Winter wonderland: why this season’s great to visit London

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British Museum

So long as you don’t mind packing an umbrella and warm clothes, the start of the calendar year’s a great time to visit London. Indeed, being the leading world city it is, the UK capital’s always humming and buzzing with electricity and excitement; there’s always something going on. But for the advantages of planning your city-break for January-February, read on…

Family attractions

London’s always terrific when it comes to family attractions – whatever the time of year. Granted, it’s marvellous in summer when the wide expanse of greenery is perfect for kids wanting to burn off energy in the Royal Parks (especially the glorious Hyde Park and Greenwich Park), but as you’d expect, the city’s busiest in the warmest months when school’s out for weeks on and end and the sun’s shining strong and bright. For instance, you may have to wait up to an hour to get on the London Eye. Conversely, in the winter months, the place is less crowded, the queues shorter, accommodation prices cheaper and, lest we forget, there’s all manner of special deals for sundry family attractions available during the half-term holiday in late February.

Shopping

It could be argued that January is the best month to visit the capital for some retail therapy, thanks not just to the traditional British post-Christmas sales, but also the slight drop in tourist numbers following the festive season – although, of course, London’s always a haven for visitors from all over the world. Indeed, it’s likely you’ll pick up bargains galore not just in the department stores, shops, boutiques and markets dotted throughout the city, but also when it comes to airfare tickets and rates at hotels in London City, such as the Montcalm Royal London City hotel. Do you research and make the most of the special packages to be had!

Museums and galleries

As with other attractions, winter’s a great time of year to take in the capital’s most culturally resonant venues, among them museums and galleries, because the crowds and long, long lines are largely absent. Thus you can truly devote as much time each day to the exhibition space of your choice. Indeed, even the ‘downtime’ week between Christmas and New Year can sometime feel rather pleasantly sleepy. And, if you want to experience the awesome historical portraiture of the National Portrait Gallery or the latest irreverent art exhibit at the Tate Modern in true peace and quiet and almost near solitude then be aware that at least once a week many of London’s museums and galleries deliberately stay open late for night owls to indulge their grown-up enthusiasm for all things historical and cultural.

 West End theatre

Finally, one of the biggest worldwide draws for visitors to London is the outstanding theatre of the West End and, don’t be in any doubt, the January-February period is undoubtedly one of the best times to sample its incredible array of glossy, expensive musicals, cutting-edge plays, supreme classical drama and marvellously farcical comedies. Why? Because there’s an inordinate amount of deals to take advantage of during the Get into London Theatre (GILT) promotion, held annually at this time of year. So go online, find those bargains and get booking!

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