A photograph of the London skyline at sunset overlaid with a caption that says London Top Five Post-Lockdown Activities
27th April 2021

London’s top five most anticipated post-lockdown activities

We’ve all missed friends, family, decent haircuts and pints down the pub, but with lockdown coming to an end in the UK, what top five experiences are Brits counting down the days for?

Together again

The launch of our ALmost There marketing campaign revealed plenty of things Londoners are looking forward to when lockdown ends, as well as the most popular activities to do in London after months of waiting.

The thrill of finally being able to make plans is key for the nation post-lockdown. 46% of people say they’re most excited about filling up the calendar and having something to look forward to on weekends again. Unsurprisingly, eating out and being among friends are two activities that outrank the rest as we countdown to June 21st.

Eating out tops the list for 6 in 10 people, so if you’re watching the clock until you can switch home-cooked meals for the full restaurant experience with friends, you’d better act fast!

Most of London’s restaurants are already fully booked for several weeks, with some chocker until autumn. Favourites like Caravan in Kings Cross, Dishoom restaurants and Circolo Popolare in Fitzrovia, who typically only do larger bookings or first-come-first-serve, are now offering bookings to smaller groups – but the waiting lists are still serious!

Fortunately, the second most anticipated activity in London is ideal if restaurants and pubs are fully booked. 5 in 10 people say they can’t wait to get out of their own houses and simply enjoy a get together at someone else’s.

Top five experiences we’re most looking forward to

(Click/tap to enlarge)

London Can't Wait

1. Big screen movies

2 in 5 can’t wait to get back to the cinema

At the start of 2020, a YouGov survey showed 40% of Brits preferred streaming movies at home rather than going to the cinema. But one year on, most of us have totally exhausted our Netflix, Prime and Disney+ catalogues, with 2 in 3 people admitting that cinema is an experience that simply can’t be created at home.

Now, the authentic London cinema experience has shot to the top of everyone’s post-lockdown to-do list, with 43% of people eager to get back to the magic of the big screen at places like Everyman or Empire. The demand is so high that online searches for ‘when can cinemas reopen’ have grown by 1,300% this year.

2. Brunch

Plans are being made!

The nation has missed day drinking and face-to-face gossip so much that brunch ranks among the top five things we’re most looking forward to when lockdown ends.

At 51%, women are more excited at the prospect of long boozy brunches with friends compared to just 31% of men. But despite the gender divide, the anticipation is REAL: online searches for ‘brunch restaurants’ have jumped by 767% in the UK since January.

We can’t wait to get our brunch on at iconic spots like Bar Elba in Waterloo, The Ivy Chelsea Garden in Chelsea or Duck & Waffle in the City of London.

3. Family fun

3 in 10 plan to do something with the kids

After a year of cooking, baking and gardening at home, parents are solid out of ideas for entertaining the kids.

Most started booking their summer holidays ages ago, with TUI reporting a 500% increase in bookings as families plan trips to Greece, Spain and Turkey for July.

Locally, 34% say the experience they’re most eager for is a day out with the kids exploring different attractions and outdoor activities in London. Around 31% of people are planning nature trips, like visiting city farms or the aquarium.

4. Going down the pub

Men and women are split

Outdoor pubs have already opened, but more than a quarter of the nation (34%) are counting down the days until indoor pub spaces open again in May.

Visiting the local sits slightly higher on male priority lists than it does for women – 38% of men say it’s the experience they’re most looking forward to this year, compared to 31% of women.

5. Museums and exhibitions

3 in 10 miss their arts and culture fix

We’re desperate to get back to London’s museums, art galleries and exhibitions, with 30% of people saying it’s the activity they’re most looking forward to.

Online searches for ‘when do museums open’ have skyrocketed by 850% since the beginning of the year, with more people anticipating the official reopening of indoor entertainment on May 17th. The Natural History Museum is one of the most in-demand places to visit, with online demand peaking in April, according to Google Trends.

 

Things we’re least looking forward to

(Click/tap to enlarge)

Things we're looking least forward to

 

We may be dizzy at the thought of all the amazing things we can do when lockdown ends, but research shows that organised fun doesn’t make the list. Of all the things people are least looking forward to, karaoke and comedy nights rank bottom of the list. Only 8% say they’re excited to hit the mic when lockdown ends, and just 18% are keen on a comedy night.

The big dread

With all the excitement going on, it’s easy to forget there’s anxiety too. Londoners feel just as stressed about the Tube at rush hour as they are about getting dressed up after a year in loungewear.

Things we’re least excited about:

  1. The Tube at rush hour (40%)
  2. Crowded pubs (32%)
  3. Commuting costs (30%)
  4. Queuing (30%)
  5. Dressing smartly (17%)

Gen Z are eager to go clubbing

Unsurprisingly, priorities between age groups can be wildly different. At 27%, Gen Z ranks clubbing high up on their list of things to do when lockdown ends, more than any other age group.

Here’s what else scored the highest in each age group:

  • Baby Boomers: Browsing independent stores, visiting markets, going to the theatre
  • Gen X: Eating out, visiting friends, going to the pub
  • Millennials: Going to the cinema, brunch, days out with the kids
  • Gen Z: Going to the cinema, picnics, shopping
(Click/tap to enlarge)

The generational bucket list

 

Covent Garden tops the list of places we’re most looking forward to visiting

For people eager to get out and explore the city, Covent Garden ranks highest on the list of places to visit in London for its appealing mix of food, fashion, theatre and entertainment, at 33%. This is followed by Camden (27%), Soho (27%) and Leicester Square (23%).

London’s West End has 22% of people eager to see their favourite shows, with demand for ‘London theatre tickets’ increasing by 117% since the start of the year. If you’re keen to feel the thrill of the West End again, now’s the time to book before seats fill up. Some of the most searched musicals include Frozen, The Prince of Egypt, Hairspray, The Lion King and Rent.

ALmost There

If you’re just as excited, start making plans to visit some of the best experiences and activities in London now. We’ll make sure you get there safely with Addison Lee.

Read about what we’re doing to keep you safe on our Safety Hub or book a cab.

 
 
Sources: Sourced data is credited within the content. Google searches have been sourced from Google Trends. All other data is proprietary and has been sourced by Addison Lee via a survey of 1,000 people – published in a detailed press release.

Related Posts

Andrew, our Campaigns and Planning Manager, kicked off the campaign by focussing on his local area of Walthamstow, handpicking his must-sees in the lively district.

Walthamstow

Andrew Sanderson Marketing and Planning Manager Walthamstow feels like it’s been “up and coming” for well over a decade now …

Read More…