Us Londoners are usually a pretty busy and outgoing bunch. With a city full of amazing sights, world-class restaurants, cool bars, theatres, parks, markets and plenty more right on our doorstep, it’s not often that we spend more than a few days cooped up indoors.
So it’s safe to say that most of us are finding the current COVID-19 lockdown extremely difficult. I know personally that I’m missing London pretty badly right now.
However, rather than sitting around sulking about it, I’ve decided to put my time to better use and put together this guide on how we can all still enjoy London from home during lockdown…
Quality coffee delivered to your home
If you’ve been living in London for more than a year, I’m pretty sure you’ve probably already developed a pretty substantial coffee addiction.
Whether it’s picking up a takeaway cup from costa to get you through the tube journey to work, 3 hour-long coffee meetings in the coffee shop near your office or a Sunday morning brunch in a cool new spot with friends, London is definitely a city fuelled by coffee.
So being in lockdown at home, one of the first things you’re probably going to miss is your daily coffee fix – we all know that instant coffee from the supermarket just isn’t the same!
Luckily, several of London’s best coffee shops and roasteries, including Grind and Monmouth, are offering home delivery of your favourite caffeinated drink in bulk, with high-quality whole beans, ground coffee and Nespresso capsule pods available to order online.
See which London coffee shops and roasteries are delivering so you can start your day properly!
A breakfast of freshly baked treats from Bread Ahead
Did you know that one of London’s favourite bakeries Bread Ahead is offering daily baking classes over Instagram Live?
The bakery will teach you how to make delicious bread at home, so you can start the day with a proper freshly baked loaf.
The Instagram Lives will also teach you how to bake the likes of doughnuts, chocolate brownies and even Easter Hot Cross Buns, so you’ll also have plenty of other fresh treats to get you through isolation at home.
Take a fitness class over webcam
For a lot of people (including myself) having the motivation to workout at home alone can be tough, and spending months without access to our gyms or usual fitness classes won’t be good for those summer bods.
However, to give us a helping hand, many London fitness studios and gyms are now offering online classes and guidance via platforms such as Instagram Live or Zoom.
Here are some free London fitness classes you can take online:
- Fly London – offering flow yoga, low-impact and barre classes at 8am, 12.30pm and 5:45pm every day over Instagram Live.
- Cirq Life – offering Mirco HIIT classes Mon-Fri at 8am & 8.30am and 6pm & 6.30pm.
- Psycle – offering several barre, power flow, HIIT and meditation classes every day on Instagram Live.
- Hotpod Yoga – offering daily yoga classes over zoom, donations welcome to support teachers.
Play a London-themed game
We all know the classic London board game of Monopoly, but there are also a number of other London themed games you can order online to keep you entertained during lockdown while still getting your London fix.
These are a few London themed board games you can purchase online:
- The London Board Game
- Monopoly: The London Underground Edition
- Scotland Yard: The Hunt for Mr X
- London Calling Jigsaw Puzzle
- Very British Problems
Take a virtual tour of the Houses of Parliament
Want to explore somewhere new in London but can’t during the lockdown, well did you know you can take a 360° virtual tour of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster?
In this amazing virtual tour you can explore the impressive Central Lobby and both the House of Commons chamber and House of Lords chamber, as well as a number of other rooms in the politically important building which is officially known as the Palace of Westminster.
Visit a London Museum online
Due to the COVID-19 lockdown and new social distancing rules, all of London’s museums have unfortunately had to close their doors for the foreseeable future.
But not to worry if you still want your London museum fix as many have gone online with virtual tours and exhibits. No need to let those brain cells wither away during lockdown!
Here are a few London museums you can visit online:
Learn to cook with Borough Market
I don’t know about you but one of the things I’m missing the most about London right now is my weekend trips to the city’s many markets, particularly the food markets.
There’s nothing better than a sunny afternoon wandering around the markets, sampling new flavours and feasting from an international array of tasty foods, possibly with a glass of Pimms in hand too.
Fortunately, one of my favourites, Borough Market is helping Londoners bring their favourite flavours home by running special cooking classes on Instagram Live and sharing recipes over their social media accounts.
Spend the night at the Theatre from your sofa
An absolute London favourite… a night at the theatre. But unfortunately, due to the coronavirus outbreak, London theatres have had to cancel all upcoming performances for the next several months.
However, luckily for us, many theatre companies have decided to start offering recordings of previous live performances online to help entertain bored Londoners.
Here are a few places to find free London theatre performances online:
- The National Theatre at Home – The National Theatre in London is streaming a performance every Thursday (available for 7 days after) on their YouTube channel for free.
- The Shows Must Go On – Andrew Lloyd Webber will be offering some of his most popular musicals on a new YouTube channel, with a show released every Friday at 7pm (available for 48 hours).
- GlobePlayer – Watch previous live performances of Shakespeares most iconic plays from the Globe Theatre itself.
Watch a movie set in London
Let’s be honest, you may be getting a little bored of binging Netflix series by now (who hasn’t watched Tiger King at this point!?), so how about bringing a little piece of London into your home with a London-themed movie night.
To get you started, these are a few films set in London that you might enjoy:
- Notting Hill
- Bridget Jones’s Diary
- About a Boy
- The Kings Speach
- Sherlock Holmes
- Four Weddings and a Funeral
- Sliding Doors
- Shaun of the Dead
- An American Werewolf in London
- Harry Potter
- The Parent Trap
- Love Actually
- Last Christmas