At time of writing, the Covid-19 situation is fast changing, with the possibility of new restrictions being introduced in the coming days, so do check that events are still going ahead before you set off.
Learn about Art Deco buildings without leaving your house
Things to do at home, and online events
ROYAL OPERA HOUSE: The Royal Opera House is making additions to its online offerings over the next couple of weeks, with shows by both the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet, beginning with The Sleeping Beauty.
NETFLIX: From kids’ favourites like Paddington to the altogether more racy Bridgerton, we’ve compiled a list of films and TV shows currently available on Netflix, which were filmed in London. See parts of the capital, from Greenwich to Soho, on screen, without leaving home.
BEHIND THE SCENES: The end of 2021 saw a slew of documentaries about London hitting our screens, taking us behind the scenes at institutions such as Harrods, Liberty, Natural History Museum and the Tower of London, and all are available to stream online. Some of them do have a festive slant, but there’s no harm in dragging Christmas out a little bit longer…
Support the hospitality industry with vegan food delivered to your door
FOOD DELIVERIES: London’s hospitality industry is struggling at the moment. If your favourite restaurant is closed, or you don’t feel comfortable eating out at present, why not show your support by ordering to your home instead? Our guide to London’s best food and drink delivery services covers everything from burgers to afternoon tea to wine and gin, all brought straight to your door. Bookmark it, and support them in January and beyond.
VEGANUARY: Speaking of delivery services, there’s no need to leave the house if you’re doing Veganuary this year. These vegan delivery services include Mexican, Indian, and Caribbean dishes, and even doughnuts.
EMMA’S SONGBOOKS: Museum of London teams up with Guildhall School of Music and Drama for a performance of songs dedicated to Horatio Nelson’s naval victories, recently rediscovered in Emma Hamilton’s songbooks. The performance is preceded with a presentation by museum Librarian Lluis Tembleque, who recently discovered the songbooks, and is available to stream at home any time until 11 January. Friday 31 December-Tuesday 11 January
Take a look at what’s new in the Royal Opera House online offerings. The Sleeping Beauty, The Royal Ballet © 2017 ROH. Photograph by Bill Cooper
1921 CENSUS: As the details of the 1921 census are released into the public realm, experts from Findmypast host an online talk about the stories and secrets the records reveal, and the historical context in which the census was taken. Saturday 8 January, 10am
ALTERNATIVE ART DECO: Footprints of London’s online tours continue with alternative Art Deco. Learn about 10 underrated art deco buildings in north and central London via an online talk, with maps and photos, including tiled façades, geometric Jazz Age metalwork, fancy brickwork and beautiful carved reliefs. Saturday 8 January, 10am-11am
SCIENTIFIC MONSTERS: The Viktor Wynd Museum hosts Professor Stephen Asma for an online talk about some of the dominant types of monsters in ancient Western literature, natural history, and philosophy, and how they have been medicalised. Sunday 9 January, 8pm
Get out and about
Canary Wharf’s ice rink is one of the rinks still open at the moment
Happy to be out and about at the moment? Try these events — though please do adhere to current restrictions where they apply.
ICE SKATING: Christmas is over (boo!) but some of London’s seasonal ice rinks live on, including at Canary Wharf and Natural History Museum. All rinks are ticketed so the number of skaters there at any one time should be limited, but if you’re looking to avoid crowds, one of the less central locations is probably a better option, as is a weekday visit.
GREAT FIRE: The Museum of London returns with its semi-regular, family-friendly Great Fire of London walk. Join a tour guide for a stroll around some of the City of London locations linked to the fire, and find out where and how it started, and where it was stopped. Aimed at age 5+. Saturday 8 January, 10.30am
Learn about the Great Fire of London with Museum of London
NEIL DIAMOND: Hello Again is a musical show dedicated to the life and career of singer Neil Diamond, taking place at Fairfield Halls in Croydon. Video, images and narration all feature, as well as some of his best-loved hits such as Sweet Caroline and Love on the Rocks. Saturday 8 January, 8pm
FAMILY FUN WEEKEND: The Cutty Sark is getting quite the jumpstart on Burns Night, starting the celebrations more than a fortnight early with a Scottish-themed family fun weekend. Enjoy sea shanty performances, storytelling sessions and puppet-making, as your explore the ship. Weekend 8-9 January
Siobhan Stagg performs with the London Symphony Orchestra
TWELFTH NIGHT: London’s annual Twelfth Night celebrations mix ancient customs with modern festivities, making for a bizarre and eclectic event. Head to the riverside near Shakespeare’s Globe to witness wassailing, The Holly Man (or Green Man) being paraded across the river, dramatic performances, and a chance to be crowned King or Queen for the day by finding a bean or a pea in a cake. Like we said, an odd (but fascinating) one. Sunday 9 January, 2pm
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Sir Simon Rattle conducts Mahler, Dvořák, Webern and Hans Rott, as well as a new suite from Julian Anderson’s Exiles for this London Symphony Orchestra concert at Barbican, accompanied by the London Symphony Chorus and soprano Siobhan Stagg. Sunday 9 January, 7pm
TS ELIOT PRIZE READINGS: As the shortlist for the TS Eliot Prize is announced, Southbank Centre hosts readings by this year’s shortlisted poets, including Raymond Antrobus and Kayo Chingonyi. Sunday 9 January, 7pm. Also available to stream online for a week after the event.
Explore London (and beyond)
Visit Myddelton House Gardens in Enfield
Want to get out of the house, but can’t face big crowds? Try these, either on your own, or with your household, family, or small group of friends:
WEEKEND WALKS: We’ve done some serious walks in our time, and we’ve shared the best of them with you — here are some of our Weekend Walks (don’t tell anyone, but you *could* do them any day of the week). Favourites include a meander through London’s own ‘wine valley’, and an amble in pursuit of the ‘lost’ River Fleet.
CYCLING: Prefer a faster pace of life? Take to two wheels and follow this sweeping cycle route through west London, or this beautiful route through south London. Want to stay more central? Cycle from St James’s Park to Holland Park’s Kyoto Garden.
BOTANICAL GARDEN: Reopening from 4 January, Enfield’s Myddelton House Gardens is a free, open-air day out for all the family. It’s home to part of the old London Bridge, the former Enfield Market cross, paving stones from Clerkenwell, an optical illusion and a mysterious royal monument.
WINNIE THE POOH: Fancy venturing further afield? The Ashdown Forest in East Sussex is the spiritual home of fictional bear Winnie the Pooh and friends. Take a look at our guide to where to see the locations linked to the novels, including Pooh Sticks Bridge, the AA Milne Memorial, and of course, the museum, shop and tea room at Pooh Corner.