Are you planning a trip to the capital with your girlfriends? Take a look at our handy guide for the best activities for a girls’ day out in London
There are few things better than exploring somewhere new with friends. There are plenty of things going on all year round so you’re guaranteed to have a fun girly weekend. Make the most of your time together at some of the best venues in London. If you’re visiting during March, make sure to check out the special events for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month.
See the sights
The best way to see the city and get your bearings is with a sightseeing tour. There is an infinite number of tours available, from classic open-top busses with Tootbus and City Sightseeing to Golden Tours’ Harry Potter-themed tours. Women of London operate walking tours that explore London’s history through the achievements of women. Discover the campaigners in Westminster, the factory workers of East London or the writers of Bloomsbury. Another fantastic way to see the sights is from the water. Uber Boat by Thames Clippers is the river bus service that takes you past many of London’s iconic landmarks including the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral. Brand-new for 2022, they have teamed up with The View from The Shard to offer a combination experience. Take in breathtaking views from western Europe’s tallest building before climbing aboard for a 50-minute river cruise.
If you’re already accustomed to London’s landmarks, perhaps you’d rather a day of culture and entertainment. Most of the capital’s museums and galleries are free to enter, though charges may apply for some exhibitions. The Courtauld Gallery reopened after a three-year modernisation project which has transformed the Gallery’s spectacular rooms. Visit the groundbreaking Morgan Stanley Exhibition: Van Gogh. Self Portraits (to 8 May). Meanwhile, masculine fashion is the focus at the V&A Museum. Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear features designs from icons such as Gucci and Hermes, as well as newcomers. For those searching for the perfect Instagram pic, try to get your hands on tickets for Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms at Tate Modern, closing in May. The final tickets will go on sale at the end of March. Take a look at what’s on at the Saatchi Gallery or Wallace Collection now too – there’s a great café and library at the latter. Opening in July, Klimt: The Immersive Experience will be another must-see exhibition of the summer. This 360-degree digital show will shed new light on the Austrian painter’s work with digital displays, sound effects, projection mapping and a unique VR experience. The secret location will be revealed soon.
Dive into the world of the late singer Amy Winehouse at the Design Museum‘s Amy: Beyond the stage (to 10 Apr). Featuring outfits she wore during her greatest performances and handwritten lyrics, learn about her creative process and influences. To continue the celebration of women, a quirky museum will be opening in Bethnal Green. The Vagina Museum was previously in Camden but will take up new residence in East London from 18 March 2022. It is the world’s first bricks and mortar museum dedicated to gynaecological anatomy. The reopening exhibition will share facts and historical stories around the taboo subject of periods. Other unusual exhibitions that are well worth a visit include Titanic: The Exhibition in Surrey Quays, or the Twinings Museum at 216 Strand. With more than 300 years of history, this is the oldest tea shop in London.
If your girl group is full of thespians and performers, then a West End show is a no-brainer. The cult classic Dirty Dancing has been revived for the stage at the Dominion Theatre, while Beverly Knight stars as manager to one of the world’s greatest vocal bands in The Drifters Girl. For real feel-good shows, check out Get Up Stand Up: The Bob Marley Musical, Saturday Night Fever or Tina – The Tina Turner Musical. Belt out ABBA classics at the smash-hit musical MAMMA MIA! and see the 1990s romantic comedy Pretty Woman film on stage in the musical production.
For the fearless ones out there, experience a different side of London with some of the action-packed adventures available. Head to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to face the world’s longest tunneled slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit, or soar to the bottom of the tower during a breathtaking abseil. Fancy a different sky-high activity? Scale the famous domed roof with Up at The O2. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply want to add a bit of fizz to your climb, the Celebration Climb comes with a Champagne Lanson to toast on the roof. Channel your inner adventurers while climbing through the treetops or whizzing down zip lines at Go Ape; there are venues available in Alexandra Palace, Battersea Park and Cockfosters. Other adrenaline-activities include Clip ‘n Climb climbing arena in Chelsea, and white water rafting, horse riding and much more at Lee Valley Park.
Alternatively, rise and shine with an early-morning yoga session in the world’s most spectacular setting, the Temperate House at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Find your zen and reconnect with nature – there are also tai chi sessions available in the enchanting Mediterranean Garden. Or join a slow sensory woodland walk with an expert guide who will educate you on the practice of Forest Bathing. Book these experiences online.
For an alternative take on female empowerment that will leave you feeling just as proud to be a woman, visit Sophie Tea Art Gallery on Carnaby Street. The British artist has amassed a large following online and recently appeared in the 2022 Channel 4 documentary Boobs. Her eponymous gallery space is a fantastic celebration of the female form. It’s the perfect place to stop with friends. While in the area, you may as well engage in a little retail therapy. Carnaby Street is filled with fashionable boutiques and beauty stores, while nearby Regent Street, Bond Street and Oxford Street offer your favourite high-street brands alongside many designer flagship stores.
Ladies who lunch
Replenish your energy reserves with breakfast or brunch. There are endless options in practically every street in London, so there will definitely be something to suit all tastes. If you’re arriving at Paddington Station, The Pilgrm Hotel serves creamy scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on toast, accompanied by shallots, pickled samphire and chilli oil, as well as soft-in-the-middle-crunchy-on-the-outside French toast with banana, chocolate chips, toasted hazelnuts and topped with a scoop of salted caramel ice-cream. Heavenly. Alternatively, Grind is the coffee brand you may have seen on Instagram, with restaurants dotted across London (London Bridge, Covent Garden, Soho, Shoreditch and Liverpool Street to name a few). Visit for coconut and rhubarb granola bowls, Full English breakfasts and sweet potato harissa cakes with poached eggs, plus more. For something Insta-worthy and on-the-go, Cédric Grolet at The Berkeley should be on your list. Take a fruit-shaped cake or flamboyant pastry to-go and enjoy while walking in nearby Hyde Park. Covent Garden is a great, central location for brunch, with Violas serving elegant pancake tacos, Avobar serving, well, avocado in various forms, and Floral by LIMA serving 3 courses of Peruvian food. Take a look at the Margarita bottomless brunches available too.
While in London, why not try the traditional British meal, afternoon tea? Go down the rabbit hole at the Sanderson hotel’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, or tuck into Aqua Shard‘s Peter Pan tea high in the clouds. The Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe also serves up a delicious afternoon tea themed around Romeo & Juliet. London’s hotels, such as Claridge’s, The Langham and Brown’s Hotel, deliver fantastic afternoon tea menus too. Find out more here.
Get the party started
For after-dark fun, head up onto London’s rooftops. From bars and restaurants to cinemas, these skyline views are unbeatable. Sip cocktails, toast to friendship and dance the night away at one of the capital’s best rooftop bars. Some of our favourites include Sabine, which offers spectacular views of St Paul’s Cathedral, or Skylight for the fun factor – it’s an adult playground with summer games, a winter ice rink and street food all year round.
The party doesn’t get much bigger than at The O2’s Mamma Mia! The Party. Enjoy a delicious four-course meal at Nikos Taverna as a love story unfolds around you. ABBA hits are performed by actors before the glittering finale sees the town square transformed into a fabulous disco. See you on the dancefloor! Alternatively, sit back and enjoy an unforgettably fun night of sizzling, 360-degree entertainment at Magic Mike, based on the hit movies. It’s the ultimate girls’ night out that is both hot and hilarious. Or perhaps you’ve always dreamed of attending a legendary Jay Gatsby party? Forget 2022 and celebrate the Roaring Twenties at The Great Gatsby Immersive Experience in Mayfair, which is inspired by the novel of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald. So don flapper dresses and string pearls, sip Champagne and foxtrot the night away to a jazz band.
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