Things to do in London in Autumn and Winter (Christmas in London)
The amazing thing about living in London is all the possibilities and the changing plans every season. I feel truly blessed to live here. A good source of inspiration for great London activities is Timeout London, Le Cool London and the Nudge. Living in London for the past four years has given me an inside knowledge of what type of events are likely to happen and when.
In this post, I am going to give you a few ideas of things to do in the autumn and winter, which is basically the Christmas period. Although Christmas festivity don't start till mid November.
One. Things to do in London in Autumn and Winter: Ice Skating
This has been on my list since I moved to London. Every time I pass by an ice rink I get the urge to go, but I change my mind last minute, but this year I am going! There are a few options . The two most popular -over crowded- ones are the Winter wonderland one in Hyde Park and the one outside of the Natural History Museum. There is also the very cool ice rink at the Somerset House. A slightly less crowded one is the Canary Wharf Ice Rink since it is located in the business area of London. Canary Wharf is usually very quiet during the weekend when all the business men and women are in their homes, but who knows about this year. Full list: Ice skating in London
Two. Things to do in London in Autumn and Winter: Christmas Markets
I know this is very christmasy, but I love markets. Markets are great when it's not raining and you want to just walk around and chat. Many of them popup close to Christmas time to entice people to buy even more gifts.
There is the usual Winter wonderland market, but I just avoid Hyde Park at all costs. Too many people! A little one in central London is the Southbank market. There is also a high end market in the Design Museum for a weekend in Dec. I personally love the Renegade Craft Fair (second weekend in December in East London)There are many handmade and Etsy sellers there that have unique gifts.
Three. Things to do in London in Autumn and Winter:Kew Gardens
I know it's a bit too cold for parks, BUT the colours of autumn are too gorgeous to miss! Get those winter boots out and warm coat and go. On my list is Kew gardens for all the beautiful shades of autumn. Some more park ideas: Hidden gardens and green spaces in London.
Four. Things to do in London in Autumn and Winter: International Films
Going to the cinema all together is a very winter activity for me. I am not going to waste a good sunny day indoors. I haven't been to the cinema to watch a normal American or British movies in months. I only watch them on Netflix and Amazon Prime. I go to cinemas now just for international movies that I can't get a hold of otherwise. During October (until the 15th) there is the British film festival with really cool films. End of October is the UK Iranian film festival as well and I try to go to at least two of them. It's worth looking up independent cinemas in London to see more intriguing options of films that you might have not seen before. I usually go to the Curzon Cinema for that and they have a few branches. There is also Greenwich Picturehouse, which can be a good option if you are based in South London. For more quirky options you can go to the Prince Charles Cinema.
Five. Things to do in London in Autumn and Winter: Chase up the lights
Winter nights are very long, but thankfully in some parts of London, night is as bright as day! There are a few lit up spots around London. Most lights start popping from end of November in preparation for Christmas. The most obvious lights that you will eventually see without even trying are the light at Oxford Street, Regent Street and a few other street in Central London. Basically keep on walking in central London and you will see lights all over. If you want more street lights then the winter Canary Wharf lights might be fun to see as well.
There are three gardens that will have lights as well:
Six. Things to do in London in Autumn and Winter: Country Walks
If you are done with all the city activities, you can head outside of London and go on one of the possible country walks. It will be worth it especially if you go in October or November where you get to see all the beautiful coloured autumn leaves. I think it's a magical time of the year. If you need ideas of country walks near London then check out the books below, or check some of the walks I have gone on previously!
Over to you: Are there any events or activities happening in London in the autumn and winter that you are planning on doing? Share away in the comments below!