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101 things to do in London in winter

People walking across the London Millennium Bridge in the snow against the backdrop of St Paul's Cathedral.
The London Millennium Bridge in winter. Photo: Shutterstock.
Put on your trendiest bobble hat and take your pick from these top London winter activities.

The mercury might be lower but London gets the temperature rising with all sorts of wintry treats to keep you coming back throughout the season. 

From mid-November through December, January and into February, it’s a true winter wonderland in London. So get out and explore with a walk over frosty leaves or snuggle up in a cosy pub in front of a crackling fire. 

Experience the magic of ChristmasNew Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year, which are just some of the many must-see winter events in London.

Don't forget to put on some extra layers to keep you warm, as London winter temperatures average between 2C and 10C (35F and 50F).

What are the top winter attractions?

The London Eye at sunset reflected on the river Thames
Discover plenty of attractions along the river Thames © Shutterstock. Image courtesy of Shutterstock / Photos.london.
  1. Make memories at London’s top attractions: Many host special wintry events and activities throughout the season.
  2. Pick up a London Pass for access to more than 80 attractions and fast-track entry: Alternatively, opt for a London Explorer Pass to use in a 60-day period or visit some of London’s most popular family attractions with a Merlin attractions pass.
  3. Go on a bus tour or river tour: Discover London in its wintry coat.
  4. On a clear winter's day, marvel at views of the city from one of its many viewpoints: The View from The Shard, Sky Garden, Emirates Air Line or the London Eye are perfect for 360-degree shots.
  5. Explore London's historic royal attractions: Celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee year with a visit to the best royal attractions in London.
  6. Take a tour of Shakespeare's Globe: Go behind the scenes at one of most unique and breath-taking theatrical spaces in London.

Find more tips for sightseeing in London.

What's on in London theatre during winter 2022?

The three main characters in Dirty Dancing, Johnny, Baby and Penny practicing a dance routine
Dirty Dancing is back on the West End stage © Mark Senior / SEE Tickets. Image courtesy of Mark Senior / SEE Tickets.
  1. See a spectacular theatre show in London's West End: Add some sparkle to the winter days.
  2. Have the time of your life at Dirty Dancing at Dominion Theatre: Warm up the winter nights with a sizzling love story, sensational dance routines and show stopping songs. 2 Feb-16 Apr
  3. Be swept off your feet by a performance of Pretty Woman at the Savoy Theatre: Enjoy Hollywood's iconic romantic comedy. 
  4. Catch the critically acclaimed musical Dear Evan Hansen: Follow the heart-warming tale of a struggling teenager in the generation-defining musical.
  5. Groove along to reggae favourites at Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical: Transport yourself to sunnier climes this winter.
  6. Or be a dancing queen at Mamma Mia!: Enjoy the high energy musical packed with Abba songs, romance and feel-good fun.
  7. Experience a fairy tale romance with a twist at Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre: See Andrew Lloyd Webber’s bold retelling of the classic story on stage.
  8. Watch The Book of Mormon at The Prince of Wales Theatre: Laugh out loud at the award-winning comedy musical. 
  9. Embark on an epic journey as the enchanting Life of Pi comes to the West End: Enjoy stunning visuals and state-of-the-art puppetry.
  10. Don't miss Moulin Rouge! The Musical as it plays for the first time in the West End: Be captivated by sparkling costumes and electrifying performances. 
  11. Fall in love with Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Opera House: See Shakespeare's tragic love story performed by The Royal Ballet. Until 25 Feb
  12. Be dazzled by Cirque de Soleil's Luzia at the Royal Albert Hall: Be transported to an imaginary Mexico, with breath-taking acrobatics and stunning visual effects. Until 27 Feb
See more London theatre shows or laugh your head off at a comedy show.

Make memories with the kids this winter

A family of four looking up at the festive features of Hogwarts in the Snow at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
Discover all the magical things happening in London this Christmas, including Hogwarts in the Snow at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. © David Parry. Image courtesy of Fever PR.
  1. Treat the kids to London’s top family attractions: And follow these 101 FOMO-inducing tips for teenagers.
  2. For wizardry winter magic, head to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter: Experience Hogwarts in the Snow (until 16 Jan) where you'll see the famous movie sets dressed for winter.
  3. Grab a Butterbeer at The Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition: See fascinating behind-the-scenes images taken during the making of the iconic film series.
  4. Or see magical Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace Theatre: Watch the world's most famous wizard on stage.
  5. Sing along to family favourite musicals: Chase away those winter blues with family favourites The Lion King and Mary Poppins.
  6. Make the most of the February half-term holiday: Make memories with fun activities. 12-27 Feb
  7. Explore ZSL London Zoo: Warm up this winter with a visit to the Rainforest and the Tropical Butterfly Paradise enclosures.
  8. Go ice skating: Skate in the shadow of some of London’s most famous landmarks at an open-air ice rink. 
  9. Glide around on light skates at Canary Wharf's ice rink: Brighten dark nights and capture dazzling images with multicoloured LEDs attached to your skates. Until 31 Jan
  10. Give curling your best shot at Club Curling at Coal Drops Yard in King's Cross: Team up with family members as you test your skills playing the classic winter game. Until 27 Feb
  11. Take the kids to the annual Imagine children’s festival at the Southbank Centre: Enjoy more than 10 days of culture for kids aged 11 and under. 9-20 Feb 
  12. Celebrate the Lunar New Year at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich: Enjoy a host of family activities and show stopping performances as you explore the collection. 29 Jan
  13. Experience one of London’s best outdoor and drive-in cinemas: Plan a family film-fest!

Find more family activities.

What new activities and experiences can I enjoy in London this winter?

A group of five people male and female wearing sailors hats cruising along the Thames in a Skuna Hot Tub Boat
Cruise along with Thames in a Skuna Hot Tub Boat © Skuna Boats. Image courtesy of Skuna Boats.
  1. Stimulate your senses with exciting immersive experiences: Discover new ways to have fun in the capital from immersive theatre and dining to art, music and gaming.
  2. Reach new heights with a helicopter tour: Experience the high life with a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter ride over London.
  3. Treat yourself to a luxurious spa day: Feel revived and refreshed during the cold winter months with a pampering spa treatment.
  4. Conquer your fear of heights at London's top climbing walls: Get your adrenaline fix this winter at London's all-weather climbing walls.
  5. ...Or if you're brave enough go Up at the O2: Challenge yourself with an exhilarating climb over the roof of the world's most popular entertainment venue.
  6. Enjoy a Nordic bath on a Skuna Boat: Embrace the great outdoors this winter as you cruise along the Thames in toasty hot tub.
  7. Be revitalised with Hotpod yoga or an immersive yoga class: Enjoy yoga and pilates reinvented with new classes available throughout London.
  8. Discover a new sporting skill at indoor activity barsGet together with pals and try thrilling new activities from electric shuffleboard to axe throwing.
  9. Pick up a paint brush at get creative at Brush & Bubbles: Unleash your inner Picasso while you sip on Prosecco at workshops across London.
  10. Get your skates on at Roller Nation near Tottenham: Keep warm on wheels as you groove and glide under the glitterball at the retro-style roller skating disco.
  11. Experience Hyper Reality in east London: Avoid the winter cold as you immerse yourself in retro-games, karaoke and virtual reality in this vibrant venue. Until 31 Mar
  12. Feel tee-riffic this winter at Greenwich Peninsula Golf Driving Range and Adventure Golf course: Perfect your putting skills against a backdrop of riverside views.

Discover more fun things to do in London

What are the top London winter events?

Ladies walking in line presenting clothes during a fashion show.
Watch shows from top designers at London Fashion Week. Credits: Burberry FOH LFW AW20 (Getty, British Fashion Council).
  1. Book a London winter break during February for the ultimate Valentine’s Day treat: Check out top tips for ramping up the romance in London. 14 Feb
  2. Take a front row seat at London Fashion Week: Embrace your inner fashionista with catwalk shows at this unmissable event. 18-22 FeB
  3. Catch a show at the London International Mime FestivalBe left speechless by mime performances. 12 Jan-6 Feb
  4. Watch something new at the London Short Film Festival: Catch short films from emerging filmmakers. 14-23 Jan
  5. See artists unleash new creative concepts at the Purcell Sessions at the Southbank Centre: Be inspired by audio-visual installations, music, dance and visual art. 15 Jan-9 Jun
  6. Enjoy all things Scottish during Burns Night in January: Celebrate the birth of Scotland's national icon, Robert Burns – whisky bars are good starting points. 25 Jan
  7. Keep an eye out for talks, walks and more during LGBT History Month: The annual event celebrates equality and diversity every February.
  8. Mark the arrival of the Year of the Tiger with online Chinese New Year celebrations: Although the annual parade and festival have been cancelled, you can still look out for special menus in Chinatown restaurants or join a special Lunar New Year tour with lunch (30 Jan) to learn more about Chinatown's history. From 31 Jan
  9. Listen to classical music done differently at Classical Vauxhall Festival: Enjoy music and performances from new and established artists in the beautiful setting of St Mark’s Church in Kennington. 10-13 Feb
  10. See stars and superheroes at London Film and Comic Con at Olympia London: Delve intopop culture with fun activities featuring your favourite TV and film characters. 26-27 Feb

Find more world-class London events in winter months

What are the best museums and art exhibitions in London this winter?

The interior of the Titanic with tables, chairs and desks.
See recreated interiors of the Titanic at Titanic: The Exhibition. Image courtesy of Getty Images.
  1. Explore the London Transport Museum after dark: Enjoy themed activities and talks from expert speakers. 
  2. Travel back in time at Titanic: The Exhibition at Dock X in London's Docklands: Immerse yourself in passenger stories and life onboard the fateful ship. Until 20 Mar
  3. Don't miss the Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum: Marvel at the opulent creations of Carl Fabergé, including his famous jewel-encrusted eggs. 20 Nov-8 May
  4. See Hyundai Commission: Anicka Yi: In Love with the World at Tate Modern: Be mesmerised by jellyfish-like "aerobes" as they float over your head. 12 Oct-16 Jan
  5. Experience culture after dark at a late-night London museum opening and lates events: Enjoy immersive experiences, DJ sets and more. 
  6. Get tickets to see Francis Bacon: Man and Beast at the Royal Academy of Arts: Be intrigued by unique paintings blurring the human body with animal movement. 29 Jan-17 Apr

  7. Be mind-blown by Surrealism Beyond Borders at Tate Modern: Experience the revolutionary art movement that subverts reality and brings dreams to life. 24 Feb-29 Aug
  8. Discover the latest winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum: Be amazed by the wonders of the natural world. Until 5 Jun
  9. Explore Bags: Inside Out at the Victoria and Albert Museum: Don't miss the last chance to see the evolution of fashion trends and the popular accessory. Until 16 Jan

  10. Admire innovative artworks at Paper. - a group exhibition at Beers London: See creations on paper from artists around the world in a multitude of styles and media. 23 Jan-26 Feb

  11. Be enchanted by Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature at the Victoria and Albert Museum: See original water colours and drawings of the author's much-loved characters such as Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny. 12 Feb-8 Jan

  12. Be intrigued by The world of Stonehenge at the British Museum: Discover the history and mystery of the iconic stones. 17 Feb-17 Jul

  13. Discover treasures relocated from Woburn Abbey at Queen’s House in Greenwich: Including paintings by Van Dyck, Canaletto and Gainsborough.

See more museum and gallery exhibitions in London.

What are the best free things to do in winter?

A whale skeleton exhibit hanging at the Natural History Museum. Credits: visitlondon.com/Jon Reid.
Visit the Natural History Museum which is full of natural wonders. Credits: visitlondon.com/Jon Reid.
  1. Explore London's many free museums and galleries: They are full of world-class objects and artworks.
  2. Seek out the capital's top free attractionsPerfect for an action-packed day out on the cheap.
  3. Make use of top offersFind great deals for shows, restaurants and more.
  4. Pick up cheap theatre tickets: See top shows for less.
  5. Refuel at the city’s best budget lunch spots: Also check London's best cheap food hubs.
  6. Check out these tips for a cheap night out: You don't need to splash out to have a fun evening in the capital.
  7. Celebrate the Queen's Accession DayMark the the Queen's accession to the throne by watching the gun salute in Green Park7 Feb

Save more with these tips on budget London activities and find more free events in London.

What are the top places to explore this winter?

A deer with a fine set of antlers calls on a misty morning, with the mist and mature trees in the background.
Spot deer in Richmond Park © visitlondon.com/Jon Reid.
  1. Go all botanical this winter with a stroll through Kew Gardens: Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site's glass houses and stunning open spaces.
  2. Wander around London’s parks and gardens: Work off those extra Christmas calories with a walk on a crisp winter's day.
  3. Find the deer in Richmond Park: It's the largest Royal Park in London.
  4. Spot the pelicans and parakeets at St James's Park near Buckingham Palace: With royal, political and literary associations, St James's Park is a gem at the heart of London.
  5. Walk the Regent's Canal: Explore on foot from Camden Lock to King's Cross.
  6. Make your way to beautiful Hyde Park: Discover the memorials and cycle beside the Serpentine.
  7. Book one of London’s best walking tours: Delve into secret spots, historic tales, street art and more.
  8. Explore Hidden London with the London Transport Museum: Step back in time and discover secret forgotten stations with a fascinating tour of London's tube network.
  9. Admire London's statues and fountains: Journey through history as you discover London's iconic and much-loved monuments.
  10. Spot some outdoor art on your daily stroll: Highlights include the Illuminated River.
  11. Or get on your bike, as you hire a Santander Cycle for endless exploring, all from £2 a day: Visit parks, ride along the Thames or explore Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
  12. Seek out these outdoor spots for exercising: Perfect for a healthy and active winter.
  13. Go on new adventures in neighbourhoods outside central London: Make sure to check out Lewisham, the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture in 2022.

Find more outdoor winter activities in London.

Where to go for winter food and drink

A three-tiered cake stand full of cakes and sandwiches, surrounded by plates, cups and saucers, on a table with a white table cloth, in front of a lit fire in an open fireplace.
Afternoon tea at Brown's Hotel. Photo credit: @Lateef. Image courtesy of Rocco Forte Hotels.
  1. Get a winter pick-me-up with an afternoon teaIndulge in a traditional afternoon tea or opt for a quirky afternoon tea.
  2. Defrost in front of a roaring fire at a snug London pub: Enjoy a mug of mulled wine.
  3. Scale the heights to a heated rooftop bar: Soak up sunset views across London and enjoy winter pop-up activities and music.
  4. The winter chill is the perfect excuse to tuck into warming Sunday roasts: Find the best places in London to treat yourself to this British classic. 
  5. Seek out London’s best cheese hotspots oozing with delicious bites: Raclette, toasties, fondue… Whatever your cheesy craving, you'll find a place for it in London!
  6. Bite into tasty pastry from London’s top pie shops: Celebrate National Pie Day on 23 January.
  7. Banish the winter blues at London’s top bars: Winter and cocktails go hand-in-hand.
  8. Take your dog to brunch at Bluebird Chelsea: Treat your furry friend to a crafted canine menu as you tuck into a classic brunch. 23 Jan
  9. Visit healthy eateries across the city: Stick to those New Year’s resolutions. 
  10. Enjoy vegan and vegetarian delights this January: Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian or just dabbling, make the most of Veganuary.

Find more food and drink inspiration.

Where is the best place for winter shopping?

Exterior shot of Selfridges on Oxford Street.
Selfridges on Oxford Street. Image courtesy of Andrew Meredith/Selfridges.
  1. Enjoy some retail therapy at London’s top shopping hotspots: From high-street brands on Oxford Street to upscale boutiques in Bond Street and St James’s, or beauty and fashion at Covent Garden, Carnaby and Belgravia. 
  2. Bag yourself a bargain during the London winter sales: Don't miss out on more special offers during this time of year
  3. Explore London’s coolest department stores: Find plenty of trendy threads and quirky homewares.
  4. Discover London's sustainable shopping scene: Save money and help the environment by visiting the best sustainable shops across the city. 
  5. Work your way through the 101 best shops in London: The perfect excuse to keep coming back on regular shopping sprees.

Delve into more London shopping inspiration.

Check out our events calendar for more special events in winter in London. Plan your winter break in London with our pick of things to do in London each month.