Whether you want to celebrate the New Year in style or experience the best of the city after all the crowds die down, the British capital has lots to offer in January and February. Read on for our top picks of what to see, where to go and what to do in London this winter.
When the new year is officially with us, it's not long before most people start to feel the post-holiday blues. With the festive season well and truly winding down, it might seem like the next thing to look forward to is the Spring, but in reality, London is exciting as ever during the winter season! Whether you're visiting from out of town and making the Radisson Blu Hotel London Stansted Airport your base for a few days or are a London local and planning to show some friends around, these things to see and do around the city are sure to delight even the hardest to impress…
London International Mime Festival
Why end the festive season on the 1st of January? A favorite with audiences since it began in 1977, the month-long Mime Festival 2019 will runs from the 9th of January to the 3rd of February at venues around the city including the Southbank Centre, Barbican, Royal Opera House and Leicester Square Theater - just to name a few. Performers from around the world will be showcasing new and exciting works, exploring the medium of mime and challenging audiences to think about physical theater in a new way. Tickets will be on sale online - links and the full programme can all be found from the website which will be live from the 10th of October.
England's neighbors to the north, Scotland, have another big celebration at the end of the month that manages to make its way down to London too. Robert Burns, the famous Scottish poet, is a national treasure and each year on the 25th of January his birthday is celebrated. The celebration includes a traditional haggis supper, typically followed by a poetry reading and a toast. For the adventurous, you can usually also have a fling around the dance floor at a Ceilidh. Bars and restaurants all over the city are known to host their own Burns Night celebrations, so it shouldn't be hard to find one near you, no matter which corner of London you're staying in.
Robert Burns was an Ayrshire man, but as Scotland's national poet it's only fitting that Edinburgh has a monument dedicated to Rabbie in the capital. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre is also offering a Burns Night menu which you can enjoy from January 24th to January 26th. It celebrates the best of Scottish dishes and ingredients, with some special cocktails available. So you can raise a toast to the Bard too!
New Year's Day Parade
A tradition in London for more than 25 years, the New Year's Day parade is a festive opportunity to start 2019 with a bang. Running from Parliament Square to Piccadilly, up to half a million people line the streets each year to take part in the fun. Starting this year at noon on 1 January, the parade will last for roughly three hours and feature horses, marching bands, and floats from participating London boroughs. If you want to know more about the event, you can check out the London parade website where you can find everything from transportation information to a detailed history of the parade itself.
Ice Sculpting Festival
Winter just wouldn't be the same without a little snow and ice, and what better way to mark the coldest month of the year than with the London Ice Sculpting Festival? During this January "must visit" event in London, Canary Wharf is set to be transformed into an icy playground as it hosts this sculpted extravaganza. The three main events are the single block competition, freestyle competition and big block competition. 10 teams and 20 international sculptors will compete for the top prize, creating some amazing meltable artworks along the way. There's lot of opportunity for visitors to get involved, too - over the weekend there will be masterclasses, along with a food market to fill up between events.