Ah, London – home to world-class restaurants, an unparalleled music scene, and some seriously rich history. Plus, tea. Who could forget the tea? London is definitely one-of-a-kind, and there’s absolutely no shortage of experiences all year round. However, we can’t deny the fact that it’s dramatically different during winter. So, we thought we’d take it upon ourselves to give you some of the best things to do in London in winter.
But first, let’s start off by touching on some of the frequently asked questions about winter travel/winter in London.
How do I get around London in winter?
Well, the best option would unarguably be the London Underground called the “Tube”, it’s one of the most popular ways to travel around London, and it’s not hard to see why! It’s fast, reliable, and most importantly, affordable, which is the cherry on top of the cake, considering a holiday in London does come with a hefty price tag.
But hey, if the Tube isn’t for you, taking the bus is your next most convenient shot at getting around. Many travellers also walk around the city since it’s decked out in fairy lights.
If you’re a first-timer or just short on time (because, let’s be honest, do any of us have free time?), we suggest taking advantage of the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour to get between some of the most renowned London landmarks.
Is December a good time to visit London?
Yes, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! December is one of the best months to visit London. From twinkling lights covering every inch to the vibrant buzz of people, there’s a palpable sense of holiday cheer in the air, and IT IS INTOXICATING.
But, we’re not going to tell you what you can & cannot do! So, if you’re looking for some other destinations to visit in December, feel free to click right here.
What is the weather like in London in winter?
Winter whisks you away, sweeping through the city and making it a winter wonderland. The average temperature is around 9°C, and the average low is around 5°C. However, freezing temperatures occur, and snowfall isn’t out of the picture.
What to pack for winter in London?
If you’re an avid traveller, you know the drill by now. But if you’re not, you should know that dressing in layers is the way to go, and the key is to stay comfortable at all times. Apart from the usual warm beanies, waterproof boots, jackets and gloves, you’ll find a detailed guide of what to pack for winter travel if you click right here.
Now, let’s get down to business!
Top things to do in London in winter
Skate, skate, skate away!
We’re sure this isn’t the first place you’ve heard this, and it sure as hell won’t be the last, but the ice rink in front of the Natural History Museum is one of the most show-stopping winter attractions in London.
You’ll be surrounded by shimmering fairy lights, and a towering Christmas tree as you effortlessly glide around the rink, hand-in-hand with your loved one, or just by yourself if you’re a bit of a single-pringle. Plus, to top it all off, you can head to the museum’s cafe & enjoy mulled wine once you’ve had enough of skating.
Soak in the sights of Oxford Street
Couldn’t get your shopping done? Well, say hello to your saviour! Oxford Street is London’s ultimate shopping haven, and it would be a rookie mistake not to pay a visit.
Lined with high-end retailers, renowned UK department stores, and candy shops, this is definitely worthy of making it on to one of the best things to do in London in winter.
Also, it just gets better as you approach Christmas! Lights & festive displays punctuate the street as sway-worthy harmonies shift through the air. So, no matter what you do, make sure you have Oxford Street on your itinerary.
Visit Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
You can’t be wondering about the things to do in London in winter and not think of visiting the daddy of all Christmas markets – that’s Blasphemy.
Now, of course, we understand if some of you decide to skip this since Winter Wonderland might be a little out of budget, but hey, it never hurts to window shop, right? Plus, there’s free entry!
Also, you’re in London, so this definitely won’t be the only overpriced thing you’ll do! So, we recommend saving up before your trip to get this experience on your bucket list – it really is worth it.
Let’s have a Harry Potter Christmas?
Okay, listen – we know this isn’t the traditional go-to activity that you’d expect to find on a list of things to do in London in winter, but – we happen to think it’s a good thing to stray away from the ordinary and be a little unique.
Also, what’s Christmas without a hint of nostalgia? Harry Potter was definitely a big part of our childhood (most of us, at least), and what better way to honour that memory than by visiting the Warner Brothers Studio!
Plus, to make things even better, the Harry Potter film sets that we (again, most of us) know like the back of our hand transformed for the winter season. From adorned Christmas trees lining the Great Hall to icicles and golden baubles hanging above, you’ll have time to remember.
Ride the London Eye
Of course, we’re talking about the London Eye. Why wouldn’t we? If you visit London and don’t visit the London, Eye then did you even experience London in the first place?
The London Eye may be stained by whispers of “oh, it’s SOOO overrated”, but we heavily encourage you to just take a chance & see for yourself.
It’s one of the city’s top attractions & you’ll be able to get a front-row seat to witness what the holidays bring to the city from the comfort of your enclosed capsule.
In addition to seeing the Christmas sparkle take over London, you’ll also get to see the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and other landmarks that some tourists claim they’re too cool for.
Curl up in a cosy cafe
Sometimes all you want is a little bit of your time, and there’s nowhere better to get some quality alone time than the cafes in London. Found in abundance, the cafes in London are the ideal place to take a deep breath and let your thoughts take a walk.
Also, if you think this doesn’t deserve to be one of the top things to do in London in winter, we suggest you don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Each cafe has its own lively atmosphere, all you need is a warm drink, some fresh pastry and bam! Just like that, you’re all set to enjoy a bit of downtime.
We’re also looking to add more things to do in London in winter to our list, so if you have any suggestions, comment below.
Also, we’re dying to know: what do you think of winter travel in London? Have you ever experienced it? Do you plan on doing it anytime soon? Let us know in the comments below as well!