London from the inside Monday 21st - Sunday 27th August 2017
You know that London is at the top of your list for your next mini-break but can’t decide when would be best to go? We’ve put together the best of what you can expect from London month by month, so that you can stop planning and start doing!
It’s a bit chilly in January but nothing that a nice coat and jumper from the January sales won’t fix. Hit Oxford Street or Westfield in Shepherd's Bush or Stratford for the best selection of big shops. Cosy up in wine bars and cheer up in the comedy clubs. If you’re lucky you might even get some snow.
Come for romance in February - it’s Valentine’s Day on 14th February, so stroll about town with your beau taking in the sights, sampling the best restaurants and cocktail bars. It’s also Chinese New Year in February so Chinatown will be full of decorations and celebrations.
Spring has sprung and with it the first of the good weather, blossoms in the trees and flowers in the parks. It’s the big Oxford V Cambridge Boat Race on the river. March 17th is St Patrick’s Day which is celebrated throughout London, particularly in the Irish bars (it’s a celebration of Irish culture and heritage, most commonly celebrated by drinking lots of Guinness and eating Irish stew). Mother’s Day for the UK also falls in March so book early to take your mum for afternoon tea at one of the posh hotels (may we suggest The Goring, The Wolseley or Dean Street Townhouse).
It starts to get quite warm in April (tee shirt and shorts weather for us Brits!) It’s Easter and the Easter holiday break for schools so plenty of kid and family activities will be happening throughout the city, not to mention lots of chocolate themed ones. It’s also the London Marathon which is an amazing day for everyone in the city whether you’re spectating, supporting or taking part.
There’s two bank holidays (extra long weekends) in May putting everyone in a good mood. The flower shows start and festivals begin - don’t miss the Udderbelly Festival which is on from May to September on the South Bank with the best of comedy, cabaret, circus and children’s shows, and there’s also pop up bars and food stalls.
June is the time to get royal with events like Trooping the Colour. It’s a great time to come to London when the weather is good but before the schools have broken up for the summer holidays. Explore the food, flea and vintage clothes markets like Brick Lane and Portobello Road and try one of the unusual walking tours - David Bowie, London Loos or Savile Row. Taste of London Food Festival is on as are Sundance and The Kendal Mountain Film Festivals.
July is the hottest month of the year throughout the UK. There’s outdoor gigs, cinema and open-air theatre and the big summer music festivals start in London like Wireless and Lovebox. If classical music is more your thing, the Proms are on until September. There’s street food fairs galore with bars and DJs (try Dinearama) and even pop up beaches open. It’s also Wimbledon and Pride in July in London.
It’s the summer holidays in the UK and there’s loads of family fun to be had on the South Bank and throughout London. The music festivals continue in August, including dance festivals South West Four and Sunfall. London’s biggest street party, the Notting Hill Carnival, takes place over the bank holiday weekend.
In September there’s lots of free events and exhibitions to visit while it’s still warm and the kids have gone back to school. Totally Thames runs throughout September with over 150 events, there’s also Open House London, the London Design Festival and London Fashion Week.
Halloween falls on 31st October so there’s lots of scary fun to be had in the lead up. London hosts it’s own version of Oktoberfest and VegFestUK London (one of Europe’s biggest vegan events) take place. There’s more film festivals including the BFI London Film Festival.
It’s Bonfire Night on 5th November with spectacular firework displays throughout the capital and in the week leading up to it. It’s a great time to come for Christmas shopping before the rush begins and you can see the big Christmas light switch ons.
Christmas concerts, markets and shopping are in full swing as well as pop-up ice rinks, Christmas movies and cosy pubs. Or spend New Year’s Eve in London watching the incredible world-famous fireworks display at the London Eye.