Say goodbye to hangouts over Zoom and hello to Summer days (and nights) out in the London town! With London exiting its six-month lockdown mandate, making friends might appear a little daunting at first. But have no fear, we’re here with the top 8 tips on how to meet people now that things are a little more open. And if you’re not comfortable with gathering in public just yet, or prefer to socialize in the comfort of your home anyways, we’ve got a few options for you, too!
Hangout at a Local Pub
Your local pub is bound to have a handful of regulars there— who knows, you might strike up a conversation with one of them and become one yourself! And even if you’re a little more reserved, a drink or two may loosen you up a bit and bring out some more confidence. Worse comes to worst, who says bartenders aren’t fun to talk to! Can’t find a local pub to your liking? Check out the 44 Best Pubs in London according to TimeOut.
Don’t like to drink (or can’t)? No problem! You can brush up on your culinary skills, eat some good food and make friends all at the same time with Eatwith— formerly called Grub Club. This app is London’s #1 social dining platform. If you like to cook, or really if you just like to eat food, joining this app will not only fulfill both of those things but also introduce you to new people and new locations around the town. They have online experiences, as well! With pre-selected hosts and a variety of cooking skills, you’ll definitely be cooking more than beans on toast for breakfast.
Become a Member of a Club or Class
Some of the best ways to meet new people are through shared interests and hobbies. From health and fitness to co-living, it’ll be difficult not to make a new friend with these membership ideas!
1. SoHo House Membership: This co-living membership is designed for the young creative mind. After opening its first House in London in 1995, SoHo now has House locations all over the world, each with its own unique theme.
2. 1Rebel Membership: If you like going to the club, this is the place for you! Get your move on with talented DJs, trainers, lights and base. It’ll be a workout like you’ve never worked out before!
3. ClassPass Membership: Workout all over London by joining ClassPass. With both in-person and virtual classes, you can expand your fitness network the way you would prefer to!
4. Join a dance class: If you naturally like to move your feet, maybe consider signing up for a dance class to refine your skills. And if you’re not the dancing type, sign up just to have a good laugh! Here are TimeOut’s Top 10 best dance classes in London.
5. London Fencing Club: If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try taking up a fencing class at London Fencing Club. If you’re new to fencing or have a little experience under your belt, the London Fencing Club has a spot for you. Check out their group sessions for ages 15-60!
6. The Kiln Rooms: Get a little creative and join a ceramics class with The Kiln Rooms. With both beginners and intermediate levels, you can take a 4-12 week course depending on your preference and definitely turn new faces into familiar ones! And you get to collect some art along the way— it’s a win-win!
Not comfortable with going out just yet? Imagine if there was an app that compiled a variety of high-quality London workshops, events, and classes all via Zoom. Well, there is! The Citysocializer app is led by a growing community of verified hosts who enjoy sharing their passions and skills with the public. With things like Afternoon of Art events, yoga classes, and drinking socials in the park, the ideas are endless with the Citysocializer app.
London Walking Tours
Get to know the city and some new people by participating in a London walking tour. You can even save a little money by checking out Free Tours by Foot or Free Tours of London. And if you’re feeling a little daring, consider the Jack the Ripper Walking Tour in East London. With stomach-churning stories and realistic photos of murder scenes, this walking tour is sure to get you chatting with your fellow tourmates.
Nothing screams Summer like a good ole’ pool day. Whether you prefer to bob in the water or relax in the warm sun, heading to your local (or not-so-local) lido is a great place to strike up a conversation. Especially during this time of the year, the pool is a hot spot for people to gather, so expect a wide range of ages and backgrounds all around you! And if you visit enough times, you’ll be able to point out the regulars— or even become one yourself.
Here are a few lidos to hop:
But don’t forget your suntan lotion!
Volunteering with a charity allows you to meet people from all walks of life and even pick up a new skill or two. Team London is a great website that compiles hundreds of volunteering opportunities throughout the city, and possibly, the perfect one for you. You can even read a little bit about some volunteers’ experiences with Team London and learn how serving has impacted their own lives. Go make a difference!
Remember: Just Be Yourself
Oftentimes putting yourself out there in new social settings can be quite scary— especially after a six-month-long lockdown. But don’t let that fear stand in the way of meeting someone new. Who knows, they may have the same hesitancy as you (bond over that!). If you consider any of the ideas listed above, just remember to be patient and stay true to yourself!