August 29, 2023

Things to do in London throughout the year: a Londoner’s diary

With millions of people from across the globe visiting London every year, the city shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to tourist attractions and events. If you’re planning a trip to London – business or leisure – but you aren’t sure where to start, take a look through our Londoner’s diary to find things to do in London.

Whether you are travelling across the city, the country or the world to stay in London, preparation is key to ensure there’s never a dull moment during your trip. No matter what time of year your visit is scheduled in for, there’s something for every occasion. In fact, there’s so much to experience, you’ll find yourself booking in another trip to see more! So, grab your diary or calendar and make a note of these important dates…

Things to do in London in January

  • Buckle up for Burns Night, a Scottish celebration that has been in the city’s culture for many decades. With one-off events and spectacular shindigs, celebrations at bars and restaurants across London promise to brighten up an otherwise dreary January. Read Secret London’s recommendations for Burns Night.
  • Don’t let the cold weather limit your plans – landmarks such as the Natural History Museum, Somerset House and Hampton Court all offer incredible outdoor ice skating experiences, great for families and adults alike. Have a look at Visit London’s best ice rinks.

Women's legs in old fashioned leather ice skates

What to do in London in February

Treat your loved one to a Valentine’s Day they won’t forget. From theatre trips to comedy shows, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There are also lots of authentic speakeasies and hidden bars for you to visit, so you can enjoy the bustling atmosphere and mystery of these establishments. Popular joints include:

Things to do in March

  • Celebrate UK Mother’s Day with a family trip to the interactive Harry Potter Tour at Warner Bros Studios and ‘explore the wonders of the wizarding world’ guaranteed to dazzle adults and kids alike. If you’d rather swap a butterbeer for a concoction of the cocktail kind, a trip to The Cauldron London promises to deliver the best magical ‘potions’ cocktail experience imaginable.
  • If you are searching for a twist on a traditional café to take your family to, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is home to the UK’s first ever cat café.
  • For avid board gamers, Draughts in Hackney and Waterloo has a library of board games for you to try out and enjoy with friends.

Things to do in London in April

Nothing says ‘Easter’ better than an egg hunt. With a myriad of eggy trails on offer, there’s no better way to see the London sights than on a scavenger hunt! Try for example the Easter egg hunt at Hampton Court Palaces or the Bucket Race Easter Scavenger Hunt.

Daffodils in front of Big Ben

What to do in London in May

As the weather starts to brighten and the temperature starts to heighten, it’s time to start making the most of the outdoors with a Pedibus tour where you peddle round the sights while enjoying a drink – life’s all about balance, after all!

Visit the Royal Horticulturist Society’s Chelsea Flower Show. Each year, famous garden designers and florists show off inspirational garden designs and flower exhibits in one of London’s fanciest neighbourhoods.

What to do in June

  • Watch the Royal Ascot horse race. Put on your finest hats and clothes as you enjoy the world-famous Royal Ascot horse meeting in June. This horse race is a London tradition and is attended by the King and Queen.
  • Visit London Gallery Weekend, where over 150 of London’s leading contemporary galleries come together for exhibitions, special events and late night openings.

Things to do in July

Alfresco pop-ups are a fantastic way to enjoy the summer season in style. Pop-up cinemas and summer festivals in August will keep you occupied all the way to September. They include open-air cinemas such as Movies on the River and The Luna Cinema, for locations such as Kew Gardens and Regent’s Park.

Another popular choice is the Secret Cinema, which specialises in immersive cinema experiences where you can even play a role in your favourite film! Whether you want to participate in the screening or you would rather sit back and watch, dressing up is strongly encouraged!

What to do in August

People looking happy during Notting Hill Carnival

  • Notting Hill Carnival: If you’re in London during the August bank holiday weekend, which usually falls on the last weekend of the month, don’t miss the vibrant Notting Hill Carnival. It’s Europe’s largest street festival, featuring colourful parades, live music, dance performances and Caribbean food.
  • Little Venice and canal boat ride: take a serene boat ride through the canals of Little Venice, a charming area where the Grand Union and Regent’s Canals meet. It’s a peaceful and unique way to see a different side of London.

What to do in London in September

  • Open House Festival London: in this annual architecture festival you can explore buildings that aren’t usually open to the public. This includes famous historic landmarks and government buildings as well as architectural curiosities and quirky neighbourhoods.
  • Totally Thames Festival: celebrate the River Thames with various events, including art installations, live performances and river cruises. It’s a great way to experience the city’s relationship with its iconic river.Woman in front of London Eye with autumn foliage

Things to do in October

Since Halloween is a popular annual celebration for kids and adults alike, London boasts pop-up cinema screens, cabaret shows, fright nights and immersive circus experiences. So you won’t be left short of ideas when visiting the city over this haunted festival.

Here are some other spooky ideas:

  • The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities: This eccentric museum in Hackney showcases an array of oddities, taxidermy, esoteric objects and curiosities that will spark your curiosity and imagination.
  • Jack the Ripper Walking Tour: Take a guided walking tour through the streets of Whitechapel to learn about the infamous Jack the Ripper murders that took place in the late 1800s.
  • Afternoon Tea with a Twist: Experience a unique twist on traditional afternoon tea by opting for themed tea experiences, such as Alice in Wonderland-themed tea at the Sanderson Hotel or Jurassic afternnon tea at the Ampersand Hotel.
  • The Hunterian Museum: Part of the Royal College of Surgeons, this museum houses a fascinating collection of medical specimens, anatomical models and surgical instruments.

Things to do in London in November

In preparation for Christmas and the party season, why not enjoy a three course dinner and bottomless cocktails (between 12pm-1pm) while listening to some old school tunes  at Hip Hop Brunch LDN? Alternatively, you might prefer to laugh along to the hottest talent from the world of comedy at the Top Secret Comedy Club – a word of advice: avoid sitting in the front row!

Bonfire Night: On November 5th, Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated with fireworks displays and bonfires all over town. One of the most famous displays is at Alexandra Palace.

Bonfire from above with people roasting marshmallows

Things to do in London in December

Don’t limit the glitter and lights to your decorations at home – Christmas is celebrated at a whole host of places in London, including Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, Hogwarts in the Snow at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Christmas at London Zoo and Kew Gardens, and much more!

Ring in the New Year in style with a river cruise or one of the many stunning firework displays located throughout the city, including Clapham, Battersea Park and along the River Thames, to name just a few.

With a wealth of London knowledge, Polly and Robert at Find London Apartments can source the perfect serviced apartment for your stay in London, taking into account travelling times, transport links, local amenities, duration and budget. To find out more, simply get in touch today!