Are you sick of going on the same old dinner and drinks date? A quick bite to eat in the local down the road has gotten a bit dull, hasn’t it?
Well, London is the perfect place for stepping outside of the ordinary. It’s packed full of secret spots and quirky attractions that you’ve probably never even heard of before.
We’ve got the wacky, the weird, and the downright wonderful covered in this list. So rest assured there’s something for all types of souls, from foodies to big drinkers to adrenaline-junkies.
Give these 31 unusual things to do in London a try! What’s the worst that could happen?
Explore Cool Things To Do In London On a Date
Sometimes it’s tricky to know how many dates to go on before you make it official – but with these unusual dates, you’ll never want to stop dating like you’re in the honeymoon period. We have a huge variety of things to see and things to do in London, all of which we’re sure you’ve not already done, especially on a date! Quickly jump to one of these categories if they take your fancy. We’ve got everyone and everything covered.
Table of Contents
For Culture & History Buffs
Here you’ll find a perfect date idea for any culture or history buff. We say, embrace your inner geek!
1. Immerse Yourself In the Visuals of Harry Potter
Calling all Potterheads! This isn’t the Warner Bros Studio Tour in Watford (surely every die-hard Potterhead has already visited there?) This is The House of Minalima in Soho. It’s an exhibition gallery and shop opened up by Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, two artists who worked on the visuals of the films. You’ll see Potter graphics, props, and plenty of gift memorabilia you can purchase to take home yourself.
2. Browse a 300-Year-Old Tea Shop
Calling all tea-lovers! So that’s all Brits, right? Opening way back in 1706, the Twinings Cafe on the Strand has over 300 years of history within its walls. It’s one of the oldest shops still open in London, offering tea-tasting samples and beautiful antique teapots for you to purchase. There’s also a Twinings museum right next door.
3. Check out Shoreditch’s Street Art
All across London there are spectacular street paintings, murals, and sculptures, especially in East London where you can book a tour to really savour up the joys of London’s street art. Private tours like the Shoreditch & Brick Art Tours will show you all the vibrant and impressive streets scenes, led by knowledgeable locals who offer cultural insights and expert advice on how to capture the best photos.
4. Watch a Movie At An Outdoor Cinema
Traditional indoor theatres are so last century. For a different kind of movie date, go watch something at an outdoor cinema instead. Venues like the Rooftop Film Club in Peckham or Stratford offer world-class open-air film experiences, complete with comfy deckchairs, gorgeous city views, fab food and drink options, and a whole bunch of great movies (from cult classic to fan favourites).
5. Visit the Churchill War Rooms
The Churchill War Rooms on King Charles Street are a must-see for any history or war buff that wants to learn more about the system of underground bunkers and tunnels used by Churchill and his chiefs during the Blitz. It’s been impressively preserved over the years, making it an uncanny step back in time into a period of tense nerve and dread.
For Thirsty Drinkers
Break the ice with a good old alcoholic beverage. These are the best, most unique places for thirsty big-drinkers. Cheers!
6. Sip On Some Cocktails In a Ball Pit
Who said that ball pits were made for just kids? You can find a whole bunch of ball pit bars in the capital, but one of our personal favourites is the original one, Ballie Ballerson in Shoreditch. This is a great date idea for nostalgia-seekers who want to frolic as a big kid with banging music. Just remember to book your tickets in advance!
7. Enjoy a Drink Over a Game of Mini Golf
Enjoy any beverage you like over a game of mini-golf at Putt Shack in White City. You’ve never played a game of mini golf like it before! It boasts state-of-the-art technology, with automatic scoring and live leaderboards that keep all you keen competitors out there on your toes. Plus there’s a great cocktail menu too. Win-win!
8. Immerse Yourself In a Western Cocktail Experience
Find your inner cowboy or cowgirl with the Moonshine Saloon Western cocktail bar that invites you to become part of its Wild West story. It’s an immersive theatre-type experience with card and dice games, fantastic actors, and world-class mixologists who allow you to “smuggle your own” liquor in too. They’ll mix up anything you fancy.
9. Play Some Sports Games With a Beer
The Four Thieves in Battersea is nicknamed “the only place in the world where it’s okay to drink and drive”. Why? It’s home to a Scalextric-style multiplayer race track for you and your date to practice some healthy competition. Plus, it’s also packed with plenty of other classic arcade games like pinball machines. Oh, and on Saturdays there’s a bottomless brunch. Need we say anymore?
10. Have a WW2 experience at The Bletchley Bar
The Bletchley Bar provides a unique cocktail experience that immerses you in the code-cracking days of WW2. In its so-called ‘cocktail bunker’, you’ll put on a (steam-cleaned) military jacket, use period enigma machines, and order a cocktail that’s 100% unique to your personal taste. Just ask at the bar!
For Hungry Bellies
What better way to someone’s heart than a hearty 3-course meal for a hungry belly? These are some of the oddest places to dine in London.
11. Dine At an Immersive Theatre
Immersive dining experiences are cropping up all over London, and there’s a huge variety for you to choose from too. The best immersive experiences are based on our favourite TV shows and films, like ‘The Murder Express’, ‘The Greatest Brunch’, ‘Mulan Rouge’, and ‘Faulty Towers’. Choose the one that your date will love the most!
12. Have Breakfast In an Old Toilet
The Attendant in Fitzrovia is an old 19th-century lavatory that’s been converted into a fabulous coffee shop. So if you’re both coffee addicts, try out this cosy and unique coffee house that sells all kinds of hot drinks, delicious lunches, and wholesome breakfasts. Because who hasn’t ever wanted to sip on a steaming hot mocha while sitting at men’s urinal?
13. Eat Your Dinner in Pitch-Black
Translating to ‘in the dark’, Dans Le Noir is one of the most unique restaurants in the world. On your arrival, you’ll be led to your table and served a delicious meal in the pitch-black dark. And why? Because it’s thought to heighten your taste and smell sense. You’ll be served by blind waiters too. This is certainly a sensory dining experience that you’ll never forget.
14. Eat Something Very, Very Healthy
Are you both on a meat-free, low-carb, no-fat diet? Well, look no further than Redemption, a superb London chain with a menu packed full of 100% vegan meals that are both healthy and gorgeously delicious. They pride themselves on caring about your health and the planet we share, so book your table today if you’ve both had too many cheat days lately!
15. Eat Lots and Lots and Lots of Garlic
Now we know what you’re about to say: Isn’t garlic the last thing you should eat on a date? Technically yes. But saying no to garlic is virtually impossible for us garlic-lovers (that’s most of us, right?) So visit Garlic and Shots, a Soho restaurant that’s got a distinctively garlicky menu full of gorgeously garlic flavours. Plus, there’s 101 different shots for you to try out too. Just remember your minty chewing gum!
For Whistle-Stop Sightseeing
Have a whistle-stop tour at some of these unusual things to do (and see) in London. Blink and you’ll miss these must-see oddities.
16. Visit Britain’s Smallest Police Station
You can find Britain’s so-called ‘smallest police station’ on Trafalgar Square. Chances are you’ve probably already seen it but never knew what it was! It’s essentially just a tiny Tardis-like box, but it was once a fully-functioning observation station post for London’s police officers when Trafalgar Square was a popular spot for rowdy protestors. Stop by for a selfie.
17. See the Crossbones Burial Ground
In the streets of Southwark, just a stone’s throw away from London Bridge, you’ll find a remarkable (and rather eerie) ancient burial ground. Marked by its fencing of ribbons and rotting flowers, Crossbones Burial Cemetery is actually home to over 15,000 bodies (most of which are children). Closing back in 1853, you can now only glimpse through the railings, but it’s worth checking out to honour the ‘Outcast Dead’. Read more about it before you go!
18. Catch a Glimpse of the Pet Cemetery
If you’re a pet-lover, we have another abandoned cemetery for you. Just on the outskirts of Hyde Park you’ll find the unofficial Hyde Park Pet Cemetery that was actually the backyard of the park’s old caretaker, Mr Windbridge. You’ll see the graves of over 300 different pets, but it’s inaccessible to the public now, so only take a peek through the railings.
19. Go see the Fake Houses of Leinster Gardens
Take a stroll down Leinster Gardens in Bayswater and chances are you’ll see nothing out of the ordinary. But take a closer look next time, particularly at the house numbers of 23 and 24. They’re actually fake homes, once demolished and rebuilt as air vents for the Metropolitan Line (they have fake facades after the street’s residents complained of the eye-sore). You learn something new every day, ey?
20. Visit Postman’s Park
Lastly on your tour, you can stop off at Postman’s Park: a public garden just a short walk from St. Paul’s Cathedral that was specifically built to remember Londoner’s greatest heroes who tragically died saving the lives of others. The memorial stories you’ll read are both touching and devastating, so bring along some tissues if you’re easily moved.
For Ultra-Quirky Souls
These unique things to do in London are the oddest of the odd. For the ultra-quirky souls only!
21. Explore the Ghostly Goings-On of London’s Most Haunted Places
Do you believe in ghosts? If so, take your date on a nighttime tour of London’s most haunted locations. London Ghost Walks is guided by internationally-renowned author Richard Jones, so expect creepy storytelling, vast historic knowledge, and of course plenty of sinister sights and sounds that might just convert you into a true ghost-believer if you’re not already.
22. Enjoy the Lights of God’s Own Junkyard
God’s Own Junkyard in Walthamstow is the perfect date spot for anyone obsessed with bright neon signs and retro memorabilia. It’s a super impressive private collection of the late signmaker Christoper Bracey (AKA ‘The Neon Man’), so make sure you take some grammable snaps as you walk around. It’s also got an onsite cafe too, so feel free to grab a quick bite to eat after.
23. Get Incarnated In England’s Oldest Prison
In use from the 12th to the 18th century, the Clink Prison Museum was once England’s most notorious prison. But now it’s open as an immersive educational experience featuring real live actors and a whole bunch of cool artefacts spanning over 600 years! Book your visit to learn more about the fascinating tales and misfortunes of the Clink’s past inmates.
24. Check Out the Occult Objects in Viktor Wynd’s Museum Of Curiosities
There’s something for everyone to wonder at inside Viktor Wynd’s Museum Of Curiosities. It houses a collection of infamous, peculiar, wonderful, and downright creepy artefacts and art pieces, from two-headed kittens to fairies, unicorns, and monsters. It also boasts a delightful cocktail bar too, so make sure you top off your visit with a drink. You’ll need it after what you’ve just seen.
25. Take a Neon Naked Life Drawing Class
What better way to heat things up than to take a naked life drawing class for you both to enjoy? Away from the traditions of standard life drawing practices, the classes at Neon Naked have paint-splattered models and UV lighting to challenge your creative juices and spark out-the-box imagery. All abilities are welcome too, so book your slot and bring your date.
26. Bake Like You’re a Contestant on Telly
Do you have a dab hand in making butterfly cakes? Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a contestant on the Great British Bake Off? Well, now you can find out with The Big London Bake, an immersive experience that gives you 90 minutes to whisk, pour, and bake up the ultimate recipe. Remember, a winner is announced at the end of the challenge, so don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get real messy.
For Active Thrill-Seekers
27. Kayak Along the Thames
This one’s for you if you’re not afraid to get a little wet. The London Kayak Company hosts a whole bunch of Thames kayaking group trips you can join, so get in touch with them today if you’re interested. Don’t worry if you’re a novice, they welcome all abilities. All you need is a spirited positive attitude!
28. Take a Dip in Hampstead Heath’s Ponds
You’ll be surprised at how many lidos and outdoor bathing pools London has to offer. Are you both brave enough to take a refreshing morning dip? If not, don’t worry. You can wait until the height of summer when a cool afternoon swim is just what you need. Hampstead Heath has the best open-air pools in London, so come along with your bathing suit!
29. See London From the Sky in a Helicopter
A helicopter tour of London’s cityscape might not be within the budget for your first date, but boy are the sights worth the price. You’ll get an aerial view of London’s most famous landmarks, from Buckingham Palace to the London Eye. This is certainly not an idea for the faint-hearted, so be sure to check your date isn’t scared of heights beforehand.
30. Climb One of London’s Most Iconic Landmarks
For another unique view of London’s skyline, take an exhilarating climb up and over the O2 Arena. You can choose the perfect time of day for your adventure too, from daylight to sunset to twilight. Whatever hour it is, the views are unmissable and unbeatable. Plus, you can opt for a bottle of champagne at the top too. What could possibly be more romantic?
31. Try Your Hand At Trapeze
Yes, you’ve heard us right. You can now have classes at the Gorilla Circus Flying Trapeze School on the corner of Regent’s Park. So if you often dream of becoming a gold-medal Olympic champion, why not book a date to show off your circus gymnastics skills? Don’t worry, you’ll be completely harnessed in and there’s a huge safety net to ensure you have a safe landing too.