Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London



For more regular updates, visit Tom's Britain, a new website about things to do in Britain.


31 May 2009

Sit in an alcove of old London Bridge

Most people know the story of how the old London Bridge was sold to a town in Arizona in the 1960s, but that bridge had only been there around 130 years and had replaced the more famous medieval bridge which linked North and South banks for around 500 years.

The pedestrian alcoves, added in a 1760 refurbishment to allow users of the bridge space to sit and take stock during their journeys across the Thames were relocated, as any self-respecting East London geek will know, to the Eastern fringes of Victoria Park in 1860, following the 1831 destruction of the old bridge, and they are now simple park seats.

For more information click here.

30 May 2009

Visit the Design Museum

Founded in 1989 and situated in a former 1940s Banana warehouse on Shad Thames, a stone's throw from Tower Bridge, the Design Museum claims to be the first museum of modern design.

With around 200,000 visitors a year, it isn't one of London's premier league museums, but is still an internationally recognised centre of contemporary design, and is a good place to learn about what's what in pretty stuff.

The museum is open from 10am - 5.45pm, and the entry charge fluctuates depending on which exhibitions are showing at the moment.

For more information http://www.designmuseum.org/

29 May 2009

Swim outside in Hackney

For just £4, in the heart of Hackney you can swim in a heated outdoor pool which has been refurbished to a high standard and deserves to be enjoyed.

London Fields Lido is 50m x 17m and was saved from the bulldozer in 1990, earmarked for rebuilding in 2004 and finished in 2007.

It's another ace newish facility that your author hopes survives the credit crunch, and continues to receive the funding it needs.

The pool is open Monday-Friday, 6.30am-8.00pm and weekends 8.00am-6.00pm. Worth also noting that men aren't allowed from 7.00pm-8.00pm on Tuesdays.

For more information, visit http://www.londonfieldsusergroup.org.uk/

Click here to see the location on a map.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of purpaboo^

28 May 2009

Watch a comedy show in a cow's udder

Those who have been to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in recent years will be familiar with E4's Udderbelly, a huge tent in the shape of an upside down purple cow, named after the Underbelly, a longstanding fringe venue on Edinburgh's Cowgate (do you see what they did there?).

Well last night, the Udderbelly came to London for the first time, opening a eight week residence in the car park next to Jubilee Gardens on the South Bank (between the Southbank Centre and the London Eye).

Between now and July 19th, you can see a range of comedy and other acts, including Josie Long, Rhod Gilbert, Arthur Smith, If.Comedy winner David O'Doherty, Arthur Smith, Reginald D. Hunter, Clive James, the Comedy Store Players, Mitch Benn and many more.

Prices are mostly around £10-£15 (though a few are higher) and there is a box office on the South Bank. For more information, visit http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/festivals-series/e4-udderbelly.

Click here to see the location on a map.

^Picture grabbed on your author's phone on the ride home (apologies for poor quality)^

27 May 2009

Help the Heath

Heath Hands is a volunteer organisation, dedicated to maintaining Hampstead Heath, and ensuring that it remains well kept and special for all those who visit.

You can volunteer with people from the City of London Corporation and English Heritage to do a range of garden-based tasks, including crocus maintenance, tree care, border tidying and rush cutting, amongst others. Frequent work sessions are timed to ensure everyone gets a chance to participate, and there is even a newsletter for potential gardeners.

For more information, visit http://www.heath-hands.org.uk.

With thanks to ill and ancient for the suggestion.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of Banalities^

26 May 2009

Drink in the Swiss Cottage

Your author must admit to not yet having been to this pub, but he has driven past on numerous occasions, and finds the concept of absolutely intriguing. A Sam Smith's pub, inside a 'Swiss Cottage', purpose built on a traffic island in the 1960s to reflect the name of a local tube station. How can it go wrong?

Exactly, it couldn't possibly. So there we are, a North West London Pub with cheap beer and reasonably priced food in a quaint building in the middle of the road near loads of oversized shopping centres.

For more information, visit http://www.fancyapint.com/pubs/pub2491.html.

***Update, 11pm - As a caveat, your author has been told by a number of readers today that Ye Olde Swiss Cottage is, in fact, sh*te, but he still firmly believes it's probably fine and these people are wrong, despite never having been***

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of Redvers^

25 May 2009

Watch a show on the Puppet Theatre Barge

On a barge moored at Little Venice, the Puppet Theatre has been playing shows since 1982. The theatre, we are told, seats 55 and 'has all the conveniences and facilities of a modern venue'.

Host to thousands of performances over the last 20 years, it also takes a tour of the Thames every summer.

Tickets to shows cost £10, and you can find out what's playing by calling the box office on 020 7249 6876 or 07836 202 745.

For more information, visit the website at http://www.puppetbarge.com/

^Picture borrowed from the Puppet Barge website^

24 May 2009

Go to a pub in Cambridgeshire

It's one of many people's favourite odd London facts but the Mitre, on the tiny Ely Court off Ely Place, is a lovely little hidden pub which is technically in Cambridgeshire.

This stems from the former Palace of the Bishops of Ely, which was nearby and meant that the Bishops were granted jurisdiction over the surrounding area, meaning that it was technically Cambridgeshire, and not London at all. The current pub is from around 1772, around the time that the palace was demolished, but a Mitre has existed on the site for around 200 years longer than that.

For more on the fascinating history of this area and pub, including the inability of the City of London Police Force to follow criminals into the area, read a great article on Time Out here.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of acme^

23 May 2009

Ride the Brockwell Park railway

Apparently there's a ride-on miniature railway down in Brockwell Park. Opened in 2003, the website says it runs every Saturday & Sunday from May to September, 11am - 5pm (though in your author's limited experience such things are never quite so reliable).

The line extends from Herne Hill Gate to the Lido, and is run for fun by local railway enthusiast, Roland Baker, for £1 a go.

With thanks to a thelondonpaper feature, which reminded your author of this.

For more information, visit http://www.brockwellpark.com/MiniatureRailway/MiniRailway.html.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of silverfox09^

22 May 2009

Face off with a Blue Whale

The Natural History Museum's life-size blue whale model was started in the 1930s, created within the museum building.

The whale was completed, having, due to its size, been built within the hall and in full view of the public, in 1938. At that time this was the largest such model in the world, nearly 30m long.

For more information, visit http://www.nhm.ac.uk/.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of odolphie^

21 May 2009

Seek out a pre-curry ale

Sure, this one could probably be classed as a 'filler', but The Pride of Spitalfields, a short distance east of Brick Lane, is a traditional East End boozer, in a handy position just a short walk from Brick Lane.

Subject to a 'minor' petrol bomb attack in 2003, it is otherwise a fairly unremarkable pub which attracts an interesting mix of locals and trendies but, considering its position, maintains its atmosphere well.

For more information, visit http://www.fancyapint.com/pubs/pub367.html.

Click here to see the location on a map.

^Picture from Flick courtesy of Andyrob^

20 May 2009

Search out 'Of Alley'

Just beside Gordon's Wine Bar once stood York House, the grand residence of the Duke of Buckingham, which used to face out directly onto the Thames. In around 1674, the site of the house was divided up into building plots and the streets we now know were drawn up as a result.

The one condition was that all the streets in the area bore the name of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. Therefore, we got Villiers Street, George Court, Duke Street, and Buckingham Street.

But all aspects of the Duke's name had to be used, so just up from these, still within the former site of the Duke's residence, London was granted an Of Alley.

In the 20th Century, Westminster City Council took the decision to change the name of the street to York Place, but when locals kicked up a fuss, a concession was made and the sign still carries the street's former name, Of Alley today.

Many thanks to the good people at London Walks for this piece of trivia, which your author learned on their excellent Apparitions, Alleyways and Ale tour, Monday's at 7.30pm.

Click here to see the location on a map.

19 May 2009

Wander the streets by gas light

It sounds odd, but there are still more than 2,000 gas-powered street lights in London, silently flickering away offering added atmosphere in a huge gas-lit areas covering The Royal Parks, Covent Garden, Mayfair, and the outside of Buckingham Palace.

Pall Mall was the first street to be gas-lit, in 1807, and in 1812 the London and Westminster Gas Light and Coke Company was formed as the world's first gas company to manage the lights.

So search them out today. The (probably hugely inefficient) lights are identifiable by their glimmering filaments and their dim lights.

Oh, and if you're interested, you can read the 1819 Parliamentary debate on the introduction of gas lights (where some Luddites were against it) here.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of James Cridland^

18 May 2009

Touch a 4.5bn year old Meteorite

The planetarium in Greenwich houses part of the Gideon Meteorite, a 4.5bn year old piece of iron and nickel which was found in the Namibian Desert. And they'll even let you touch it, as part of an interactive display in the entrance to the planetarium.

The £16m planetarium was opened at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich in 2007, and houses interactive displays about the universe. If this sounds like your sort of thing, you may wish to revisit my post on the Peter Harrison Planetarium, which is part of the same complex, here.

17 May 2009

Search out Smithfield's pervy pub ghost

The Rising Sun, on Cloth Fair, is another Sam Smiths establishment, and another of London's haunted pubs.

The pub itself is a fairly cosy establishment, and is notable as one of very pubs in Smithfields open on a Sunday. Legend has it that in the 19th Century a gang of body snatchers used to drink here before going on raids of nearby St Bartholemew's Hospital in search of corpses. It is said that when they failed sometimes regulars at the pub would go missing and never be seen again. It is also said that the small area of grass in front of St Bartholomew the Great, opposite, conceals a plague pit and hundreds of victims of the Black Death were speedily buried there.

The ghost here, however, seems devoted to more simple pleasures of the flesh. He is known for his sexually predatory tendencies and two Brazilian barmaids, who worked here in the eighties and lived upstairs, were sometimes woken by a 'presence' who would sit on the end of their bed, and slowly pull the bed clothes off them.

Another story concerns a landlady who was showering when she heard the bathroom door open and close. The shower curtain was promptly pulled aside and an ice-cold hand run down her back. When she turned around, however, there was no one there.

For information visit http://www.fancyapint.com/pubs/pub176.html, or for more information on the ghosts click here

16 May 2009

Eat at the Standard Balti House

There are plenty of restaurants on Brick Lane, and with the exception of somewhere like Tayyabs in Whitechapel, most of them are much the same. That said, everyone has one they always go to and your author's is the Standard Balti House, which this year celebrates its twentieth year at number 71 Brick Lane.

Like most restaurants on the strip, 10% discount and free poppadoms seems to come as standard, as long as you mention it on your way in, and you can sometimes convince them into more. Plus as an added extra you get a free pen. How can you argue with that?

The food is Standard patchy Brick Lane fare, but if you want to its BYO (they also have a well stocked bar), the staff are friendly and the bill is small. For more information visit the inevitably odd musical website at http://www.standardbaltihouse.co.uk/.

^Picture from Tired of London's Flickr account^

15 May 2009

Climb Big Ben

This year, Big Ben celebrates its 150th birthday, and though everyone knows that Big Ben is the name of the bell rather than the tower itself, your author feels comfortable calling it that anyway.

But did you know that you can go on a tour up Big Ben? Tours run between Monday and Friday at 9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am and 2.30pm, and are free.

The tower was built along with the new neo-gothic Palace of Westminster following a fire which virtually destroyed the original Houses of Parliament (except for Westminster Hall) on the night of 22 October 1834, and was designed by Augustus Pugin. The tower stands 96.3 metres tall beside the Thames and has four identical faces.

Whilst tours run regularly, the website carries the intriguing statement that "During the 150th anniversary year demand for tours is expected to be high. Therefore, preference will be given to those with a proven interest in clocks, watches and bells", though how you can prove that is not made clear.

Tours must be booked through your Member of Parliament, and you can find out who that is (if you don't already know) and how to contact them through http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/

Your author has climbed the tower and it offers great views. Be sure to take som ear plugs, however, as tours aim to be at the top when the chimes sound. For more information, visit http://www.parliament.uk/visiting/visitingandtours/bigben.cfm.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of Shashwat_Nagpal^

14 May 2009

Visit the home of alternative comedy

Though The Comedy Store is named after a comedy club in California, it is a very British institution, has been in existence since it was formed above a Soho strip club in 1979, and is still very much a centre of stand up comedy in the UK.

London is undoubtedly the world capital of stand up, and The Comedy Store became a heart of alternative comedy scene in the 80s and has remained so ever since. Anyone who is anyone in stand up has performed in the comedy store, including Mike Myers, Alexei Sayle, Adrian Edmondson, Ben Elton, The Mighty Boosh, Mark Thomas, Jo Brand, Bill Bailey, Rik Mayall, Phil Jupitus, Paul Merton, Keith Allen, and Rich Hall, and hundreds more.

It's home to both the Legendary Comedy Store Players and Cutting Edge, who offer a more satirical slant, though both have changed their line ups as time goes by.

Unlike much of the West End, it's not even prohibitively expensive, though you will generally pay around £15-£20 for a ticket. Nevertheless, it's usually good value, but try not to fall asleep in the midnight as some of your author's friends have been known to do.

For more information, visit http://www.thecomedystore.co.uk.

^Picture from a flickr original courtesy of wonderferret^

13 May 2009

Go shopping in Exmouth Market

Whilst our city is famed for its history, your author, as a relatively new addition to the nation's capital, is sometimes concerned when he learns how new some nice things are. Exmouth Market has only been running a since 2006, and whilst it used to be every Friday and Saturday, Wikipedia tells us that it now runs only weekdays with food stalls running primarily 11-2.

Now that the Guardian has moved to Kings Cross, taking the organic cous-cous eating Guardianistas with it, and it's no longer open when the rest of us have time off, how much longer will it last? Well for now the market is intact, but how can any twee slow-food establishment fare in an economic downturn? We will see.

It will probably be fine. Exmouth Market, has, after all been a market place since the 1890s and is a lovely little street with a range of independent retailers and good bars and pubs.

For more information, visit http://www.exmouth-market.com/.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of Phillie Casablanca^

12 May 2009

Get back to nature in Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park

Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park, perched on the side of the Thames about a mile South of the Millenium Dome (or 'the O2'), is a four acre wetland area which attempts to recreate wetland habitats in an urban setting.

The Park has two lakes, with raised walkways for visitors, and hosts a variety of wildlife including frogs, toads and newts. In spring and summer, we are told, the Park also has significant numbers of dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies.

Entry is free, and there is a small visitors centre with exhibits on the wildlife in the area. The Park is open Wednesday - Sunday, 10am - 5 pm or dusk, whichever is earlier.

For more information, visit http://www.urbanecology.org.uk/gpep.html.

Click here to see the location on a map.

11 May 2009

Catch the Shepperton to Weybridge Ferry

With the exception of a twenty year gap until 1986, there has been a ferry between Shepperton and Weybridge for around 500 years. It was also famously featured in H. G. Wells' novel War of the Worlds.

The current ferry enables people walking or cycling the Thames Path to continue their journey past Shepperton Lock without being diverted by the Wey Navigation.

The ferry runs from 8am on weekdays, 9am on Saturdays, and 10am on Sundays, until 5.30pm, and a single fare costs £1.50 or £2 with a bike. The ferry runs every 15 minutes and you should ring the bell on the quarter hour if coming from the south side to ensure the ferryman knows you are waiting.

Click here to see the location on a map.

10 May 2009

Be confused by the Traffic Light Tree

Oh look...someone has created something vaguely interesting in Docklands. Let's all talk about it like it's the most amazing thing that's ever happened and pretend that Docklands isn't bland and tedious...

Created by French artist Pierre Vivant in 1998, the Traffic Light Tree mirrors the Plane Trees next door and apparently, "The Sculpture imitates the natural landscape of the adjacent London Plane Trees, while the changing pattern of the lights reveals and reflect the never ending rhythm of the surrounding domestic, financial and commercial activities".

For more information, visit http://citynoise.org/article/4212.

Click here to view the location on a map.

9 May 2009

Go shopping in Camden Markets

Battered an bruised by fires and property developers, and frequently bringing about a feeling that it's not quite as good as it used to be, the Camden Markets are still a London institution, and are officially Europe's largest gathering of teenage kids dressed in as goths*.

Camden Lock Market was established in the 70s as a temporary market on a site which was intended to have a road built over it shortly afterwards. The road never came, however, and the market has been there ever since. The markets cover a vast range of tat, from second hand clothes, to art, food, glowsticks, furniture and many other things which you don't really need.

Whilst the nearby Hawley Arms has already recovered from the 2008 fire, the Canal Market *edit* largely reopened this weekend *edit*. The rest of the markets, with the exception of the area being redeveloped in the Stables Market, escaped the fire and you can still easily while away a couple of hours there, and if you get bored of the smelly goths, it's only a short walk to Regents Park.

For more information, visit http://www.camdenmarkets.org/.

*this may not be true, but it certainly seems like it

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of Wolfiewolf^

8 May 2009

Have a drink with a ghostly Grenadier

The Grenadier in Belgravia is difficult to find. It's only a couple of hundred yards from Hyde Park Corner, but situated as it is in the private Wilton Mews, it can sometimes put off pub-seekers before they arrive.

It's also reputedly one of London's most haunted pubs, having been used during the Napoleonic wars as an officers mess and as a drinking and gambling den, in the cellar, for the lower ranking soldiers. Apparently, even the Duke of Wellington once drank here.

The hauntings come from the legend that a junior soldier who was playing cards here was beaten to death, or almost beaten to death before he fell down the stairs, and subsequently returned to haunt the establishment. Legend has it that customers frequently feel chills in the bar, and one former policeman turned to find a cigar smoking itself in thin air beside him. Apparently there is even a crucifix in the cellar to warn off bad spirits. September is the big month for hauntings, so pop by then.

Footsteps, silent spirits and more have been sighted. For more information, visit http://www.fancyapint.com/pubs/pub384.html, or for more on the ghosts click here.

Click here to see the location on a map.

7 May 2009

Climb Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill rises 256 feet above sea level at the north end of Regents Park, and, whilst that isn't a huge feat, it is notable for being a public hill in open space in central London, which makes it virtually unique.

Perhaps now more famous amongst Heat-readers for the 'slebs who live in the surrounding streets of upmarket houses, the hill was once part of Henry VIII's hunting ground, and did not officially become designated as public open space until 1842.

There are great views into Central London and it's handy for Camden, St John's Wood and Chalk Farm...and the Zoo, so get climbing.

**********Update - 2pm**********
TFL's London Loop are also in Primrose Hill this lunchtime, with the following local suggestions:
1. Trojka Tea Restaurant & Room - A Ukranian and Polish restaurant.
2. Sardo Canale - Sardinian food by the canal.
3. The Engineer - A public house which attracts aforementioned 'slebs.
4. Marine Ices - A decent ice cream parlour.

Click here to see the location on a map.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of bortescristian^

6 May 2009

Find Little Ben

You've all heard of Big Ben, but how about Little Ben? The smaller Ben is situated in Victoria, where the Vauxhall Bridge Road meets Victoria Street in Westminster, effectively at the opposite end of Victoria Street to it's larger brother.

The clock was first erected in 1892, then removed in 1964, and subsequently re-erected by Westminster City Council in 1981, with the help of a french oil company, as "a gesture of Franco-British friendship".

For more information, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ben.

Click here to see the location on a map.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of tobiashm^

5 May 2009

Shunt Vaults

*********Edit - July 2010 - Shunt has now closed*********

Shunt is a bar, lounge, theatre company and artspace which lives in the vaults below London Bridge Station. If you've never been then you're really missing out as it's an unrivalled venue in Central London.

You never really know what to expect when attending, and whichever performers and artists are in residence, they always put on a good show in various different ways, but the place itself is really entertainment enough. Entrance is via a small doorway in London Bridge Tube Station.

There's an ulterior motive for writing about this one, as Shunt manages to maintain such an air of mystery and confusion that your author is never quite sure what is going on.

Gossip was rife before Christmas that the organisers were no longer able to have amplified music, and now your author hears frequent rumours that Shunt will close altogether in June, though characteristically they are not backed up by a formal announcement on the website, just an announcement that the organisers are "pleased to announce a further membership period of the Shunt Lounge starting during May [and are] still looking for new & exciting spaces". If you know anything more, or just feel like speculating, please do feel free to leave a comment or send an email.

Shunt is (probably still) open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It gets very busy nowadays, however, so it you are going on a Friday or Saturday aim to be there before 9pm. As it is a member's club you have to buy day membership on the door.

********Update February 2010 - following closure in the autumn, Shunt has reopened on Friday and Saturday nights. See http://www.shunt.co.uk/shuntvaults.htm********

Update - 9th June (scroll down for main article)

The kids at Shunt Lounge are clearly mind (or blog...?) readers. By way of clarification, this popped into your author's inbox this afternoon:

"Dear Shunter

Shunt Lounge Extension!

As you may know we are looking for a new home for the Shunt Lounge due to the re-development of London Bridge Railway Station and the surrounding area. The search continues for a new building for the Lounge and various exciting opportunities have come up which the company is currently investigating.

The latest news is that the Shunt Lounge will be open at the vaults in London Bridge until 12th September 2009. This means that we will be putting another 8 week membership period of the Shunt Lounge on sale in July for the period 22nd July - 12th September.

There is a possibility of the Shunt Lounge continuing here at the vaults in London Bridge beyond the 12th September, but this is dependent upon building work taking place next to us as part of the re-development of the station area. We will keep you informed of any further news regarding this.

In the mean time, we hope you can join us throughout the summer for further curations of the Shunt Lounge at the vaults in London Bridge."

Your author's attention has been drawn to articles here, here, here, and here, which all back up the closure rumours, and an intriguing twist in the possibility that Shunt is planning a move to a warehouse in Bermondsey on the London Se1 website, which includes a statement that:

"The company has plans to present a new show to the public but needs another building for this production so that the existing operation at the vaults (the Shunt Lounge) can continue unaffected".

So what does that mean? Various closure conspiracy theories seem to involve the Olympics, London Bridge Station redevelopments, a Superclub and a shopping centre, but all are unconfirmed at the time of going to press.

*********Further update*********
The latest Shunt Newsletter has just popped into your author's inbox, stating the following:

"Shunt are pleased to announce a new period of membership starting on the 20th May until 18th July. The Shunt Lounge will be closed for maintenance on Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th May but we are open as usual on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th May. We will open on 20th May with slightly less space than before. We will keep you informed via our website of these changes."

Clearly it will now remain open until July, but with 'slightly less space'. The plot thickens...

For more information visit the website at http://www.shunt.co.uk.

Click here to see the location on a map.

4 May 2009

Explore model London

The centrepiece of the New London Architecture galleries in Bloomsbury, the Pipers Central London Model is a scale model of Central London, built to a scale of 1:1500.

At 12m by 5m, it shows Central London between the Royal Docks in Docklands and Paddington, Battersea and King's Cross. The rest of the centre also houses range of changing exhibitions covering subjects like London's History, Energy, Water, Environment, Hotels and Retail. These change throughout the year to keep the centre fresh.

The centre itself is situated at 26 Store Street, London WC1E 7BT, and is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 6pm and Saturdays, 10am to 5pm.

For more information, visit http://www.newlondonarchitecture.org.

Click here to see the location on a map.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of philliecasablanca^

3 May 2009

Celebrate freedom of speech at Speaker's Corner

Sure, it's full of crazies shouting at you, but you do get to shout back and occasionally someone is actually talking sense.

Sundays in Speakers Corner have been a hotbed for independent thought since the 19th century. Situated on a spot where the Chartists held mass protests against the suppression of worker's rights, including the right of assembly, in 1872 an Act of Parliament allowed Park Authorities the right to permit public gatherings and Speakers’ Corner was born.

Nowadays, it's populated by a mix of political and religious radicals, the unhinged and the odd ordinary person who just likes public speaking, united only by their dedication to standing on step ladders and boxes. It is, however, still an entertaining experience, and is a testament to London's rich history free-thought, and the fact that we, unlike many people in the world, are basically allowed to say whatever we want without fear of being rounded up and shot.

For more information, visit the page on wikipedia here.

Click here to see the location on a map.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of xpgomes2^

2 May 2009

Go skittling

In rural Gloucestershire, where your author grew up, there are still a number of places where you can play a nice game of skittles - there are even a number of leagues in which teams play. In London, however, skittle alleys are much fewer and further between.

There is, however, a skittle alley in the cellar of The Freemasons Arms in Hampstead, and the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle club meets there regularly to play a good few games.

Club nights are Tuesdays from 8pm (and occasionally on Saturdays 6pm-9pm), and new players are welcome. The club also allows group bookings for a fee, if you fancy a skittles party. If you want more information on this, email the club via the website at http://www.londonskittles.co.uk.

Click here to see the location on a map.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of Dave Haygarth^

1 May 2009

Get sceptical

Skeptics in the Pub is a lecture series in a number of cities around Britain, founded by Dr Scott Campbell in 1999, and it meets in London at 7pm in The Penderel's Oak, Holborn on the third Monday of every month.

The aim of the lectures is to rationally examine the more controversial aspects of pseudoscience and the paranormal and lectures take in subjects as broad as alternative medicine, psychic powers, UFOs, alien abductions, creationism and lost civilizations.

Entry is only £2, and it's in a Wetherspoon's so drinks are cheap as well. For more information and a fuller picture of the lectures on offer, visit the website here.

Click here to see the location on a map.

^Picture from Flickr (of a Canadian Skeptic's poster) courtesy of wburris^