From learning about the history and cultural influences of our capital at The Museum of London, to all-day spa treatments and late night live music at The Ned, our friends across the City are reopening to welcome you back, as London continues to reemerge from The Great Pause. With tourist levels lower than usual at the moment, it’s the perfect time to visit some of the attractions on your doorstep, with many an urban adventure to be had in the heart of the City.
MUSEUM OF LONDON
The Museum of London will reopen to the public on 6 August. The museum tells the story of the city and its people through compelling and engaging exhibits ranging from Roman London to the 2012 Olympics and beyond. An exclusive and fun temporary exhibition exploring The Clash’s seminal album, London Calling, will also be on display at the museum until 6 September. The exhibit includes photographer, ephemera and memorabilia from “the only band that matters” as well as the 1950s Fender Esquire used by Joe Strummer during the recording of London Calling. The museum is free but tickets must be booked in advance for a timeslot to maintain small crowds. From Monday to Friday the Museum of London has new reduced opening hours, from 11.30am-3.30pm. On Saturday and Sunday the museum is open from 10am-6pm. museumoflondon.org.uk
The hotel, member’s club, spa and drinking and dining destination is re-opening gradually to ensure the safety of staff and guests. Bookings are available at many of The Ned’s restaurants and for the legendary Sunday buffet, Ned’s Feast, with thorough sanitation and distancing measures in place. Live entertainment will also return to The Ned’s central Nickel Stage from the beginning of August with DJs keeping crowds happy on Monday and Tuesday and live bands performing every evening from Wednesday to Sunday. The sumptuous Ned’s Club Spa is also now open for reservations daily from 8am to 8pm for a collection of relaxing treatments using indulgent Cow Shed products including massages, manicures, hair dressing and grooming. Facial treatments aren’t yet available and the spa’s Hammam and steam room remain closed for the time being. However, the swimming pool has reopened for hotel guests and members if booked in advance. thened.com
BOWL OF CHALK
In August, Bowl of Chalk tour guide Jonnie Fielding will restart his award-winning London walks through London. Bowl of Chalk (Cockney rhyming slang for walk) guided explorations take in all different areas of London, including the City and east London, and really get to the heart of the people, history, culture and secrets of the capital. Jonnie has reimagined the walks to take social distancing into account, which are now available to individuals, families, couples and small groups who are in the same bubble. For those who want to go on a walk with people outside of their bubble, groups will be limited to six to adhere to government guidelines. All parties will be required to wear masks and will have to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Jonnie is happy to tailor walks to a group’s preferences and interests so get in touch to arrange your adventure. bowlofchalk.net
The Art Gallery at The Barbican has reopened, bringing a much-needed slice of culture back to The City. The Masculinities exhibition in the Barbican’s beautifully brutalist Art Gallery explores how the idea of masculinity has been represented in film and photography, from the 1960s to present day. It features the work of 50 international artists including Laurie Anderson and Catherine Opie. Tickets must be bought in advance for access at an assigned time slot and the Art Gallery will be running at reduced capacity to ensure social distancing. Masculinities is on until 23 August, standard tickets are £15 during the week and £17 on Saturday and Sunday.
While you’re there you can also visit The Conservatory, The Barbican’s urban oasis. The space features more than 1,500 species of plants and trees, as well koi and ghost carp and terrapins. The Conservatory will be open seven days a week for the first time. Seating has been removed from the area to avoid crowding and access is available only via pre-booked tickets to allow for a safe spacing of visitors. Admission to The Conservatory is free. The other public spaces, galleries and theatres of The Barbican will slowly start reopening over the coming months, check The Barbican website for details; barbican.org.uk
ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL
One of London’s most awe-inspiring landmarks has reopened to the public, both for services and sightseeing. Most parts of St Paul’s are now open to visitors including the dome’s Stone Gallery, which lies 52m above street level and boasts breath-taking views across the City, and the cathedral Crypt, which features the tomb of Lord Nelson and St Paul’s architect, Sir Christopher Wren. St Paul’s is limiting capacity of visitors and has put a one-way system in place to maintain social distancing. Visitors are encouraged to pre-book tickets and will be assigned half-hour timeslots for entry. The highest point of the cathedral, The Golden Gallery and the famous Whispering Gallery remain closed for the moment. stpauls.co.uk
East London’s favourite market is back and is as diverse and unique as ever, with stalls chock full of unique and handcrafted items you won’t find anywhere else. From interiors to art, music or accessories, there’s something for everyone at Spitalfields. The Market has reopened with fewer stalls to ensure proper spacing and Perspex screens to keep shoppers and traders safe. Market Street and Crispin Street now have a one-way system in place with floor markings pointing punters in the right direction. Spitalfields has also increased its signage, to remind everyone to stay safe, and has placed hand sanitiser units across the market area. The market is open every day with a monthly Arts Market and a weekly Saturday Style Market meaning there will be something fabulous to browse any day you visit. spitalfields.co.uk
THE ROYAL EXCHANGE
While exploring the City, we’d be delighted to welcome you on a visit to The Royal Exchange, which is open Monday to Friday. Browse our boutiques, where you’ll discover everything from fashion accessories, leather goods, jewellery and watches to stationery, homewares and confectionary. Or relax for a while with a restorative cup of coffee and something to eat at The Fortnum’s Bar & Restaurant, housed within the magnificent architecture of our Central Courtyard. Many of our boutiques are now open again; with health and safety measures in place to ensure you can visit us in confidence.
For up-to-date information on the opening status and times of all The Royal Exchange retailers, please visit our boutiques page ahead of your visit. For information on the measures we have put in place in response to Covid 19, please click here