London – a bustling city of more than eight million residents that always promises to keep you entertained and where you’re never truly alone. You can find comfort in her historical arms, laugh out loud in her comedy clubs, feast on food from around the world in her eateries and be inspired by both her hidden gems and international monuments. With so much to do, there’s really no better place to be, even if you are alone.
Go to the Cinema
Now, this may be a common place for a date, but treat yourself to plush seating and table service. Dotted around the city are Everyman cinemas, where you’ll find comfy seating and the latest flicks. But to go all out, then the Electric Cinema is the ultimate option for a savvy, single Londoner. Here you’ll find armchairs, foot stalls and a side table for all the snacks you won’t have to share. They’ll even bring you a comfy blanket to snuggle up to.
Work Out with a Difference
Now, I’m not talking about going to the gym to torture yourself in the weights section with beefed-up men coming over to offer ‘their assistance’. I’m suggesting a trip to one of the many boutique workout spaces London has to offer. My personal faves include Pscyle, which has nailed the friendly front-of-house vibe and quality spin classes, and Fly Ldn, where the candlelit yoga and the studio space with its giant screen are pure magic.
Book a Sold-out Show
With the most popular shows sometimes sold out for months on end, going to the theatre is a perfect solo operation. Often there are rogue single seats in the best spots in the house, and while those who are loved-up can’t bear to sit apart, you get to make the most of it by bagging that single spot in the stalls. Plus, no one gets to judge your choices! So, book in for that high-octane performance of Everybody’s Talking about Jamie or check out the West End’s latest hit, & Juliet.
Discover your Inner Foodie
Hate the discrimination we face as singletons where we can’t order a fondue because of that annoying ‘min. 2 people’ disclaimer?! Throw caution to the wind and grab a seat at the bar at Pick & Cheese and watch as the dairy goodness glides past you at the world’s first cheese conveyer belt restaurant.
If you'd rather not dine alone in a restaurant, nip around a food market without worrying about losing someone in the crowds. Borough Market is the best, but there are good offerings in Brixton, South Bank and Camden. And you can’t go wrong with a ramen burger (think ramen noodles instead of a bun) at Greenwich Market.
Find your Muse
London is home to some of the best museums and galleries in the world, so what better way to enjoy them than without compromising on what you want to see? We’ve all been there – you want to see Alexander McQueen’s evening gowns and your companion is fascinated by medieval stained glass. You like Art Deco, he/she likes Baroque. Ditch the drama and head to one of the big guns by yourself – good places to start are the Victoria and Albert Museum, The British Museum, Tate Modern and the National Maritime Museum – which is currently home to the awesome Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition.
Have a Mystery Day Out
OK, I admit, there’s something wonderful about having someone special organise a surprise day out for you. It’s something I miss when I’m single. Or, at least I did, until I found MakeMyDayTravel. This concierge-type service is the ultimate way to delight yourself and discover new places. Simply pick your budget and answer a few questions and they’ll whizz up a perfect surprise day for you.
Learn a New Skill
From throwing clay to learning to cook, London has a wealth of opportunities that allow you to learn something new when you’re flying solo. The city is often called a melting pot of different cultures – see that first hand with a Migrateful cooking class. Here, refugee residents teach you how to make tasty dishes from their home countries including Lebanese, Sudanese and Syrian. Got a spare five hours in your day? Then head to The Kiln Rooms to try your hand at pottery. No Patrick Swayze’s required.
Walk this Way
While the Tube network is incredible for zipping about quickly, there’s something about taking on a town on foot to really understand it. Don your comfiest trainers and head out on a walking tour. Download VoiceMap on to your phone to access a vast selection of GPS-tracked, self-guided tours. Then, plug in your headphones and take it at your own pace. If you think you recognise some of the dulcet tones you’re hearing, then you’d be right – the West End tour is narrated by Sir Ian McKellen.