which is actually located in Hampstead - has become a prime location for top class arts exhibitions thanks to a radical renovation in 2007. Wednesday evenings sees the slickly designed Centre open its doors until 9pm, inviting guests to browse its excellent galleries, café, bookshop and dedicated reading area where the archives and research facilities accumulate. Dedicated to contemporary visual art and education, the Centre strives to involve the public in the ideas and processes of its exhibited artists and the artists who inspire them. A fantastic spacious terrace area stretching around the café makes this a popular spot on summer evenings and gives on to the Centre's garden, which offers visitors a quiet retreat from the hub of activity.

 
 

Events at Camden Arts Centre

Talk: Duro Olowu And Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
On Soon

Wednesday 7th September 2016 - 7pm-8pm | £5, mems/concs £4

 
Talk: Duro Olowu And Lynette Yiadom-Boakye Camden Arts Centre 2016-09-072016-09-07 Where:
Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road London, NW3 6DH
Category: Art Galleries

The pair discusses different ways of making.

Talk: Duro Olowu Dr Nicholas Cullinan And Neil Kenlock
On Soon

Saturday 10th September 2016 - 3pm-4pm | £5, concs/mems £4

 
Talk: Duro Olowu Dr Nicholas Cullinan And Neil Kenlock Camden Arts Centre 2016-09-102016-09-10 Where:
Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road London, NW3 6DH
Category: Art Galleries

The group discuss Kenlock's approach to photography.

Summer Takeover
On SoonFree Event

Sunday 11th September 2016 - 2pm-4.30pm | Free

 
Summer Takeover Camden Arts Centre 2016-09-112016-09-11 Where:
Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road London, NW3 6DH
Category: Art Galleries

Artist-led activities throughout the afternoon.

Music: Shabaka Hutchings
On Soon

Wednesday 14th September 2016 - 7pm-9pm | £5, concs/mems £4

 
Music: Shabaka Hutchings Camden Arts Centre 2016-09-142016-09-14 Where:
Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road London, NW3 6DH
Category: Art Galleries

The saxophonist and composer welcomes other musicians to contribute to an evening of live music in the Artists' Studio and discusses his music-making processes.

Panel Discussion: Opacity, Not Obscurity: Moving Difference Beyond Categorisation
On Soon

Saturday 17th September 2016 - 3pm-5pm | £7, concs/mems £5

 
Panel Discussion: Opacity, Not Obscurity: Moving Difference Beyond Categorisation Camden Arts Centre 2016-09-172016-09-17 Where:
Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road London, NW3 6DH
Category: Art Galleries

Representations of 'otherness' in portraiture and film in Britain.

All events at Camden Arts Centre
 
 
 

Chelsea Physic Garden

Wednesdays until 10pm (July and August) | £9

66 Royal Hospital Garden, Chelsea, London, SW3 4HS

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 
 

Every summer, the second oldest botanic garden in Britain opens its gates until 10pm on Wednesdays in July and August. Established in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, the Chelsea Physic Garden is home to largest fruiting olive tree in Britain and the world's northern-most outdoor grapefruit tree. Hidden behind towering brick walls, protected from the city's sounds and harsh breezes, the most idyllic collection of plants flourish in a unique, carefully created microclimate. The Garden is open from midday throughout the summer from April to October - but guests just have the two months to benefit from the late Wednesday openings. Besides the pretty gravel pathways, statues and ponds that separate and decorate the different gardens with a stunning array of plants, the Garden also boasts a shop where visitors can buy unusual plants and a café renowned for its tasty homemade cakes.

 
 

Events at Chelsea Physic Garden

HandleBards: Richard III and Much Ado About Nothing On Soon Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

1st, 2nd and 3rd September 2016 | £16

 
HandleBards: Richard III and Much Ado About Nothing Chelsea Physic Garden 2016-09-012016-09-03 Where:
Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Garden London, SW3 4HS
Category: Parks and Gardens

Hugely popular when they appeared here last year, cycling Shakespeare troupe the HandleBards pedal across the UK to perform at Chelsea Physic Garden on the first weekend of September. But this time they're performing Richard ...more

All events at Chelsea Physic Garden
 
 
 

Barbican Art Gallery

Thursdays until 10pm | £8

Silk Street, City, London, EC2 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station, Moorgate Station

 
 

Must-see exhibitions on design, architecture and pop culture by acclaimed architects, Turner Prize-winning artists and famous photographers as well as major exhibitions by leading international figures are a regular occurrence at the Barbican Art Gallery, located on the third floor of the Barbican Centre. Each exhibition is accompanied by a programme of thought-provoking talks, screenings and events - and while doors are open late until 8pm every day except Wednesdays (when the space closes as 6pm), they are open even later on Thursdays, when guests can stay until 10pm. The same goes for The Curve, the Centre's free exhibition space for specially commissioned works and contemporary art.

 
 

Events at Barbican Art Gallery

The Vulgar Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

13th October 2016 to 5th February 2017

 
The Vulgar Barbican Art Gallery 2016-10-132017-02-05 Where:
Barbican Art Gallery, Silk Street London, EC2 8DS
Category: Art Galleries
All events at Barbican Art Gallery
 
 
 

Handel House Museum

Thursdays until 8pm | £6

25 Brook Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 4HB

Tube: Bond Street Station, Oxford Circus Station

 
 

Dedicated to the life and works of the German-born baroque composer George Frideric Handel, this beautiful and intimate museum in Mayfair has a weekly late opening until 8pm on Thursdays, with concerts from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. Handel House Museum is located in the beautifully restored Georgian townhouse where Handel lived from 1723 until his death in 1759. It was here that he wrote masterpieces such as 'Messiah', 'Zadok the Priest' and 'Music for the Royal Fireworks'. The museum offers insight into Handel's life, eighteenth-century culture and music - and there is also a small Jimi Hendrix display (the legendary guitarist lived in the upper floors of the adjoining house for two years in the late 60s).

 
 
 

Institute of Contemporary Arts

Thursdays until 9pm | FREE (except specific exhibitions)

12 Carlton House Terrace, The Mall, St James's, London, SW1Y 5AH

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station, Charing Cross Station

 
 

Housed in elegant Regency premises on the Mall since 1968, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) boasts three galleries, two cinemas, a theatre, restaurant, an excellent bookshop, sun-lit late bar and cafe. The ICA aims to challenge accepted notions through its programme of arthouse cinema, performance art, philosophical debates, lectures, art-themed club nights, music parties and cutting-edge bands. On Thursdays the galleries stay open until 9pm during exhibitions, while the bookshop is open all week (except Mondays) until 9pm. Founded in 1946, the artistic and cultural centre was initially housed in a basement on Oxford Street before moving to its first premises in Soho. With the support of the Arts Council, the ICA moved to its current location at Nash House in 1968. In recent years, the ICA has curated exhibitions featuring the likes of Yoko Ono, Gerhard Richter and Damien Hirst.

 
 

Events at Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)

Judy Blame Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

29th June to 4th September 2016 | £1, mems/under 18s/concs Free, Tue Free entry to all

 
Judy Blame Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) 2016-06-292016-09-04 Where:
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), 12 Carlton House Terrace, The Mall London, SW1Y 5AH
Category: Art Galleries
Culture Now: Uri Aran
On Soon

Friday 2nd September 2016 - 1pm | £5

 
Culture Now: Uri Aran Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) 2016-09-022016-09-02 Where:
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), 12 Carlton House Terrace, The Mall London, SW1Y 5AH
Category: Art Galleries

The Jerusalem-born artist discusses his solo exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ.

Artist Self-Publishers Fair - The Sequel
On Soon

Saturday 10th September 2016 - 11am | see website

 
Artist Self-Publishers Fair - The Sequel Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) 2016-09-102016-09-10 Where:
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), 12 Carlton House Terrace, The Mall London, SW1Y 5AH
Category: Art Galleries

Over 70 international and independent artists will promote their work and texts.

Gallery Tour: Detroit: Techno City
On SoonFree Event

Thursday 15th September 2016 - 6.30pm | Free

 
Gallery Tour: Detroit: Techno City Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) 2016-09-152016-09-15 Where:
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), 12 Carlton House Terrace, The Mall London, SW1Y 5AH
Category: Art Galleries

A tour of the exhibition, led by London-based techno producer and DJ Roberto.

Educators' Tour: Detroit: Techno City
On SoonFree Event

Wednesday 21st September 2016 - 5pm | Free

 
Educators' Tour: Detroit: Techno City Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) 2016-09-212016-09-21 Where:
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), 12 Carlton House Terrace, The Mall London, SW1Y 5AH
Category: Art Galleries

A tour of the exhibition with ICA Curator Matt Williams.

All events at Institute of Contemporary Arts
 
 
 

Wellcome Collection

Thursdays until 10pm | FREE

183 Euston Road, Bloomsbury, London, NW1 2BE

Tube: Euston Square Station, Euston Station, Warren Street Station

 
 

Works by Leonardo da Vinci, Andy Warhol and Martin Parr sit alongside artefacts such as Charles Darwin's whalebone walking stick, Nelson's razor, Napoleon's toothbrush, used Guillotine blades, a DNA-sequencing robot and 19th-century sex toys, in this major cultural venue that combines three galleries - Medicine Man, Medicine Now and Special Exhibitions. Those who want confirmation that science can be this interesting should make the most of the Wellcome Collection's later opening hours on Thursday's where guests can roam the galleries until 10pm. The Blackwell bookshop closes at 9pm on Thursdays but the Peyton & Byrne café also stays open until 10pm, the classic British bakery offering a range of terrines, tarts, pies, soups and salads - provided you're not feeling too squeamish after watching the Collection's fascinating footage of live heart surgery.

 
 

Events at Wellcome Collection

States of Mind: Tracing the Edges of Consciousness OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

4th February to 16th October 2016 | Free

 
States of Mind: Tracing the Edges of Consciousness Wellcome Collection 2016-02-042016-10-16 Where:
Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road London, NW1 2BE
Category: Art Galleries
Tibet's Secret Temple
OngoingFree Event

19th November 2015 to 28th September 2016 - Various Times | Free

 
Tibet's Secret Temple Wellcome Collection 2015-11-192016-09-28 Where:
Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road London, NW1 2BE
Category: Art Galleries
All events at Wellcome Collection
 
 
 

Whitechapel Gallery

Thursdays until 9pm | FREE

77-82 Whitechapel High Street, Tower Hamlets, London, E1 7QX

Tube: Aldgate East Station, Aldgate East Underground Station, Aldgate Station

 
 

Britain's first purpose-build arts gallery is renowned both for the beauty of its light, airy space and for embracing the local East End community in its work. Those of you who haven't seen the results of the Whitechapel Gallery's extensive refurbishment - which saw the gallery reopen in 2009 with double the space - can make the most of a late 9pm closure on Thursdays. The gallery does not have a permanent collection, preferring instead to host a constantly evolving programme of works and there is always something free to see. Community projects and retrospective exhibitions now rest alongside landmark examples of contemporary work. A research centre, archives room and café also operate at the gallery, which has in its time housed work by Jackson Pollock, David Hockney, Lucian Freud and Picasso. Top off your late visit with a bite at the Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room, which was relaunched in January 2011 under the stewardship of executive chef Angela Hartnett.

 
 
 

National Portrait Gallery

Thursdays & Fridays until 9pm | FREE

St Martin's Place, London, WC2H 0HE

Tube: Leicester Square Station, Charing Cross Station, Piccadilly Circus Station, Embankment Underground Station, Covent Garden Station

 
 

Single-handedly responsible for making portraiture hip, the National Portrait Gallery houses portraits of significant figures from the late 15th century to the present day - with a large slant on contemporary celebrities, musicians, sportsmen, artists and prominent figures. Open until 9pm on both Thursdays and Fridays, this isn't the place to come for serious works of exceptional merit (pop next door for that) but it's a lot of fun - and where else in London could you hope to find The Beatles, Henry VIII, Sir Richard Branson and JK Rowling all hanging out together? That said, critically acclaimed self-portraits by William Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds and other notable British artists are also displayed alongside the 10,000 portraits of everyone from statesmen to showbiz stars and media barons. Also, the annual BP Portrait Award and Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize are held in the Gallery and are both the most prestigious open competitions for portrait painting and photography in the world.

 
 

Events at National Portrait Gallery

BP Portrait Award 2016 OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

23rd June to 18th September 2016 | Free

 
BP Portrait Award 2016 National Portrait Gallery 2016-06-232016-09-18 Where:
National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place London, WC2H 0HE
Category: Art Galleries
Portrait Of The Day
OngoingFree Event

1st June to 31st August 2016 - 12.30pm | Free

 
Portrait Of The Day National Portrait Gallery 2016-06-012016-08-31 Where:
National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place London, WC2H 0HE
Category: Art Galleries
The Drawing Room: Drawing On Black Chronicles
On SoonFree Event

Monday 29th August 2016 - 1pm-3pm | Free

 
The Drawing Room: Drawing On Black Chronicles National Portrait Gallery 2016-08-292016-08-29 Where:
National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place London, WC2H 0HE
Category: Art Galleries

Explore the Black Chronicles intervention.

Portrait Of The Day
On SoonFree Event

1st to 30th September 2016 - 12.30pm | Free

 
Portrait Of The Day National Portrait Gallery 2016-09-012016-09-30 Where:
National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place London, WC2H 0HE
Category: Art Galleries

A half-hour talk by a member of the Gallery's Visitor Services Team on a chosen portrait in the collection.

Picasso Portraits Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

6th October 2016 to 5th February 2017 | £17.50, concs £15.50

 
Picasso Portraits National Portrait Gallery 2016-10-062017-02-05 Where:
National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place London, WC2H 0HE
Category: Art Galleries
All events at National Portrait Gallery
 
 
 

British Museum

Fridays until 8.30pm | FREE

Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 3DG

Tube: Tottenham Court Road Station, Russell Square Station, Holborn Station

 
 

It would take much more than one evening to explore all the nooks and crannies of the vast and indomitable British Museum - but you can get started with special late Friday opening hours at one of the world's oldest museums. Over seven millions objects from all over the globe are housed in this impressive museum of human history and culture (many of the artefacts are stored underneath the museum due to lack of space). Notable objects include the Parthenon Sculptures (also sometimes called the Elgin Marbles), the Rosetta Stone, Lidlow Man, the Lewis Chessmann, the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial and Mildenhall treasures, and the Portland Vase. Oh, and don't forget all those Egyptian mummies and hieroglyphics. The crowning glory of the museum its central hub, the glass domed Great Court designed by Lord Norman Foster - the largest covered public square in Europe. The permanent collections are free but blockbuster temporary exhibitions - such as the Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition in 2013 - are ticketed and extremely popular. The British Museum's late Fridays are supplemented by tours, special events and food and drink.

 
 

Events at British Museum

Digital Workshop: Great Court Games
Free Event

Saturday 27th August 2016 - 11am-4pm | Free

 
Digital Workshop: Great Court Games British Museum 2016-08-272016-08-27 Where:
British Museum, Great Russell Street London, WC1B 3DG
Category: Museums

Play digital games, solve challenges and explore trails.

Gallery Talk: Greek Myths
Free Event

Saturday 27th August 2016 - 1.15pm | Free

 
Gallery Talk: Greek Myths British Museum 2016-08-272016-08-27 Where:
British Museum, Great Russell Street London, WC1B 3DG
Category: Museums

With independent speaker Carolyn Perry.

Sunken cities: Egypt's lost worlds Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

19th May to 27th November 2016 | £16.50, children under 16 Free

 
Sunken cities: Egypt's lost worlds British Museum 2016-05-192016-11-27 Where:
British Museum, Great Russell Street London, WC1B 3DG
Category: Museums
Digital workshop: Innovation Lab
On SoonFree Event

Sunday 28th August 2016 - 11am-4pm | Free

 
Digital workshop: Innovation Lab British Museum 2016-08-282016-08-28 Where:
British Museum, Great Russell Street London, WC1B 3DG
Category: Museums

Create an interactive tool to help families enjoy the Museum's collection.

Gallery Talk
On SoonFree Event

Tuesday 30th August 2016 - 1.15pm | Free

 
Gallery Talk British Museum 2016-08-302016-08-30 Where:
British Museum, Great Russell Street London, WC1B 3DG
Category: Museums

An informative and illustrated talk in the gallery.

All events at British Museum
 
 
 

National Gallery

Fridays until 9pm | FREE

Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DN

Tube: Charing Cross Station, Leicester Square Station, Embankment Underground Station, Piccadilly Circus Station, Covent Garden Station

 
 

Get your Friday night out in the West End off to a cultural start by benefitting from the National Gallery's late night Fridays until 9pm every week. The neo-classical columns and William Wilkins portico dominate Trafalgar Square and houses some of the finest examples of European art, ranging from 1260 to 1900, amid the 2,300 paintings filling its halls and rooms. Holbein's 'The Ambassadors', 'The Hay Wain' by Constable, and Jan Van Eyck's 'Arnolfini Marriage' are just some of the major attractions. Works on display also include those of Botticelli, Monet, Constable, Van Gogh and Rembrandt. Friday's late opening often includes tours, talks and musical events, while there's also a superb café and the wonderful National Dining Rooms in the Salisbury Wing, serving British classical cuisine and boasting floor-to-ceiling windows with lavish views over Trafalgar Square.

 
 

Events at National Gallery

Painters' Paintings: From Van Dyck to Freud Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

22nd June to 4th September 2016 | Adult £12, senior £10, student £6

 
Painters' Paintings: From Van Dyck to Freud National Gallery 2016-06-222016-09-04 Where:
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square London, WC2N 5DN
Category: Art Galleries
George Shaw: My Back To Nature OngoingFree Event

11th May to 30th October 2016 | Free

 
George Shaw: My Back To Nature National Gallery 2016-05-112016-10-30 Where:
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square London, WC2N 5DN
Category: Art Galleries
Beautiful Blooms And Crawling Creatures
On SoonFree Event

9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th Aug 2016 at 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm | Free

 
Beautiful Blooms And Crawling Creatures National Gallery 2016-07-262016-08-30 Where:
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square London, WC2N 5DN
Category: Art Galleries

Children's craft activities.

A View Into The Italian Renaissance: Veronese
On SoonFree Event

Wednesday 31st August 2016 - 1pm-1.30pm | Free

 
A View Into The Italian Renaissance: Veronese National Gallery 2016-08-312016-08-31 Where:
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square London, WC2N 5DN
Category: Art Galleries

An exploration of the renaissance in Italy.

Illuminated Illusions
On SoonFree Event

Sunday 4th September 2016 - 11am-1pm | Free

 
Illuminated Illusions National Gallery 2016-09-042016-09-04 Where:
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square London, WC2N 5DN
Category: Art Galleries

Create a glow-in-the dark masterpiece inspired by Pissarro.

All events at National Gallery
 
 
 

Royal Academy of Arts

Fridays until 10pm | From £11 (Some exhibitions FREE)

Burlington House, Mayfair, London, W1J 0BD

Tube: Green Park Station, Piccadilly Circus Station

 
 

Renowned for its annual Summer Exhibition, the Royal Academy of Arts is located in Lord Burlington's spectacular London palace and houses both the country's premier art school and a brilliantly curated program of exhibitions. Blockbuster exhibitions in the Sackler Wing or main galleries are ticketed and often booked up well in advance, but shows in the John Madejski Fine Rooms are drawn from the RA's holdings - ranging from Constable to Hockney - and are free. In 2012, the RA expanded into the neighbouring 6 Burlington Gardens space immediately behind the established home on Piccadilly. Late openings at both venues take place on Fridays where guests can browse the collections until 10pm.

 
 

Events at Royal Academy of Arts

David Hockney RA: 79 Portraits and 2 Still Lifes Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

2nd July to 2nd October 2016 | £11.50 (Adults), Concessions available, Free (Under 16s)

 
David Hockney RA: 79 Portraits and 2 Still Lifes Royal Academy of Arts 2016-07-022016-10-02 Where:
Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House London, W1J 0BD
Category: Art Galleries
Abstract Expressionism On Soon Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

24th September 2016 to 2nd January 2017 | £16.50 (Adults), £15 (without donation), Concessions available, Free (Under 16s)

 
Abstract Expressionism Royal Academy of Arts 2016-09-242017-01-02 Where:
Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House London, W1J 0BD
Category: Art Galleries
Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

27th October 2016 to 29th January 2017 | £11.50 (Adults), £10 (without donation), Concessions available, Free (Under 16s)

 
Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans Royal Academy of Arts 2016-10-272017-01-29 Where:
Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House London, W1J 0BD
Category: Art Galleries
All events at Royal Academy of Arts
 
 
 

Tate Britain

Selected Fridays until 10pm | FREE (except selected exhibitions)

Millbank, Westminster, London, SW1P 4RG

Tube: Pimlico Station

 
 

Late at Tate Britain provides guests the ideal opportunity to explore the gallery's extensive collection and temporary exhibitions after hours, with vibrant performances, music, film screenings, talks and a late bar running alongside the extended opening hours.  Dedicated to showcasing Britain's artistic talent, Tate Britain is home to the greatest collection of British art from 1500 to the present day. Since it opened in 1897, the collection has expanded to include works from Blake, Rossetti, Spencer and Stubbs. It also hosts the Turner Prize - the contemporary art world's premier award. An eagerly anticipated chronological rehang of the museum's permanent collection was unveiled in May 2013. These special Late at Tate nights usually take place around four times a year, with openings roughly every season - Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

 
 

Events at Tate Britain

Art In Focus: Bomberg's The Mud Bath
Ends TodayFree Event

2nd to 27th August 2016 - 1.15pm-1.30pm | Free

 
Art In Focus: Bomberg's The Mud Bath Tate Britain 2016-08-022016-08-27 Where:
Tate Britain, Millbank London, SW1P 4RG
Category: Art Galleries

Join a Tate guide for a short talk on this painting.

Painting with Light Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

11th May to 25th September 2016 | Adult £18, concession £16

 
Painting with Light Tate Britain 2016-05-112016-09-25 Where:
Tate Britain, Millbank London, SW1P 4RG
Category: Art Galleries
Conceptual Art in Britain: 1964-1979 Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

12th April to 29th August 2016 | Adult £12, concession £10.50

 
Conceptual Art in Britain: 1964-1979 Tate Britain 2016-04-122016-08-29 Where:
Tate Britain, Millbank London, SW1P 4RG
Category: Art Galleries
Pablo Bronstein Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

26th April to 9th October 2016

 
Pablo Bronstein Tate Britain 2016-04-262016-10-09 Where:
Tate Britain, Millbank London, SW1P 4RG
Category: Art Galleries
Art and Alcohol OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

16th November 2015 to 24th September 2016 | Free

 
Art and Alcohol Tate Britain 2015-11-162016-09-24 Where:
Tate Britain, Millbank London, SW1P 4RG
Category: Art Galleries
BP British Art Displays: A Walk Through British Art
OngoingFree Event

14th May 2013 to 31st December 2016 - 10am-6pm | Free

 
BP British Art Displays: A Walk Through British Art Tate Britain 2013-05-142016-12-31 Where:
Tate Britain, Millbank London, SW1P 4RG
Category: Art Galleries
David Tremlett: Drawing For Free Thinking
OngoingFree Event

19th September 2012 to 31st December 2016 - Various Times | Free

 
David Tremlett: Drawing For Free Thinking Tate Britain 2012-09-192016-12-31 Where:
Tate Britain, Millbank London, SW1P 4RG
Category: Art Galleries
All events at Tate Britain
 
 
 

London Zoo

Fridays in June & July | £25

 

If you're a party animal then head to London Zoo for after-hours entertainment, which is laid on every Friday night in June and July. The night's entertainment ranges from improvised comedy in the aquarium, Twisted Cabaret in the amphitheatre, a silent disco or a street food festival. They also encourage you to bring out your inner-animal with the face-painting, animal masks and silly outfits provided. But the real stars of the show are the animals who are the subject of various talks and demonstrations, not to forget the all-important feeding time. Zoo Lates! is an adults-only event, not suitable for under 18s. It also includes entry to the Tiger Territory, the brand new five star £3.6 million home for the zoo's Sumatran tigers.

 
 
 

Tate Modern

Friday & Saturday until 10pm | Selected exhibitions from £11 (Some FREE)

Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG

Tube: Blackfriars Underground Station

 
 

Located along the banks of the River Thames in the former Bankside Power Station - originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1947, the architect of Battersea Power Station - Tate Modern has been integral to London's cultural scene since opening to great acclaim in 2000. The gallery - which is considered the most popular in Europe - pays homage to art from 1900 to the present day while the awesome Turbine Hall creates a stunning entrance and a vast space, used to display temporary installations on a grand scale. There are three levels of galleries enclosed by a spectacular two-storey glass roof that provides fantastic views of London and a great cafe. Full of the jokey eccentricities of contemporary art, it's one of the few art galleries that children and teenagers will enjoy, but it also offers the full set of iconic twentieth century artists, from Matisse to Moore, Dali to Picasso. Tate Modern is also generous in its opening hours, with its doors staying open until 10pm on both Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year.

 
 

Events at Tate Modern

Summer Families Gallery Material World
Now OnFree Event

28th July to 4th September 2016 - 10am-6pm | Free

 
Summer Families Gallery Material World Tate Modern 2016-07-282016-09-04 Where:
Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street London, SE1 9TG
Category: Art Galleries

An opportunity to handle art materials as an artist would.

Georgia O'Keeffe Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

6th July to 30th October 2016 | Adult £19, concession £17, under 12 Free

 
Georgia O'Keeffe Tate Modern 2016-07-062016-10-30 Where:
Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street London, SE1 9TG
Category: Art Galleries
Artist Rooms: Phyllida Barlow OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

11th January to 31st December 2016 | Free

 
Artist Rooms: Phyllida Barlow Tate Modern 2016-01-112016-12-31 Where:
Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street London, SE1 9TG
Category: Art Galleries
Artist Rooms: Louise Bourgeois OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

17th June 2016 to 17th June 2017 | Free

 
Artist Rooms: Louise Bourgeois Tate Modern 2016-06-172017-06-17 Where:
Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street London, SE1 9TG
Category: Art Galleries
Elegies
OngoingFree Event

28th May 2014 to 31st December 2016 - Various Times | Free

 
Elegies Tate Modern 2014-05-282016-12-31 Where:
Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street London, SE1 9TG
Category: Art Galleries
Niki De Saint Phalle And Richard Serra
OngoingFree Event

28th May 2014 to 31st December 2016 - Various Times | Free

 
Niki De Saint Phalle And Richard Serra Tate Modern 2014-05-282016-12-31 Where:
Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street London, SE1 9TG
Category: Art Galleries
Surrealism And Beyond
OngoingFree Event

28th May 2014 to 31st December 2016 - Various Times | Free

 
Surrealism And Beyond Tate Modern 2014-05-282016-12-31 Where:
Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street London, SE1 9TG
Category: Art Galleries
All events at Tate Modern
 
 
 

Victoria and Albert Museum

Fridays until 10pm | FREE

Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2RL

Tube: South Kensington Station

 
 

Initially founded in 1852 to inspire and educate British designers and manufacturers, the Victoria and Albert Museum houses over four million items spanning centuries and hundreds of cultures. The stunning world-famous collection covers European, Indian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Islamic artefacts ranging from ceramics, glass, metalwork and sculpture to costume, armour, weaponry and furniture. Among the museum's highlights are the dress collection which spans the 17th century to present day haute-couture; and the four-poster, Jacobean Great Bed of Ware, immortalized by Shakespeare in 'Twelfth Night'. Selected galleries remain open until 10pm every Friday, while a series of Friday Lates - held on the last Friday of the month (except December) - comprise of largely free events, workshops and entertainment based around a different theme.

 
 

Events at Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum

Book Illustration

Saturday 27th August 2016 - 10.30am-5pm | £100, concs/NUS £80

 
Book Illustration Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum 2016-08-272016-08-27 Where:
Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road London, SW7 2RL
Category: Museums

Explore the process and range of techniques.

Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

18th June to 6th November 2016

 
Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum 2016-06-182016-11-06 Where:
Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road London, SW7 2RL
Category: Museums
Elytra Filament Pavilion OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

18th May to 6th November 2016 | Free

 
Elytra Filament Pavilion Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum 2016-05-182016-11-06 Where:
Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road London, SW7 2RL
Category: Museums
Curtain Up: Celebrating 40 Years of Theatre in London and New York OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

9th February to 31st August 2016 | Free

 
Curtain Up: Celebrating 40 Years of Theatre in London and New York Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum 2016-02-092016-08-31 Where:
Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road London, SW7 2RL
Category: Museums
Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

16th April 2016 to 12th March 2017 | £12

 
Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum 2016-04-162017-03-12 Where:
Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road London, SW7 2RL
Category: Museums
Road Building
OngoingFree Event

3rd May 2015 to 15th October 2016 - Various Times | Free

 
Road Building Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum 2015-05-032016-10-15 Where:
Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road London, SW7 2RL
Category: Museums
All events at Victoria and Albert Museum
 
 
 

Somerset House

Daily in summer until 11pm | FREE

Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station

 
 

While the fabulous Courtauld Gallery and Somerset House's other gallery and exhibition spaces close their doors at 6pm, the spectacular Tudor palace on the banks of the Thames keeps its famous Fountain Court, River Terrace and restored Seaman's Hall open until 11pm in the summertime. Seasonal outdoor activities in the cobbled court with its choreographed fountains include the Summer Series music festival in July, the Film4 Summer Screen open-air cinema fortnight in August and the much-loved Christmas Ice Rink in November and December.

 
 

Events at Somerset House

The World Illustration Awards Now OnFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

1st to 29th August 2016 | Free

 
The World Illustration Awards Somerset House 2016-08-012016-08-29 Where:
Somerset House, Strand London, WC2R 1LA
Category: Historic Buildings

Back for its 40th year, the World Illustration Awards exhibition returns to Somerset House this August to showcase over 50 of the very best artworks across the diverse field of illustration. The unique exhibition brings ...more

Bjork Digital On Soon Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

1st September to 23rd October 2016 | £15 (Adults), £12.50 (Concs)

 
Bjork Digital Somerset House 2016-09-012016-10-23 Where:
Somerset House, Strand London, WC2R 1LA
Category: Historic Buildings

It doesn't get much more immersive than the inside of Bjork's mouth. But that's exactly where Bjork Digital, an immersive virtual reality exhibition on the Icelandic pop start and artist, will take you. This exhibition ...more

London Design Biennale On SoonFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

7th to 27th September 2016 | Free

 
London Design Biennale Somerset House 2016-09-072016-09-27 Where:
Somerset House, Strand London, WC2R 1LA
Category: Historic Buildings

Produced by the team behind the London Design Festival, the three-week long London Design Biennale brings a new international element to the annual London festival. Held for the first ...more

Hair by Sam McKnight Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

2nd November 2016 to 12th March 2017 | £12.50, £10 concessions

 
Hair by Sam McKnight Somerset House 2016-11-022017-03-12 Where:
Somerset House, Strand London, WC2R 1LA
Category: Historic Buildings
Hair by Sam McKnight Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

2nd November 2016 to 12th March 2017 | £12.50, £10 concessions

 
Hair by Sam McKnight Somerset House 2016-11-022017-03-12 Where:
Somerset House, Strand London, WC2R 1LA
Category: Historic Buildings
All events at Somerset House
 
 
 

The View From The Shard

Daily until 10pm | £24.95

The Shard, 96 Tooley Street, Bankside, London, SE1 9SG

Tube: London Bridge Station

 

Dates: From 01st February 2013

 

London looks like a city in miniature from The View From The Shard which at 244 metres tall is the highest public viewing platform in Western Europe. Lifts transport members of the public from the ground to levels 68 to 72 where visitors are greeted at the entrance by pictures of over 140 famous Londoners - including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as Pearly King and Queen, Kate Moss marrying King Henry VIII and Boris Johnson shining Ken Livingstone's shoes. Around the gallery there are animated maps, interactive displays, video screens and short films giving visitors an insight into London and the surrounding London Bridge area which houses the oldest crossing point over the Thames. But nothing can distract from the stunning views over the city and 40 miles beyond. That means - on a really good day - you can see the sea at Southend in Essex to the east and as far as Reading in Berkshire to the west. See how far you can see when you buy Tickets for View from the Shard.

 
 
 

London Eye

Until 9m (Apr-Jun), 9.30pm (Jul-Aug), 8.30pm (Sept-Dec) | £18.90

Jubilee Gardens, South Bank, South Bank, London, SE1 7PB

Tube: Embankment Underground Station, Westminster Station, Waterloo Station

 
 

The London Eye elbowed its way onto the capital's tourist scene as one of the statement pieces to mark the turn of the century (see also The Millennium Bridge) and quickly became a definitive part of the London experience. This spectacularly streamlined riverside wheel stands an impressive 135 meters tall and its sleek, modern, totally see-through glass-pods offer an unrivalled 360-degree view of London and beyond. The Houses of Parliament, Canary Wharf, Big Ben, the glorious Thames and Windsor Castle are just a few of the 55-odd attractions that can be admired from the top of the arc. On a clear day the view extends to 25 miles in each direction. It moves at a slow but steady pace, taking 30 minutes to complete its flight. Because of its popularity, there are usually lengthy queues to book tickets and then to board the flight. Save time and book London Eye tickets online in advance. A variety of different ticketing options and packages are available depending on your individual requirements. You can choose to upgrade to a Fast Track ticket, which entitles you to check in just 15 minutes before your flight, or spend the flight in the company of a London guide or a glass of champagne. The flight only lasts 30 minutes and it's bound to be busy but this is still top of the London must-do list.

 
 
 

Ripley's Believe It Or Not!

Daily until midnight | £29.95

1 Piccadilly, , Soho, London, W1J 0DA

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station, Leicester Square Station

 
 

"Proudly freaking out families for 90 years," boasts Ripley's Believe It Or Not! on its publicity material. Freaky and yet strangely fascinating, this museum perched above Piccadilly Circus presents over 500 weird, unusual and all-too-real artefacts. There are 30 Ripley's museums worldwide and London's collection, which opened on 20th August 2008, includes a bling-ing Swarovski crystal covered mini motor car, shrunken heads from Ecuador and a two-headed calf. These strange things come from Robert Ripley's fascination for collecting bizarre objects - a hobby he started on his worldwide travels in the 1920s and 1930s. Although this collection can, at times, make your skin crawl it manages to get the balance of intriguing objects and downright disgusting things just right. Judge for yourself - buy tickets to Ripley's Believe It Or Not! here.

 
 
 
 
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