Welcome to January: It’s cold, we’re all trying our very best to ‘stay dry’, and the festive season has taken a proverbial sledgehammer to our bank balances. In other words, we could all do with some cheering up, but it needs to be cheap. In a city as exciting and eventful as London though, there’s plenty to fill your time that doesn’t involve getting the rounds in…
Winter Lights at Canary Wharf
If you never quite made it to Kew Gardens’ sold out display – and even if you did – then Canary Wharf’s annual Winter Lights festival is worth checking out. Featuring 25 individual installations spread out over this iconic area, it’s totally free to walk around and takes around two hours, proving you don’t have to hibernate just because it’s a school night. Top tip? This one makes for a cute (and cheap) first date, and gives you something to talk about if they turn out to be a bit of a dud!
Dates: Thursday 16th - Saturday 25th January 2020
Delve into Historic London
You probably won’t need to be told that London has its fair share of free cultural institutions to explore while you’re seeing out the misery month, and yet there are still a few that slip under many people’s radar. Among them is London Mithraeum, an ancient Roman temple located in the heart of the City, and the Bank of England museum, where you can find out how finance has changed over the centuries and hold gold bars. Unfortunately, you will have to leave them behind afterwards.
Dates: All year round!
Take a Good Long Walk
You know those nice long walks you probably begrudgingly took part in over Christmas to avoid the cabin fever, but also secretly kind of enjoyed? There’s no need to stop them now. London has its own selection – in fact, it’s one of the greenest major cities anywhere in the world. From a ramble around Hampstead Heath to deer-spotting in Richmond Park, there’s plenty of places to get out and stretch your legs.
Dates: All year round - most London parks close at dusk, but check before you visit for individual timings.
Or See London from the Sky Garden
As beautiful as Primrose Hill and Greenwich Park are, sometimes when it gets really chilly you just need to enjoy your panorama of London from behind closed doors. Enter, Sky Garden – London’s highest public garden. You’ll need to book in advance, and it fills up fast, but this innovative space offers a stunning of the city, as well as the chance to get amongst some greenery.
Dates: All year round!
In need of a giggle? Head along to the Angel Comedy Club at the Camden Head, in Angel, where stand-up comics – some seasoned and some you’ve never heard of – draw a crowd every single night. In the past, they’ve hosted everyone from Dara O'Briain to James Acaster. Entry is free, with the option to donate what you think is a fair amount at the end. Admittedly, it’s above a pub, but stick to a lime and soda water and you’ve preserved both Dry Jan and your bank balance.
Dates: Every day