Top five things to do in London: with your Grandad

Emma Wright

Following London Calling's recommendations on how best to entertain your Gran in London (and to make sure no one's accused of favouritism); read on for our best ideas on what to do in London with your Grandad!

If there were ever someone to impress it’s got to be the Grandpa. Be he lovable rogue or stiff upper lip, show the good man what London is all about and have a fantastic time to boot- by following one or more of our below recommendations!

1. If you’re already familiar with Brick Lane’s Sunday market you may be wondering why my first recommendation is to head over! However, take a perch and play some outdoor Carrom or Chess close to the Bethnal Green end of ‘the Lane (near Grimsby Street), and you will forget about the crowds. Play for free and games are only as competitive as you are! For more placid surroundings head to Holland Park for outdoor chess.

2. The more curious Grandads out there should be keen to get involved in a mud larking session along the banks of the country’s most important river. Inter-tidal Archaeologist, leading authority on the Thames foreshore, and 'super-mum', Fiona, runs London Walks’ Thames Beachcombing sessions throughout the year (times and dates can be found online). Leave brogues at home, bring a bag for your swag which could include Mediaeval, Elizabethan, Roman, or even Mesolithic items.

3. Re-built a few hundred yards from its original site, Shakespeare's Globe hosts performances of the famous playwright’s works, often starring household names, like recent returns from Stephen Fry and Mark Rylance. Pick up standing tickets for £5, or pay a little extra to sit, with waterproof ponchos and cushions provided, respectively; there is also an on-site café for your inevitable tea-related needs. Hurry and book now for The Taming of the Shrew or Richard III.

4. If you’ve got an arty Grandad, your first stop should be the Art London fair in Chelsea this weekend, which features work by modern British artists such as LS Lowry, big names including Picasso, and art from China, India, Japan, Vietnam and Australia. Alternatively, the Affordable Art Fair visits Battersea in October and Hampstead in November and offers both affordable contemporary art, and free talks and workshops.

5. There will come a time when Grandad will need refuelling. Drink Shop & Do offer a ‘Man’s Afternoon Tea’, comprising A Vedett or Whitstable Ale, handmade pork pie, Scotch egg, pickled onions & pork crackling, and a Yorkie. Alternatively, unleash your inner connoisseur in Mason & Taylor Ale Bar on Bethnal Green Road, for a ‘Tasting Flight’ (3 third-pints). For something less refreshing… Casa, Wardour Street presents one of the widest selections of Cuban cigars in the UK to be sampled from leather armchairs. There’s also a wall map, and a resident cigar roller. Refresh yourself next door at the Cuban bar in Floridita’s after your visit.

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