Venture out during your trip to the capital and explore the city with our helpful guide to the top 20+ things to do in London in winter.

Top things to do in London in winter

London is amazing whatever time of the year… Spotting the first signs of spring-blooming. Enjoying the rooftops and outdoor cinemas in summer. Taking in all the different shades of orange in autumn. Being amazed by the lights displays in winter. There is always something great to do in this vibrant city!

We firmly believe it’s a little extra special during winter. The city is beautifully decorated, it tends to be less crowded, and there is a chance of snow! There are plenty of things to do in London in winter, whether indoors or out, so what out waiting for, start packing today.


The big weather question

Things to do in London in December

Things to do in London in January and February

Things to do in London all winter

The big weather question

We will be honest with you, London can get chilly in the winter but that doesn’t make it any less fun, Here’s a little pointer on what to expect when you visit during winter. The weather is typically mild, with occasional snowfall and temperatures are generally between 5° to 9°. The coldest month is usually January, when temperatures can get as low as 1°.

All you need is good clothing! Don’t forget to pack a warm jacket, an umbrella to keep dry and winter accessories if you want to explore London in winter. And don’t forget that London has plenty of indoor options on offer.

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Things to do in London in December

1- Ice rinks

The Natural History Museum is the perfect backdrop for a skate and mate date. Surrounded by frosted trees, mulled wine and toasted marshmallows, put your skating talent to the test and warm up in the Cafe Bar.

2- Christmas markets

Take in the festive spirit and visit a winter market. It’s the only place where you can sip mulled wine, eat mince pies, admire decorations and arts and craft, go on a fairground ride, and buy that last-minute gift.

3- Christmas displays

One activity on everyone’s list this Christmas has to be discovering the beautiful Christmas Lights that make the city light up and sparkle. Indeed, nothing gets you in the Christmas spirit more than the sparkle of the festive street lights.

4- Christmas at Kew

Who said botanical gardens were not worth a visit during the winter months? Kew Gardens lights up after dark with their magical winter trail that takes you around the park and around interactive installations that will delight the little and not so little alike.

5- Christmas shopping

Hit the high streets, seek out unique gifts and make time to break for delicious food and hot drinks. Covent Garden, Hamleys and Oxford Street are a must-go for a successful session of Christmas shopping.

6- Meet Santa

Father Christmas is coming to town and he has chosen Leicester Square as the place for spreading the festive cheer. To find Santa’s Grotto, just follow the music! The little ones will be delighted.

7- Help our elf keep an eye on the city for Santa

Santa has sent the elves to London to make sure everything is in tip top shape before Christmas and they need your help! Jump on the Elf Express for a 45 minute pre-Christmas treat for the whole family and see London sparkle in all its glory.

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8- New Year’s Eve fireworks

Celebrate the New Year in style and admire the impressive Thameside firework display in real life. Over 12,000 magnificent fireworks will be shot on December 31st, be prepared to be amazed.

9- Winter pop ups

London is famous for its seasonal pop-ups, whether it is over the summer or the winter. This Christmas, discover a world of warm and toasty pop ups. Our favourite pop-up is obviously the Winter Bar Bus, where you can cosy up under warm blankets whilst sipping some mulled wine: boozy and quirky!

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Christmas Lights on Regent Street, London

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Things to do in London in January and February

10- New Year’s Day Parade

On January 1st, the New Year’s Day Parade takes the street of the city’s historic heart again. Over 8,500 performers take part in this great celebration of the diversity, creativity and inspiration that abound in the city of London. Arrive early to secure a good vantage point.

11- London Short Film Festival

The London Short Film Festival is a vital moment in the UK film calendar and returns this January for its 17th edition. From 10th January, discover eclectic and creative short films from all over the world.

12- Winter Lights festival

The free lights festival is returning to the Canary Warf area from January 16th. With its glowing angel wings, luminous trees, rainbow benches and psychedelic prisms, it is the perfect antidote to dark January nights.

13- London Art Fair

The London Art Fair is coming back to the Business Design Centre from 22-26 January. You can feast your eyes on carefully selected pieces from galleries from all around the world. Hosting the highest quality art and great for discovering exceptional modern and contemporary artists.

14- Chinese NY

Did you know London’s festivities are the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of Asia? So as we bid farewell to 2019 and the Year of the Pig, we welcome 2020 and the Year of the Rat with colourful parades, dazzling performances and mouth-watering food! Don’t miss the Chinese New Year parade on 25th January.

15- Valentine’s day

Whether you are celebrating many years together, trying to impress on a first date or enjoying the single life, you’ll no doubt be looking for Valentine’s ideas in London for 2020. If you are visiting for a few days, there are many romantic things to do and places to go on Valentine's Day in London.

London riverside in winter

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Things to do in London all winter

17- Warm up in a pub

There are plenty of pubs in London where you can sink a delicious pint and take a break from exploring the fascinating city. Venture in one of the city’s oldest pubs and discover that London has a plethora of historic pubs with a story to tell.

18- Treat yourself with some comfort food

The wintry season in London is the best time of year to tuck-in to hearty meals and delicious treats. Indulge in Christmas dinner, afternoon tea, delicious mince pies or a tasty Sunday roast during your days out in London.

19- Go on a winter walk

Parks are lovely all year round. They are particularly beautiful in winter, with all those crunchy steps, frosty trees and misty views. And if it does snow, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the fresh snowfalls!

20- Get a culture fix

In London, you’re never far from a museum. And what’s best, most of them are free to enter! Head to the V&A, the British Museum, the Tate Modern, the Tate Britain or the National Gallery to see the crème de la crème of London’s museums.

21- Live events and shows

Stay indoors and immerse yourself in a traditional British theatre experience by attending a pantomime, ballet or West End show.

22- Hogwarts in the snow

Winter has also arrived in the wizarding world and Hogwarts went through a great festive makeover. For all the Harry Potter fans out there, visiting the Warner Bros. tour is even more magical at this time of the year.


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