London in the Winter has got to be one of the prettiest, most picturesque and enchanted cities of them all. From the twinkling lights and the bustling bars to the delicious markets and cosy fires – there’s really no better place to visit than London during the cold weather season.
London is full of so many fun and magical things to do, you’ll never be short of activities. There are plenty of indoor and outdoor things to get stuck in with as we know that the British weather can be very temperamental. Despite the season’s drearier weather and shorter days, London’s museums, theatres, and pubs always offer a warm welcome.
Things to do in London in Winter
Orchids Festival at Kew Gardens
This festival of Orchids held at the famous Kew Gardens runs annually and for 2022 it will be celebrating the rich and colourful culture of Costa Rica. The experience takes you on a journey through the country’s beautiful landscape where you will hear and see displays of native animals made out of plants – how clever! You will even be able to lay your eyes upon the birds of Costa Rica, including the Fiery-billed Aracari and the Mangrove Hummingbird. The vibrant displays and accompanying soundscapes will be inspired by flora and fauna of Central America. This is the first time the festival will return after the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to be postponed for two years so it’s due to be the most spectacular. This is the perfect opportunity to escape the British winter weather and be transported to a tropical haven.
Tickets to the festival are included with Kew’s general admission tickets, starting at £15 per person.
Six Nations Rugby Tournament
If you’re a fan of rugby then you will already know about the Six Nations Tournament which spans across February and March with events all over the UK and Europe. But whether you’re a rugby fan or not, you should definitely go and see some of the games at hotspots around London just for the atmosphere – it’s electric. If you’re not familiar with the tournament, it is an annual international men’s rugby union competition between England, France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The current champions are Wales, who won the 2021 tournament but we are sure England will take home the title this year!
You can get tickets to watch them at a London stadium which can be found here or get a group of your friends together to watch them in one of these bars that will be showing the games.
Visit the London Classic Car Show
Are you a petrol head with a love for classic cars? The London Classic Car Show has over 700 classic cars on display, from vintage Formula 1 racing cars to American muscles cars – it’s a must-see for any car enthusiast. Now in its eighth year, the show promises great content that allows any attendee to celebrate the fascinating history of classic cars. There will also be an exciting auction which takes place on the Saturday for people to bid on some of the rarest and most unusual cars – while you might not be able to bid on them it’s exhilarating to watch! The London Classic Car Show is a great way to view British history through the mode of transport, like being able to see the WWII era amphibious Porsche.
Take a trip to the theatre
London is home to some of the most incredible theatres so if you’re looking for something more culturally enriching and want to escape the bitter British weather then it’s definitely worth heading down to the world-famous West End theatre distinct. Here are just a few options for the next few months:
- Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre, musical on display until 3rd of April 2022
- Get Up Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical at the Lyric Theatre, on display until 18th of September 2022
- Doctor Who: Time Fracture at Immersive LDN Theatre, on display until 17th of April 2022
- Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, on display until 29th of May 2022
- Magic Goes Wrong at the Apollo Theatre, comedy on display until 27th of February 2022;
- Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge Theatre, on display until 18th of December 2022
- Tina – The Tina Turner Musical at Aldwych Theatre, on display until 18th of December 2022
- Moulin Rouge at Piccadilly Theatre, on display until 28th of May 2022.
Visit an exhibition at a London museum
Most of London’s museums are free, so it seems silly to not take advantage of that. Most of them are also open year-round and have lots of exhibitions, events and guest speaker panels throughout the year. Visiting a museum will give you a deep dive into British history from all different perspectives and it’s a fun day out whether you go alone or you take some friends. Here are some events that are happening in London museums in 2022:
- Yayoi Kusama- Infinity Mirrors Rooms (until 12th of June 2022)
- The Tanks (until February 2022)
- A Year in Art: Australia 1992 (until Autumn 2022)
- Amazonia (until September 2022),
- When Worlds Collide: How Modern Technology Reveals the Ancient Past (18th of February 2022)
- The Salt of the Earth Screening and Q&A (23rd of February 2022)
- Our Future Planet (until September 2022)
- Wildlife Photographer of the Year (until 5th of June 2022)
- Our Broken Planet: How We Got Here and Ways to Fix It (until late Summer 2022)
- In Practice: Colour Theory (8th of February 2022)
- Introduction to Fashion Illustration (Saturday and Sunday mornings through February and March),
- Laughing Matters: The State of a Nation 2021 (until 29th of March 2022)
- The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries (until 31st of December 2022)
Celebrate LGBTQ+ History month
LGBTQ+ history month is for everyone. It’s a month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. LGBTQ+ History Month provides an opportunity for people to get together to hear from role models in the community and for those that do not identify within the community to show their support. The primary aim of this month is to educate young people about the history of the gay rights movement and to promote an inclusive society. It’s a day full of joy, happiness, colour and music. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first official Pride events in the UK, dating back to July 1972 which was attended by approx 2,000 participants. So if you’re looking to attend a real landmark event then head to the streets of London on the 2nd of July.
Visit Madame Tussauds
A very popular place to visit in London where you can get up close and personal with all your favourite celebs (not literally!) is Madame Tussauds. The wax museum is world-famous and attracts millions of people every year. Once you step inside this unusual museum you will see the familiar faces of well-known film stars, musicians, sports personalities and leaders throughout time. A few you don’t want to miss: Amy Winehouse, Rihanna, Kayne West and Kim Kardashian, Barrack Obama, and Boris Johnson – these are only a handful of the 50 waxworks on display. It’s the only museum where mixing pop culture and politics is acceptable and it’s amazing!
St.Patrick’s Day Festival And Parade
On the 17th of March 2022, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland celebrates the anniversary of the death of the Irish Saint Patrick. It is celebrated with a huge festival with lots of music, dancing, food and a spectacular parade. The parade starts at Hyde Park corner and ends at the Whitehall and anyone is welcome to come along and join. It’s a real show with huge marching bands and carnival floats overhead. Halfway through the march, many will stop in Trafalgar Square where there will be live performances by dancers, singers and musicians. After the march, the Irish pubs that can be found on many of the London corners will be bustling with the festival-goers where you can grab traditional Irish food and a Guinness beer (if you haven’t tried one, you must!)
Now in its 19th year, It has been built upon a robust foundation of tradition, inclusivity and diversity and a sincere appreciation for the perspectives of different generations. It is one of the best events in London’s cultural calendars and shouldn’t be missed.
London’s charity Boat Race has to be one of the best events going and it’s the perfect event for welcoming in the Summer season. You can go down and watch the competitive rivalry between the academic geniuses of Oxford and Cambridge who will battle against each other in this annual rowboat competition. The racecourse starts from Putney and goes for 7 kilometres to end at Mortlake.
Why Oxford and Cambridge you might ask? This stare-off goes back many centuries at a time when Oxford and Cambridge were the only two universities in the whole of England and Wales – just think of how intense the competition would have been back then! First contested in 1829, the race puts Cambridge University Boat Club against their Oxford counterparts over a four-mile (6 km) stretch of the River Thames. The very first Boat Race was won by Oxford, but Cambridge lead the overall series with 85 wins to Oxford’s 80.
London has several points such as the riverbank in Putney, Chiswick Bridge, Bishop’s Park and Hammersmith & Barnes where those who want to watch can enjoy the race and the bustling party atmosphere. The parks and riverbanks are crammed with big screens, bars, and street food stalls.
You can learn more about this event here
Attend the Eat and Drink festival
If you are a big foodie and you like a drink then this one is most definitely for you! This is one of London’s most famous food and drink festivals that takes place between the 11-27th March in London hotspot, Kensington. This indoor food festivity celebrates the best in modern cuisines, mixology, and independent produce at Olympia London. This show will not disappoint and it’s a great activity for you and your friends to enjoy. You will have the opportunity to learn new culinary skills, indulge yourself in new spirits and learn from the very best chefs. You’ll be able to get their top tips on how to cook their favourite dishes and you’ll also be able to buy local produce at the end of the show, a great way to support local business’ – what’s not to like?
No matter the weather, London really does have it all and there is an activity for absolutely everyone. These activities are only a snippet of what London has to offer during the winter months – but make sure to pack your warm clothes as whether you’re attending an outdoors or an indoors event you are definitely going to need them!
If you are struggling to find an event or an activity Design My Night is a great website that is there to help you choose something to do.