Don't waste your lunch time – London is full of things to do in a lunch hour. Here's our round-up of the best.

Take an audio tour of the National Gallery

There are a number of free podcasts you can stick on  your iPod for some lunch time mind-expansion. You can explore an area of London for free with a guided tour from Free Walks In London ( but our favourite is the National Gallery's 60 Minute Tour, which brings some of its most treasured works – such as Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers – to life.

Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
Tube: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Embankment

London lunch hour - see some art

Spiritual Warrior Class

Unleash your inner warrior at this power Vinyasa yoga class. The brisk sessions will put you through your paces as a teacher calls out the moves ?– all of which are flowing, not posed. It’s a robust workout, and probably not for beginners. You will return to work ready to seize the afternoon.

12pm Mon-Fri
300 Kensal Road, W10 5BE
Tube: Westbourne Park


Late for work? Been shouted at by your boss? If you're having a bad morning, instead of heading  to the pub at lunchtime to drown your sorrows, drop ?in on Cucumba for a quick blast of pampering. Treatments are anything from 10 minutes for a eyebrow shape (£9.50), ?20 minutes for a manicure (£22.50) or an indulgent hour for a massage and 25 minutes in the snooze booth (£60). You'll feel like new person. Cucumba's stated aim is to "transform a nation of stressed out, overworked souls". Identify?

Open Mon-Sat 12 Poland Street, W1F 8QB
Tube: Tottenham Court Road

Spanish lessons

This six-week course will get you familiar with basic grammar and conversational phrases, taught by a native Spanish speaker. Start any time.

12-1pm for six weeks?
36 Alie Street, Poplar, E1
Tube: Liverpool Street

Go for a run

Being busy or having no sense of direction is no excuse for getting fat! Totally Sporty has several jogging routes that you can finish in less than an hour. ?

Locations across London

Go for a run during your lunch break in London

Meditation class

Stave that stress with a half-hour guided meditation class. Choose between creative and practical meditation, anger management or relaxation strategies. Your colleagues will thank you.

1pm to 1.30pm
36 Shorts Gardens, WC2H 9AB
Tube: Covent Garden

Go on a lunch hour date

Especially geared-up for busy Londoners, this dating site promises that registration takes only 60 seconds and you are then free to peruse thousands of single Londoners. Take the plunge and meet someone in your lunch hour. If it's ?a dud, at least you didn't waste an evening.

Two-therapist revival hour

Allow yourself to ?be worked on by two therapists, who will massage you using hot stones, manicured and pedicured in 60 minutes.

400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB
Tube: Marble Arch

London lunchtime: Brush up your social etiquette during your lunch hour

Beatons finishing School of High Society Secrets

Transform yourself from commoner to posh totty in an hour with an etiquette lesson at Beatons. You'll learn the formal requirements of behaviour in 'polite society', gain insight into appropriate conversation among a group of 'good breeding' and get tips on how to improve your appearance and deportment. Classes are held in salubrious locations such as Claridges, The Ritz and The Groucho Club.

Various times; London-wide

Hummingbird bakery

Some days, the soggy sandwich or salad you brought for lunch just doesn't do the trick. To satisfy even the sickliest sweet-tooth, head to Hummingbird Bakery, an American-style eatery with cupcakes that make a decadent afternoon reward.

Open daily; Locations across London

London in a lunch hour - urban golf

Urban golf

Getting to the putting green is usually an all-day affair, but, thanks to Urban Golf, you can now practice your swing during a midday break. In Kensington, Smithfield and Soho, players can get their fix with golf simulators. The virtual course is displayed on large screen, instantly transporting you to the tranquil countryside. It's like the real thing, only without all the walking.

12 pm-3pm daily
Locations across London

Life drawing

Talk your boss into organising a bespoke, hour-long life-drawing class for the team, or get a group together yourself to split the cost. An instructor will guide you through various painting and drawing techniques as you battle to turn your depiction of the live model into a masterpiece. Classes will be tailored to suit all levels and, if painting a naked person fills you with terror, you can be talked through "using the model as a vehicle though which to explore new ideas and approaches". Costs depend on size of group and what you'd like to do. ?

Museum highlights tour

Exploring everything the British Museum has to offer could take an entire weekend. This shortened audio tour points you to some of the best pieces the museum has to offer, pronto!? 

96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB
Tube: Holborn 

Lunch hour workout

Get sweaty for ?30 minutes. The workouts may be quick they're effective. Try the Powerplate class to jiggle yourself into shape.

Times change daily?
29 New Inn Yard, EC2A 3EY?
Tube: Shoreditch High Street

Go to a gig

Lots of bands now play instore gigs as an integral part of their marketing. It'll be more mellow than an evening concert and probably free.?;;;

Lunch time lecture

These lectures attract leading thinkers on topics ranging from the economy and natural disasters to: 'What has The King’s Speech done to improve public awareness about stuttering?'

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1.15pm Gower Street, WC1E 6BT
Tube: Euston Square

Learn to cook

The Cook, Eat, Run course at L'atelier des Chefs does what it says on the tin. The cooking part lasts 30 minutes and you'll learn how to make something more impressive than cheese on toast. Desert and wine are on offer too, so not only will you learn a new skill, you can get fat and happy as well.V

Times vary
19 Wigmore Street, W1U 1PH
Tube: Oxford Circus

Listen to some classical music

This autumn, The North London Festival of Music and the City Music Society will present 50-minute concerts showcasing everything from string quartets to international pianists.?

Sep 12-Nov 28 230
Bishopsgate, EC2
Tube: Liverpool St