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What to Do in London In January

Updated: November 21, 2023
 By Margaret

This post lists the many things to do in January in London, updated for 2024.

We include family-friendly, free, and night activities and attractions.

As local London tour guides, we have drawn upon our extensive experience to come up with this list of January activities and events.

We also incorporated tips from members of our very popular London Travel Tips Facebook group.

Outside of its first week, January is probably the cheapest time of year to visit London, certainly for both flights and accommodation.

Of course, the main reason for this is the weather, and as you can see in the image below, there's little sun and lots of precipitation.

London Snow January

Temperature-wise, however, London is actually milder than other northern European cities.

Daily high temperatures average 8 C - 9 C (45 F) with low temperatures averaging between 3 C - 5 C (upper 30's F to near 40 F). 

However, it's a great time for indoor attractions, such as museums, as crowds should be approximately half as large as during the peak season.

You can check out our full weather report for January for more details.

Be sure to check out our extensive list of things to do in London.


Below is our list of the top 10 things to do and see in January.

Some of our other most popular posts include: 

If you plan to visit many top attractions, you should consider a tourist discount card or a bus tour combo ticket.

1. Go to a Concert

London is full of music venues, and you can be sure that no matter which month you’re in town, there will be a big-name artist or group performing.


Click here to see even more concerts in London in January.

2. See a Sports Event

So you are in London, and you expect that you could see a football (soccer) match. 

You have a great opportunity to see some great games and tournaments.

Football (American Soccer)


Snooker (Billiards)

You can find other professional sporting events in the city here.

NOTE: Both a Chelsea Stadium Tour and an Arsenal Stadium Tour are included for free with the London Pass.

3. Take a Pay-What-You-Wish Walking Tour

We offer both guided tours and free self-guided tours that take you through the heart of Westminster, and the Old City of London, and help you decide what to do in London and what to see.

Free Tours by FootExcellentFree Tours by Foot4.9 Based on 730 reviews fromSee all reviews review us onDanielle W.Danielle W. ★★★★★ This was my third tour through Free Tours by Foot London and I love this company. Highly recommend the WWII tour, even if you are only kind-of interested in WWII, as you’ll get lots of extra information about the City of London too.I took the tour with Canice and he was awesome! He did a great job engaging everyone on the tour and knew so many facts. His impressions were great - he had a pretty good American accent (I’m American) and a spot-on Winston Churchill impression. We all asked several questions and he was able to answer all of them and give great context, even for the non-WWII related questions. There were a few folks on the tour who seemed to know a lot about WWII already and Canice was able tailor his content for those advanced folks as well as the beginner audience. That’s very hard to do!I also love that Free Tours by Foot provides a “pay what you like” model, making walking tours and learning accessible to everyone. If you have the means, I recommend paying your tour guide the same price you’d have on a “pay for a ticket” tour. These guides are incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining and do a fantastic job. For reference, I saw another WWII tour going for £35. Canice’s tour was well worth that price!Andrea H.Andrea H. ★★★★★ Just completed one of the Jack the Ripper tours with Ash. What a fantastic evening tour - thank you for humanizing the victims in this story and not glorifying the serial killer! I appreciated your story telling so much!Patrick H.Patrick H. ★★★★★ Absolutely loved the Westminster tour with Maggie! Starting in Green Park, to the Changing of the Guard, St James Palace, Buckingham Palace, Horse Guard Parade, Big Ben, Parliament. Along the way Maggie explained the history and had great stories to make the whole thing entertaining and educational. Would highly recommend, a great way to spend the morning in London.Marie G.Marie G. ★★★★★ Just returned from another fabulous trip to London. Booked a tour with Sinead O Leary with Free Tours by Foot London. It was absolutely amazing as usual. Sinead is a gem! So knowledgeable, entertaining and compassionate. My daughter uses a wheelchair for mobility and Sinead arranged a tour to Windsor for us. She arranged the cab and accompanied us to Windsor for the most amazing tour. Spending the day at the castle with Sinead was the best. We learned so much about the history of the castle, the art work, and its long list of past residents. She was so helpful with assisting my daughter around the castle. To fully appreciate Windsor, a private tour with Sinead is a must. If you or a member of your party has special needs or mobility issues she will take care of you and assure you have a great visit! I can’t say enough about what an amazing tour guide she is‼️Kristin H.Kristin H. ★★★★★ Loved Sinead! She kept us moving without feeling rushed. We saw it all, but more importantly we laughed and enjoyed the stories behind the stories.Gizzy05Gizzy05 ★★★★★ I booked the City of London Tour and it was exceptional! It turned out that I was the only one. My „personal guide“, Matt, was very knowledgeable and the tour was both entertaining and fun. Highly recommended!Kimberley P.Kimberley P. ★★★★★ A great way to explore London and see some areas that you wouldn't see otherwise, and you pay what you can afford. The guides are very knowledgeable and happy to answer questions.Tessa B.Tessa B. ★★★★★ We hebben de bermondsey beer mile expierence gedaan met Dan. Dan was super enthousiast en wist veel over bier, de omgeving en de stad te vertellen. We waren met een klein groepje, 5 in totaal. 2 gezelschappen en de gids. Het was een super leuke ervaring waarbij we ook tijd hadden om elkaar te leren kennen en over culturen te praten, omdat de groep zo klein was. Heerlijke biertjes geproefd en toffe plekken gezien. Echt een aanrader!Carine C.Carine C. ★★★★★ Great tour full of great information. Margaret was brilliant and very friendly. We really enjoyed it.jefferson lord (.jefferson lord (. ★★★★★ (Jack The Ripper)Absolutely fantastic tour, Sinead (our guide ) really seduces you into a brutally descriptive immersion of 1888 white chapel and each of the canonical 5 murders. Would certainly book more tours with her.Brenda C.Brenda C. ★★★★★ Candice was out your guide and he was fabulous! Loved this tour and we learned so much about the city!Jill K.Jill K. ★★★★★ It was perfect in every way! Sinead is a treasure and such a welcoming ambassador for London. We will be talking about the tour for years to come. We are already thinking about our next trip and booking another walking tour!PM J.PM J. ★★★★★ Jack-the-Ripper-Tour mit Sinead war großartig. Sie hat ein großes, dramatisches Talent und schafft es, die Athmospäre des alten Eastend heraufzubeschwören… gleichzeitig ist sie unheimlich freundlich und hat sich um alle Teilnehmer sehr gut gekümmert 🙂 Wir waren begeistert!Damien C.Damien C. ★★★★★ Tanja H.Tanja H. ★★★★★ Eine hervorragende Stadtführung mit erfahrenen Guides die einen auch an verborgene Ecken führen, die man selber nie gefunden hätte. Ich habe zwei Führungen in London mitgemacht, eine Geisterführung und eine Führung in der City of London, also dem alten Teil der Stadt. Es werden aber noch andere Führungen angeboten. Das schöne ist, dass man zwar einen Platz reservieren muss (geht manchmal noch sm selben Morgen) aber bezahlt wird erst nach der Führung und nur das, was es einem Wert war. Es gibt auch etliche Videos auf Youtube, die man sich als Vorgeschmack anschauen kann. Die meisten Führungen werden zwar ausschließlich in Englisch angeboten aber es gibt wohl auch manchmal Führungen auf Deutsch. Ich kann diese Firma wärmstens empfehlen.Christie Sears T.Christie Sears T. ★★★★★ I took two different tours with this company and both were fantastic! Both Sinead and Alan are great guides!Alba B.Alba B. ★★★★★ We booked two different tours in London and had a great experience. The Ghost tour and the Street art tour were very interesting and the guides were great. I will definitely book tours with them next time I am around.Christopher O.Christopher O. ★★★★★ Brilliant tour. Really interesting and informative. Our guide Nelly was so knowledgeable, clear and friendly. Highly recommended.AmélieAmélie ★★★★★ The tour was amazing! Our guide was Margaret, a really nice woman who knew the answer to every possible question we had - even regarding sights we didn't tour but were curious about. We booked the "London in one day" tour and visited the popular sights as well as little streets we would have never seen if it wasn't for the tour. We learned a lot of stuff, mostly really fun facts, anecdotes and the history behind the places. Margaret made the tour so much fun with her way of explaining things so it really didn't feel like six hours. She gave us many recommendations for other places to visit or to get some food. I'd recommend this tour to everyone!janet A.janet A. ★★★★★ Margaret Stockton-Davies was very personable, knowledgeable, good at keeping tour group together, answered all questions, easy to hear, nice sense of humor. Fun tour.S KS K ★★★★★ Margaret led our tour and did a great job. Please be aware of pick pockets targeting these tours.Wanda B.Wanda B. ★★★★★ Most enjoyable walking tour with Margaret, she was very knowledgeable about the history of London, royalty and landmarks. Margaret told stories in a delightful manner, including silly trivia.I would recommend her tour without any hesitation.LindsayLindsay ★★★★★ I did the World War II walking tour with Canice. I really enjoyed it and I was happy that a lot of details and images were shown throughout the tour in addition to physical sites. All of the information was comprehensible even if you, like me, know about WWII but are not an expert. I really enjoyed seeing the sites of the London Blitz and learning a lot about its history. I highly recommend!tali B.tali B. ★★★★★ המדריך ששמו canice היה מצוין! נתן הרבה מידע מתובל בהומור, בעל ידע רב. נהננו ולמדו רבות!SRIDHAR R.SRIDHAR R. ★★★★★ Execellent and cheapest way to explore if you are first time visitingJennifer I.Jennifer I. ★★★★★ The Grand Central Terminal tour with John on 05/28/32 was brilliant. Highly recommended.Lauren U.Lauren U. ★★★★★ We did Shakespeare’s London with Canice, and had a blast. He made southwark history extremely accessible and had an abundance of fabulous quips and anecdotes. The time flew by, I’d highly recommend!!Sandra R.Sandra R. ★★★★★ Gregory did a fantastic job guiding us in Birmingham. We had no idea of what we could expect from this city, and we were strongly surprised. Thank you Greg!R S.R S. ★★★★★ We have been to many walking tours, but Margaret's tour was a cut above the rest. She was funny, knowledgeable and kept the momentum going. There was not one boring or tiring moment in the trip.Reader of M.Reader of M. ★★★★★ Elizabeth H.Elizabeth H. ★★★★★ Thanks for the lovely tour - really appreciated the stories and details you layered into our conversation!Jandy H.Jandy H. ★★★★★ My walking tour with Margaret was amazing. She’s not only knowledgeable but her energy made the tour so much fun and enjoyable.perry W.perry W. ★★★★★ Like watching 👀Daria P.Daria P. ★★★★★ The tour London all in one with Margaret was really well prepared, organised and full of information. I enjoyed it even though weather wasn;t the best! It seems quite long, but thank to to Margaret's charisma and coffee break surely doable! Margarte was also caring about your safety, needs and more than happy to chat between stops and give useful recommendations!Jude M.Jude M. ★★★★★ While researching an upcoming trip to the UK from Australia I stumbled across the Free Tours by Foot YouTube channel and have been captivated ever since. Sinead is a brilliant guide who, with just a camera and herself, has given me an amazing insight into London even before I’ve actually arrived! Thank you Sinead. I will thank you in person in September 😊Anke van den B.Anke van den B. ★★★★★ Greg was the best tourguide you could wish! Thank you for aswering all our questions!Ines KInes K ★★★★★ I really enjoyed their tours.James D.James D. ★★★★★ Great tour of Westminster, Sinead was most definitely entertaining your guide and most importantly knowledgeable about Westminster!mark O.mark O. ★★★★★ Gregory opened our eyes to the fascinating history of Birmingham. It was a total pleasure throughout the tour. We would strongly recommend to everyone who comes to this city, to take advantage of the opportunity to learn about BirminghamKalina A.Kalina A. ★★★★★ ExcellentGreat tour with Margaret in London. She is very knowledgeable. The tour was so interesting. I highly recommend to everyone.Sankalp K.Sankalp K. ★★★★★ Margaret makes the mood all jolly while she gives us tour of London. Loved the experience.Gaveriela T.Gaveriela T. ★★★★★ Outstanding tour by Maciek (Polish origin) of Soho and Piccadilly on Thursday Feb 23, 2023.Outstanding tour by (do not remember) of Notting Hill on Saturday Feb 25, 2023.Both were professional, gentle, eloquent – real joy. Highly recommendedיואב בן א.יואב בן א. ★★★★★ shruti M.shruti M. ★★★★★ Eric B.Eric B. ★★★★★ Alexandra WAlexandra W ★★★★★ Great tour with Margrit! Highly recommend it!!!!Alice A.Alice A. ★★★★★ Really great walking tour from Amanda! Lots of knowledge and kept it very enticing with lots of history as well as life in Prague. Would definitely recommend!js_loader

Our selection also includes food tours, street art tours, and themed tours, such as our Rock N Roll London, Jack the Ripper, and Harry Potter Tours.

Check out our current schedule of guided tours or take one of our GPS-enabled audio tours, which you could take any time that you like.

4. Enjoy the Theatre

The West End of London is home to some of the most well-known theatres in the city, such as the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Gielgud Theatre, Apollo Theatre, Palace Theatre, and many more.

Performances have been taking place in this part of the city since 1663!

From long-term residencies to short runs, here is a list of musicals and plays you can see in December.

You can find more of London's January theatre productions here.

For ways to get cheap theatre tickets, check out our handy discount ticket guide to London theatre.

5. Hogwarts in the Snow Warner Bros Studio Tour London 

Until January 14th, 2024, winter descends on the Great Hall at Warner Bros Studio where the Harry Potter movies were filmed.

Snow will cover the model of Hogwarts Castle, and the Gryffindor common room will be dressed for the season.

Tickets are limited so be sure to book ahead.

After the 14th they go back to their regular tours of the soundstage.

If you'd like to see some other spots from the Harry Potter universe, join us on one of our guided tours of Harry Potter film locations or take our GPS-enabled audio tour

6. Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass

A great cost-effective (and time-saving!) way to see more attractions, tours, and landmarks is by getting a London tourist pass.

These passes bundle together multiple attractions, museums, and tours into one single price and can help you save up to 55%.

Certain passes also give you skip-the-ticket-queue privileges at several locations.

Depending on which pass you get, admission to the following activities and attractions are included:

Make sure to read the full post covering London discount passes.

7. Go Ice Skating

There are several places to ice skate in London - even in the Tower of London!

Click here for a list of all the best places to go ice skating in the city as well as the dates, opening and closing times, and other helpful information.

For more great attractions you can visit with the family, read our section below on things to do with kids in London.

8. Celebrate Burns Night 

Every January 25th, Brits around the Kingdom, honor Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns, born on January 25 in 1759.

Many London restaurants will be having "Burns suppers", part of the annual tradition.

Be warned: it is not a true Burns Supper unless haggis is served (see Wikipedia's relatively mild explanation as to what haggis is). 

To get a rundown of the many events taking place in London that day and night, see this helpful list from Visit London.

9. Visit a Special Exhibit at V&A South Kensington

From now until April 7th, 2024, the V&A South Kensington Museum will celebrate "the power and creativity of iconic performers" with their exhibit Diva.

On display are such items as the screenprint of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol, a Christian Dior costume worn by Vivian Leigh, portraits and photos of the divas from today and the past, and so much more.

Tickets are free and you can learn more here.

10. London New Year’s Day Parade 

Start the New Year by watching the unbelievable London New Year's Day Parade. 

With more than 10,000 participants and 500,000 spectators, the LNYDP is one of the greatest New Year's Day celebrations in the world. 

It is held on January 1, starting at 12 pm near Piccadilly Circus. 

The route passes through Lower Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, Trafalgar Square, and Whitehall.

It concludes at Parliament Street.  

Check their official website for more details and a picture of the route.  

TIP: Expect many road closures so be sure to research the best route to get to the parade ahead of time and read our tips on using an Oyster card.  

Other January Events

London Art Fair | January 17th-21st

One of London's biggest art events, the London Art Fair brings together Modern and Contemporary British and international galleries at the Business Design Centre in Islington.

London Short Film Festival | January 19th-28th

This 10-day festival has between 250-500 short films, live events, Q&A's, and so more.

The Big South London Flea Market | January 7th

Visit Peckham Salvage Yard for all sorts of treasure hunting.

The Big London Flea | January 14th

Held in Stoke Newington, you'll find your love of vintage everything here.

Walthamstow Flea Markets | January 21st

Over 60 hand-chosen traders bring their clothes, home goods, and more to Truman Social Club


Here are just a few of the many free things that you can do in London. 

Check out our free things to do in London Post as well as our guide to visiting London on a budget for more money-saving tips.

Join the Twelfth Night Celebrations

If all goes according to tradition, on Thursday 7th January, folks can partake in this free, somewhat surreal event ending the Christmas season.

You'll see Holly Man emerging from the River, cakes handed out, toasts made, and the crowning of a King and Queen followed by a street procession, dancing, and storytelling!

This all takes place on Bankside, not far from the Globe Theatre.

Plan your evening here

Visit a Free Museum

There are several fantastic free museums in London including the National Gallery, the Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and many others. 

Each of these is great to visit during the month of January as they offer a warm oasis away from the cold.

For a comprehensive list, check out our guide to free museums in London.

Window Shopping at Harrod's

Though the products sold in Harrod's are far from free, simply strolling through this luxury department store won't cost you a thing.

Opened in 1834, Harrod's is a London institution worth visiting if only to witness its incredible grandeur.

If you're in London during the first few days of the month, then you might even be able to catch a glimpse of the impressive Christmas window displays and lights.


Though the month of January is quieter than many others in London, there is still plenty to do at night!

Below are a few of our favorite evening activities. 

For a full list, check out our post Things to Do at Night in London.

Jack the Ripper Tour 

Join us on one of our most popular tours as we follow in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper!

Though it might seem impractical to take a night tour in January, we find that the chilly temperature often adds to the ambiance of this particular tour.

Like all of our other tours, it is name-your-own-price. Reservations are required, so be sure to book ahead of time to reserve your spot!

Click here for a full list and comparison of all the best night tours in London

Enjoy the View from the Sky Garden 

There are many great places to see the London city skyline, but one of our absolute favorites is the Sky Garden!

Though it features a restaurant, bistro, and a bar, the atrium also includes a free public garden that stays open until late. 

It is completely free to visit, but you must make a reservation beforehand. Learn more about how to reserve your free spot at the Sky Garden

Alternatively, you could visit the observation deck of the Shard as well as some great free views of London, some of which you can enjoy at night.


There are several different family-friendly activities available in London throughout the month of January.

Read our master post on visiting London with kids

Hamley’s Toy Store

One of the most famous toy stores in the world, Hamley’s is a two-centuries-old shop with several locations in London, including one on Regent’s Street and one at St. Pancras International.  

Even if you're just doing a bit of window shopping, there are a lot of fun things to see and do in the 'world's finest toy shop!'

The Ghost Bus

Go for a ride on the Ghost Bus! This entertaining tour brings you around London to some of the greatest haunts in the city.

But don't expect to be frightened!

This tour is mostly comedic and works well with families with children of all ages. Learn more here.

Also, check out our review and comparison post on London ghost tours, which includes our own pay-what-you-like ghost tour. 

TIP: This tour is included for free with the iVENTURE Card tourist discount pass. 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea doesn't have to be just for the grown-ups!

The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at the One Aldwych was the 2017 winner of the Best Afternoon Tea in London.

You will be served chocolate eggs, cotton candy, and many other tasty treats all created to reflect Roald Dahl's classic tale.

Visit their website for more details.

We have a list of even more family-friendly afternoon teas.

Locals' and Previous Travellers' Tips

As local London tour guides, we have drawn upon our extensive experience to come up with this list of December activities and events.

We also run the very popular London Travel Tips Facebook group, with roughly 125k members.

We've incorporated some of the suggestions for December events and things to do in this post.

The group consists of locals, like our tour guides, expats, regular visitors, and newbies to London.

Here are a few examples of excellent tips provided by members of our Facebook Group.

As Betsy and Christine note, if you're visiting during the first week of January, you can still catch a lot of the better Christmas lighting displays from the last few months.

Other members note that early January is typically a popular time to do shopping in London, as there are usually still a lot of sales related to Boxing Day.

Here are a few stores they recommend visiting:

You'll even find unique suggestions like this one from Anita.

She points out that the free Outernet Mixed Reality Experience allows visitors to experience a Butterfly Trail and hold a digital butterfly in their hands!

No matter what your question might be, chances are that someone on the London Travel Tips group can help out.


About The Author


An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries. Read More...
Updated: November 21st, 2023
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