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Back to School: Science and History in London

Royal Museums Greenwich

In this instalment of our Back to School series, we provide you with the coolest science and history trips you can embark on in the capital since you went to that pencil manufacturer in Year Six

Next up in our Back to School series, science and history are two of the pillars that hold up London's reputation as one of the greatest cities in the world. As such, there is always an abundance of events and establishments, both longstanding behemoths and hidden gems, to showcase the capital’s contribution to advancement throughout the ages. Today we give you our top picks for the adult equivalent of a school trip: places you can celebrate the science and history of the city whilst having fun.

Spend a Night at the Museum with Science Lates

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No matter when you visit the Science Museum you’re sure to be both educated and astounded by the vast displays covering the history of scientific and engineering discovery and accomplishment. However, for something a little different, the monthly adult-only Science Lates offer special talks, exhibitions and activities as well as after hours live music, bars and the always-popular silent disco. Each Science Late has a unique theme, making the experience different every time. For anyone wanting a museum experience with a twist, this will be your new favourite science discovery.
The Science Museum is located on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD. Lates are held on the last Wednesday of every month. 
Have a time and space adventure at the Royal Observatory

When someone asked you what you wanted to be when you were grown up, how many of you used to answer an astronaut or a time traveller? Whilst the real truth is most of us probably still don’t know what we want to do when we grow up, we can at least partly make your childhood dreams of exploring space and time a little bit more accessible with a trip to the Royal Observatory. Based in beautiful Greenwich with one of the best views of London, the Royal Observatory is the home of Greenwich Mean Time, where standardised timekeeping comes from, as well as the Prime Meridian Line which divides the eastern and western hemisphere, meaning you can be two places at once… kinda. It’s also the home of the London Planetarium, where you can enjoy shows focusing on the wonder of the night sky with commentary from a real astronomer. If you want to get more involved in peering into space then their bi-annual Amateur Astronomy for Beginners course will teach you how to use a telescope, identify targets in the night sky and plan upcoming observations, although it definitely helps if you have access to a telescope at home to practice some stargazing. The childhood explorer within you will be starry-eyed with wonder.
The Royal Observatory is located on Blackheath Ave, London SE10 8XJ
Take a sneak peek into London’s architectural history

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One of the many joys of London is the amount of history right on your doorstep. However, despite so much being right under your nose, it can be hard to know exactly where to look, and even more difficult to get access to the historical gems of the capital. Luckily, Open House is the key to unlocking the city. As the world’s largest architectural festival, Open House gives free access to over 800 buildings, talks and tours over one weekend each September. Although booking can be required to get access to certain spaces, it’s the perfect opportunity to get a sneak peek into many buildings and spaces that add to the story of London’s long history.
Open House will take place across London from the 21-22 September
Swing back in time at Cahoots

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You were probably always told that the worst eventuality on a school trip was getting lost. However on this occasion, the whole point of the extracurricular excursion is going somewhere a little bit hidden. Deep in the heart of Soho, you’re invited to step down a London Underground style staircase and straight into the 1940s world of Cahoots. Chock full of blitz spirit, from the fabulous vintage decor set out like an underground station (tube carriage included) to the big band swing music and piano sing-alongs causing some serious toe-tapping, Cahoots is a step back in time to 1940s Post War revelry. And that’s without mentioning the delicious cocktails - straight from the black market!
Cahoots is located at 13 Kingly St, Carnaby, London W1B 5PW