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.

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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

Gay UK: Love, Law And Liberty
OngoingFree Event

2nd June to 19th September 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
Gay UK: Love, Law And Liberty British Library 2017-06-022017-09-19 Where:
British Library, 96 Euston Road London, NW1 2DB
Category: Museums
Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

28th April to 29th August 2017

 
Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths British Library 2017-04-282017-08-29 Where:
British Library, 96 Euston Road London, NW1 2DB
Category: Museums
Comics And Cartoon Art From The Arab World
OngoingFree Event

13th June to 29th October 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
Comics And Cartoon Art From The Arab World British Library 2017-06-132017-10-29 Where:
British Library, 96 Euston Road London, NW1 2DB
Category: Museums
PEN Pinter Prize 2017

Tuesday 10th October 2017 - 7pm-8.30pm | £12, child/mems £8

 
PEN Pinter Prize 2017 British Library 2017-10-102017-10-10 Where:
British Library, 96 Euston Road London, NW1 2DB
Category: Museums

Literary & Education, Author Event.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

20th October 2017 to 28th February 2018 | Tickets go on sale April 3rd.

 
Harry Potter: A History of Magic British Library 2017-10-202018-02-28 Where:
British Library, 96 Euston Road London, NW1 2DB
Category: Museums
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

Marc Quinn: Drawn From Life
OngoingFree Event

28th March to 23rd September 2017 - 10am-5pm | Free

 
Marc Quinn: Drawn From Life Sir John Soane's Museum 2017-03-282017-09-23 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

Robots Ongoing 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

The London Summer Intensive 2017
Now OnFree Event

19th & 20th and 22nd to 26th Aug 2017 - 10am | Free

 
The London Summer Intensive 2017 Camden Arts Centre 2017-07-312017-08-26 Where:
Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road London, NW3 6DH
Category: Art Galleries

The residency focuses on independent studio practice, supported by artist facilitator Jefford Horrigan and visiting artists. It will reflect the dynamic, rigorous and open-ended approaches to art-making championed by both institutions and provide a stimulating ...

Daniel Richter: Lonely Old Slogans
OngoingFree Event

2nd July to 17th September 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
Daniel Richter: Lonely Old Slogans Camden Arts Centre 2017-07-022017-09-17 Where:
Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road London, NW3 6DH
Category: Art Galleries
London Summer Intensive Showcase
On SoonFree Event

Friday 25th August 2017 at 6pm-8pm & Saturday 26th August 2017 at 10am-6pm | Free

 
London Summer Intensive Showcase Camden Arts Centre 2017-08-252017-08-26 Where:
Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road London, NW3 6DH
Category: Art Galleries

A showcase/preview of work by 20 artists from throughout the world. Featured artists are: Manuel Aja Espil, Haydn Albrow, Melis Boyaci, Magda Buczek, Christian Charles, Mayumi Enoki, Regine Furst, Vemo Liwei Hang, Sivan Kaufman, Kathy ...

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

As You Like It
On Soon

Thursday 14th and Friday 15th September 2017 - 7pm | £16

 
As You Like It Chelsea Physic Garden 2017-09-142017-09-15 Where:
Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Garden London, SW3 4HS
Category: Parks and Gardens

Bicycle-powered all-female troupe Handle Bards presents Shakespeare's romantic comedy, telling the story of two lovers forced into exile in the Forest Of Arden with riotous amounts of energy, chaos, and laughter.

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

Basquiat: Boom for Real Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

21st September 2017 to 28th January 2018 | Standard £16, concession £12

 
Basquiat: Boom for Real Barbican Art Gallery 2017-09-212018-01-28 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)

Quantum Natives

Sunday 20th August 2017 - 8pm | £5, mems Free

 
Quantum Natives Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) 2017-08-202017-08-20 Where:
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), 12 Carlton House Terrace, The Mall London, SW1Y 5AH
Category: Art Galleries

An audiovisual performance by members of the global collective.

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

A Museum of Modern Nature OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

22nd June to 10th September 2017 | Free

 
A Museum of Modern Nature Wellcome Collection 2017-06-222017-09-10 Where:
Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road London, NW1 2BE
Category: Art Galleries
Can Graphic Design Save Your Life? On SoonFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

7th September 2017 to 14th January 2018 | Free

 
Can Graphic Design Save Your Life? Wellcome Collection 2017-09-072018-01-14 Where:
Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road London, NW1 2BE
Category: Art Galleries
Why Music' The Key To Memory
Free Event

13th and 14th October 2017 at 10am-6pm & 15th October 2017 at 11am-6pm | Free

 
Why Music' The Key To Memory Wellcome Collection 2017-10-132017-10-15 Where:
Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road London, NW1 2BE
Category: Art Galleries

Attractions & Museums, Tourist Attraction.

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.

 
 

Events at Whitechapel Gallery

Emma Hart: Mamma Mia!
Now OnFree Event

12th July to 3rd September 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
Emma Hart: Mamma Mia! Whitechapel Gallery 2017-07-122017-09-03 Where:
Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street London, E1 7QX
Category: Art Galleries

A new large-scale installation by the London-based artist, which is a culmination of an investigation into patterns.

A Handful Of Dust
OngoingFree Event

7th June to 3rd September 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
A Handful Of Dust Whitechapel Gallery 2017-06-072017-09-03 Where:
Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street London, E1 7QX
Category: Art Galleries
Benedict Drew: The Trickle-Down Syndrome
OngoingFree Event

7th June to 10th September 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
Benedict Drew: The Trickle-Down Syndrome Whitechapel Gallery 2017-06-072017-09-10 Where:
Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street London, E1 7QX
Category: Art Galleries
Emanuel Almborg: Learning Matter
Ends TodayFree Event

Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August 2017 - 11am-6pm | Free

 
Emanuel Almborg: Learning Matter Whitechapel Gallery 2017-04-272017-08-20 Where:
Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street London, E1 7QX
Category: Art Galleries
ISelf Collection: Self Portrait As The Billy Goat
Ends TodayFree Event

Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August 2017 - 11am-6pm | Free

 
ISelf Collection: Self Portrait As The Billy Goat Whitechapel Gallery 2017-04-272017-08-20 Where:
Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street London, E1 7QX
Category: Art Galleries
Artists' Film International
On SoonFree Event

22nd August to 15th October 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
Artists' Film International Whitechapel Gallery 2017-08-222017-10-15 Where:
Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street London, E1 7QX
Category: Art Galleries

Invocation by Desire Machine Collective, and Serpent Rain by Arjuna Neuman and Denise Ferreira da Silva.

All events at Whitechapel Gallery
 
 
 
 

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

Special Sunday Session: Play-Doh Portraits
Free Event

Sunday 20th August 2017 at 1pm-2.30pm and 3pm-4.30pm | Free

 
Special Sunday Session: Play-Doh Portraits National Portrait Gallery 2017-08-202017-08-20 Where:
National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place London, WC2H 0HE
Category: Art Galleries

Exhibitions & Art, Crafts.

BP Portrait Award 2017 OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

22nd June to 24th September 2017 | Free

 
BP Portrait Award 2017 National Portrait Gallery 2017-06-222017-09-24 Where:
National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place London, WC2H 0HE
Category: Art Galleries
The Encounter: Drawings From Leonardo To Rembrandt
Ongoing

13th July to 22nd October 2017 - Various Times | £8, concs £6.50, under 12s Free

 
The Encounter: Drawings From Leonardo To Rembrandt National Portrait Gallery 2017-07-132017-10-22 Where:
National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place London, WC2H 0HE
Category: Art Galleries
Marlene Dumas: Oscar Wilde And Bosie
OngoingFree Event

29th March to 30th October 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
Marlene Dumas: Oscar Wilde And Bosie National Portrait Gallery 2017-03-292017-10-30 Where:
National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place London, WC2H 0HE
Category: Art Galleries
Antony Gormley: Object OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

7th September 2016 to 7th September 2017 | Free

 
Antony Gormley: Object National Portrait Gallery 2016-09-072017-09-07 Where:
National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place London, WC2H 0HE
Category: Art Galleries
Life, Death and Memory OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

13th April 2017 to 16th April 2018 | Free

 
Life, Death and Memory National Portrait Gallery 2017-04-132018-04-16 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

Where The Thunderbird Lives: Cultural Resilience On The Northwest Coast Of North America
OngoingFree Event

3rd May to 27th August 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
Where The Thunderbird Lives: Cultural Resilience On The Northwest Coast Of North America British Museum 2017-05-032017-08-27 Where:
British Museum, Great Russell Street London, WC1B 3DG
Category: Museums
Living Histories: Contemporary Arab Artists
OngoingFree Event

28th June to 22nd October 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
Living Histories: Contemporary Arab Artists British Museum 2017-06-282017-10-22 Where:
British Museum, Great Russell Street London, WC1B 3DG
Category: Museums
Desire, Love, Identity: Exploring LGBTQ Histories
OngoingFree Event

11th May to 15th October 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
Desire, Love, Identity: Exploring LGBTQ Histories British Museum 2017-05-112017-10-15 Where:
British Museum, Great Russell Street London, WC1B 3DG
Category: Museums
Places Of The Mind: British Watercolour Landscapes 1850-1950
OngoingFree Event

23rd February to 27th August 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
Places Of The Mind: British Watercolour Landscapes 1850-1950 British Museum 2017-02-232017-08-27 Where:
British Museum, Great Russell Street London, WC1B 3DG
Category: Museums
Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia On Soon Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

14th September 2017 to 14th January 2018 | £16.50 (Adults), Free (Children under 16)

 
Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia British Museum 2017-09-142018-01-14 Where:
British Museum, Great Russell Street London, WC1B 3DG
Category: Museums
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

Take One Picture
OngoingFree Event

7th June to 24th September 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
Take One Picture National Gallery 2017-06-072017-09-24 Where:
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square London, WC2N 5DN
Category: Art Galleries
Giovanni Da Rimini OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

14th June to 8th October 2017 | Free

 
Giovanni Da Rimini National Gallery 2017-06-142017-10-08 Where:
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square London, WC2N 5DN
Category: Art Galleries
Chris Ofili: Weaving Magic OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

26th April to 28th August 2017 | Free

 
Chris Ofili: Weaving Magic National Gallery 2017-04-262017-08-28 Where:
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square London, WC2N 5DN
Category: Art Galleries
Slow Art: Rococo Frivolity' Watteau's 'Scale Of Love'
On Soon

Monday 4th September 2017 - 2pm-4pm | £28, concs £27, mems £25

 
Slow Art: Rococo Frivolity' Watteau's 'Scale Of Love' National Gallery 2017-09-042017-09-04 Where:
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square London, WC2N 5DN
Category: Art Galleries

Literary & Education, Art Workshop.

Learning To Look: Looking To Music
On Soon

Friday 15th September 2017 - 2pm-4pm | £34, concs £32, mems £30

 
Learning To Look: Looking To Music National Gallery 2017-09-152017-09-15 Where:
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square London, WC2N 5DN
Category: Art Galleries

Literary & Education, Art Workshop.

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

Summer Exhibition 2017
Ends Today

Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August 2017 - 10am-6pm | £14, OAP £13, NUS/unwaged/disabled/ages 16-18 £10, under 16s Free

 
Summer Exhibition 2017 Royal Academy of Arts 2017-06-132017-08-20 Where:
Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House London, W1J 0BD
Category: Art Galleries
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition Ends Today Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

12th June to 20th August 2017

 
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition Royal Academy of Arts 2017-06-122017-08-20 Where:
Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House London, W1J 0BD
Category: Art Galleries
Matisse in the Studio Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

5th August to 12th November 2017

 
Matisse in the Studio Royal Academy of Arts 2017-08-052017-11-12 Where:
Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House London, W1J 0BD
Category: Art Galleries
Jasper Johns Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

23rd September to 10th December 2017

 
Jasper Johns Royal Academy of Arts 2017-09-232017-12-10 Where:
Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House London, W1J 0BD
Category: Art Galleries
Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth
Free Event

23rd September to 10th December 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth Royal Academy of Arts 2017-09-232017-12-10 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

Simeon Barclay: The Hero Wears Clay Shoes
OngoingFree Event

7th July to 5th November 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
Simeon Barclay: The Hero Wears Clay Shoes Tate Britain 2017-07-072017-11-05 Where:
Tate Britain, Millbank London, SW1P 4RG
Category: Art Galleries
Cerith Wyn Evans: The Tate Britain Commission 2017
Ends TodayFree Event

Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August 2017 - 10am-6pm | Free

 
Cerith Wyn Evans: The Tate Britain Commission 2017 Tate Britain 2017-03-282017-08-20 Where:
Tate Britain, Millbank London, SW1P 4RG
Category: Art Galleries
Queer British Art 1861-1967 Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

5th April to 1st September 2017 | Adult £16.50, concession £14.50

 
Queer British Art 1861-1967 Tate Britain 2017-04-052017-09-01 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 2017 - 10am-6pm | Free

 
BP British Art Displays: A Walk Through British Art Tate Britain 2013-05-142017-12-31 Where:
Tate Britain, Millbank London, SW1P 4RG
Category: Art Galleries
Rachel Whiteread On Soon Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

12th September 2017 to 4th February 2018

 
Rachel Whiteread Tate Britain 2017-09-122018-02-04 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

Proms At: The Tanks At Tate Modern On Soon Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

Wednesday 6th September 2017 | £6

 
Proms At: The Tanks At Tate Modern Tate Modern 2017-09-062017-09-06 Where:
Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street London, SE1 9TG
Category: Art Galleries

A first, this specially-curated Prom is performed in the industrial surroundings of The Tanks at Tate Modern. Join BBC Radio 3 presenter Sara Mohr-Pietsch and the London Contemporary Orchestra, electronic artist Actress and Rodrigo Constanzo ...more

Bruce Nauman: Raw Materials
Ends TodayFree Event

Saturday 19th August 2017 at 10am-10pm & Sunday 20th August 2017 at 10am-6pm | Free

 
Bruce Nauman: Raw Materials Tate Modern 2017-07-122017-08-20 Where:
Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street London, SE1 9TG
Category: Art Galleries

An audio sculpture, originally shown as a Turbine Hall commission in 2004, comprising of 21 written or spoken texts from the artist's past works, woven together to create a sonic collage.

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

12th July to 22nd October 2017 | Adult £16.50, concession £14.50, under 12 Free

 
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power Tate Modern 2017-07-122017-10-22 Where:
Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street London, SE1 9TG
Category: Art Galleries
Fahrelnissa Zeid Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

13th June to 8th October 2017 | Adult £12.50, concession £11, under 12s Free

 
Fahrelnissa Zeid Tate Modern 2017-06-132017-10-08 Where:
Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street London, SE1 9TG
Category: Art Galleries
Alberto Giacometti Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

10th May to 10th September 2017 | Adult £18.50, senior £17.50, concession £16.50, under 12s Free

 
Alberto Giacometti Tate Modern 2017-05-102017-09-10 Where:
Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street London, SE1 9TG
Category: Art Galleries
Artist Rooms: Bruce Nauman
OngoingFree Event

24th July 2017 to 24th July 2018 - Various Times | Free

 
Artist Rooms: Bruce Nauman Tate Modern 2017-07-242018-07-24 Where:
Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street London, SE1 9TG
Category: Art Galleries
Artist Room: Louise Bourgeois
OngoingFree Event

1st July 2016 to 31st December 2017 - 10am-6pm | Free

 
Artist Room: Louise Bourgeois Tate Modern 2016-07-012017-12-31 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

Plywood: Material Of The Modern World OngoingFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

15th July to 12th November 2017 | Free

 
Plywood: Material Of The Modern World Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum 2017-07-152017-11-12 Where:
Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road London, SW7 2RL
Category: Museums
The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

13th May to 1st October 2017 | £20-£24

 
The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum 2017-05-132017-10-01 Where:
Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road London, SW7 2RL
Category: Museums
Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains
Ongoing

13th May to 1st October 2017 - Various Times | £20-£24

 
Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum 2017-05-132017-10-01 Where:
Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road London, SW7 2RL
Category: Museums
Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

27th May 2017 to 18th February 2018

 
Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum 2017-05-272018-02-18 Where:
Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road London, SW7 2RL
Category: Museums
Rachel Kneebone
OngoingFree Event

1st April 2017 to 14th January 2018 - Various Times | Free

 
Rachel Kneebone Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum 2017-04-012018-01-14 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

Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House Now On Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

10th to 23rd August 2017 | From £17, plus booking fee

 
Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House Somerset House 2017-08-102017-08-23 Where:
Somerset House, Strand London, WC2R 1LA
Category: Arts Centres

The most famous of all the open air film events in London, Summer Screen returns to Somerset House in association with Film4 to bring cinema lovers a truly eclectic mix of movies. The 2017 line-up ...more

Summer Screen Prints
Now OnFree Event

19th to 23rd Aug 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
Summer Screen Prints Somerset House 2017-08-032017-08-23 Where:
Somerset House, Strand London, WC2R 1LA
Category: Arts Centres

Annual film poster exhibition in collaboration with Print Club London, showing limited-edition screen prints based on the films shown at Film4 Summer Screen.

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

31st July to 28th August 2017 | Free

 
The World Illustration Awards Somerset House 2017-07-312017-08-28 Where:
Somerset House, Strand London, WC2R 1LA
Category: Arts Centres

The World Illustration Awards exhibition returns to Somerset House this summer to showcase the very best artworks across the diverse field of illustration. The unique exhibition brings together shortlisted entries from across the world, from ...more

The World Illustration Awards 2017 Exhibition
Now OnFree Event

31st July to 29th August 2017 - Various Times | Free

 
The World Illustration Awards 2017 Exhibition Somerset House 2017-07-312017-08-29 Where:
Somerset House, Strand London, WC2R 1LA
Category: Arts Centres

A showcase of 50 shortlisted projects across the eight categories, from advertising and design to books and editorial.

The Learned Society Of Extra Ordinary Objects Now OnFree Event Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

5th July to 3rd September 2017 | Free

 
The Learned Society Of Extra Ordinary Objects Somerset House 2017-07-052017-09-03 Where:
Somerset House, Strand London, WC2R 1LA
Category: Arts Centres

This summer, Somerset House hosts new exhibition The Learned Society of Extra-Ordinary Objects, transforming the Terrace Rooms into a fictional society inspired by real history. Inspired by the 18th century Learned Society at Somerset House, ...more

Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

21st June to 17th September 2017 | Adult £11, concession £9

 
Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent Somerset House 2017-06-212017-09-17 Where:
Somerset House, Strand London, WC2R 1LA
Category: Arts Centres
Peroni Ambra: The Terrace Ongoing Editor's Top Pick - Recommended

1st April to 30th September 2017

 
Peroni Ambra: The Terrace Somerset House 2017-04-012017-09-30 Where:
Somerset House, Strand London, WC2R 1LA
Category: Arts Centres
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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