Winter is the most magical time of the year, and it’s even more beautiful when you spend it in London. Not only is it because of the atmosphere and the people, but there is a wide array of fun-filled activities you can take part in.
If you’re visiting London and need ideas for things to do in London in winter, we have you covered. Below are the top 20 activities you can check out.
Hit the ice rink
Explore London's winter wonderland with enchanting ice skating experiences at iconic venues. Glide gracefully at Somerset House, surrounded by festive cheer amidst stunning architecture. Seek magic at the Natural History Museum's rink, where the museum's grandeur sets the stage for a unique skating adventure.
For a historical twist, skate within the Tower of London's moat, immersed in centuries-old tales while enjoying the icy thrills. Each rink offers a distinctive ambience, whether in cultural landmarks or historical settings, promising a memorable and delightful winter escapade through London's diverse and storied landscapes.
Visit Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland invites you to a festive extravaganza! Delight in a magical realm adorned with intricate ice sculptures, showcasing artistic brilliance at every turn. Navigate through bustling markets brimming with seasonal treasures, from artisanal crafts to irresistible culinary delights. For thrill-seekers, an array of exhilarating fairground rides awaits, painting the atmosphere with joy and excitement.
This enchanting spectacle seamlessly weaves entertainment and wonder, offering a vibrant celebration that embodies the very essence of London's winter charm. Experience the heartwarming spirit of the season at Winter Wonderland, an immersive haven nestled in the heart of Hyde Park.
Attend the Christmas markets
Experience the magic of London's Christmas markets at Southbank Centre, Covent Garden, and Greenwich Market. Meander through these bustling hubs filled with unique gifts and seasonal delights. Southbank Centre’s riverside market boasts artisan crafts and delectable treats against the scenic Thames backdrop. Explore Covent Garden's lively stalls brimming with bespoke treasures in a vibrant setting. Meanwhile, Greenwich Market offers a haven of handcrafted wonders and culinary pleasures.
Each market exudes its own charm, inviting you on a delightful journey to discover special gifts and savour the festive flavours that define London's holiday spirit.
Go to a theatre show
Delve into London's vibrant West End theatre scene, a treasure trove of diverse performances tailored to every taste. From dazzling musicals to compelling dramas, an eclectic range of shows awaits your discovery. Experience the magic of top-tier productions where storytelling transcends boundaries, captivating audiences with exceptional performances.
Whether you crave the grandeur of a musical or the intimacy of a thought-provoking play, the West End promises an immersive theatrical journey. With its diverse repertoire, London's theatre district guarantees an unforgettable experience, ensuring there's a captivating show for every theatre enthusiast to revel in and savour.
Explore the museums and galleries
Discover London's cultural treasures at the British Museum, Tate Modern, and the National Gallery while staying cosy indoors. Step into the British Museum's historical legacy, exploring ancient artefacts and millennia-old tales. At the Tate Modern, marvel at contemporary art in a riverside architectural gem.
Meanwhile, the National Gallery unveils timeless masterpieces across the ages. These sanctuaries of culture not only offer warmth from the winter chill but also serve as immersive journeys through art and history. Embrace these havens to enrich your London sojourn, immersing yourself in their diverse collections and profound insights into the human story.
Cruise the River Thames
Set sail on a captivating voyage along the River Thames, unlocking London's iconic landmarks from an unparalleled viewpoint. Drift serenely, beholding the city's defining sights that grace its captivating skyline. From the iconic Tower Bridge to the historic Houses of Parliament and the modern allure of the London Eye, witness these renowned landmarks through a fresh lens.
This leisurely excursion offers an enchanting perspective, allowing you to absorb the grandeur and narratives woven into these architectural gems. A Thames cruise becomes a scenic journey through London's essence, crafting an unforgettable narrative of its storied history against the tranquil waters.
Indulge in afternoon tea
Immerse yourself in the winter tradition of afternoon tea at esteemed locations such as The Ritz or The Shard, offering a cosy and lavish experience. Enjoy the timeless charm of delicate sandwiches, warm scones, and exquisite pastries served amid opulent settings. The Ritz exudes classic luxury, enveloping you in its historic grandeur, while The Shard boasts modern elegance with sweeping views.
Embrace this cherished ritual as a delightful escape from the winter cold, relishing fragrant teas and delightful treats. These iconic venues not only offer a culinary journey but also create an ambience of sophistication and warmth, ensuring a memorable and indulgent afternoon.
Visit winter exhibits
Immerse yourself in seasonal exhibitions at London's esteemed venues—the Royal Academy of Arts and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Explore these cultural gems adorned with special winter showcases, each presenting a distinct narrative and artistic brilliance. At the Royal Academy of Arts, discover diverse displays featuring captivating themes and creative masterpieces.
Meanwhile, the Victoria and Albert Museum invites you to explore the intriguing intersection of history and innovation in its winter exhibits. Engage with these curated collections, each showcasing creativity and ingenuity, enhancing your London winter experience with a vibrant array of artistic expressions and thought-provoking displays.
View the Christmas lights
Immerse yourself in the city's festive glow as Oxford Street, Regent Street, and Carnaby Street light up with stunning Christmas displays. Wander through these iconic London thoroughfares transformed into radiant wonderlands, illuminating the night with their unique charm. Oxford Street exudes grandeur, Regent Street boasts timeless allure, and Carnaby Street bursts with creative flair, offering a visual spectacle that enchants the senses.
Admire the twinkling lights, intricate decorations, and joyful atmosphere, making these vibrant streets an essential stop for your London winter escapade—an unforgettable journey through the magic and splendour of the holiday season.
Warm up in a pub
Experience the cosy embrace of traditional London pubs, where crackling fireplaces offer respite from the winter's chill. Settle into their inviting atmosphere, relishing hearty meals amidst the comforting warmth. These quintessential haunts exude charm, inviting you to unwind and savour the pleasures of good food in great company.
Whether nestled in a snug nook or seated by a crackling fire, these pubs promise an authentic experience—inviting you to enjoy delicious fare and a relaxed ambience. Embrace the city's hospitality and escape the winter's bite in these welcoming havens, where every meal is a delightful celebration of comfort and camaraderie.
Watch a football match
Experience the vibrant energy of a Premier League football match, where the atmosphere crackles with unparalleled excitement. Engage in the thrill as devoted fans unite, creating an electrifying buzz that fills the stadium. Witness the pinnacle of athleticism and skill as players ignite the field with their prowess.
Whether it's the thunderous cheers, the anticipation of every goal, or the palpable tension in the air, a Premier League game guarantees an unforgettable spectacle. Immerse yourself in the fervour, be part of the live action, and embrace the adrenaline-pumping moments that unfold with each kick, creating an immersive and thrilling sports experience.
Watch the NYE fireworks
Ring in the New Year with a dazzling fireworks spectacle along the Thames. Join the festive throng gathered along the riverbanks for an awe-inspiring celebration lighting up the night sky. Marvel at the vibrant colours and radiant display against London's iconic landmarks. Experience the exhilaration as the countdown marks the arrival of midnight, culminating in an explosion of joy and wonder.
This iconic event embodies the spirit of a fresh beginning, enveloping everyone in a magical atmosphere of hope and festivity. Don't miss this must-see experience, where the London skyline comes alive, marking the start of a new chapter with grandeur and excitement.
Go gift shopping
Engage in London's diverse shopping scene during the post-Christmas sales or by exploring charming independent boutiques across the city. Dive into bustling sales where discounts abound, presenting a prime chance to snag sought-after items at enticing prices. Alternatively, wander through the intimate spaces of independent stores, unveiling exclusive finds and unique treasures.
Whether hunting for well-known brands at discounted rates or seeking one-of-a-kind gifts, London's shopping experience caters to all tastes. Enjoy the thrill of discovery in this vibrant city, promising a rewarding and enjoyable shopping escapade tailored to your preferences and desires.
Catch a Christmas film
Get into the holiday mood with Christmas movie screenings at London's iconic cinemas like the Electric Cinema or the BFI Southbank. Immerse yourself in the charming atmosphere of these prestigious venues, where cinematic wonder meets festive cheer. From timeless classics to seasonal favourites, indulge in heartwarming tales on the big screen, surrounded by rich history and cultural significance.
Whether it's the Electric Cinema's vintage allure or the BFI Southbank's cinematic legacy, both promise an unparalleled movie experience. Gather with loved ones or relish the nostalgic joy of cinema, as these theatres add a magical touch to your winter London itinerary.
Go on a winter walk
Experience the winter charm by bundling up for a stroll through London's scenic parks like Hyde Park or Hampstead Heath. Explore these picturesque landscapes adorned with frosted trees and peaceful pathways, offering a serene retreat from the city's hustle. Whether it's Hyde Park's expansive beauty or Hampstead Heath's rolling meadows, each park beckons for an immersion in nature's tranquillity.
Feel the crisp air, hear the snow crunching beneath your feet, and embrace the calm surroundings. These winter walks offer a refreshing escape, allowing you to unwind and reconnect with nature amidst the vibrancy of London's urban landscape.
Enjoy some hot chocolate
Indulge in an unparalleled hot chocolate experience at Said Dal 1923 or Dark Sugars. Relish the luxurious offerings of these renowned spots, where hot chocolate reaches new heights of opulence. Whether it's Said Dal 1923's velvety richness or Dark Sugars' artisanal blends, each sip unveils a journey through decadence.
Discover a spectrum of flavours and textures, from silky smoothness to intense cocoa depths, transforming the ordinary into a gourmet delight. Treat your palate to this sumptuous experience, embracing the warmth and depth found within a cup of hot chocolate at these iconic destinations.
Visit Sky Garden
Experience London from an unparalleled vantage point at Sky Garden’s observation deck. Marvel at the panoramic vistas unveiling iconic landmarks and the meandering Thames, painting a mesmerising portrait of London's allure.
From this lofty perch, witness the bustling streets and majestic skylines, capturing the city's sprawling beauty in a single glance. Embrace this awe-inspiring moment as Sky Garden offers an unforgettable experience, revealing the grandeur and magnificence of London from its towering heights.
Experience Kew Gardens
Discover the mesmerising Kew Gardens Winter Trail, where magical light installations await your exploration. Step into a wonderland transformed by enchanting displays that adorn the gardens in a spectacular fashion. Follow illuminated pathways, each unveiling radiant hues and artistic marvels. Witness the captivating interplay of lights, casting a magical glow across the winter landscape.
This immersive journey at Kew Gardens promises a sensory delight, infusing the season with a captivating allure. Traverse the dazzling winter trail and uncover the enchantment that graces every corner of this botanical paradise, igniting the imagination with its spellbinding charm.
Attend a winter concert
Experience the enchantment of winter concerts at prestigious venues like the Royal Albert Hall or the Barbican Centre. Immerse yourself in seasonal melodies and captivating performances, gracing these iconic stages. Whether it's the grandeur of the Royal Albert Hall or the artistic ambience of the Barbican Centre, each venue offers a distinct setting for these delightful events.
Feel the festive spirit through mesmerising music, infusing warmth and joy into the winter air. Attend these acclaimed concerts and let the harmonies and performances weave unforgettable moments, adding a magical touch to this special season.
Day trip outside London
Embark on a captivating day trip from London to explore the scenic towns of Windsor, Oxford, or Cambridge. Each destination offers a unique blend of history, charm, and natural beauty. Stroll through Windsor's regal streets, adorned by the iconic Windsor Castle. Discover Oxford's rich academic heritage amid historic university buildings and tranquil meadows.
Alternatively, explore Cambridge's picturesque streets and renowned colleges along the serene River Cam. These towns, steeped in cultural significance, provide an enchanting getaway, inviting you to uncover their distinct allure and idyllic settings—a perfect escape from London's bustling energy for a day of exploration and discovery.
There are so many fun-filled things to do in London in winter that it can be hard to find which ones are best for you or which ones are available during your visiting dates. Luckily, LovetoVisit has a seamless search feature that can help you find the best activities based on your preferences. Check it out today and have the most memorable trip to the capital.