City Lit 2014: Top 10 London Courses

This is a sponsored article on behalf of City Lit.

This summer, London lovers are spoilt for choice with dozens of city-specific courses on offer from City Lit. Want to find out more about this glorious city? From parks to maps, sculpture to theatre, wild London to London on film, there’s much to get your London juices flowing.

From the excellent range on offer, we’ve managed (with some difficulty) to pick out our top 10 London-focused courses on offer this summer:

1. Architecture

Which famous London buildings would the ancient Greeks and Romans feel at home with, and which would blow their sandals off? Discover London’s iconic landmarks and the architects who designed them. 16 July-6 August, 4.30-6.30pm, £80/£49. More here

2. Capturing the City

London is an inspiring place, and City Lit has a bunch of courses for those wanting to harness that inspiration and capture the city at its finest. Choose from painting London life, sketching the landmarks and urban drawing. Or for the more lyrical try a course on writing the city and explore how to bring cities to life using just words on paper. Dates and prices vary

3. Quiet London

London is many things, but is it ever quiet? Actually, yes. Enjoy a talk from Siobhan Wall, author of the best-selling series Quiet Paris, Quiet Amsterdam, Quiet New York and Quiet London, followed by a guided tour to hidden, tranquil places in and around Holborn. The talk and tour both cater to hard of hearing people. 5 August, 10am-1.30pm, £25. More here

4. Film

Celebrate films made in and about London and discuss how British feature films are as much about London as any documentary. 22 July-12 August, 6-9pm, £91/£40. More here

5. Theatre & Musicals

Take a look at the business side of theatre in early modern London (featuring a trip to the Rose Theatre, the first theatre on London’s Bankside), learn about the sound of London with a look at London-specific musical works, or spend some time singing the music from London musicals such as Oliver, Jekyll and HydeMy Fair Lady and Sweeney Todd.

6. Beer

London is undergoing a huge surge in craft beers, but do you really know your stuff? Taste some great beers and learn about the key styles you can find. It’s a hard life eh? 11 July, 6-7.30pm, £25. More here

7. London Maps

This is a particular favourite of ours at Londonist. London maps come in many shapes and sizes but all are a joy to behold. City Lit has four separate courses that allow you to look at the history of the capital through maps of the 16th and 17th centuries, 18th century, 19th century and 20th century. There’s also a separate, but still topographic course looking at the history of London’s growth and street patterns.

8. Crime

Explore London’s array of prisons and discover how many are built upon the Victorian need to introduce prisoners to morality, while others are characterised by great cruelty. 9 August, 10.30am-4.30pm, £41/£18. More here

(Top tip: there are also courses on James Bond’s London and John le Carré’s London for those wanting a more literary approach to London crime.)

9. Archaeology

This section is a veritable treasure trove of London history goodies. Some courses are already booked out but you still have the chance to learn about London’s catastrophic history as well as archaeological highlights on show in the Museum of London galleries – which will you choose?

10. London Walks

Don’t forget to also take a look at all the London walks available, offering different viewpoints on various areas of the city. Bloomsbury to Notting Hill, Poplar to Clerkenwell. London behind the songs to London on stage, the alleys of Hampstead to the Jewish pioneers of the East End. There’s plenty to choose from.

A whole list of London-themed courses can be found here, we strongly recommend you take a look at the range on offer.

City Lit wants to get Londoners off their sofas and doing something different this summer. With over 1,000 short courses available from Manga drawing to Monty Python, black holes to button making, Turkish to typography, the extensive list covers a whole range of interests, passions and pursuits. What will you try?

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