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Printworks by Carolina Farualo

50 best nights out in London

Time Out’s Nightlife and Things To Do editors join forces to pick the best places to spend your precious evenings

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We've spent enough time inside over the last 18 months – it's time to re-immerse ourselves in all the things London has to offer. From clubbing to craftivism, and kayaking to karaoke, the city’s after-dark activities are more diverse than our pandemic routine of Zoom quizzes and Netflix binges. Whether you want to try something new or reacquaint yourself with an old favourite event, these 50 best nights out in London offer something for everyone. 

RECOMMENDED: The best festivals in London

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The unofficial institute of cheese

The unofficial institute of cheese

Held every Saturday at the 800-capacity O2 Academy Islington, Club de Fromage is the stuff of London party legend. As its name suggests, the music policy is as cheesy as a quattro formaggi: come for wall-to-wall throwback bangers from the likes of Britney and Bon Jovi.

Price: £8 

Open past 2am / wheelchair accessible / clubdefromage.com

16 Parkfield St, The Angel, London N1 0PS

The epicly square-eyed marathon
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The epicly square-eyed marathon

Want to stay up all night watching movies and eating sweets? The only place to do it outside of your own gaff is at a Prince Charles Cinema All Nighter. Bring your best pyjamas, plenty of snacks (and maybe some Pro Plus) as you embark on a dreamy night of themed back-to-back films from 9pm until 9am.

Price: £20 for members; £22.50 for non-members

Open past 2am / princecharlescinema.com

Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BY

 

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Spending your night in a multi-storey car park might not sound like the ideal night out, but Peckham Levels isn’t your average motor-filled concrete block. Instead, it’s packed with food vendors dishing up mouth-watering street food from all over the world, including Plantain Kitchen's West African eats, Beza Ethiopia’s vegan smorgasbord and Boxwallah’s twists on Delhi-inspired classics. 

peckhamlevels.org

Floor 1-6, Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95a Rye Lane SE15 4ST

  • Restaurants
  • Burgers
  • Nunhead
  • price 1 of 4

Do you believe in the power of pop’s Auto-Tune-loving goddess? If the answer is ‘YES!’, then you’ll be wanting to book tickets for the next I Need to Cher night at The Old Nun's Head. Featuring queens, wrestling (!) and more, it’s a fitting tribute.

Price: £10

theoldnunshead.co.uk

15 Nunhead Green, Nunhead, London SE15 3QQ

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The game-changing LGBT+ party

It’s hard to overstate the influence of Pxssy Palace, which ‘prioritises women and femmes of colour and other queer, intersex and trans POC’. Booking DJs often ignored by the mainstream, PP has shifted the paradigm big time. 

After a short break, Pxssy Palace will return on September 3 – keep an eye on @pxssypalace for updates on events and tickets. 

 

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The depot-turned-rebel club
Photograph: The Cause/Luke Curtis

The depot-turned-rebel club

Tottenham has become the definitive destination for proper late-nighters. The Cause and its caged DJ booth has led the charge for renegade clubbing. Always meant as an ad-hoc space, the good news is their tenure has been extended to 2020.

Price: Around £15

Open past 2am / facebook.com/thecauselondon

Down Lane Studios, Ashley House, Ashley Road
N17 9LZ

The hipster bingo hall
Press

The hipster bingo hall

Eyes down for a full house… Dabbers Social Bingo has comics as bingo callers and interactive challenges called things like ‘twerk it out’.

Price: from £13 to £17

dabbers.bingo

18 - 22 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7DB

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The Pritt Stick appreciation society
Collage Club

The Pritt Stick appreciation society

If you want to unleash your creative side but pretty much hate putting pen to paper, Collage Club is for you. Recreate your primary school days with a fun night of ripping, cutting, sticking and gluing with silly speed-collaging sessions and collaborative challenges. All materials are provided.

Price: from £14

collageclubldn.com

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We should all be trying to do better by the environment and The Chiswick Cinema make it easy. The area’s first cinema since 1934 is a dedicated eco-friendly space, with not a piece of single-use plastic in sight. Refreshments are all compostable and recyclable, while there’s even a living wall that offers a biodiverse habitat for local wildlife. Leonardo DiCaprio would approve. 

Price: From £11.50 

chiswickcinema.co.uk

94-96 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick W4 1SH

The rallying political lit night

The rallying political lit night

One of the UK’s most vibrant poetry organisations, Apples and Snakes is not so much an intimidating gathering in a bookshop as a place for rallying, edge-of-your-seat performance. From poetry readings to Brexit debates, there’s no fruit that’s forbidden here.

Price: free

applesandsnakes.org

Events pop up everywhere from Brighton to Bristol, check out their website for upcoming London nights.

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The adrenaline-packed fight club
Photograph: Rob Brazier

The adrenaline-packed fight club

Netflix’s ‘Glow’ might have brought women’s wrestling to the masses, but underground league Eve Wrestling is the real deal. Head to the ring to witness all the sweat, shouting and sick moves, and be ready to get vocal – it might be a spectator sport, but by the end you’ll be a raving super-fan.

Price: £25

evewrestling.com

229, Great Portland Street W1W 5PN

A true source of Peckham pride, multi-floored concrete hub the Bussey Building continues to thrive as a warehouse-style club at night and a sweet arts venue during the day. Regular weekend parties like The South London Soul Train are joyful affairs, and also rare examples of young and old partying in sync.

Price: from £5

Open past 2am / copelandpark.com

Bussey Building, 133 Rye Ln, Peckham, SE15 4ST

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The party that gives women a voice

Now seven years old, ‘indie queer dance party’ Debbie loves pop, rock and disco equally, but every song must have a female vocal, which means the DJs will drop everything from Donna Summer to Hole. Wear your sturdiest shoes for this monthly danceathon, held at Eagle London. 

Price: £6, free before 10pm

Open past 2am / wheelchair accessible / eaglelondon.com

Eagle London, 349 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5QY

The play that starts after your bedtime
© John Tramper

The play that starts after your bedtime

Shakespeare’s been done every which way, but under the night sky is surely the best. Want to add another layer of madness to ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’? Book in for a midnight matinee at the Globe. Drama is guaranteed.

Price: £5 to £50 

Open past 2am / wheelchair accessible / shakespearesglobe.com

21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT

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The life class that looks proper trippy
Neon Naked

The life class that looks proper trippy

Neon paint, UV lights and writhing bodies – no, it’s not something X-rated, this is a legit life-drawing class. Spend an evening creating psychedelic sketches of a life model in body paint at Neon Naked Life Drawing.

Price: from £16

neonnaked.com

Venues across London, inc The Old Queen's Head and Boxpark Wembley - visit their website for upcoming events. 

The iconic N4 fun palace
Andy Parsons

The iconic N4 fun palace

Rowans Bowling has a deserved legendary rep. There are two floors of lanes, karaoke booths, an arcade, pool tables, boozy slushies and you can even get pizzas at your lane. Plus it’s open until 2am on weekends. Strike!

Price: admission £1-2; bowling from £6.20; karaoke from £25 per hour.

Open past 2am / rowans.co.uk

10 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, N4 2DF

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The lazy way to get wavey

The lazy way to get wavey

For the best legal high in London, head to The Psychedelic Society’s two-hour sound bath. Drink some ceremonial-grade pu’er tea (to alter your body’s energies), get comfy and let the good vibrations from the gongs and singing bowls send you off on a trippy meditative journey.

Price: £15 to £25

Wheelchair accessible / psychedelicsociety.org.uk

The Round Chapel, Lower Clapton Rd, London, E5 0NP

Brixton’s best sound system

Brixton’s best sound system

Phonox has the utopian aim of building a welcoming community of likeminded clubbers. No frills, no pretence, just a sound group of people there for the dance. Expect unrivalled DJs and a first-rate sound system.

Price: £5

Open past 2am / wheelchair accessible / phonox.co.uk

 418 Brixton Rd, Brixton, SW9 7AY

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The legendary music quiz
© Roxy Rahmanzadeh

The legendary music quiz

Do you tut savagely at anyone who puts ‘The’ in front of ‘Pixies’? You do? Then head to Highgate boozer The Boogaloo for its weekly night Who Killed Bambi? – it’s the longest-running music quiz in London.

Price: £2

Wheelchair accessible / https://theboogaloo.co.uk/whats-on/

The Boogaloo, 312 Archway Rd, N6 5AT 

The laser-strewn super-club
© Danny North

The laser-strewn super-club

No nightlife venue has the wow factor like Printworks. This huge post-industrial space provides a playpen for the world’s biggest house and D&B DJs to get epic on yr ass.

Price: From £17.50

Open past 2am / wheelchair accessible / printworkslondon.co.uk

Surrey Quays Rd, Rotherhithe, SE16 7PJ

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Since 2016, PopHorror have been taking pop classics and giving them a spooky makeover at one of London’s premier LGBTQ+ spaces, the RVT. Each night has an always impeccably creative theme, from The Cher Witch Project to Greatest Splits – The Horror Of Break-Up Songs, brought to life through cabaret, drag, games and more. 

Price: around £12
facebook.com/PopHorrorUK

Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane, SE11 5HY

The immersive gallery late
© Carolina Faruolo

The immersive gallery late

RA Lates isn’t free, but it’s well worth the price for the events and installations (supper clubs, robotic displays etc). Plus, when else can you go around exhibitions in fancy dress?

Price: from £25

Wheelchair accessible / royalacademy.org.uk

Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 0BD

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The crime-solving sesh
Maciek Groman

The crime-solving sesh

You’ve tried singalongs, now head to a solve-along. At Solve-Along-a-Murder-She-Wrote, the organisers screen an episode of the classic Angela Lansbury detective show, while you try and solve via games, quizzes, participation and more.

Price: £8 to £13.50

solvealongamurdershewrote.com

Various venues including Royal Vauxhall Tavern and Prince Charles Cinema. 

 

 

 

 

East End super-pub The Glory has become an LGBT+ landmark. Open nightly, it’s also hosted everything from queer Jewish night Butt Mitzvah to a George Michael tribute with ‘Club Tropicana’ hot tubs.

Price: Varies per event 

theglory.co

281 Kingsland Rd, E2 8AS 

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The movie pop-up in a ballroom
Photograph: Andy Parsons

The movie pop-up in a ballroom

You won’t find a more glamorous spot to watch a film than under the crystal chandeliers of the Rivoli Ballroom Pop Up Cinema. For a few nights each month, this lavish 1950s-style ballroom screens classic flicks.

Price: From £8

Wheelchair accessible / rivoliballroom.com

350 Brockley Rd, Lewisham, SE4 2BY 

For a night of true sophistication, take it old school at South Kensington’s new 1920s-style wine bar. Nocturne boasts incredibly grown-up cocktails, an affordable-but-classy wine list sourced from the best winemakers in France and Italy, and over 70 types of cheese and charcuterie. But what will you do while making your way through the menu? There’s also a blackjack and poker room, or lots of vintage bits and bobs to admire. 

Open past 2am, Thurs-Sat/nocturnebar.co.uk

158 Old Brompton Road, Kensington SW5 0BA

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The hip arty party you’re always invited to!
© Dan Weill

The hip arty party you’re always invited to!

On the last Friday of every month, art lovers head to Tate Modern Lates. These giant free parties are packed with performances, music, films, talks and DJ sets. It’s the perfect place to discover London’s hottest new artists and have a cocktail while checking out those tenth-floor views.

Price: free

Wheelchair accessible / tate.org.uk

Bankside, SE1 9TG 

The karaoke bar hosted by drag queens
Eivind Hansen

The karaoke bar hosted by drag queens

If you want to take to the mic at London’s hottest new singing spot Karaoke Hole, you’ll be on the main stage. There’s no other bar in town where you can belt out your favourite tunes accompanied by a crooning drag-queen host.

Price: book a table to secure a spot - £5 pp on Fridays and Saturdays, free on Thursdays. 

Open past 2am / thekaraokehole.com

95 Kingsland High St, E8 2PB 

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The party that revived queer disco

The party that revived queer disco

Horse Meat Disco is everything a good weekly club should be: friendly, inclusive, not too pricy and playing music that’s defined yet unpredictable. The four DJs behind this Sunday standout at Eagle London revived disco for queer audiences at a time when such silky sounds were dead.

Price: depends on the night, at the Eagle London it's free till 10pm, £5 after.

Open past 2am / wheelchair accessible / @horsemeatdisco

Eagle London, 349 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5QY 

The night club/craft club
Jack Latimer

The night club/craft club

Nipple tassle crafting, belly dancing classes, papier mâché making, calligraphy, Lego robot building, hip flask decorating, throw knitting – if you want a weird and wonderful evening, head to King’s Cross café-cum-bar Drink Shop Do where there’s something surprising happening every night of the week, as well as club nights with cheesy tunes until late each weekend.

Price: depends on the night, from free parties to £26 bottomless brunch to £50 workshops 

drinkshopdo.co.uk

9 Caledonian Rd, Islington, N1 9DX

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If you like your movie nights a tad more old-school, you need to check out Ciné Reel – the only film club in the UK that exclusively plays 16mm format films. Each month, the wonderful Umit from the legendary Clapton film emporium Umit & Sons projects a favourite classic round the corner at The Castle Cinema for appreciative celluloid enthusiasts.

Price: £5 to £10

cine-real.com

The Castle Cinema, 64 - 66 Brooksby's Walk, E9 6DA

The rooftop fun palace
  • Things to do
  • Stratford

There’s plenty of rooftop bars in London, but where else can you watch a film alfresco or challenge your mates to a game of crazy golf, virtual reality foosball, a spot of curling, jenga or a swing in a batting cage?

Roof East, a complete Stratford stalwart, reopened this year with a load of new street food offerings, drinks menus and playful surprises.

Price: free, with some ticketed pop-up events

roofeast.com

Floors 7-8, Stratford multi-storey car park, Great Eastern Way 

 

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If you miss childhood bedtimes (and frankly, who doesn't?), then join professional storyteller Vanessa for an evening of magical tales. In 'Portals of London', she'll explore the secret history of the City's forgotten corners, while other nights focus on urban legends, ghostly stories and more; you'll meet in a series of different, atmospheric London locations, but you'll be transported back to who knows where...

Price: From free to £10

londondreamtime.com

Venue locations depend on the event, and some are secret - check the website for more details.  

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Nightlife
  • Clubs
  • Vauxhall

This iconic LGBT+ venue has welcomed everyone from Lily Savage (slaying on stage) to Princess Diana (enjoying a sneaky night out in the '80s). Now Grade II listed and reasonably safe from developers, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern is open seven nights a week for drinking, dancing and drag shows, and queer cabaret platform Bar Wotever has become a Tuesday institution.

Price: free with ticketed events around £10 

Open past 2am / rvt.org.uk

372 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5HY 

 

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The queer Bollywood extravaganza
Courtesy of @hungama_ldn

The queer Bollywood extravaganza

East London's queer Bollywood night Hungama has given the city's LGBTQ+ scene a friendly shot in the arm. It's taken place at various venues including The Glory and Dalston Superstore, but every Hungama is a super-inclusive mix of Bollywood imagery, hip hop beats and anything-goes gay abandon. 

Price: from £5

facebook.com/hungamaldn

Venues vary - check the Facebook page for up to date details. 

The proper old-time party spot

The proper old-time party spot

Get yourself down to Bethnal Green Working Men's ClubThis East End destination has been welcoming revellers since Victorian times. Sink the Pink began here around a decade ago, and something about its proper old-school working's men's club vibe seems to lend itself to colourful, chaotic and forward-thinking club nights.

Price: depends on the night, around £15 

workersplaytime.net

42-44 Pollard Row, London E2 6NB

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The fun rave extravaganza

The fun rave extravaganza

Running in total contrast to dance music's intensely po-faced demeanour sits Bangface, a colossally fun rave extravaganza. It provides a home both for humour and also music on the absurd outer edges of taste and decency! In a good way, natch. Keep an eye out for their post-lockdown return. 
Price: depends on the event, around £15+
The one with the most edgy of locations

The one with the most edgy of locations

A flag-bearer for London nightlife’s independent and community-minded spirit, Andy Blake’s WU parties have become a turning point – thanks to their use of renegade spaces, judicious use of smoke machines and an audio aesthetic that words like ‘chugging’ and ‘throbbing’ were made for.

Price: depends on the event, around £15

Open past 2am / residentadvisor.net/dj/andyblake

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Probably the glitziest small venue in Hackney
Photograph: Carolina Faruolo

Probably the glitziest small venue in Hackney

A total, bankable PEACH of a venue, located on a quiet Hackney side street, Moth is a former club for ex-servicemen (Memorable Order of Tin Hats). Luckily for those who haven’t seen action, Moth is open to all and it’s retro chic, breezy vibe and pop/indie-centric music policy means it’s never a downer.

Price: depends on the night, around £10

mothclub.co.uk

Valette St, E9 6NU 

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The funky retro rock night

The funky retro rock night

As trends have come and gone, Heavy Load has repped its niche for a staggering 20 years now. And that niche is: funky retro rock you can properly shake your butt too. Downstairs at the Phoenix near Oxford Street is where it all happens – don check shirts and triple-denim, and enjoy the night’s incredible collection of retro lights too.

Price: £4 before 10pm, £6 after

Open past 2am / facebook.com/heavyloadclub

The Phoenix, 37 Cavendish Square

The candlelit yoga sesh
MORGAN WHITE

The candlelit yoga sesh

So many aspects of living in London aren't the best for your body: tube fatigue, pub culture, all the amazing (but not always healthy) eating out options. Give your body back some vital goodness at Frame's latest yoga offering – with candles for company, no less. Sensual. 

Price: £15

moveyourframe.com

25-33 Berners Street, W1T 3LR

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The after-hours fun run
Daniel Varga

The after-hours fun run

Much more than just a running club, Midnight Runners gives you the chance to do something healthy and invigorating with your evening while escaping the confines of your local gym. They're a worldwide movement as well, with clubs in cities across the world such as LA, Sydney, Barcelona and more. Go for it and join in, your body will thank you later.

Price: 3 month membership £36, annual £120, first two events free.

midnightrunners.com

The perfect chance to pretend you're in Twin Peaks

The perfect chance to pretend you're in Twin Peaks

David Lynch fans, gather around. The Double R Club is an evening of mystery and nightmares inspired by Lynch's films - and it's a dark and twisted treat, often groping into territory where other cabaret nights fear to tread.

Price: From £12

workersplaytime.net

Bethnal Green Working Men's Club, 42-44 Pollard Row, E2 6NB

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