Maybe you're planning a summer away day for your team, or perhaps you have an upcoming corporate event you really need to pull out all the stops for. Whatever you're planning, there's no better way to make it memorable than by setting your event in one of London's most unusual venues.
From iconic boats to cavernous underground spaces, here are 9 incredible venues around London that we bet you didn't know you could hire. Now you do, there's no excuse for not making your event shine!
Clocking in at over 150 years old, The Cutty Sark has permanently retired from the seven seas, but its adventures haven't come to an end. This beautiful ship has since been preserved as a museum and is open to the public - and, even better, it's entirely hireable for private events!
The Cutty Sark has a variety of different spaces which are ideal for any type of event, from weddings, to corporate dinners, to awards galas. The intimate Masters Saloon is furnished with traditional wood accents, and is ideal for private dining, while the Dry Berth's position beneath the floating boat makes it an unbeatable setting for a gala dinner. Meanwhile, the Weather Deck offers an outside space with a spectacular Thames-side view, and the deck of a 19th century ship certainly makes for an unforgettable summer party or drinks reception!
Capacity: 12 - 450 attendees
If you're looking to pull out the stops when it comes to impressing your guests, why not bring traffic to a stand-still with an incredible evening at the London Transport Museum? With huge, arched ceilings and a whole host of fascinating exhibits to take in throughout the event, this space brings London's rich history to life in a context that'll get all your guests excited.
Whether it's a conference, gala dinner, party, or even a product launch, you'll be in safe hands with the screens and AV on offer - though we can't say the same for the immersive Elizabeth Line driving experience after your guests have had a drink or two - stand clear of the doors please!
Location: Covent Garden
Capacity: 150-500 attendees
There’s nothing like a museum to bring some intellectual flair to any event, but if versatility is at the top of your priority list, the Museum of London certainly has the space for you. The whole museum, including its exhibits, event spaces, and facilities, is available to hire for private events, meaning your event can transition from conference to drinks reception to corporate dinner effortlessly.
A particular highlight are the stunning Galleries: your guests will be seriously impressed attending an event where history surrounds them from all sides. But if you want to see the exhibits in their current location, you'll have to act quickly: the museum's gearing up to relocate to Smithfield and will be closed to the public from December 2022. So, not only is this a unique spot to host your event, it could be your last chance to make history in this venue!
Capacity: 12 - 1000 attendees
Custom built for the 2012 London Olympics, the London Stadium is an iconic location that should be on the bucket list of any sports fan. At the stadium you have a variety of rooms to choose from, ranging from cocktail lounges, to private dining rooms, to pop up spaces. If you're planning a team building event to impress, hiring the Community Track will let your guests walk (or run) in the footsteps of Usain Bolt and Mo Farah!
The stadium's location makes it as convenient as it is striking, with multiple bus and train options making it easy for your attendees to travel to your event no matter where they’re coming from. If an iconic landmark with excellent transport links sounds like your ideal venue, the London Stadium should be at the top of your podium!
Capacity: 16 - 1000 attendees
Although you might know ArcelorMittal Orbit for housing the world's tallest and longest tunnel slide, it also has two hireable viewing platforms! If you're planning the ultimate dinner party with a view, you can't go wrong with ArcelorMittal Orbit: standing at 114.5 metres high with a 360 view of London's skyline, this is a venue ready to impress.
It's an excellent location for unique corporate parties too; regardless of whether your guests will be dancing the night away, or sipping a few glasses of bubbly. And if you're hoping to end your event with a twist, the slide is available for your guests to make a swift and fashionable exit!
Capacity: 32 - 720 attendees
At over 42 meters above the Thames, the Tower Bridge walkways are the perfect venue for seeing the city. The bridge has two walkways on offer, with both offering a brilliant backdrop for your night if you can encourage your guests to brave a journey over the walkways' glass floor - guaranteed to give your guests a memorable experience!
With clear glass on all sides, guests are treated to a panoramic view of London's beautiful skyline. They can chat over cocktails as they point out St Paul's Cathedral, eat dinner whilst looking at the docklands, or sip wine marvelling at Canary Wharf and Greenwich. Whether your event is a drinks reception, corporate party, or product launch, the Tower Bridge Walkways can do it.
Capacity: 250 attendees
Location: Tower Bridge
When an event needs a dramatic flair, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre has it in buckets. Fitted with a built-in stage, lighting and projection system, and high-spec sound, any event can host a performance that would make Shakespeare himself green with envy!
The Underglobe is a hidden gem under the main theatre that will blow your guests away. Usually housing the Globe's Shakespeare Exhibition, the venue is transformed at night for your guests. Upon arriving at an exclusive river entrance, guests can be be treated to drinks on the private mezzanine before descending a sweeping staircase. A permanent model oak tree is the perfect centrepiece for anything A Midsummer Night's Dream inspired.
Capacity: 450 attendees
Location: London Bridge
If you love the Great Gatsby, you'll adore The Grand Temple at Freemasons' Hall. Dubbed as London's "most iconic art-deco building", this is a party space that is bound to impress. Located in ever popular Covent Garden, the Freemasons' Hall is ideal for guests travelling into the city. This benefits night-time travellers also, as taxis here are a dime a dozen. Being situated in one of London's most trendy neighbourhoods also gives the Hall's events an extra sheen of glam.
Hosting your event in a stunning Grade II listed building doesn't mean that it has to be old-fashioned. The Grand Temple is a space more than large enough for a DJ and dance floor, enhanced by the venue's own lighting and sound package. Not only that, but the Hall's professional kitchen means that it can cater for canapé menus, individual meals, and host unlimited drinks receptions! Time to channel your inner Jay Gatsby!
Capacity: 1450 attendees
Location: Covent Garden
In keeping with the decadent theme, it would be remiss of us not to mention The Greek Masonic Temple at Andaz London. The Temple's stunning 109 year-old marbles truly deserve their listed status, and are only one of the many beauties in this unique room. Considered to be one of the grandest Masonic temples of its time, the historic feel of this space is its greatest charm.
Although the Andaz London hotel itself dates back to 1884, the venue itself isn't old-fashioned. The hotel plays host to 264 contemporary guest rooms and suites, and 6 restaurants and bars. The Masonic Temple is truly a standout piece amongst the hotel's other 15 amazing private dining and events spaces - all of which blend historical and modern features seamlessly.
Capacity: 60 attendees
Location: Liverpool Street
Spoiled for choice? Whether you're looking for a memorable space for your first event or hoping to spice up an annual one, we're positive that this list has the perfect venue for you. If you want to discover more unusual spaces for hire in London get in touch with our Venue Experts today.
From gala dinners to virtual conferences, Catie uses her experience in the hospitality sector and love for writing to highlight the world’s most outstanding venues and virtual events.