5 Fun Things To Do in Leicester Square

This is a collaborative post with Evan Tyler, all thoughts and views my own

I think it’s an understatement when I tell people how much I love Leicester Square. It really is my home away from home, and my most favourite location in the whole of London with no comparison. It holds countless memories for me, I have camped out in the square overnight for film premieres and met some of the world’s greatest actors and directors there. It is forever changing and adding new and exciting things from cinemas to restaurants, so I thought that I would share some amazing things to do in Leicester Square…

1.) Cinemas

Leicester Square is packed with wall-to-wall cinemas. Specifically, there are three major cinematic venues inside the square itself, with a discount cinema just north of the main area. The three major ones are The Odeon Luxe Leicester Square, The Empire (Cineworld Cinema), and Vue West End. The slightly cheaper option is the Prince Charles Cinema, a lovely, intimate place that consistently offers tickets at a considerable discount. Basically, if you are looking to catch a film in London’s West End – whether it be a new box office release or a vintage film brought back to the big screen at a discount – Leicester Square is the place to go.

2.) Statue Of William Shakespeare

You simply cannot miss a glimpse of this if you visit Leicester Square, but anyone with an interest in the arts or literary history ought to take a closer look. The statue of William Shakespeare has been the centrepiece of Leicester Square Gardens since its construction in 1874, and was restored earlier this decade. This famous marble tribute is surrounded by dolphins and elevated on a pedestal in the center of a magnificent fountain. In this sculpture, Shakespeare is holding a scroll with a popular quote from his legendary play Twelfth Night. This monument is just one of the ways that Shakespeare is still honoured within Soho.

3. Meeting the Stars

As mentioned before, I have done my fair share of red carpet events whilst living in London. Some I attended just as a spectator and others I was lucky enough to see the film too. My most memorable events have both been Star Trek related. Into Darkness saw me camping out to get a prime spot in the front row- mainly to watch Benedict Cumberbath get out of his car which certainly was worth it, along with an autograph from JJ Abrams. More recently, I found myself at the Star Trek Beyond premiere in the press tent, where I interviewed Chris pine before going in to see the movie. Again, just a totally awesome day.

4.) Hippodrome Casino

The Hippodrome, situated on the very corner of Leicester Square, is the largest and most popular casino in the UK, offering over 100 slots, 45 table games as well as sites just for bingo and interactive experiences. Speaking of experiences, the Hippodrome is currently the venue hosting Magic Mike Live shows, and of course my ticket was bought as soon as they announced the dates. Last year my sister and I went to see the show on opening week, and boy did it take me back to the first time I watched Magic Mike in a tiny cinema in Los Angeles. Seeing the show live is so fun and totally perfect for a night out with your bestie!

5.) London Film Festival

Finally, let’s not forget the annual London Film Festival. It’s held in Leicester Square every October and is sponsored by the BFI. Founded in 1953, the festival showcases more than 300 films, documentaries, and shorts from nearly 50 countries and features films that would not otherwise get a UK screening. World premiere showings at the BFI London Film Festival are also accompanied by fancy galas that have also become elite, red carpet events. If you are as much of a film buff as me, you probably have your time booked off work already, but if not it may be worth scheduling your next trip to London around this once-a-year event.

Check out @discoverlsq on Instagram to stay up to date on all the latest news from my favourite spot!

Saharasplash x

A few surprises in Soho, London

The best thing about London is that you can never really say that you’ve seen it all, even if you’ve spent your whole life exploring the city. London provides a blank canvas as each sun rises and a new day dawns. You never know what awaits around the next corner, and so I’ve written all about my latest excursion and a few surprises in Soho, London.

My favourite hotel in Soho has to be the Ham Yard Hotel, where I’ve attended many movie screenings and had some great times. It’s just a few streets down from Carnaby which is where my journey started last weekend.

The lights made the dullest of days seem bright and happy, and I was on my way to enjoy a hot chocolate at a favourite spot. But when I got there, I discovered the cafe had closed and in its place stood a sign that read ‘Choose Love’. My intrigue led me into the room once filled with chocolate, replaced by a pop up charity organisation to help refugees. I learnt so much by hearing the volunteers talk about the charity, and how they are supported by celebrities and artists around the globe.

My next stop was to the timeless location- Liberty London. I just love seeing their changing displays, perhaps even more than Selfridges!

I discovered a Christmas Market, yet another surprise from Soho, London. A lot of the stalls were local artists offering their free tools and time to help bring the community together and spread some Christmas love.

I made an apple Christmas decoration using glitter spray and stencilling while I waited to meet friends somewhere I’d been wanting to go for ages.

Here’s Leggero, a completely gluten free restaurant in the Soho area. I couldn’t wait to have some freshly made, gluten free tagliatelle.

Last stop on my wayward yet thrilling journey was to my favourite place in London- Leicester Square. This really is my go-to place for entertainment, premieres and fun, and right now the Christmas Market is on. Call me prematurely festive doing two Xmas markets in one day, but seeing as I stumbled across the first, it’s ok!

Beautiful stalls ranging from hot food, handmade decorations to glittery stocking fillers, I couldn’t wait to get a lovely personalised ornament for our family this year.

The rain broke just in time to get that all important outfit shot, then it was time to head home to put my feet up.

I had a relaxing hour train ride back to my car thanks to Greater Anglia. I wouldn’t have half as many adventures without the service they provide.

Bye bye for now London, Saharasplash x

Thanks for reading ‘A few surprises in Soho, London. Make sure you check out Alice’s birthday tea party before you go!

Train tickets gifted from Greater Anglia. Spending money gifted by Hotels.com. This post was written in collaboration with hotels.com, but all thoughts and views my own.