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The largest public building constructed in the UK in the 20th century keeps its doors open until 8pm on Tuesdays so visitors can enjoy the temporary displays as well as the permanent John Ritblat Gallery.

With over 150 million items, a copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland, artwork by artists such as Antony Gormley and Eduardo Paolozzi, and a host of historically momentous works - including the Gutenberg Bible, Shakespeare's First Folio, the Lindisfarne Gospels, Handel's Messiah, drafts of the Magna Carta and The Beatles' lyrics, the only surviving copy of Beowulf and the Diamond Sutra, the world's earliest dated printed book - the British Library also boasts a flurry of attractions for the casual visitor, including films, musical performances and poetry readings.

On Thursdays the galleries stay open until 9pm during exhibitions, while the bookshop is open all week (except Mondays) until 9pm.

Founded in 1946, the artistic and cultural centre was initially housed in a basement on Oxford Street before moving to its first premises in Soho.

The Science Museum Lates cover a broad range of themed topics - anything from Sexuality to Sexual Health, Zombies to Broken Hearts, the Science of Comedy to Climate Change - and operate alongside regular returning activities, including gallery tours, lectures, a pub quiz, speed dating, a silent disco, live music, a bar and child-free playtime in the interactive Launchpad gallery.

The Science Museum is one of the most interactive in the city, with loads of hands-on exhibits, and these special evening openings are a great way for adults to recreate the old school field day vibe of their youth with topically themed activities, events and entertainment.

Britain's first purpose-build arts gallery is renowned both for the beauty of its light, airy space and for embracing the local East End community in its work.It was here that he wrote masterpieces such as 'Messiah', 'Zadok the Priest' and 'Music for the Royal Fireworks'.The museum offers insight into Handel's life, eighteenth-century culture and music - and there is also a small Jimi Hendrix display (the legendary guitarist lived in the upper floors of the adjoining house for two years in the late 60s).Besides the pretty gravel pathways, statues and ponds that separate and decorate the different gardens with a stunning array of plants, the Garden also boasts a shop where visitors can buy unusual plants and a caf renowned for its tasty homemade cakes.Must-see exhibitions on design, architecture and pop culture by acclaimed architects, Turner Prize-winning artists and famous photographers as well as major exhibitions by leading international figures are a regular occurrence at the Barbican Art Gallery, located on the third floor of the Barbican Centre.Each exhibition is accompanied by a programme of thought-provoking talks, screenings and events - and while doors are open late until 8pm every day except Wednesdays (when the space closes as 6pm), they are open even later on Thursdays, when guests can stay until 10pm.The same goes for The Curve, the Centre's free exhibition space for specially commissioned works and contemporary art.The popularity of the evening event is such that at 5.30pm tickets are issued to the first 200 people who arrive - with no reservations possible.Visitors can only take one ticket per person and so cannot hold a space in the queue for late-comers.Hidden behind towering brick walls, protected from the city's sounds and harsh breezes, the most idyllic collection of plants flourish in a unique, carefully created microclimate.The Garden is open from midday throughout the summer from April to October - but guests just have the two months to benefit from the late Wednesday openings.

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