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Eight awesome things to do in your lunch break

The best activities to make the most of your lunch hour

By Alice Westoby |

No one wants to spend their lunch hour eating sad sarnies at their desk and scrolling through the news. From breaking up your day with a game of ping pong to a midday meditation sesh, these are the best things to do to upgrade your lunch hour.

RECOMMENDED: 19 cheap lunches that all Londoners should know about

Lunchtime activities

Art, Galleries

National Gallery

Trafalgar Square

The National Gallery runs free, hour-long sketching classes every Friday. Each session focuses on a different painting, which you’ll use as a starting point for your own artwork. Don’t panic, you’re not expected to recreate van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ in an hour but hey, it might just be good enough to make it on to your fridge.

St James\'s Church, Piccadilly_CREDIT_Hugh Valentine.JPG
© Hugh Valentine
Attractions, Religious buildings and sites

St James's Piccadilly


Bring some sophistication to the middle of your day at a free classical music recital at St James’s Church Piccadilly. You can expect to see everything from cello ensembles to solo pianists. Makes a change from listening to your Spotify Daily Mix on repeat.

Richard Stonehouse
Things to do, Schools and universities

University College London


Don’t just feed your stomach at lunchtime, feed your mind too. University College London hosts free, 45-minute talks on all kinds of subjects for its Lunch Hour Lectures series. The talks tackle big topics in a small amount of time so they’re a good way of keeping up with important issues without subjecting yourself to reading endless news about the dreaded b-word.

Bars and pubs

Bounce Farringdon


No one wants to spend their lunch hour in the gym, so pretend you’re being ‘active’ with a game of table tennis instead. Round up your colleagues for a sesh at ping pong bar Bounce, which opens at lunchtime on Fridays. And if the boss asks why you’ve been in a bar at noon, tell them table tennis is a sport so you’re technically burning off those pints…

Museums, History

British Museum

5 out of 5 stars

Pull your eyeballs away from the computer screen and learn about ancient cultures at the British Museum’s free gallery talks. Upcoming topics range from Greek mythology to a session on love tokens. Trust us, it’ll be way more interesting than your GCSE history classes.

Attractions, Historic buildings and sites

Dennis Severs’ House

5 out of 5 stars

Close to the concrete jungle of Liverpool Street lies an eighteenth-century time capsule in the form of this house/art project by Dennis Severs. Described as a ‘still life drama’, the ten rooms of this original Huguenot family home have been decked out to recreate snapshots of life in Spitalfields between 1724 and 1914. With candles burning, different smells lingering and objects scattered all over the house, it aims to tickle the imaginations of visitors by using scents and sounds to make them feel like they’ve gone back in time. The tours are done in complete silence, so no giggling.


Pop Brixton


If you’re one downward-dog-filled yoga class away from tearing up your gym leggings, make t’ai chi your new chilled-out activity. Pop Brixton hosts weekly workouts that focus on circulation, flexibility and core strength. The classes are drop-in and totally free, so you’ve got no excuse not to go.

Sport and fitness, Meditation

Inner Space

Covent Garden

Escape lunchtime small talk with your colleagues and take some time to really relax at Inner Space. The Covent Garden-based meditation centre hosts free, 30-minute lunchtime sessions and stressed-out City workers can join in at Templeton House near Moorgate. The classes aim to relax the mind and body – and you’ll hopefully miss the lunchtime rush to use the office microwave too.


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