Hyde Park

The London Family Index: The best London boroughs for families to live in

Moving when you have a family can be daunting, especially when you’re moving to a city as diverse and gigantic as London is. There are hundreds of reasons why living in London with children is a great step for a family, not least because they’ll be in the centre of everything happening in the country – which is very exciting, and sets them up for life.

However, it’s not an easy decision, and there are many factors that play a part: schools, supermarkets, play areas, parks, crime rate, the list goes on. Considering how hard and tiring it is to move home, with kids in tow, it’s important to get it right the first time, and choose the right neighbourhood for you and your family – and then you can put that stress to bed for at least a few years.

At Premium Tours, London is a top destination for us, with an astounding number of tours and experiences available right here in the cosy capital city of the UK, and as it’s our home it’s understandable that we adore it. That’s why we decided to put together the London Family Index in order to determine the best London boroughs for families to live in – so other people love it just as much as we do.

In order to put the ranking together, we analysed a variety of data sources for each of the different London boroughs – 32 in total – which included average house prices and size, the amount of green space and, most importantly, how good the schools in the area are. We then ranked the boroughs based on who offered the best for each of these categories, and hopefully created an index that takes all the stress out of moving to London. Well, almost all the stress.

Results

Ranking in the top spot as the best London borough for families to live in was Sutton, with Richmond upon Thames proving to be a strong second place.

Sutton soared to the top with an average house price of £508,679 for a semi-detached property – not bad considering the average house price in London is £485,830. For this price, families will be getting approximately 100 square metres of property, in an area with the lowest crime rate in all of London. Not only this, but 32% of the borough of Sutton is green space, providing plenty of area for children to run around in, and there are 5 outstanding schools to be in catchment of. It’s also the second quietest borough after Tower Hamlets, making bedtime just that much easier to manage.

Following Sutton, the full top 10 boroughs are:

  1. Sutton
  2. Richmond upon Thames
  3. Kingston upon Thames
  4. Merton
  5. Bromley
  6. Waltham Forest
  7. Havering
  8. Barnet
  9. Kensington and Chelsea
  10. Camden

Richmond and Kingston upon Thames both ranked highly thanks to their low crime rate, for which they placed third and seventh respectively. Richmond upon Thames also scored very well for green space, with an incredible 50.8% of the borough being considered a green area, and the two boroughs came first and second in a ranking determining the happiness and satisfaction of people living in every area of London.

Kensington and Chelsea snuck into the top 10 despite coming second to last for the average price of a house in the area; buying a semi-detached house in Kensington will set you back, on average, a cool £6.3 million. The only borough more expensive was Westminster, where the average is £7.9 million. Having said this, the average salary in Kensington is £171,000, which is over £100,000 more than the average salary in London at £48,023 so it figures that house prices will also be more expensive.

Sutton, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, and Waltham Forest all topped the table in terms of least pollution, which is an impressive feat in an area as polluted as London, while Camden, surprisingly, came in the top 10 in terms of quietness, with an average of 62.5 decibels of noise on a day to day basis.

Methodology

To create our London Family Index, we looked at the following factors:

  • House Prices
  • House Size
  • Crime Rate
  • Green Space
  • Number of Outstanding Schools
  • Life Satisfaction
  • Average Salary
  • Healthiness
  • Pollution Levels
  • Quietness

Using these categories, we established an overall London Family score by scoring each borough out of 5 across the elements, and totaling this together, allowing for a highest available score of 50. The house prices category was first assigned a ranking which was then scored out of 5, as the highest two areas – Kensington and Westminster – were far above the London average. Full dataset available on request.

Sources

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices-in-Hackney-93953.html 

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/housing/articles/housepriceshowmuchdoesonesquaremetrecostinyourarea/2017-10-11

 https://www.met.police.uk/sd/stats-and-data/met/crime-data-dashboard/

 https://www.randstad.co.uk/best-london-borough/

 https://www.atticstorage.co.uk/guides/the-best-places-to-live-in-london

https://www.itv.com/news/london/2016-08-16/londons-happiest-boroughs-revealed-as-richmond-hits-the-top-spot/

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/income-and-tax-by-borough-and-district-or-unitary-authority-2010-to-2011#history

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/datablog/2012/apr/12/london-health-map-local-authorities

https://www.randstad.co.uk/best-london-borough/

 

 

veggie brunch

14 Brunch Spots You Need to Try in Shoreditch

If you are searching for the best brunch spots in London there are few better places to be in the late morning or early afternoon than Shoreditch, because this eclectic part of the capital has endless opportunities for brunching.

In fact, Shoreditch takes brunch to a new level. This trendy district is home to a range of eateries, offering everything from a casual late breakfast to a full-on boozy brunch on the weekends. The vibrant, multicultural nature of Shoreditch also means that, if you desire, you can eat at a different brunch spot every day of the week, and try a new style of cuisine every day of the week too.

From Bottomless Brunches to Peruvian breakfasts, here are the 14 best brunch spots you need to try in Shoreditch.

  1. The Book Club

Shoreditch is well known for its vibrancy and culture, and one of the best brunch spots in the area that will fuel your love of both food and cultural experiences is The Book Club.

This unique cafe and restaurant serve brunch on the weekends and serves breakfast until midday on weekdays. The menu is potato and egg heavy but, as good as the food is, it’s not just the brunch that’s the main focus here, because the Book Club is also one of Shoreditch’s best events venues.

The Book Club hosts music events and cultural demonstrations, and there’s a different schedule every week. There are art exhibitions strung across The Book Club’s two different floors, and it’s easily one of the most creative places in Shoreditch. As a bonus, after breakfasting or brunching, you can even take to the Ping-Pong tables or challenge your fellow diners to a table tennis battle.

  1. Andina Shoreditch

Peruvian food might not be high on your brunching list, but that’s probably because you’ve never visited Andina Shoreditch. Located on Redchurch Street just off Shoreditch High Street, Andina Shoreditch brings the unique tastes of South America to London.

This innovative restaurant has made a name for itself by fusing British ingredients with traditional Peruvian methods of cooking, brought from the Andes to Shoreditch.

Andina Shoreditch is open all day, serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner to anyone searching for new flavours or returning for their Peruvian fix. On the weekends, brunch is served from 10 am until 4 pm, and it’s the perfect way to kick-start your day or to nurse that hangover from the night before.

On the brunch menu at Andina Shoreditch, you’ll find healthy doses of avocado, as well as Peruvian chocolate that’s served on pancakes. The Chicharron sandwich is great if you need more of a lunchtime-brunchtime boost for the rest of the day, while if you want to keep things healthy, nothing beats the Andean granola.

  1. Hoi Polloi

If you’re looking for one of Shoreditch’s trendiest brunching locations, then look no further than a visit to Hoi Polloi. This inspired restaurant is found within the Ace Hotel, a hotel chain that is found in other locales such as New York and which has a reputation for being a hangout for hipsters and trendsetters.

Hoi Polloi means the ‘people’. While this is a modern and sleek restaurant, there’s also a minimalist look and feel to the place, which complements the food exceptionally well.

On weekdays, there’s a breakfast menu that is served until midday where you can choose from a range of breakfast items, from simple plates of seasonal fruits to a full-on English breakfast. You can even start your day with a Bloody Mary if you’re looking to really kick things off at Hoi Polloi.

On weekends, brunch runs from midday until 4 pm, and this is the real deal at Hoi Polloi. On the brunch menu, you can order everything from pancakes or eggs to a hefty roast dinner that includes roast beef and all the trimmings. You can even go for the rib-eye steak and wash it down with a few of Hoi Polloi’s signature cocktails.

Hoi Polloi

  1. The Breakfast Club

With branches all over London and across the country, The Breakfast Club is one of the capital’s most beloved breakfast and brunch spots, and the branch in Hoxton is one of the most popular in the city.

The Hoxton branch was one of the first Breakfast Clubs to be opened in London, and it’s a fantastic place to enjoy a beautiful brunch when you are in the area.

This is a restaurant that specialises in breakfast, and they serve nothing but breakfast all day long in their sleek, modern eateries that have an open and airy feel to feel them. It’s a good place to start the day, no matter whether you’re starting the day at 8 am or 4 pm.

The Breakfast Club menu is extensive, and they take inspiration from across the world. You can order a classic full English, you can go for a vegan breakfast or you can order the Breakfast burrito, to name just a few of the items available.

  1. The Barge House

The Barge House is a fantastic place for brunch if you’re looking for scenic views and outdoor seating because this fabulous eatery is found overlooking the canal in a beautiful waterside location.

In summer especially, there are few better places to enjoy a spot of brunch, as you can sit out and take in the refreshing canal-side air and bathe in the Shoreditch sunlight while it’s there.

The Barge House has a full-service kitchen as well as a popular bar, and they are open all through the day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can find classic items such as eggs on toast, or more international breakfasts such as Shakshuka.

The Barge House is famed for its freshly prepared sourdough bread, and on the weekends it’s their exceptional brunch that is the real reason to visit. Their most popular item on brunch days is what they call Breakfast in Bread. A large sourdough loaf is hollowed out and the interior of the bread is filled with all manner of breakfast items.

There are several fillings of Breakfast in Bread, with the most popular being what is essentially a full English breakfast, when your sourdough will be served with bacon, eggs, mushrooms and more. They also offer veggie and vegan Breakfast in Bread, as well as a salmon variety and a spicy chorizo and chilli filling, too.

To accompany these unique bread brunches, the Barge House serves up Bloody Marys and Breakfast Martinis, as well as excellent tea and even better coffee.

  1. Pizza East

A pizza restaurant might not be your first choice for brunch in Shoreditch, but on the weekends Pizza East serves up a fine breakfast and brunch for hungry patrons.

Of course, they are best known for their signature pizzas, as well as their huge range of antipasti, but visit on the weekend and you can delve into the brunch menu. This is Italian breakfast at its best, and while you could just order a pizza for brunch if you’re really hungry, the more rustic brunch items are truly exquisite.

You can try a full Italian breakfast, beef ragu, cured hams, or frittatas, amongst many more breakfast and brunch items on the menu.

Breakfast Pizza

  1. Blues Kitchen

The Blues Kitchen in Shoreditch is renowned for its bluesy vibes, live music and an excellent menu that’s inspired by the soul of the southern USA.

On the weekend, The Blues Kitchen serves up a somewhat infamous boozy brunch, that’s complete with delicious food and endless drinks.

You order your favourite brunch item, be it a brisket burger or the big bluesy breakfast, and then you pick your favoured drink, be it bloody Marys, mimosas or Prosecco. The food is finite, but for two hours, the drinks are unlimited.

  1. Rascals

If it’s a boozy bottomless brunch that you’re after, then spend your weekend enjoying the delights of Rascals, which has made somewhat of a name for itself as being one of London’s most infamous brunching spots.

The food and drink are bottomless at Rascals. While you eat and drink the morning and afternoon away, you’ll be entertained by Rascal’s infamous entertainers. It’s all fun and games and entertainment while you drink and eat, and you’ll be getting stuck into the atmosphere of Rascals for many hours to come.

  1. Dirty Bones

Another great place to enjoy the delights of a boozy brunch is Dirty Bones. Available on the weekends, from 11 am until 4 pm, the Dirty Bones brunch offers you the chance to indulge in New York-inspired food in a heritage-listed London building in Shoreditch.

Dirty Bones has a brunch menu that’s packed with flavour; you can take on the big steak and eggs to set you up for the day or order a huge portion of ribs and crumpets. Of course, at Dirty Bones, as good as the food is, it’s not all about the food, because alongside the brunch items you can order unlimited cocktails.

Drinks to choose from include a Bloody Mary or Uptown Spritz and, for one and a half hours, your drink of choice is endless.

  1. Red Rooster

If it’s American-style food you’re looking for in Shoreditch, then head on over to Red Rooster. This USA-inspired eatery serves up a huge array of American food, ranging from New York to the southern states, but they are best known for their Red Rooster Gospel Brunch.

Held every Sunday, you’ll be able to jump into the delicious brunch menu while a local choir performs Harlem-style gospel to the hungry diners.

It’s a unique experience, and alongside excellent food, you’ll enjoy an excellent performance of gospel songs at Red Rooster.

Red Rooster

  1. The Diner Shoreditch

The Diner Shoreditch is another fantastic restaurant to visit if you are on the search for American-inspired brunch, as this fantastic eatery serves up an all-day breakfast menu.

The Diner Shoreditch is a truly American experience, and the restaurant is set up exactly how you would imagine a classic American diner to be.

All-day breakfast includes such dishes as the Lumberjack Breakfast, and the Hungry Man Breakfast, while you can also order stack after stack of delicious pancakes, with an endless variety of toppings.

  1. Hoxton Grill

One of the best brunch spots to try in Shoreditch is undoubtedly Hoxton Grill. Yet again, this is another restaurant that’s inspired by American-style food, and they serve up a glorious breakfast and brunch.

The brunch menu includes a diverse selection of dishes to order, including simple bowls of muesli or pancakes, to a huge range of different eggs. You can even start your day with a huge cut of steak, while of course there are plenty of cocktails to choose from on the brunch menu too.

  1. Lantana

If you’ve had your fair fill of American-style diners and brunches, then in multicultural Shoreditch you have many more options too. One of the best places to visit is Lantana, a delightful cafe that serves up an excellent Aussie-style breakfast and brunch.

On weekends, they open at 9 am and serve until 4 pm, and you’ll find a vast array of breakfast and brunch items. Expect plenty of halloumi and avocado on the menu, while the coffee is simply excellent as well. There are fruit smoothies too, and you can always start your day out in Shoreditch with a brunch cocktail.

Lanatana

  1. Bird

Our final pick for the best brunch spots in Shoreditch goes to Bird. This simple restaurant is designed with an open-air in mind, perhaps because Bird is proud of their use of free-range poultry.

Bird specialises in two things, and two things only. That’s chicken and waffles, and yes, the two are more often than not combined together. That makes this an excellent brunching spot, combining a waffle breakfast and a chicken lunch or dinner, to set you up for a day in London.

Of course, to complement your waffle and fried chicken brunch, Bird has a wide range of cocktails and other beverages to offer too.

As London experts, we know a thing or two about the best brunch spots across the city, including the trendy Shoreditch area. While you’re in touch, check out our fantastic range of London tours and open-top bus trips to see the very best of the city.

Camden-Rail Bridge

Everything You Need to Know About Camden Market

Camden Market is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions because this bustling marketplace is packed full of trendy stalls, food vendors and photogenic street art.

Found in the heart of hipster Camden, this historic market started life humbly as just a few simple market stalls. Today you can find well over 1,000 different stalls and shops in this vibrant yet crowded part of London.

If you’re looking for vintage clothing, fusion street food and raucous nightlife, then Camden Market is the market for you. If you are searching for street art, funky restaurants and an atmosphere like nowhere else in the capital, then you have to visit Camden Market.

To help you plan your trip, here’s everything you need to know about Camden Market.

A Brief History of Camden Market

Camden Market has a long and fascinating history. Starting from small roots, over the years and decades it’s grown into one of London’s premier, alternative shopping and entertainment areas, while never losing touch with its humble past.

Camden Market has, for the most part, stayed true to itself, and that’s just one of the reasons why it’s become such a popular tourist attraction.

There have been small markets in Camden for centuries. Given its location on the busy Regents Canal, Camden was transformed into a flourishing trade hub that boomed through the Victorian era.

The market you see it today has more recent roots though; Camden Market began to really evolve into its modern self in the 1970s.

In 1974, a small Saturday market comprising just 16 stalls was opened in Camden Town. With Camden’s growing reputation for all things alternative, it proved to be the best location possible for a market place to grow and to evolve into a hipster setting at the forefront of all of London’s unique cultural scenes.

This was really just the beginning though. Camden Market would grow over the following decades into a marketplace housing thousands of stalls, shops and food vendors, and its story is far from over yet.

The market continues to be revamped and redesigned, and there are many areas such as Camden Lock Village, which have undergone massive regeneration projects to keep Camden Market at the forefront. These projects don’t lose sight of Camden’s ethos and history, and you can still find heritage and tradition everywhere you walk.

Camden Market

Where Is Camden Market?

Camden Market is a big and sprawling place to visit. If it’s your first time in Camden, then working out your bearings can be a challenge at first.

The market is technically several different markets and distinct shopping areas, but the majority of the stalls and vendors are found along Camden High Street, which then turns into Chalk Farm Road when you cross over the busy bridge spanning Regents Canal.

It’s a bustling place. To get here, you’ll want to arrive either by bus or by using the Underground, as there’s almost no public parking available and what parking is available will be short term and expensive.

The nearest tube stations are Camden Town and Chalk Farm, both of which are within Zone 2 on the Northern Line.

Chalk Farm Underground station is found at the northern end of the markets, while the Camden Town stop is more southerly. Whichever station you choose stations will bring you out into the heart of Camden Market.

There are also several overground stations, such as Kentish Town and Camden Road, although these are further away from the markets.

The markets are divided into four major areas, but with thousands of stalls, shops, pubs and restaurants, everything spills over into each other and it can be difficult to know exactly where you are at any one time, not that it really matters. The best way to get around Camden Market is to simply walk – or perhaps push – your way through the crowds and to lose yourself in the marketplace. A good idea is to get off the tube at Camden Town, and then simply walk along Camden High Street towards Regents Canal.

The three major reference areas within Camden Market are Buck Street Market, Camden Lock Market and Stables Market.

When to Visit Camden Market

Camden Market is open 7 days a week, even on bank holidays, and most stalls and shops will open around or 9 am or 10 am. The market stalls and shops generally stay open until around 6 pm, sometimes later, but you’ll find that the restaurants, pubs and bars are all open until much, much later.

Camden Market is one of London’s most famous tourist attractions and, unfortunately, that means that it’s always a busy place to visit.

Weekends and bank holidays are when the market is at its liveliest and there’s always something going on. However, on weekends, it can also be absolutely packed, and it can be difficult to walk around and even to find tables at restaurants and pubs. If you don’t mind pushing your way through tour groups and queuing to get into venues, then it’s an atmospheric if busy time to visit. In summer, things are even busier than colder times of the year, particularly when the sun is out.

If you want to enjoy Camden Market without the crowds, then you’ll need to visit during the week. If you want time and space to browse through the stalls and shops then you’re best visiting on Mondays or Tuesdays, as later in the week, it starts to get busier the closer you get to the weekend. In reality though, such as the fame of Camden Market, there are few times when it’s not a crowded place to visit.

Buck Street Market

On the corner of Buck Street along Camden High Street, Buck Street Market is an integral component of Camden Market, and it’s recently been totally redeveloped.

This is the area of the market that’s closest to Camden Town tube station. If you alight here, this is the first part of the market you’ll be exploring.

This is an outdoor market area, and it’s where you can find a few hundred stalls and vendors who are mostly selling clothing and accessories. While the goods for sale aren’t necessarily the most exciting part of Camden Market, it’s the perfect place to visit if you need a few new T-shirts during your stay in London!

In fact, there is a lot for sale here. You can find everything from cult TV clothing to knock-off designer brands. It’s a classic market, and you’ll find good deals and hidden gems stashed away amongst the stalls.

Buck Street Market also has a new addition in that many of its stalls were redesigned when large shipping containers were brought in to house new market stalls and to give the street even more food vendors. It’s an exciting time in Camden, and things are changing yet again.

Camden Lock Market

Continue along Camden High Street, and you’ll stumble upon Regents Canal, where you can find Camden Lock Market. This is the most famous area in Camden Market, and it’s the place that gives the entire market its name.

This was where the market began in 1974; since then it’s grown outwards, along the canal and down Camden High Street.

Nestled around Camden Lock, you can find hundreds of market stalls and vendors, and you’ll find a huge range of products for sale from T-shirts and vintage clothing to excellent fast food.

In fact, the street food is one of the best reasons to visit Camden Market and you can find some of the best near Camden Lock. There’s a truly international range of food available, and you’ll be tantalised by the vendors and cooks offering you tasters before you buy to entice you in. It’s loud, it’s noisy and it’s impossible to walk away hungry.

For sale, you’ll find Indian curries, burgers, classic fish and chips, huge boxes of Chinese food and cuisine from every country imaginable.

Camden-Lock

Stables Market

Stables Market is another part of Camden Market that was previously separate until it joined forces with Camden Lock Market to create a sort of super-sized market.

It was a good move and both markets have grown exponentially and essentially run into one another, as they merge and spillover on both sides of the canal.

Stables Market runs along Chalk Farm Road and, in a previous life, the area was a horse stables, hence its name.

The horses were there for use in Camden’s bustling industrial world and for use on the canal into the early 20th century. With the decline of horse transport, the stables became obsolete until it became the home of a new marketplace.

Today, there aren’t so many horses or stables around, but the Stables Market has become a legendary London attraction.

Here you can find an array of shops and market stalls both indoors and outdoors, and many are set up in the heritage-listed buildings that have been taken over by the retail and hospitality industry.

The most famous shop in the Stables Market is Cyberdog, a unique retail outlet that represents Camden’s alternative side. This is a shop for techno lovers, as you’re greeted by employees whose sole and singular task is to dance on a podium all day. It’s a strange and bizarre place and a tourist site in its own right.

New Developments in Camden Market

Camden Market seems to be constantly in a state of redevelopment, and given the nature of the market things are always in flux here.

Large parts of the market are scheduled for redevelopment, as Camden has become one of London’s most visited tourist areas in recent years. One area that is currently under regeneration is Camden Lock Village. This was once an integral part of the market, until a fire destroyed much of the area. It’s set to be turned into a swanky new development with shops and more market space, and will hopefully retain the character of Camden when it’s open.

Restaurants, Bars and Pubs

As well as the markets stalls and the food vendors, there are plenty of restaurants, bars and pubs to call into when you are visiting Camden Market.

If you’re looking for authentic British pub grub then there are plenty of classic Camden pubs to have lunch or dinner at and to enjoy a few pints of beer too.

At night, Camden comes alive with drinkers and parties, as Camden Town is well known for its excellent nightlife, bars and clubs.

Camden Bar

Music and Artwork at Camden Market

Camden Town has long attracted trendsetters, hipsters, artists and musicians and it truly is one of the most eclectic areas in London. The markets are no exception. As you walk around and make your way through the crowds you’ll soon notice that there is a lot of street art and graffiti in Camden.

It’s one of the best reasons to visit too because the walls have even been used as a canvas by infamous street artists such as Banksy. You can find some of his most iconic pieces hidden around Camden Town.

You might also see a statue dedicated to Amy Winehouse because this was where the famous singer made a name for herself. Camden has a rich musical tradition and in many of the bars and pubs around the markets you’ll find plenty of live music events all through the week.

There are many legendary music venues to check out in and around the markets, and you can enjoy everything from jazz to punk, and all that’s in between. Classic venues include the likes of The Dublin Castle, KOKO and the Jazz Cafe, and all are places where you might just chance upon the next big act before they become super famous and make it onto the world stage.

amywinehouse-camden

This is one of the most happening parts of London. There’s always something going on in Camden. While you’re in town browsing the stalls at Camden Market, checking out the street art and sampling all that tasty street food, check out Premium Tours fantastic range of London tours to see the best the city has to offer.

02 Arena

Here’s Where to See Live Music in London

The United Kingdom has an exceptional live music scene, and London is always at the forefront of the best musical trends. It’s the heart and soul of the country’s musical talent, and it’s a stage where the world’s best bands and artists come to play to packed crowds.

London has some incredible music venues, ranging from the glamorous arenas of the O2 and Wembley where famous stars play to thousands of people, to the grimy and dark back rooms of pubs in Camden or Shoreditch where rising stars begin their careers.

Many of London’s smaller venues have a lot of history behind them too, and there are few other cities in the world that can match the British capital for musical heritage. London is one of the best cities in the world for live music. Here are our favourite venues to see live music in London.

O2 Arena

The O2 Arena is the second largest music venue and indoor events space in the United Kingdom. Since the mid-2000s, it’s been playing host to some of the biggest tours and artists in the world.

This is a huge venue – in the UK, only the Manchester Arena is bigger – and The O2 Arena has become one of the most iconic live music venues in the world, since the old Millennium Dome was repurposed and turned into an events space.

The arena hosts big world tours and can house thousands of screaming fans, both seated and standing, making this one of the best and the biggest musical experiences in London.

The SSE Arena, Wembley

The SSE Arena, Wembley is London’s second-largest indoor live music venue, after The O2 Arena. It’s one of the best places in the capital to see headlining acts from around the world.   

Wembley Arena is one of the city’s most iconic music venues, and it’s found in the shadow of the equally iconic Wembley Stadium, where live music events are held throughout the year.

This is a historic place, as the building dates back to the 1930s when it was originally built as a swimming pool. Since the late 1940s, it’s been used as a music and events venue, and over the years many historic names have been on the bill, from the Beatles to the Spice Girls.

Wembley-Arena

Eventim Apollo

Another classic live music arena to visit in London is the Eventim Apollo. Formerly known as the Hammersmith Apollo, it’s located in the west London district of Hammersmith. Since 1932, the Apollo has been hosting music and other entertainment events to packed crowds.

The Hammersmith Apollo is set in a heritage-listed building, and it’s one of the most classic live music venues in the capital. The Apollo has had various different names and sponsors over the years, but it’s always kept its brilliant atmosphere and feel. With a capacity of only around 5,000 people, the performances here are much more intimate and personal than performances in larger indoor arenas such as the O2 or SSE Arena, Wembley.

The Dublin Castle

Camden Town is well known for its alternative, trendsetting vibes, and the music scene in the north London district is second to none in the capital. Camden is the place to visit for iconic and historic music venues, and it’s the place to visit to find the next big acts before they become famous.

One of Camden’s most famous live music venues is The Dublin Castle. This small pub is hidden away in the heart of Camden Town and is often referred to as the home of Britpop. Many famous bands and musicians have played within the cramped confines of The Dublin Castle, before going on to become world famous.

Madness was the first band to really bring the Dublin Castle fame, while other acts that have passed through the doors here include Amy Winehouse and Blur.

The Dublin Castle

The Old Blue Last

Another London pub that always seems to be at the forefront of the capital’s music scene is The Old Blue Last. Set on the hipster streets of Shoreditch, few other pubs in the capital have such a long history and such a reputation as this.

The Old Blue Last is owned by Vice Media, and they regularly host parties and live music events. The pub dates back over 300 years and has long been serving London’s patrons with round after round of ale and beer.

The pub and venue hosts live music acts almost every night of the week, and many of the shows are free of charge to watch. It’s a great venue to try and catch the next big bands. Big names that have played here before they made it big include the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and Florence and the Machine.

Jazz Cafe

If rock and pop music isn’t your thing, then London has plenty of live music venues catering to different genres. If you’re into jazz, then head on over to Camden Town where you can enjoy the delights of the famous Jazz Cafe.

For jazz lovers, few other places in London can match the Jazz Cafe for soul and performances here are always intimate. The Jazz Cafe can only host around 400 people, and it’s a great experience listening to jazz in such a small setting.

The Jazz Cafe has also branched out into other music genres too, and they host reggae, hip hop and blues artists too, amongst many others.

Cafe Oto

If intimate live music venues are what you’re searching for in London, then look no further than Cafe Oto. Located in the heart of Dalston – a district that’s famous for its music and venues – Cafe Oto is a simple cafe and restaurant during the day, but by night it turns into a beautiful live music space.

Cafe Oto is often voted to be one of London’s coolest live music venues because nothing beats it for either charm or grace. You’ll find jazz artists and electronic acts playing to small crowds at Cafe Oto, while the venue also hosts regular workshops and cultural exchanges when they aren’t hosting performances.

Royal Albert Hall

Located in South Kensington, the Royal Albert Hall is one of London’s most highly regarded and well-known music venues. This is musical history at its finest, because Queen Victoria personally opened the venue in 1871. Since then, it’s played host to many of the country’s best concerts and musical performances.

The Royal Albert Hall is best known for hosting the Proms, a classical music event that’s held every year and is broadcast across the world. The historic building can host around 5000 people, in tiered seating stands, and even if you can’t get hold of tickets to an event here, you can still join guided tours of the fascinating building, to learn more about the intriguing history of the Royal Albert Hall.

Royal Albert Hall

Alexandra Palace

Another classic and historic music venue to visit in London is Alexandra Palace, referred to affectionately as the ‘Ally Pally’. This iconic venue was originally opened in 1875, and it was intended to be a theatre. It was a theatre that was far ahead of its time too, and it revolutionised the Victorian entertainment industry.

The wider Alexandra Palace entertainment complex has several different entertainment spaces, and there are theatres and performance venues within this grand Victorian-era palace. As well as live music events, which are held in suitably Victorian climes within the heritage-listed building.

It’s a beautiful place to see concerts, musical performances and other shows and events while you are visiting London.

Roundhouse

In Camden Town, the Roundhouse is one of north London’s most historic music venues. It might not be as well known as the Royal Albert Hall or have the prestige of Alexandra Palace, but the Roundhouse has history enough to match both. Being in the heart of Camden, the venue is known for hosting artists and festivals throughout the years, including the likes of The Doors and David Bowie, and the BBC’s Electric Proms.

The Roundhouse is a heritage-listed building that dates back to the 1850s. This was never a purpose-built events arena; the Roundhouse was originally built to house a railway turntable. After this was abandoned, the building has been used variously as a warehouse and storehouse, until it was repurposed as an events space in the 20th century. It’s a Camden classic and a fantastic place for live music events.

The Camden Assembly

Camden Town is absolutely packed with excellent live music venues, and another great place to visit in the district is The Camden Assembly. This classic Camden venue has recently had a name change and was formerly known for years as the Barfly.

The Camden Assembly is really just a small pub, but it’s earned its rightful place amongst the legendary live music venues of London for hosting some of the country’s most up and coming artists before they hit the world stage.

There’s a small capacity of just 200 people, and it’s one of the most atmospheric places to experience live bands in London. When it was known as Barfly, the pub hosted such greats as Coldplay and other Britpop sensations when they were still making it onto the music scene.

The Blues Kitchen, Camden

While you’re in Camden, you can also visit The Blues Kitchen, a legendary restaurant that hosts some of the best blues evenings in the capital.

There are several branches around the capital now, in places like Shoreditch and Brixton too, but the Camden branch is easily the most well known. The restaurant focuses on serving excellent food that’s inspired by the culinary traditions of America’s deep south, and you can enjoy everything from slow-cooked brisket to huge servings of chicken wings.

The Blues Kitchen hosts regular blues and jazz artists through the week and on weekends too, and you’ll find many famous and up-and-coming stars playing at the restaurant. If you love good food and good music, then there’s nowhere better to spend the evening than the Blues Kitchen.

Union Chapel

One of the most unique live music venues in London is found in Islington, and it’s unusual because it’s also a fully functioning church.

As a church, Union Chapel dates back to 1874. In recent years, it’s earned fame by hosting music events and also for caring for the homeless through its charity projects.

While regular church services are held here, the building is transformed at night into a beautiful live music space, and bands and performers play within the atmospheric stonewalls of this Victorian-era church.

O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Another classic London venue catering to larger crowds and bigger bands is O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Dating back to 1903, this was originally designed to be a theatre, before being taken over by the BBC to be used as a filming location for different television shows. In the 1990s, the venue was transformed into a live music space, and since then it’s become a well-known destination for quality bands and performers.

This is still a small venue compared to the big arenas though, and O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire can only hold around 2,000 spectators. That doesn’t stop big bands joining the bill though, with past performances including David Bowie, Pearl Jam and Mumford and Sons. It’s a legendary place and one of the best live music venues to visit in London.

Shepherds Bush 02 Empire

Yoga Pose

These Are the Best Yoga Classes in London

London has no shortage of places to learn and practise the art of yoga. But finding the best yoga classes in the capital can be a challenge, given the fierce competition. You can find classes and sessions in almost any leisure centre or community hall, while there are more and more dedicated yoga spaces opening up each year.

Finding the best yoga classes in London for you will also depend on the style of yoga you are looking for. Across the capital, you can find many different variations of yoga being practised and taught, and you can try out different classes each week to discover which style truly suits you.

From the sweaty moves of hot yoga and Bikram to the spirituality of Kundalini or the classic moves of Ashtanga, there are a lot of places to practise yoga. Here are our favourite yoga classes in London.

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga is the most classic form of yoga you can find being practised in London, and there are plenty of different places to try it across the capital. Ashtanga yoga was designed by Indian yogi K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore in the 20th century. This famous yogi took traditional, historic yoga poses and traditions and created a new form of yoga for the modern era. His techniques helped popularise yoga across the world, while still keeping close to the heritage of ancient yoga.

Ashtanga yoga involves individual poses being linked by Vinyasa, or flowing poses. It can be hot and sweaty, and it’s good for your strength and breathing.

Ashtanga Yoga

Good Vibes

One of the best places in London to try Ashtanga yoga is Good Vibes. This excellent fitness studio has its base in Fitzrovia on Tottenham Street, and they focus on offering positive fitness classes that empower you with energy, positivity and, above all, good vibes.

Some of their most popular classes are their yoga classes. They have a range of different classes catering to different levels, be it beginner lessons or intense sessions for experienced yoga lovers.

Their focus is on Ashtanga yoga; if you’ve never tried yoga before, then this classic variety is the perfect way to ease into the pursuit. You can join their beginner classes, where you’ll learn the basics, and once you’ve got the moves down you can move into their more intense Vinyasa sessions, where you’ll leave sweaty but refreshed.

The Good Vibes yoga studio offers a temperature-controlled space that’s great for Vinyasa. During the cold winter months, they heat the room to the level of an Indian summer’s day where you can escape the chill and practise yoga as it’s meant to be done, amongst the heat and humidity.

Triyoga

Triyoga is one of London’s most well-known yoga centres, and they have excellent classes dedicated to the practice of Ashtanga yoga, amongst many other varieties and forms.

They have studios in Camden, Chelsea, Ealing, Shoreditch and Soho, and they cater to a wide range of clients and abilities. Across their different locations, they teach hundreds of classes each week. If you’re looking to either learn the Ashtanga ropes or to delve deeper into the world of yoga, then Triyoga is one of the best places in London to do it.

Their beginner courses and introductory offers are great. You can have private lessons with one-to-one tuition, or you can join group sessions with like-minded, wannabe yogis. If you’re looking to develop your Ashtanga techniques further, then there are a range of classes offered for mid-level and experienced yoga lovers, while if you truly want to take your yoga skills to the next level, then you can even learn how to be a yoga instructor at Triyoga.

Ashtanga Yoga London

If you’re looking for a more personal studio and smaller classes, then one of the best places to go in the capital is Ashtanga Yoga London. Run by a handful of dedicated instructors, the studio focuses almost entirely on Ashtanga Yoga, and few other places can match it for personalised service and commitment to the practice.

Their studio is called Dharma Shala, and it’s located in King’s Cross. This is more than just a yoga space, as Ashtanga Yoga London has become more of a community than just a commercial enterprise. If you are searching for like-minded yoga lovers, then this is the place to be.

At Ashtanga Yoga London, you can learn the basic moves of the Mysore-style yoga sequences, before moving onto the more experienced, free-flowing Vinyasa classes that are typical of Ashtanga.

There are classes all through the week, and you can pay per session or become part of the Ashtanga community and purchase monthly packages for the different classes.

Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is one of the most popular, modern forms of yoga you can find being practised in studios across London. Hot yoga is so-called because the idea is literally to get hot and to work up a huge sweat during your routines. The idea is to sweat and to sweat hard. Hot yoga is performed in hot and humid conditions, which are designed to replicate those found on the Indian subcontinent where yoga originated.

There are different types and styles of hot yoga, but most originated in the mid 20th century and became popularised as a way to dispel impurities in the body as well as to lose weight and to strengthen core muscles.

Hot Yoga is intense and vigorous, and you need a basic level of fitness at the very least to survive your first few classes, before stepping it up as you progress while you learn the different techniques and styles.

Frame

One of London’s best hot yoga spots is Frame, a yoga company that has six separate locations across the capital offering thousands of classes a week. Frame is an all-encompassing yoga business, and they offer classes and tuition in almost every conceivable style of yoga possible.

Frame likes to focus on getting you hot and sweaty in all their classes, and they really take the meaning of hot yoga to a new level. Whichever classes you choose, be it beginner or advanced sessions or free-flow or power yoga, you’ll be leaving in a sweat, but also leaving revitalised and restored. Alongside traditional yoga classes, they also offer their own unique brand of hot yoga, which is simply called Frame Yoga, where different techniques and styles are combined to leave you with the ultimate hot yoga sweats.

Another Space 

Another Space is one of London’s most infamous hot yoga spots; any class you take at this well-known establishment will leave you painfully sweaty and aching for days.

Their classes aren’t for the faint-hearted, but they are excellent if you are looking to push yourself above and beyond and to take hot yoga to a higher level while improving your strength, stamina and fitness.

With locations in Covent Garden and Bank, this is one of the most intense yoga centres in central London. Perhaps knowing this, they have a great policy with no joining fees and no hidden costs.

Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga is a form of hot yoga that has several distinct differences and attributes. This is one of the most popular forms of hot yoga that you’ll find across the world. In London, there are many classes dedicated solely to the art of Bikram.

Founded by Bikram Choudhury, this modern form of yoga follows a specified set of poses and techniques that are performed in sequence in a hot and humid environment.

Bikram Yoga

Fierce Grace

One of London’s best-known studios for bringing the heat, Fierce Grace has seven studios across the capital and is a forerunner of the hot yoga revolution in the city.

Established by a student of Bikram Choudhury, Michele Pernetta, Fierce Grace has eight different classes designed to suit every schedule, level and mood. Standouts include the eponymous ‘Fierce Grace’ class, ‘Wild’ which combines strength poses, and the advanced ‘Fierce’, also known as ‘the Beast’.

If you’re injured, stiff, unfit or in rehabilitation, the S.O.B class – which stands for Stiff, Old or Broken – is a powerful way to get you moving again.

The Hot Spot Yoga

The Hot Spot Yoga is well known for its focus on hot yoga and Bikram yoga, and it’s one of London’s best spots if you’re looking for intense Bikram sessions. Their classic classes include long Bikram yoga routines, where you’ll be immersed in the heat of the Indian subcontinent while never leaving London.

Prepare to get hot and prepare to get really sweaty, because The Hot Spot Yoga can help you take your yoga game to a more intense level than ever before. They offer a heavy schedule of classes through the week, and with sessions lasting for 90-minutes at a time you’ll be left aching, yet thoroughly versed in the techniques and poses that Bikram yoga comprises.

You might want a good grounding in less intense hot yoga techniques before venturing into this yoga centre though, or you’ll leave your first session aching and hurting for the next few days.

Hot Yoga

Kundalini 

Kundalini Yoga is a more niche form of yoga, and there are fewer studios offering classes and sessions across the capital. It’s a more spiritual form of yoga, and the idea isn’t to get hot and sweaty but to focus on breathing and technique in order to awaken the spiritual energy that’s found within you.

It’s a unique and calming form of yoga to practice and a wonderful form of relaxation and meditation.

Joy

Joy is a yoga centre dedicated to Kundalini Yoga, and it’s easily one of the best places in the capital to try it out.

It’s a relatively new studio having only opened its doors in 2018, but they are already the preferred choice for many spiritual seekers in London. You can join their Kundalini and meditation sessions to awaken your own inner spirituality, and to learn more about the meditative and healing processes involved in this particular form of yoga.

Kundalini Yoga London

Located in Fitzrovia, Kundalini Yoga London is another great space to learn all about this meditative form of yoga.

With a focus on small class sizes and a personalised teaching style, this is the place to really begin to connect with your inner Kundalini spirituality and power. Run by a single instructor, there are only a few classes a week, so book in quick to secure your spot if this is the style of yoga you are looking to learn more about.

Free Yoga Classes in London

Yoga is a relatively inexpensive hobby to take up, but most classes, instructors and companies charge fees for their sessions. You can save money by purchasing memberships, once you find the best classes for you and the instructors that suit you best. Many studios offer multiple-session packages or unlimited monthly subscriptions that will give you hefty savings on paying individually.

Group lessons and classes are always cheaper than private lessons too and are a great way to make new friends and delve into the wider yoga community and lifestyle.

If you are looking for free or heavily discounted yoga classes, then many studios offer excellent introductory rates for beginners, where you can join either sample lessons or where you can take advantage of low rates for the first few sessions or even months of your membership.

On International Yoga Day – a day dedicated purely to the pursuit of all things yoga – almost all studios offer free sessions to celebrate the beauty of yoga and to spread its good vibes.

Many new or small-time instructors working on more of a hobby basis will also offer group or community sessions for free or for minimal costs. Many of these classes run in summer, as they take place outside, in parks or public spaces.

Yoga in London

If you’re visiting London to take advantage of the wonderful range and variety of yoga classes across the capital, check out Premium Tours’ fantastic range of London tours. As London experts, we show you the best the city has to offer in terms of major tourist attractions and museums, though we know a good deal about eating, nightlife and lifestyle, too!