January in London

by Melanie Waldman on December 28, 2010

by Melanie Waldman | December 28th, 2010  

Between the January sales crowds and the New Year crowds, it can be hard to tell that January in London is the low season.

And despite the shorter days and cold weather, a little winter cheer persists: the ice rinks and Christmas fairs linger for a bit, and there’s still a chance of snow in the capital.

But perhaps most importantly? January in London is your chance to find an amazing deal on a flight and hotel room, and have more elbow room to enjoy your favorite London attractions!

For January temperatures and suggestions about what to pack, see London Weather.

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HOLIDAYS

Christmas school holiday: (generally) through 6 January

NEW YEAR’S EVE/DAY EVENTS

London Eye Fireworks
London New Year’s Day Parade

JANUARY SALES

Rather than a stream of deals throughout the year, London’s stores hold two main sales: during December-January (often from 26 December through the second week in January) and June (generally the first week of the month). With an opportunity to save as much as 50%, crowds for these sales tend to be huge, focused and even aggressive; scoring a deal at a London sale can be similar to bringing a trophy home from battle. See our Shopping guide.

THE LAST BIT OF CHRISTMAS

Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park
Through Tuesday, January 4
10am-10pm daily
Entry is free to what is arguably London’s biggest Christmas event for the whole family. Food markets? London’s largest ice rink and a giant observation wheel? Spectacular shows and rides? Yeah, they’ve got that.

The Lion’s Part: Twelfth Night
Monday, 3 January

An annual celebration of seasonal English traditions and the end of Christmas. Learn all about mumming, wassailing, King Bean and Queen Pea. The event starts outside the Globe Theatre in Southwark at about 1pm.

Farewell to Christmas
Thursday, 6 January
A service to mark Twelfth Night at the Geffrye Museum, with music, carol singing, Christmas-decoration burning, mulled wine and cake. The event starts at 4pm outside in the museum’s garden (dress warmly), and lasts for one hour.

Ice Skating Rinks
Broadgate: through Sunday, 23 January
Canary Wharf: through Sunday, 20 February
London Eye: through Wednesday, 5 January
Hampton Court Palace: through Sunday, 9 January
Natural History Museum: through Sunday, 9 January
Somerset House: through Sunday, 23 January
Tower of London: through Sunday, 9 January
Westfield London: through Monday, 3 January
Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park: through Tuesday, 4 January

EVENTS

Brits Awards
Thursday, 13 January
Awards ceremony for British and international pop, shown on ITV1.

London Ice Sculpting Festival
Thursday, 13 January – Saturday, 15 January
Free (and amazing) ice sculpture event next to the ice rink in Canary Wharf.

International Mime Festival
Saturday, 15 January – Sunday, 30 January
Mime from all over…all over London.

London Art Fair
Wednesday, 19 January – Sunday, 23 January

Over 100 galleries will gather at the Business Design Center in Islington to celebrate the best of the city’s 20th-century and contemporary art. Click here for information on tickets and pricing.

Australia Day
Wednesday, 26 January
The Aussies’ national day — commemorating the landing in 1778 of the First British Fleet and the setting up of the colony at New South Wales — is a great excuse for a party in London. The Australia Day Foundation UK holds their annual fête at Australia House, and there’ll be a rousing celebration at the Walkabout sports pub in Covent Garden.

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Photo credit: Adrian Clark

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