The fun doesn't need to stop when the sun goes down; take a Zipcar after dark with our discounted overnight rate (Monday-Thursday, 6pm-9am, just £32) and enjoy some of our twighlight highlights.
Are you an active night owl? Feel free to share your favourite destinations below; the best ones may even be rewarded.
Look out for these icons for advice on the trip's suitability:
= dog-friendly = young family-friendly
(Just remember to put your dog in a carrier when you take him or her in a Zipcar, them's the rules.)
Plus we've indicated the destinations' nearest Zipcar city and the closest Zipcar to the train station for Londoners making a real break away from metropolis.
Distance from Central London: 6.7 miles
If you have nothing left to fear but fear itself, this night out beneath Greenwich will definitely keep your nerves busy for an extra day (or five!). Battle real-looking zombies, as you are first trained in the not-so delicate art of zombie-blasting, then released into their terrain.
3 Herrington Rd, London, SE7 8NJ; adult tickets: £115
Luna Cinema, as their name clearly suggests, host nocturnal movies under the light of the moon. They show films at a range of magical venues across the country, from lidos to castles, throughout the summer. There’s a variety of films on offer for every film lover’s tastes – from golden classics to modern favourites. You can’t beat watching Jaws while floating in a dinghy in a swimming pool!
Various venues, mostly near London; adult tickets from £13.50
Distance from Central London: 24.5 miles
Surrey’s famous lake-bordered theme park, Thorpe Park, offers late-night thrills throughout the year. Make the most of the summer evening sun in July and August with weekend openings until 10pm. Or be very afraid of the dark in October with their Halloween Fright Nights. And if you like anthems with your adrenalin, then their Ministry of Sound club nights, serving up floor fillers to thrill-seeking clubbers until 3am, will be right up your street.
Staines Road, Chertsey, KT16 8PN; late night tickets from £15
Distance from Central London: 6 miles
Billingsgate Market dates back in name to the 14th century, and while the current building was only erected in the 1980s, it’s still a lively and enlightening experience (assuming you enjoy the fresh fishy smell). Tens of thousands of tonnes of fresh fish from around the world are sold here each year. Live eels and lobsters are even transported here from as far away as New Zealand. Be sure to arrive before 6am to see it all at its biggest and brightest.
Trafalgar Way, Poplar, E14 5ST; 4am-9.30am, Tuesday-Saturday
Distance from Central London: 2 miles
London’s largest and oldest meat market (and no we don’t mean Tiger Tiger on a Saturday night) is the famous Smithfield. There has been a livestock market in the area since the 12th century, and while you can no longer buy a live moo-ing cow at this grand 19th century structure, you can purchase high quality poultry and meat in whatever quantity you desire. City Guides offer informative early morning tours of the market once a month. You should arrive before 7am to see the market at its busiest.
Grand Avenue, London, EC1A 9PS; 3am-mid-morning, Monday-Friday
Distance from Central London: 3 miles
Don’t confuse this bustling food and flower market for its tourist-trap of a predecessor off The Strand. At this Vauxhall-based wholesale market you can take in row after row of colourful fruit, veg and flowers along Buyers’ Walk. But mind, this isn’t the place to buy a single banana to slice onto your porridge – this is very much a wholesalers market where you’re expected to buy the whole box.
Nine Elms Lane, London, SW8 5BH; 3am-11am Mon-Fri, 4am-10am Saturday
Distance from Central London: 2.5 miles
For fine dining at any hour of the day it can only be Duck and Waffle high above the city on the 40th floor of London’s Heron Tower. After a late night at work or just busying yourself round town, awaken all your senses by digging into their signature dish – confit duck leg served on a Belgian waffle, with mustard maple syrup and a fried duck egg – whilst gazing at the sparkling lights of the cityscape. Beats a kebab down an alley at 2am anytime! (But unlike your local kebab shop, there is a dress code, so be sure to dress smart.)
110 Bishopgate, London, EC2N 4AY
Distance from Cambridge: 21.5 miles; Zipcars are parked at Cambridge Station
This marshy reserve, with its winding waterways and wealth of wildlife, provides wide-open skies ideal for stargazing. The Wicken Fen reserve ordinarily closes at 5pm, however if you book to stay on their Wild Camping site in one of four open-fronted shelters you can enjoy gazing up at that great dark wonder above while getting back to basics next to a camp fire.
Loe Lane, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 5XP; wild camping site £25 per group
Headley Heath, Box Hill
Distance from Central London: 21.5 miles
Box Hill, part of the North Downs in Surrey, with its panoramic views of the county, offers plenty of ideal spots to lie down and gaze up at the stars. One area popular with local astronomers is nearby Headley Heath. Look out for wild deer, badgers, foxes and bats, while you’re at it.
Headley Common Road, Surrey, KT18 6NN
Distance from Bristol: 3 miles; Zipcars parked at Bristol Temple Meads Station
This dense woodland, within easy reach of Bristol, not only grants fantastic views across the Avon Gorge to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, but of the main constellations in the sky. Leigh Woods have been awarded Dark Sky status, meaning you can stargaze with the naked eye, away from disruptive light pollution.
Leigh Woods, Bristol, (approx.) BS8 3PA