Red double decker bus in London - Unusual things to do in London

This article may contain references to products or services from our advertisers. We may earn commission if you click on these links.


Are you visiting London in the next couple of months?

Aside, of course, from taking that iconic Abbey Road photo or visiting Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross station, there are other things that you can try to explore, be it with a friend, with your family, or even if you are solo backpacking around London.

This city has a lot to offer. You won’t run out of sights to see and fish and chips to try, so you won’t have to worry!

In fact, we’ve prepared a list of 15 fun and unusual things to do in London.

Check it out now, and I’m sure you’ll find something cool to add to your itinerary.

14 Cool and Unusual Things to Do in London

1. Join London Walking Tours

To get to appreciate every detail of all the interesting sites in London, joining a walking tour is well-recommended.

Whatever you’re interested in, be it historical sites, royal experience, or you want to shop around for some real London food crawl, there is a walking tour, especially for you. You just have to know where to avail of one.

Cycling in London
Cycling in London

2. Cycle Your Way Around London

When you’re touring around a beautiful city like London, who wouldn’t be tempted to see it while riding a bike?

It’s like a scene in a movie, and all you can hear is the sweet symphony of a bustling city.

The best thing about cycling around tourist destinations is that you have control over your time and schedule. If you happen to pass by an attractive pub, and you want to peek inside, who’s stopping you? No one.

It’s also a great workout, so why not save the day or two for this, right?

Just be sure to park your bike properly outside the establishment.

3. Swim in Hampstead Heath Ponds

Have you imagined yourself walking around a park under the scorching heat of the sun, then you see a pond, and all you can ever think of is to jump into it?

Well, while most parks would restrict visitors to swim into their ponds, Hampstead Heath is an exception. They have bathing ponds right in the middle of the greeneries—men’s pond, women’s pond, and the mixed pond.

It’s open to the public all year round. You won’t have to worry about drowning or any water accidents since lifeguards are manning the area.

The ladies have a great advantage, though, especially during the cold season as the only available hot shower is located in their area.

4. Ride in a High-Speed Boat

A high-speed boat ride will make you feel like you’re starring in a fiery action scene across the River Thames.

James Bond will shy away if he sees you rocking your Thames Rocket rigid inflatable boat (RIB).

But then again, you’re not James Bond, and you are not starring in your very own action movie. This is real life, so you have to wear a life jacket, a cagoule, and goggles to protect you from any unwanted accidents.

The guides who will cruise with you on the boat have interesting facts and bits of history prepared for you.

Riding in a boat in London
Ride in a high-speed boat in London

5. Abseil Down the ArcelorMittal Orbit

If you’re a daredevil, then you should not skip this activity.

This adrenaline-pumping ride down the tallest sculpture in the UK is a must-try for London first-timers.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit has the highest freefall abseil in the UK. It gives you a different but a breathtaking perspective of the rest of London.

Big Ben, The Shard, Canary Wharf, BT Tower, The Gherkin, and even the tiny little houses of the city look better from up above.

It’s a beautiful structure, and it will easily catch your attention. You won’t have a hard time looking for it.

6. Experience Ice Climbing at Vertical Chill

Ice climbing in London? Yes! And that’s a thing.

The Vertical Chill has a real indoor ice climbing wall. You can experience the thrill and chill without having to leave the city. The temperature can range from spine-chilling -5 degrees celsius to -12 degrees celsius. Could it be one of the coolest unusual things to do in London? Yep.

You are required to wear thermal gear, a helmet, crampons, and a harness. These are all provided by the establishment before the start of the activity.

Vertical Chill is located at Ellis Brigham’s Tower House in Covent Garden.

7. Horseback Ride in Ross Nye Stables

In true Royal fashion, try horseback riding around Ross Nye Stables in Hyde Park and feel the breeze of London air. You might even get a chance to see the actual carriage horses from the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace during their daily exercise.

But they do it very early in the morning, so you might want to drop by Hyde Park earlier before you try horseback riding at the Ross Nye Stables.

A bird in Hyde Park, London
A green parrot in Hyde park in London

8. Experience Paddleboarding in London

There are open waters in London where you can experience paddleboarding.

It’s a cross between surfing and kayaking, so if you enjoy doing both, then paddleboarding is a treat for you.

It’s the world’s fastest-growing water sports, so you might want to try it out for yourself. Why not in London?

9. Learn to Wakeboard

If you’re done with paddleboarding and you still have plenty of time, then you can also learn how to wakeboard in London.

It may not seem like London is made for wakeboarding, but several wakeboarding schools can give you lessons about the sport. However, Wakeup Docklands is the only place in the city where you can try the actual sport.

10. Try Roller Skiing

Skiing without ice?

That’s what roller skiing is for. It’s a combination of rollerblading and skiing.

You can try it in Hyde Park, where a lot of locals and tourists enjoy roller skiing. For safety precautions, you will be given a helmet, knee pads, and gloves before you go rolling down the park.

It’s a fun activity to try with friends and family when you’re traveling to London.

Streets in London

11. Bike on a Santander Cycle

Santander Cycles can be found almost everywhere in London.

It’s their bike hire scheme for hassle-free cycling around the city.

You can rent their bikes for as low as £2. It’s enough to give you a tour around the city and see famous attractions like the London Eye, the Globe, and Tate Modern.

You can go anywhere you like as long as you abide by the traffic rules for a safe ride downtown.

12. Play Crazy Golf at Swingers

Swingers is a 1920s-inspired crazy golf club on Oxford Street.

Be like a true Londoner and play crazy golf in this former department store.

The Swingers West End course has a helter-skelter and big wheel, beach huts, and bandstands for a more exciting round of swishing and hitting.

13. Swim at the Olympic Park

Years after the London 2012 Olympics, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford is still very much alive.

You can swim at the ten-lane 50m competition pool and immerse as the pretend champion for a couple of laps. If you don’t feel like you’re trained to be a winner yet, you can try first the training pool for a warm-up routine. But nope, you probably won’t see Michael Phelps swimming beside you.

There’s also a diving pool for the brave ones.

14. Go Kayaking in London

There’s a kayaking tour available in London.

Like the high-speed boat ride in the River Thames, you can also go kayaking in this historic river and see the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament.

Aside from having fun splashing around, you can also help a good cause as the money that the team behind this activity makes is reinvested in youth and community work.

Have you been to London? Is there something you would add to this list? Some more fun and unusual things to do in London?