Home London 13 Things To Do in London in Winter Suggested by a Local!

13 Things To Do in London in Winter Suggested by a Local!

by TheWanderingQuinn

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You can pretty much do all of the top things to do in London during the winter months because all of London’s tourist attractions are still open and functioning, but because winter in London brings dark evenings, cold days and often rainy days, it is a good idea to have a few things that are definitely good things to do in London in winter on your London itinerary so you don’t get too cold and wet and end up not enjoying this incredible capital city!

I’ve spent 3 winters in London so in this London travel blog and London travel guide I share with you some unique things to do in London that are perfect for a winter trip to London and they include ideal things to do in London in December and things to do in London in January since these are the months when London is thrown deep into dark evenings and chilly days!

But with the below things to do in London this winter you’ll be sure to see sparkling lights, eat delicious food in warm and unique places, play games like local Londoners and find out the best places to go for some sunny London walks!

Things To Do in London in Winter

Things to do in London in winter

Keep Reading for things to do in London in Winter!



1. Take a Sunny Walk Along the River Thames

The winter sunshine in London is divine! It may be cold but when the sun is shining and there is a hint of frost in the air, especially in the mornings, it is lovely to walk around London and nowhere is better than the River Thames.

If you wake up to a day like this, start at the London Eye and walk along the Southbank, you can walk all the way down to Tower Bridge and spot many of the London attractions on the way like the London Eye, Big Ben, St Pauls Cathedral and the Tower of London.

Here’s my full post on with a Guided Walk along the River Thames to help you see as much as you can!

In the summer the Southbank can get pretty busy in the winter it’s much quieter and walking here is also one of the free things to do in London in Winter!

things to do in winter in London, River Thames

Walking along the River Thames on a sunny day is one of the best things to do in London in winter!

2. Have Lunch on River Thames Boat Cruise

If the weather seems wet or too cold to walk, another way to see the River Thames and all of London’s top tourist attractions is to take a Boat Cruise down the River Thames. This way you can see London from the comfort of inside a boat making it a great idea for things to do in London in winter!

I would recommend booking a boat in advance and for even more options of what to do in London in winter, you could book a joint River Cruise with Lunch or Afternoon Tea to make it extra special and know that you have somewhere warm to eat lunch with an incredible view!

One of these River Thames Boat Cruise options would work well:

things to do in winter in London, River Thames Cruise

City Cruises is a great company to go on the River Thames with!

3. Have Afternoon Tea at Sketch

Talking of Afternoon Tea, when in London you have to go for Afternoon Tea and especially during your winter in London trip because what better way to warm up and get cosy than enjoying endless cups of tea and delicious food!

I can recommend Sketch London as a really unique place to visit in London for Afternoon Tea. The food is great, the tea is endless and it is in a beautiful pink drawing room with some of the coolest toilets in London! Read more about my Afternoon Tea at Sketch London here.

things to do in winter in London, Sketch Afternoon Tea

Scones at Sketch, perfect warming food for things to do in London in winter!


Now is a good time to introduce you to the London Pass which will help with the many things to do in London in Winter!

The London Pass offers access into 80+ of the top London attractions. If you plan on going on the London Eye, taking Boat Trips, going into Tower Bridge and St Pauls Cathedral and even plan on going outside of London to Windsor Castle or Hampton Court Palace, it would be cheaper to buy the London Pass so you save money on entrance fee’s and get fast track entry, perfect for if you only have a few days in London!

The London Pass is valid for 2 years once purchased and you can buy a 1, 2, 3, 6 or 10 day pass so you can visit so many of London’s best attractions in the cheapest possible way!

Click here to look into the options and to buy your pass now while you’re thinking about it!


3. Eat Dinner on a Double-Decker Bus Around London at Night

When looking into the top things to do in London in winter and planning your London in Winter itinerary, you need to remember that it gets dark very early in London during the winter months, at around 4:00 pm! This means your London sightseeing in daylight is limited, but that’s ok because London at night is beautiful.

One way to enjoy London at night and for things to do in London at night is book a gourmet dinner with Bustronome London who will take you around London for 2-3 hours whilst you sit on the top floor of a double-decker bus with a panoramic terrace seeing many of the top sights including Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and the Royal Albert Hall, all whilst being served the most delicious food and perfectly matching wine!

This would be one of the particularly good things to do in London in December when all of the Christmas lights are out and on! Make sure you book it advance with Bustronome London. They too also offer lunch and afternoon tea options if this fits in better with your London itinerary!

things to do in winter in London, London at night

See views like this of the London Eye lit up!


Related Post: 10 Tips for How to Visit London in Winter, and Enjoy it!

4. Enjoy Winter Wonderland London

Christmas time in London really is the best time of year. London gets seriously festive with Christmas lights, Christmas trees and Christmas markets covering the city!

Winter Wonderland London is top of the list in things to do in London in December and things to do in London at Christmas, it’s great for families because it has rides and market stalls but also great for adults with its endless beer tents!

More of ideas of things to do in London in Winter and in December that are Christmas related are, the Christmas Markets in Leicester Square, the Southbank and Kew Gardens at Christmas!

Here’s my full post on How to See all of the Best Christmas Lights and Christmas Markets in London in one day if you are visiting London in December!

things to do in winter in London, Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland at sunset is magical!

5. Go Ice Skating at Somerset House

Winter brings Ice Skating to London and although you’ll definitely see Ice Skating rinks in London in December, it’s likely you’ll also see them at the end of November and early January too so they make for great things to do in London in Winter and things to do in London in January!

Although there are many places to go ice skating in London at Christmas, I think Somerset House is the best! It is located in a beautiful courtyard not far from the London Eye and is a very iconic London Christmas scene, you won’t be disappointed!

Other impressive places to ice skate in London in winter are the Natural History Museum and the Tower of London! Make sure you book tickets in advance for all these!

things to do in winter in London, Somerset House Ice Skating

What a place to go ice skating during winter in London!

6. Visit Dinerama Street Food Market 

London is all about its street food and has an abundance of street food markets! However, some markets are not as suitable in the winter like Camden Market because the majority of the market is outside with limited coverage from the rain and cold.

Therefore for cool things to do in London in winter you’ll need to visit a covered market for the best winter experience.

I love Dinerama which is in Shoreditch, it’s open in the evening and is all inside. It has a huge range of food stalls downstairs with benches to sit at and upstairs there are bars in really unique rooms and settings.

For popular street food markets in London to visit in the day time that are covered go to Borough MarketSpitalfields Market and Box Park in Shoreditch.

 

7. Visit Shoreditch on Sunday

Shoreditch is a really cool area in East London and although you can visit all week, Sunday is when Shoreditch comes alive most and this happens all winter too so it’s perfect when looking for things to do in London this weekend!

Visit Colombia Road Flower Market, Brick Lane Market and Shoreditch High Street whilst trying street food and good coffee and finding awesome street art.

I’ve been to Shoreditch many times on a chilly Sunday in winter and I love it just as much as in the Summer so I know it’s one of the best things to do in London in winter. Here’s my Shoreditch in Sunday guide to help you plan your day!

things to do in winter in London, Ellie in Shoreditch

I love the street art behind me in Shoreditch on Chance Lane!

8. Play Ping Pong at Bounce 

There are so many fun things to do in London but as with all cities, sometimes you need a local to help point them out, especially if you are visiting London for the first time.

London is now home to really fun places to do activities and one of the best is Bounce! Bounce London is an indoor, purpose-built Social Ping Pong Club! There are now 2 locations in London, Old Street near Shoreditch and Farringdon in Central London.

Going to play a game of ping pong in a really cool setting is perfect for things to do in London in winter during the evenings when it can be wet, cold and dark in London!

 

9. Get Competitive at Junk Yard Golf

Indoor Crazy Golf has taken off in London and there are now lots of really popular locations to play at! Junk Yard Golf is one of the most popular places for Londoners offering wacky and random junk-filled crazy golf courses including dodgems, bathtubs and jungles!

Again, this is one of the things to do in London in winter that I recommend you plan for the evenings when you don’t want to be outside!

Note that both the golf and ping pong are bars and therefore although they sound like they are good things to do in Lonon with kids, they are actually not as they are adult venues with alcohol served.


Related Post: 10 Tips for How to Visit London in Winter, and Enjoy it!

10. Visit a Hampstead Pub

English Pubs can be found all over London and they are certainly good places to visit in London in winter to get some nice food and a warm drink in a cosy setting!

To get a really traditional experience, I recommend visiting the neighbourhood Hampstead which is just a few tube stops from Camden Town.

Hampstead is a beautiful part of London and there are lots of things to do in Hampstead like visit Hampstead Heath, visiting it’s art museums and walking its beautiful streets, but it’s also home to many good English pubs where you can get a really good meal and an excellent Sunday Roast on Sunday!

Here are the best pubs in Hampstead to visit and I used to live there so I know!

things to do in winter in London, Hampstead Pub

The Holly Bush is my favourite Hampstead pub!

11. Go for Breakfast at Duck and Waffle at Sunrise

Duck and Waffle is a world-class London restaurant located right at the top of Herons Tower and offers an incredible view over London!

The Duck and Waffle is open 24 hours a day but is most famous for its breakfast and brunch menu! Visiting Duck and Waffle at sunrise and having breakfast as the city gets light is a truly incredible experience and is perfect as an idea for what to do in London in winter because of how late the sun rises in the morning during winter in London!

You’ll have to book a place in advance as tables book up fast. Book a table on their website here and check what time sunrise is when you visit London on your winter dates.

things to do in winter in London, Duck and Waffle

The view from Duck and Waffle over London!

12. Take a walk along Oxford Street at Night

When the sun goes down and the city gets dark, Oxford Street lights up!

Oxford Street is London’s famous shopping street and walking along it in winter, especially in late November, December and early January when the Christmas light are out is truly magical!

Plus, Oxford Street gets really busy during the day but it is less busy in the evenings and all shops are open until late.

things to do in winter in London, Oxford Street at night

Oxford Street lit up with Christmas Lights is so pretty!

13. Go up The Shard to See a View of London

London offers many viewpoints but some of them have outside access which isn’t pleasant when it’s really cold! Even the London Eye which is undercover when you are in the pods requires queuing up outside. 

Therefore, for a London viewpoint that is dry and warm, I recommend The Shard!

To visit The Shard you can either go to the bar at the top of the Shard and see the view by buying a drink, or you can pay to visit the actual observatory and stay dry and warm in here.

It’s recommended to buy a ticket for The Shard in advance because as you can probably tell, London gets very busy and tickets and spaces go fast and even more so when everyone wants to be inside and everyone is looking for things to do in London when it rains and in winter!

things to do in winter in London, Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge as seen from the Top of The Shard!


Remember that the London Pass may be worth purchasing for London in Winter!

The London Pass offers access into 80+ of the top London attractions. If you plan on going on the London Eye, taking Boat Trips, going into Tower Bridge and St Pauls Cathedral and even plan on going outside of London to Windsor Castle or Hampton Court Palace, it would be cheaper to buy the London Pass so you save money on entrance fee’s and get fast track entry, perfect for if you only have a few days in London!

The London Pass is valid for 2 years once purchased and you can buy a 1, 2, 3, 6 or 10 day pass so you can visit so many of London’s best attractions in the cheapest possible way!

Click here to look into the options and to buy your pass now while you’re thinking about it!


 

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