January in London brings many fun things exciting events, including the New year parade, the London Art Fair, and the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Visitors can explore the world-famous National Gallery and Tate Modern or enjoy a festive makeover of popular landmarks like Tower Bridge.
Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland offers ice skating, immersive theatre experiences, hip-hop concerts, and sea life exhibitions. At the same time, even the tube stations and bus stops at major train stations showcase colourful performers to entertain travellers.
Whether you're a fan of Harry Potter or Scottish poet Robert Burns, London in January caters to all interests. Fingers crossed for snow, but even without it, the capital city is guaranteed to chase away any January blues and brighten up your visit.
Overview of Weather in London in January
In January, London experiences a typical wintry and cold climate with temperatures averaging from 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F) and a possibility of snow, but it's not certain.
Despite the wintry weather, many events occur throughout January, including the London Art fair, Chinese New Year celebrations, and various exhibitions, shows, and whisky tastings.
Visitors can expect a great time at museums, art galleries, and historical landmarks in London, such as the Natural History Museum, Royal Academy, and Buckingham Palace.
January is dry, with occasional light rain and fewer crowds at hotels, attractions major train stations, and on the London tube. The West End has new shows and exhibitions, while Warner Bros screens Harry Potter short films.
Hyde Park and Canary Wharf are perfect for strolls. The Southbank Centre hosts the Vault Festival, and the Royal Albert Hall remains open for visitors.
The Old Vic theatre is also open, and the city's financial district, where Lehman Brothers were once based, is worth a visit, where visitors may even spot Jenna Coleman.
Why You Should Visit London in January
January is a quiet time for tourism in London, which makes it an ideal period for spontaneous travel.
With fewer tourists, travel expenses, including flights and hotel rates, tend to be more reasonable in London in January.
January in London offers a few scattered occasions that visitors can enjoy, making it a worthwhile month to plan a visit.
Despite the cold, London in January can be a delightful experience thanks to the peacefulness and the abundance of pop-up markets scattered throughout the city.
What You Should Look Out For
January in London is typically freezing, so you must pack the appropriate clothing to stay comfortable during your visit to central London.
Unpredictable weather in London in January means you should plan your itinerary carefully, with some flexibility in case of unexpected cancellations due to rain or snow.
The shorter days in January mean you will have less time to adventure and go sightseeing in London, especially during early January and mid-January.
Adverse weather conditions may force some tourist attractions in London to close temporarily, so it's worth checking ahead to ensure your planned visits are still open during your trip.
Events and Festivals in London in January
1. New Year's Day Parade
The New Year's Day Parade in London is a popular January event featuring a procession of colourful floats, marching bands, and performers.
The parade passes through several landmarks, such as Buckingham Palace, the West End, and Canary Wharf. This event is a fun way to start the new year in London and experience the festive season.
With many hotels and venues offering immersive experiences, it's a great time to visit the city at its quietest time.
2. London Short Film Festival
This festival is a celebration of independent short films from around the world. This festival attracts filmmakers, industry professionals, and film enthusiasts alike.
The festival offers diverse films from thought-provoking dramas to experimental pieces that showcase emerging talent.
The London Short Film Festival will not be missed if you're looking for a unique and engaging trip to London in January.
3. Burns Night
As January rolls in, London celebrates Burns Night with a flurry of events honouring Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns. The evening is marked with traditional Scottish dishes, whiskey, and poetry recitals.
Various venues in London host this event, offering visitors a chance to experience Scottish culture and tradition without leaving the city.
Whether it's a formal black-tie dinner, a ceilidh dance, or a night of poetry, Burns Night celebrations are a unique way to experience diverse cultural offerings in London.
4. Chinese New Year
It is always an exciting time in London in January. Despite the wintry season and many people taking on Dry January challenges, the city comes alive with celebrations of this vibrant culture.
Visitors can expect even more with a new exhibition showcasing the richness and diversity of Chinese traditions.
From lion dances to dragon parades, visitors can immerse themselves in China's sights, sounds, and tastes.
10 Astonishing sites to Visit in London in January
London in January has its unique charm, with fewer crowds, cosy cafes, and stunning winter scenery, making it the perfect time to delve into the capital city's hidden gems.
The British Museum - Explore the world's largest human history and culture collection in a warm, indoor setting.
Tate Modern - Discover modern and contemporary art exhibitions in a unique, repurposed power station.
Natural History Museum - Get up close with dinosaurs, blue whales, and countless other specimens in this iconic museum.
Victoria and Albert Museum - See over 5,000 years of art and design in this grand museum.
St. Paul's Cathedral - Climb to the top for stunning city views and delve into the awe-inspiring interior.
Tower of London - Learn about London's dark history and marvel at the Crown Jewels.
Covent Garden - Wander through the bustling market and catch a show in nearby theatres.
The West End - See a world-class theatre production or musical in London's famous theatre district.
Buckingham Palace - Marvel at the grandeur of the Queen's official residence and watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony.
The London Eye - Take a spin on the world's tallest observation wheel and enjoy views of the city from above.
How to Visit London in January: Tricks and Tips
Visiting London in January can be a great way to avoid the crowds and experience the city's winter charm. However, preparing for colder weather and potential rain or snow is essential.
Here are some helpful tips for ensuring an enjoyable trip:
Dress warmly and wear waterproof shoes.
Check the weather forecast and plan indoor activities if necessary.
Consider purchasing a travel card or Oyster card for easy and cost-effective access to public transportation.
Enjoy winter-themed events such as ice skating and Christmas markets.
Take a guided tour to learn more about London's history and architecture while staying warm indoors.
Visit museums and art galleries, often less crowded during the off-season.
These tips and tricks can help optimize your January visit to London, allowing you to relish the city's winter wonderland enchantment to the fullest.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is January a suitable time to visit London?
January can be a suitable time to visit London for those who don't mind the colder and potentially rainy weather. However, it's also worth noting that London is generally less crowded during this time of year, and there are many winter-themed activities and occasions to enjoy.
How cold is London in January?
In the winter months of January, London's temperature can vary between 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F) with occasional drops below freezing. It's generally a cold and often rainy month.
Does it snow in London in January?
London may experience snowfall in January, but it's not very common. On average, there are only 2-3 days of snow in London each year.