1. WARM UP WITH COFFEE & DONUTS AT LONDON’S BOROUGH MARKET
Borough Market is filled with food trucks, coffee shops, and little storefronts and pubs.
If you’re visiting during a London winter, this is the perfect place to buy a warm cup of coffee and take in all the smells of warm food and treats under the covered market.
At Borough Market in winter, vendors are selling fresh produce and Christmas goods like wreaths, decorations, and gifts.
I suggest tasting the seasonal mulled wine, holiday bakes, and other delicious Christmas treats.
Local Tip: Make sure to bring plenty of cash to the markets. Many of the mobile food carts to do in London require cash because they are commonly small and move around the city.
2. VISIT THE TOWER BRIDGE (& GO INSIDE, TOO!)
When you think of essential things to do in London, you probably think immediately of this iconic landmark!
Tower Bridge has long been a famous symbol of progress and history, and it has been converted into a beautiful walk-through museum for visitors to enjoy.
This combination of outdoor beauty and indoor activity makes it one of the best things to do in London in winter!
Tower Bridge was built in the late 1800’s and is actually three bridges in one: 2 suspension bridges with a bascule bridge in the middle!
Pedestrians and cars are free to walk across the base of the bridge and admire the structure from up close. You can also take a tour inside the bridge, learn about its history, and walk across the glass floor walkways inside.
Pro Tip: During the wintertime in London (October – March), the museum opens at 9:30 am. We recommend coming as early as possible to avoid crowds!
3. SOAK IN ALL THE CHRISTMAS CHEER AT OXFORD & PICCADILLY CIRCUS
If you’re looking for fun things to do in London during Christmas, Oxford and Piccadilly Circus is a must-visit.
This area of London is famous for connecting modern and historical London together in one huge and beautiful space.
This is very prominent in Piccadilly Circus, with elegant buildings sharing the same space with Times Square-styled electronic billboards.
4. SEE THE VIEW FROM THE SHARD
The Shard is one of the tallest buildings in Europe, and one of the best things to do in London during winter. (Hellooo indoors!)
The Shards gets its name because the top resembles a “shard of glass”. Up at the top of the tower, you can get a spectacular 360-degree view of the entire city of London from the 72nd floor.
If you’re looking for things to do in London to keep warm during the cold winter months, this is a great place to defrost and see the city from a new perspective.
5. GET LOST IN THE STREETS OF SHOREDITCH + SPITALFIELDS
The neighborhoods of Shoreditch and Spitalfields are known to be the stomping grounds for creatives, trend-setters, and young people.
If you’re looking for festive and fun things to do in London, stay a while and do some christmas shopping for family and friends from local vendors scattered in the neighborhood.
Many of the sellers are sharing homemade bits & bobs (even clothing), which means you can choose a unique and local London gift for your loved ones!
If you’re a vintage or artisan lover, you’re definitely going to want to check out Old Spitalfields Market.
This market has everything from hand-made fashion to food trucks, art, and jewellery . On a weekend it gets packed, but I believe it’s open daily during the week for fewer crowds.
6. EXPERIENCE THINGS TO DO IN LONDON IN DECEMBER (CHRISTMAS TIME!)
There are many things to do in London in December where you can find the Christmas spirit alive.
Streets and storefronts are decorated with lights and garlands, and Christmas markets sell delicious food and great gifts. You can even find pop-up ice rinks around the city to partake in the quintessential season ice skating! Here are some notable London Christmas markets around the city…
- Southbank Center Christmas Market
- Christmas By The River (London Bridge neighborhood)
- Leicester Square
- Greenwich Market
- Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland
- Kingston Christmas Market
7. VISIT LONDON’S FREE MUSEUMS
One reason to visit London in the winter is the sheer amount of attractions you can see indoors.
Many museums around the city are free and open to the public. If you get cold wandering the streets, just pop into one of these!
Listed as free admission museums in London are:
- The British Museum
- The National History Museum
- National Portrait Museum
- National Gallery
- Tate Modern
- …but you can find the full list of free museums here.
8. EXPLORE THE TOWER OF LONDON
Yes, we know. This is one of the more touristy things to do in London.
But in the wintertime in London, you pretty much have the entire Tower of London to yourself! This time of year, you can roam around and explore one of the most famous English landmarks at your own pace.
Here at the Tower you can explore the armory, see the Crown Jewels, and hear shocking and gruesome stories from the past.
You will also find that the entire staff is dressed as yeomen, which serve as costumes for the servants or workers of the Tower back in history. It’s like a blast from the past!
9. FIND HIDDEN GEMS IN THE CITY OF LONDON
We love visiting in the winter because you can get places in London all to yourself!
I once found an abandoned church in the centre of the business district and decided to explore around inside. There were only a few others there which seemed to help preserve this place’s quiet nature.
Sometimes just by allowing yourself to wander, you’ll stumble across the most beautiful hidden gems.
10. TAKE A WALKING TOUR OF WESTMINSTER
Sometimes the best way to stay warm while visiting London in winter is to keep moving.
Stop by Westminster Abbey for a quick visit to see a historical place that is still used today. Many royal weddings and coronations happened here, most recently Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.
After warming up inside, continue on your way to Buckingham Palace to catch the changing of the guards.
There are also gorgeous London parks in this area to discover (yes, even during winter in London!). Take a walk through Green Park and St. James Park – they really are beautiful on a crisp winter morning.
11. OTHER INDOOR ACTIVITIES TO DO IN LONDON DURING WINTER
Thankfully, there are plenty of indoor attractions in London when there is bad weather outside! Here are some places to discover:
- Kew Gardens Glasshouse (Beautiful botanical gardens) or Barbican Conservatory
- Somerset House
- Greenwich Market
- Watch a show or take a tour at The National Theatre.
- Wander around the London Aquarium
Need a shipment booked while you’re here? – Book with us.