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The people's 101: nights out

Discover the best things to do in the capital as recommended by real Londoners


After creating our own list of 101 things to do in London we decided to let you have your say. We asked Time Out readers, Facebook fans and Twitter followers to tell us their top things to do in the capital. Kayak tours, daytime clubbing, rooftop cinema and candlelit gigs – Time Outers named them all. Check out the people's 101 and explore this city like a true Londoner.

What's missing from the list? Have your say: on Facebook | on Twitter using #BestofLondon or in the comments form below

Nightlife, theatre and clubbing in London

  • Nightlife
  • Cabaret and burlesque
  • Bethnal Green

Downstairs the BGWMC is the same working men’s club – with many of the same working men – that it’s been for 50 years. Upstairs it’s a retro-tinted home to cutting-edge entertainment including comedy, cabaret, magic and, if Diane Evans is to be believed, ‘nights of shameless and spontaneous decadence and debauchery’. Ooh Diane!

Enjoy charity-conscious cinema
  • Cinemas
  • Kensal Rise

A much-loved gem is The Lexi, in suburban Kensal Rise, a tiny digital cinema with a wonderfully eclectic schedule and a pledge to donate all profits to a township in South Africa.

Go country dancing at Cecil Sharp House
  • Music
  • Music venues
  • Primrose Hill

The home of the English Folk Dance and Song society is every bit as eccentric as you’d expect. As well as promoting barn-dancing, quadrille, ceilidh and country dancing, the venue hosts less active and more contemporary entertainment and, accordingly to folkie Jane Newburgh, ‘a bar where men with major facial hair consume more beer than darts players do’.

Experience the unexpected at Café Oto
  • Things to do
  • Music venues
  • Dalston

For those who like their live music challenging, unpredictable, improvised or just plain weird, Dalston’s Cafe Oto is the nuts. With ‘an intimate vibe, spot-on acoustics and beers from the Kernal microbrewery,’ says Jonathan Douglass, ‘it’s every muso’s dream venue.’

  • Theatre
  • Private theatres
  • Elephant & Castle

Southwark Playhouse has established itself as the go-to place for exciting, inventive theatre, and its dark and musty space in the vaults beneath London Bridge station offers bags of character. With its pay-as-you-go pass, Southwark Playhouse also proves to be fantastic theatre at fantastic value.

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