18 Wonderful Things To Do In London This January For A Great Start To 2018

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Welcome to January, where inspiration and motivation levels are at their highest.

You may not be drinking or going out as much, but you’ll definitely end January knowing that it was the best month of 2017 – so far. Here’s what to look forward to over the next 31 days.

1. 2018 starts with optimism; new beginnings, new goals, new ambitions.


You’ll probably use the phrase “new year, new me” a few times – possibly ironically. Chances are, this sense of hope and empowerment will only last a few days. But it’s the thought that counts. Right?

2. London begins the year fresh-faced with the annual New Year’s Day Parade.

Mayor Balloon flying at 50 feet Mayoral Attendants students from Lincoln Northeast High School, Nebraska in Westminster today (01/01/16) during the London New Years Day Parade, the annual event which raises much needed funds for charities chosen by all of the London Boroughs attracted massive crowds to mark the start of 2016, marching bands, cheerleaders and performers travelled from the United States of America to take part in the parade alongside participants from the UK including World renowned illusionist from Winnipeg, Canada Darcy Oake, a Britains Got Talent finallist who performed a death defying escapology in Whitehall - Image © Matt Sprake Photography (07770 365302) www.mattsprake.co.uk
Image © Matt Sprake Photography

This spectacular, free parade takes over the streets of the West End every single year. With dancers, acrobats, cheerleaders, marching bands, historic vehicles and more, this celebration attracts over 500,000 spectators each year. The parade kicks off at 12pm from Green Park Tube station and finishes at Parliament Square at around 3.30pm, passing through Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall. Or, if you’re far too hungover to leave your bed (no surprise there), you can always watch it on the telly.

3. Admire the stunning Lumiere London Festival.

Cirque Bijou (Umbrella Project) (1)

Between 18th-21st January 2018, Lumiere is returning and this time it promises to be bigger and better than ever, as more London landmarks have decided to get in on the light-filled action. Various central areas will be illuminated, including Chinatown, King’s Cross and Fitzrovia. Flamingos will fly through Chinatown, King’s Cross will be “submerged under water”, and you’ll be able experience the Northern Lights (sort of…) from Grosvenor Square.

4. Which means the singing seesaws are back in town.


They’re making a grand comeback on South Molton Street in Mayfair next year, as part of the beautiful Lumiere Festival. The installation, designed by Canadian design practices, Lateral Office and CS Design, will allow us to discover our inner child. The more the see-saws move, the more sound and light they produce, and it’s really bloody lovely! Catch them between 18th-21st January. Read more about Lumiere here.

5. For more beautiful light installations, head east to the Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival.

Winter Lights

More than thirty installations are arriving to dazzle you with light and colour. They include a mix of old favourites from previous years, and some new, never-before-seen structures. Even better, many of them are interactive, responding to movement and touch, so you can play around and crown yourself God of The Lights. Particularly if you explore Marcus Lyall’s ‘On Your Wavelength’, a series of 30,000 LED lights which you control with your mind! And the best thing about it all? It’s totally free! Read more about it here.

6. Catch the last of London’s winter pop-ups.

Tobacco Dock. The Dock. Winter Skylight. Photo by Steve Dunlop +447762084057 steve@stevedunlop.com
Photo by Steve Dunlop

Sadly, most of them closed before Christmas. But you can still catch an exclusive Secret London movie screening at The Snow Kingdom or, if you haven’t had enough of cheese and wine over the festive period, head to Skylight in Wapping for the trio of wintery dreams: ice skating, mulled wine and fondue. Get your tickets here.

7. Or make the most of London’s best outdoor ice rinks.

Natural History Museum Ice Rink 2016

8. London isn’t finished with all its Christmas lights just yet, either.

Most of London’s lights will be around until January 5th, so you’ve still got a bit of time to soak up the magic. 

9. Maybe you’ll attempt to be, you know, healthy.


After all, if you’re going to start, now is the prime time.

10. Perhaps you’ll even attempt Dry January?


We’re pretty lucky here in London, there’s plenty of fun to be had sober. Maybe you could go for a, er, walk

11. Or maybe you’ll give Veganuary a go?

Vegan Burger Bar, Camden

Fortunately there’s plenty of choice here in London. Veganism is now too big to be stopped and, we say, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Check out all the vegan delights that London has to offer

12. Perhaps the new year would be a good chance to visit east London’s heated outdoor pool, which reopens this month.

London Fields Lido
Photo by Peter Smith

Hackney’s 50 metre outdoor swimming pool, or London Fields Lido, was closed at short notice back in early April, after problems were found with the tile lining. But, after a few false promises were made about the opening date, the lido will finally be open to the public from January 3rd. “In January??!?!”, I hear you squeal. Worry not: it’s heated! Set to a temperature of 25℃, it’s perfect for a refreshing swim year-round, whatever the weather. Read more here

13. Maybe you’ll even start… dare we say it… running.


Check out these beautiful London runs that are definitely worth training for

14. It’ll mean you get to enjoy London’s breathtaking parks in the crisp frost…

…and that’s got to be worth it.

15. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll just spend the time you would usually spend drunk and eating meat, binging on series after series.


For many, January is the month of hibernation. Here are 40 TV series that we guarantee will have you hooked.

16. Do take some time to venture outside and try Coppa Club’s superb supper club, though.


Coppa Club have three London venues to choose from (plus a restaurant in Sonning, near Reading), and an epic supper club menu. Choose between two or three courses, including bruschetta, lemon and rosemary chicken, and deliciously moist chocolate and almond cake. All of their dishes are simple, thoughtful and unfussy, and will certainly impress your lucky companion(s).

There’s restaurants in Oxford Circus, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s and Sonning in Berkshire. To book for the two or three course supper club menu, head over to Fever and book a table before January 31st. 

17. Be blown away by Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall.

Cirque du Soleil London

The internationally-acclaimed circus producers are pitching up at one of London’s most iconic venues for eight weeks of incredible stunts and captivating movement. Inspired by all things creepy-crawly, insectoid performers will demonstrate world-class skills on the trapeze, show off their foot-juggling skills and leap boggling distances by trampoline. All this, set in one of the most incredible performance spaces in the city. OVO runs from January 7th – March 4th. Tickets are on sale NOW from Fever!

18. And lastly, don’t feel pressured to be a new, perfect version of yourself. If you want to get drunk, eat sausages and sit on your arse, that’s okay. Really. We’ll probably be right there with you!



Photo credit: David Harmantas

Georgie Hoole

Georgie Hoole

Georgie is Deputy Editor at Secret London. She loves a trendy café and is all too familiar with the extortionate price of a coffee in the capital. She enjoys the finer things in life (like red wine on a school night and eating Ben and Jerry's straight from the tub) and hasn't quite grasped the concept of adulthood yet.