What To Do In London This Winter

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London is a city boasting a stunning array of attractions and activities for any time of year. Guests of 5 star hotels in London are spoilt for choice through the summer, spring, autumn and winter as the seasons bring not only changes to the weather, but changes to the very character of London.

As with many large cities, London is kaleidoscopic in its atmosphere and personality. However, there’s one time of year during which guests of the London hotel special offers will see a unity of tone. That’s during the winter months, when the entirety of London celebrates the festive season and sees Christmas lights, bonfire night fireworks and much more unifying the city.

Though the temperature drops, it doesn't mean visitors can’t enjoy the great outdoors or find exciting activities in the city. This blog will outline some of the best winter events that take place in London over the winter period, and why November through February can be such memorable times for Montcalm City Hotel London guests to visit the English capital.

London Does Winter Events Like No Other 

Let’s start with the festive seasons, when London locals come together and celebrate not just the event at hand, but the beauty of the city too. 

Bonfire Night 

It makes sense that London is one of the best cities in England to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night, it is the city in which the commemorated event took place after all. For those unacquainted with the English tradition, Bonfire Night is memorialised on the day that Guy Fawkles, a Catholic (would be) assassin, attempted to destroy the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I of England by igniting barrels of gunpowder beneath Westminster. Fortunately, he was foiled back in 1605, and every year since, the 5th of November has been commemorated with processions, fireworks and bonfires across the country. 

London Fireworks And Bonfires

London is brimming with fireworks displays at parks such as Blackheath and Battersea. Alexandra and Wimbledon Park also hold fireworks displays and amusements. 

Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, wherever you may be, but there’s something special about spending Christmas in London. 

Winter Wonderland 

First off is Winter Wonderland, a Christmas themed festival that takes place in Hyde Park every year. The dazzling festival of family friendly amusements, Christmas markets, street food and bars splash colour across the royal park between 19th November and 3rd of January. 

Christmas Lights Of Oxford Circus 

And not far away, Oxford Circus, Soho and Westminster will be adorned with Christmas lights that are famous for their artful designs. Of special note are the lights that take over Carnaby Street, a popular boutique shopping street in Central London Carnaby Street’s festive light themes have in the past included underwater seascapes, rainbows and the swinging 60s. 

Pantomimes And West End Shows 

An especially strange phenomena in the UK is the Christmas panto. Whilst other European countries have their own performance based Christmas traditions, the pantomime is a fun, audience interactive and family friendly (mostly) retelling of fairy tales and classic stories. Many of London’s theatres put on pantomimes restaging the likes of Peter Pan and Jack and the Beanstalk, often with celebrities helming the cast! Standout theatres for Christmas pantomimes include the Hackney Empire and the Stratford East Theatre. 

Shopping At Christmas

What would the festive season be without a browse of Oxford and Regent Street’s many department stores? London’s shop windows become works of art at Christmas, and if you can brave the crowds, are an intoxicating experience, even if you don’t buy anything. 

New Year’s Eve

Wherever you end up on New Year's Eve, it’ll most probably be memorable for the people you are attending with. New Year's Eve is a time for connecting with friends and family, and London provides the perfect backdrop to your celebrations, whatever you end up doing for it.

Central London Fireworks 

As with bonfire night, fireworks are a main facet of New Years Eve. The countdown to the new year is accompanied by what is often a monumental fireworks display over the Houses of Parliament, viewable from many parts of London but especially from the South Bank of the Thames. Buy tickets in advance though, front row seats on the banks of the Thames go very quickly. 

New Years Events 

As can be expected, New Year’s Eve in London is one of the best party experiences in the country. From pub lock-ins to mega club events, London’s New Year's celebrations are like no other. From the stunning Skylight at Tobacco Docks to the LGBT friendly Heaven in Charing Cross, there’s a New Years Eve party for all tastes, shapes and sizes. 

Winter-Long Activities 

It’s not just special occasions that make winter so exciting in London. Alongside a simple brisk walk through the parks and forests of the city, there are many attractions and activities that you’ll only find during the festive season. 

Outdoor Ice Skating

From Battersea Power Station to the Natural History Museum, many of London’s cultural icons set up temporary ice rinks that anyone can book a time slot for. Winter Wonderland, discussed earlier, even puts on ice skating shows by professionals. The most atmospheric of London’s ice rinks is most likely Somerset House courtyard, where Djs and a large Christmas tree capture the perfect ambiance for your festive skating session. 

The Pub Roast 

Whilst it may be available all year long, there’s nothing quite like a winter pub roast. Get out of the cold and book a table with friends and family across the city’s many traditional public houses. Mulled wine is on offer too, a real winter warmer of a drink. 

Christmas FIlm Screenings

Think of the many festive - and festive adjacent - films that have been set in the English capital. Indeed, some guests of hotels near Old Street Station might even be visiting the city for its ties to the likes of Oliver Twist, Love, Actually, and Bridget Jones’s Diary. Many of the city’s best independent cinemas including the BFI, the Prince Charles and the Rio in Dalston, regularly put on festive film seasons that reflect the charm and sparkle of the city.