Exams are over, why not visit London?

Photo Credit: nemonic.com

Natalie Turco-Williams, Website Culture Editor, puts together her top 3 days in London for those planning a trip during their last few weeks in Canterbury.

As exam season comes to an end, it’s time to turn those flashcards into confetti and celebrate by making the most out of our last few weeks left in Canterbury. So, what should be on our Canterbury bucket-list? Maybe a picnic outside the Cathedral or a day up in Whitstable with your housemates. One things certain though, with many of us not having access to the high speed train over the summer I think a couple of days or even an afternoon in the great capital should definitely be on the list. So after being inspired by the HouseTrip guide to London, we’ve compiled a list of possible days out to give you some ideas:


Day 1. Bloomsbury/Holborn

Home to the British Museum and the British Library – Bloomsbury is a hub of information for those curious about history, art and literature. The area is often seen as a place for knowledge and after all that studying you probably want to avoid the perils of learning facts for a while, but don’t think the area isn’t worth visiting because of this. Surrounding the museums are independent shops that bring a more quirky and fun side to the area.


British Library (www.bl.uk)

If you think the Templeman has a vast collection of books, then you need to visit the British Library. With over 170 million books in its collection and a staggering 3 million added every year, its no wonder why book lovers come and visit. If you’re interested in exploring their collections the library offers a free readers pass that will give you access to their archives but make sure you sign up online before you leave Canterbury so you don’t end up faffing about when you get there. The library is located about five minutes away from St Pancreas so it’s not too far to walk and saves you a bit on tube fares. Inside, there is a lovely café so if you missed breakfast I would head there straight away. When you first enter you’ll see the exhibition entrances, which require a paid ticket and to the side there is a souvenir shop that’s definitely worth checking out. It sells all the classics – from Alice in Wonderland to Shakespeare as well as some cute book themed novelty gifts.


The Prince Charles Cinema (www.princecharlescinema.com)

You’ve most likely heard about sing-a-longs, but what about quote-a-longs? Yes, this unique independent cinema has taken our love of film memes and put them on the big screen in full feature. You can now quote-along the demise of Gretchen Wieners with your fellow Mean Girls or acca-long with fat Amy as the girls from Pitch Perfect takedown the Treblemakers. Alongside the quote-a-longs, the cinema does offer your classic sing-a-longs with the most recent being Disney’s Frozen. So, if you are still obsessed with the winter hit then this is probably one of the few places left where you can belt out ‘let it go’ without getting the cold shoulder from your friends. If you’re not into talking or singing during a film they do offer your stereotypical movie experience– showing both new and vintage ones.

To book tickets visit the website


Drink, Shop and Do (www.drinkshopdo.com)

A quirky independent space with the tagline ‘cafe by day, bar by night.’ During the day the cafe has a vintage feel with charming miss-matched wooden furniture that sits amongst the shops pastel shades. The cafe not only sells great food but also has a small shop front that sells craft books and materials. However, during the evenings expect this unsuspecting craft cafe to turn into something like a dance studio, a bar or even a bingo hall. Located less than 10 minutes away from St Pancreas it’s a great place to go on an evening if you’re worried about getting back in time for the train.

For more information on events, visit the Drink, Shop and Do website.


Day 2. Southwark


British Film Institute (www.bfi.org.uk)

Nestled between the two architectural giants that are the South Bank Centre and the National Theatre – you will find the British Film Institute. One of the various venues across London occupied by the great BFI. What’s special about this particular one is that it not only boasts 4 cinema screens that have various film festivals going on but also has a viewing room that allows you to watch TV shows and films from their archive for free.


South Bank Centre (www.southbankcentre.co.uk)

Whether it’s a festival, art exhibition or even a food market – there is always something going on at the South Bank Centre, as well as the riverfront. The Centre, itself, is made up of three halls surrounded by restaurants, bars and of course amazing views of the river – so a sunny day is a must for visiting. If you’re looking to take some pictures then I would suggest checking out the rooftop bar above the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Not only can you get a drink but you can relax on the benches and enjoy the view. The events at the Centre vary on cost, some are free and some require you to have brought tickets so before you go check out the calendar on the website and find out which is the best day to go for you.

For more information on events, visit the South Bank Centre website.



National Theatre (www.nationaltheatre.org.uk)

Over the summer the National Theatre opens up a temporary theatre, also known as the ‘shed’, that sits on the riverfront next to the main theatre. This one is a bit of a splurge with tickets costing £20 and upwards depending on the show, however it’s definitely worth it. With shows like Shakespeare’s iconic King Lear and Stenham’s gripping tropical thriller Hotel – this season shows offer a broad choice of genres to choose from, so whether you like your more classical productions or your contemporary plays there is something for everyone. If you’re especially interested in King Lear our Newspaper Sports Editor, reviewed the production in the first few weeks of it opening, declaring: ‘If there is one stage version of King Lear that you should go and see, it should be this one.

To book tickets visit the National Theatre website.


Day 3. Covent Garden

Covent Garden is possibly one of the most popular tourists spots in London and definitely one that most love to revisit – including us UKC-ers. From shops to museums, Covent Garden has a great mixture of places to visit and the best part is that it’s only 20 minutes away from train by tube so there is never any need to rush back and forth.



Retail therapy is always good for that exam detox and Covent Garden offers some great shops – from candy to clothes – there’s a really good variety. One of our favourite shops has to be Cybercandy – a shop that imports sweets from countries around the world such as America and Japan. So if you like Twinkies, Pop Tarts or Kasugai Gummies this is probably your ultimate sweet shop. Make sure you take your NUS card with you as well because a few of the shops in this area do offer student discounts. The area is also home to Pineapple Dance Studios so if you were a big fan of the reality show it might be worth popping down and seeing if you can catch a glimpse of the brilliantly funny Louis Spence.



London Film Museum – Bond in Motion (londonfilmmuseum.com)

If you’ve ever wanted to be in breathing-distance of a James Bond car then this exhibition should be on your to visit-list. It’s one of the largest official collections of original James Bond vehicles and costs just under £20 to get in. To celebrate one of the longest running film franchises the exhibition includes some of the more iconic Bond cars such as Goldfinger’s lush Rolls-Royce Phantom III to the submersible Lotus Esprit S1 from The Spy Who Loved Me. The collection also boasts never-before-seen concept art and storyboards that have helped make Bond the franchise it is.

To book tickets visit the London Film Museum website.


The Fortune Theatre (www.fortune-theatre.co.uk)

Hidden away on Russell Street, the Fortune Theatre has played host to the long-running production of The Woman in Black, an adapted version of the original book by Susan Hill. Most people assume that the movie is scarier than the play but it’s simply not true. It’s unbelievable how a few basic, plain props can frighten even the bravest of people. What makes it worse is that the woman in black walks among the audience and leaps out of the stage when you just about feel yourself at ease. The seating doesn’t offer much for legroom and has you sitting in awkward positions for most of the night, which is probably the best part of seeing the play because it has you on edge all night making you feel more terrified when she attacks.

For booking information visit the Fortune Theatre website.








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