A Guide to London Nightlife by Design My Night
London enjoys a bustling, hectic and lovable nightlife scene; from speakeasy themed bars in East, to swank-heavy hangouts in West. With so many options right under our noses, it can sometimes be difficult to keep on top of the best bars, the quirkiest events or the latest gigs. To aid you in your London nightlife quest, we’ve put together a run-down of the various areas of the capital, as well as a few suggestions on the best things to do whilst on a night out in London town.
Rock out in North
Since Pink Floyd performed at the Roundhouse back in 1966, Camden Town will forever be known as the UK spiritual home for rockers everywhere. Tattoo parlours, motorbikes and live music to boot, the Camden scene is brash and authentically cool. Head here for indie nights, gigs and a non-pretentious atmosphere. Also included in the North London bubble are King’s Cross, Highgate and Islington. Each sub-area is full of loads of fun and unique things to do. Grab some craft beer in Islington at John Salt, or perhaps book on to King’s Cross’ resident pop up canal experience, Vestal Voyages. Whatever you do; soak up as much of the lovable North London charm as possible.
Vestal Voyages, King’s Cross.
- KOKO – a converted theatre that plays host to raucous club nights and awesome live music.
- Camden Market / Stables Market – both are great for hunting around for vintages clothes, weirdly wonderful ornaments and the best priced leather jackets in London.
- Vestal Voyages – a pop up canal boat cocktail experience.
Get fancy in West
Typically on the higher end of the price scale, West London is full of nightlife treats, cultural hotspots and vibrant neighbourhoods. Particular shout outs include, Soho and Leicester Square (busy shopping, theatre and bar areas in central-West London), Notting Hill Carnival (a world famous Caribbean inspired street festival), The King’s Road (Kensington’s bustling road full of bars, museums and plenty of fun) and the Roof Gardens in Kensington. Sign up to the Notting Hill bar crawl to get a real taste of the nightlife in the area, or chill out with a vino or two at Queen’s Park opulent Paradise By Way of Kensal Green.
Paradise By Way of Kensal Green, Queen’s Park
- King’s Road – The Saatchi Gallery is a good place to start, followed by a cocktail or four on the bustling King’s Road.
- The Kensington Roof Gardens – It’s classy, wild and exclusive – plus there are flamingos on-site.
- Notting Hill Carnival – If you’re visiting in August it’s a must-visit.
Strip it all back in South
Gritty? Yes. Real? Very much so. Understated? Massively. South London is less of a tourist trap and more of a crash pad for ‘real Londoner’s’ who are fiercely loyal to the area. That said, areas like Brixton, New Cross, Vauxhall and Clapham are an absolute must if it’s wild partying you seek. Clapham is a young professional magnet in the South West boasting a 7-night party scene. Head here for cheesy fun, cheap drinks and fried chicken. Brixton is famed for amazing street food, top DJs and a lovable rough-round-the-edges feel. Like cheesy tunes? Infernos is for you. More of a clubber? To Fire you should go.
- Brixton Village – foodie pop ups, loads of bars and a wonderfully communal atmosphere.
- Lost Society – a wacky renovated barn featuring big beats, gorgeous cocktails and a wildly unique décor.
- Honky Tonk Clapham – rockabilly vibes and food of meaty proportions.
Quirky in East
Shoreditch, Hackney and Dalston are at the centre of the young creative London crowd. Think art galleries, speakeasy bars and imaginative pop ups. For a taste of secrecy and the 1930s prohibition head to Ruby’s in Dalston, a completely concealed bar found only if you have the exact directions. Or if it’s sight-seeing with a twist you’re after, Golden Bee (located above a strip bar!) is a stylish bar complete with an outside rooftop bar complete a fire pit to warm your cockles. Whatever your tastes, they’re likely to be catered for in the East.
Golden Bee, Shoreditch
- Brick Lane – curries, brik-a-brak and glorious hustle-bustle.
- Ruby’s – 1930s speakeasy in Dalston
- XOYO – one of London’s coolest, most forward thinking clubs.
London is a varied, unique and interesting part of the world – just waiting to be explored! For more nightlife tips and suggestions, head over to DesignMyNight.com.