Planning a trip to London but haven’t got a clue where to start? Maybe you’re a London expert but want to try something new? Whatever your situation, it can be stressful trying to plan your perfect trip in the capital!
London is vast (especially for us Northerners) and it feels like there’s a new venue popping up on every street! But don’t fear, we’ve got it covered. Well, actually, our lovely NHS members have, as we asked them for their top venue recommendations in London!
Comedy, theatre, music, niche venues and more… We asked, and they delivered. Plan your next event in London without the stress of looking at endless google searches and reviews. Our members’ top picks await you below…
Top picks: O2 Academy Brixton, The O2, Roundhouse
Coming as the resounding top spots (with little surprise if we’re honest) are Brixton Academy, Roundhouse and The O2. These three powerhouse venues have seen World Heavyweight Title fights, huge music stars and some of the best performing arts you’ll ever see. In 2022, their programmes are jam packed with amazing events all year round.
Coming up time and time again, the O2 Academy Brixton is definitely a favourite with our members! Can you blame them? This venue delivers time and time again, with comedy nights, club events and great gigs. To put it into perspective, they have deadmau5, Twenty One Pilots and The Prodigy all gracing the stage in the next month! We won’t argue over this one, the venue is mega.
The O2 Arena has seen some huge spectacles throughout its history, including rock legend Alice Cooper, pop sensation Ariana Grande, Liam Gallagher, Red Hot Chili Peppers and even WWE Live… we could go on and on! With a capacity of 20,000, it’s no wonder huge events are held here year in, year out. Located right on the Thames at the heart of the Greenwich Peninsula, it’s super accessible by tube, car, train and even cable car or boat! Each event is a guaranteed spectacle, they don’t do things by halves at the O2, that’s for sure.
Situated at a Grade II listed, former railway engine shed in Chalk Farm, this tremendous performing arts and convert venue is esteemed in history. With legendary performances from Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix, it’s gained quite a reputation from an early age. In 2022, the venue is still going strong, showcasing live music, poetry, music, comedy on a weekly basis, there will be something from everyone at Roundhouse.
Theatre: The Old Vic and London Coliseum
Home to the West End, London and theatre go hand in hand, with niche venues, world-renowned theatres and more. As expected, our members chucked a whole range at us and let’s be honest, this blog wouldn’t be complete without them!
Situated in Waterloo, this theatre has been around since 1818! Standing the test of time, the not-for-profit venue hosts award-winning, downright brilliant shows — not to mention its rise to fame for showcasing countless Shakespearean productions such as Hamlet, Macbeth and Othello. If you’re looking for a great theatre venue, The Old Vic definitely needs to be in your thoughts!
Taking residence in the beautiful district of Westminster, this theatre was built back in 1924. Take a look at what one of our members said about a recent trip there:
“I went to see [a show] at the London Coliseum yesterday, and man, the musical was really good, but the theatre was spectacular. It was ginormous, soo beautiful and gorgeous!!!”
Do we need to say more? We don’t think so!
Small venues: The Turbine, Southwark Playhouse, The Comedy Store
It’s time to show some love to the smaller venues! After all, size isn’t everything… London is packed with quality niche venues, where you can get that intimate feeling and be close to the acts performing, whether you’re in the front or back row!
The new kid on the block, The Turbine Theatre is a super intimate venue with only 200 seats! However, since it opened in 2019, it’s made quite an impact! It’s part of the Battersea Power Station’s regeneration project, which is starting to thrive in its riverside location. Although it’s niche, it’s one to look at if you want something away from the mainstream!
Known as London’s leading off West End theatre, Southwark Playhouse has been nominated (and won) many awards over the last 11 years for the productions held there. Plus it’s super accessible, located between Borough and Elephant and Castle tube stations. With fantastic shows running from now until the end of the year, who needs the West End, ey?
Opened in 1979 by Don Ward and Peter Rosengard, this club has housed some of the best comedy acts over the years. Plus, it’s located in the buzzing Soho district, where you can make a full night of your event, with great restaurants and bars a plenty in close proximity.
Even though we’ve already recommended 8 amazing venues, we thought we’d chuck in a few more for you all to have a quick look at. Like we said earlier, London is massive but we didn’t want this to become too big, we’re all busy right? Make sure you check out 21Soho, EartH Hackney, The Clapham Grand, Royal Albert Hall, Wilton’s, Indigo, The Underworld, The Beck Theatre Hayes and the National Theatre, they’re all great venues with even better events!
Our final comment (we promise)…
So, if you’ve made it all this way, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules and we hope you’ve found this useful. We reckon that we’ve actually got a few new venues to check out now, so it’s a win-win! Plus, if you’re heading to the big smoke anytime soon, you’re now armed with a comprehensive list worthy of a visit whatever the occasion.