Something awesome to do in London, for every week of 2019.
Whether you’re hyper-organsised or super-lazy, we’ve taken the liberty of sorting out this weekend… and every weekend this year. For inspiration that works all year round, check out our 2019 bucket list, or our ever expanding library of cool places to visit.
1. Haunt a hidden cocktail bar (Jan 1-6)
We’re going to test your commitment to Dry January nice and early. London is crammed full of modern speakeasies and hideaway bars, and a cold winter’s night is the best time to camp out in one.
2. Ride the Tube in your pants (Jan 7-13)
Off to a strange start, but this is the one time it’s permissible, so best to hop on when you can. January 13th is ‘No Trousers on the Tube Day’, and this year is the landmark 10th anniversary ride, which means more pants and more fun. Check out their Facebook event for all the details.
3. See the lights of London (Jan 14-20)
The Christmas lights may be gone, but the illuminations aren’t over. Canary Wharf is getting lit for Winter Lights, a free festival of stunning illuminations that will arrive back in town on January 15th.
4. Get your vegan on for Veganuary (Jan 21-27)
This new veganism fad doesn’t seem to be disappearing anytime soon, so why not embrace it? We rounded up the best vegan restaurants in London, as recommended by the city’s top vegan influencers.
5. Dive into a bottomless brunch (Jan 28 – Feb 3)
If you made it through January both dry and vegan, then congratulations! Time to celebrate the end of your self-denial with more food and booze than you can possibly manage. Fear not, for bottomless brunches are also permissible if your January was neither dry nor vegan…
6. Join a huge Chinese New Year celebration (Feb 4-10)
2019 is the Year of the Pig (highly appropriate for us after our antics at Christmas 2018), and since London hosts the largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of Asia, you’d do well to practice “Xin Nian Kuai Le” before you head to the West End.
7. Woo someone fashionable on Valentine’s Day (Feb 11-17)
The perfect Valentine’s outing for the stylish guy or gal in your life is a trip to London Fashion Week, running from the 15th to the 19th.
8. Take in the delights of the West End (Feb 18-24)
London’s theatre scene is the envy of the world, and 2019 sees some great new productions. In February, The American Clock arrives at the Old Vic, All About Eve heads to the Noel Coward Theatre, whilst musicals including Come From Away, Waitress, and the utterly brilliant Company are all in residence this week.
9. Conjure up some magic (Feb 25 – March 3)
As the home of Diagon Alley and Platfrom 9 & 3/4, London is synonymous with Harry Potter. Here’s how to have a Potteriffic day out in London, and generally sprinkle some magic all over yourself.
10. Go on a girl’s night out (March 4-10)
March 8th is International Women’s Day, which means it’s ladies night, and the feeling’s right. Not complete without a visit to Tonight Josephine, the utterly irrepressible cocktail bar named for one of history’s biggest badasses.
11. Enjoy the luck of the Irish (March 11-17)
Time to paint the town green, for St Patrick’s Day is upon us once more. On March 17th, why not head to one of London’s Irish pubs for a drink (or seven)?
12. Get your culture fix at an art exhibition (March 18-24)
London is having a full on art attack in 2019, and some of the best will be open by this week. Painting, sculpture, photography, and more avant-garde works are hitting the city’s top galleries, and you can see them all here.
13. Eat around the world without leaving London (March 25-31)
Brace yourselves, because it’s Brexit O’Clock on March 29th. To remind yourself that, regardless of EU membership, London Is Open, take the advice of these non-UK born Londoners, and sample the national cuisine of a whole host of incredible countries.
14. Race boats and goats (April 1-7)
Sunday April 7th sees a titanic clash of sporting powers, as Oxford and Cambridge go head to head in the 164th Boat Race. Meanwhile at Spitalfields City Farm, another heavyweight clash sees the two universities pitted against each other in The Goat Race. Decisions, decisions…
15. Spring into spring (Apr 8-14)
16. Hunt the Easter bunny (Apr 15-21)
We’re not condoning actual rabbit hunting here. Instead, try joining one of London’s Easter egg hunts, or just tour the city’s fabulous chocolate shops. Delicious, yes, but your waistline might have to take the hit.
17. Watch a marathon (Apr 22-28)
Easy peasy. April 28th sees the return of the London Marathon – it’s way too late to sign up, but you can always cheer on those brave fools tackling the course as you shamelessly tuck into your sarnies.
18. Rave with a fire-breathing spider (Apr 29 – May 5)
After a terrific/terrorising debut last year, the fire-breathing arachnid is back for a earth-shaking rave – and you can find tickets to Arcadia Spectacular here.
19. Join the wisteria hysteria (May 6-12)
The early spring bank holiday (May 6th) is a great chance to take grab your camera and jump all over spring’s hottest hashtag: #housesofldn_wisteria.
20. Spend an evening getting sauced on wine (May 13-19)
This one promises to be a grape week! London Wine Week returns to the capital, with bars across London celebrating the virtues of the vine.
21. Attend east London’s huge music festival (May 20-26)
All Points East festival, the darling of Victoria Park, makes a triumphant return in 2019 – announced so far include Christine and the Queens, Bon Iver, First Aid Kit, and The Chemical Brothers. For a more sedate affair, head west to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which also takes place this week.
22. See London from a rooftop bar (May 27 – June 2)
23. Get crazy (golfing) on a sunny day (June 3-9)
When the sun shines, there’s no better way to spend an afternoon by knocking some balls around. We’re talking about a round of crazy golf, get your minds out of the gutter!
24. Bare all for the World Naked Bike Ride (June 10-16)
Oh you may say you’re too shy, and you could never do it – but there’s a little part of you just dying to let it all hang loose and pedal leisurely through town starkers, isn’t there? June 11th is your chance!
25. Make the most of an endless summer day (June 17-23)
June 21st is the longest day of the year, so get yourself outside to enjoy the late evening sun. How about a leisurely evening bike ride, or if that’s too much effort, stealing a spot at a riverside pub and drinking as the sun goes down might be just what the doctor ordered.
26. Chug along in a hot tug (June 24-30)
Break out the bathing suits and take to the river with Hot Tug. Though this can be done anytime of year, we found that summer is the perfect time to be seen, dahling. And isn’t that the most important part of it?
27. Show your Pride (July 1-7)
Deck yourself out in all the colours of the rainbow for The Pride in London Parade on July 6th. You’ll need to bring your A-game to beat these efforts, though.
28. Wait in the city’s most famous queue (July 8-14)
Sounds exceedingly dull, we hear you cry. Well fret not, for the reward for said wait is a ticket to Wimbledon, which sees the silverware handed out on the weekend of the 13th/14th.
29. Have a picnic on Regent Street (July 15-21)
Not your typical spot to spend a lazy summer day, but the Summer Streets project was a barrel of fun last year, and it should be returning in 2019.
30. Head out for a night on the town (July 22-28)
31. Visit the outer zones (July 29 – Aug 4)
Normally this would induce an involuntary shudder, but summer is the perfect time to broaden your horizons. Painshill Park and Mayfield Lavender Farm are just two of the stunning spots you should definitely make a beeline for.
32. Go for a dip in a London lido (Aug 5-11)
If summer 2019 is as hot as the one in our rearview mirror, you’re going to need a dip. A fabulous range of lovely London lidos will cool you down as you bob along and watch the world go by.
33. Catch a film at an outdoor cinema (Aug 12-18)
Come summertime, Somerset House transforms into a cracking outdoor cinema, and you can bet it will be returning for another go in 2019. The rest of the outdoor cinema gang should have their own complement of screenings, too – check out Luna Cinema, Rooftop Film Club, and Pop-Up Screens for more movie magic.
34. Shake a tail feather at the Notting Hill Carnival (Aug 19-25)
After fifty years, it’s hardly a secret anymore, but the biggest party in town returns to the streets of Notting Hill from August 24-26th.
35. Head to the beach (Aug 26 – Sep 1)
Perfect if your budget hasn’t allowed you to head abroad this summer. If you’re looking for the real deal that London’s beachy pop-ups can’t quite provide, there are some gorgeous beaches within two hours of the capital – just peachy for that August Bank Holiday!
36. Drink and play games (Sep 2-8)
Grab the gang, and head to Flight Club or the London Shuffle Club for drinks and a little friendly competition. Until the drinks take effect and the competition becomes a little less friendly, of course.
37. Go to Prom(s) night (Sep 9-15)
It’s already one of the hottest tickets in town, and there’s still time to grab one. September 14th is the Last Night of the Proms, so if you’re looking for a fancy night out, this could be the one for you.
38. Step inside London’s most amazing buildings (Sep 16-22)
Open House London gives you a chance to peek inside some of the fanciest and most fascinating buildings in London. It falls on September 21st & 22nd this year, but you’ll have to be swift to snap up the (very limited) tickets to look around 10 Downing Street.
39. Stay out all night (Sep 23-29)
There’s a very good reason London has a Night Tube. Whatever shenanigans you get up to, ending your night in a 24-hour restaurant beats a greasy kebab any day of the week. For our money, your best bets are the bustling Polo Bar, or Duck and Waffle for food with a view of the sunrise.
40. Drink all the cocktails (Sep 30 – Oct 6)
The first week in October sees the return of London Cocktail Week, now extended to a super-boozy day extravaganza that’s sure to be unforgettable. Or not, depending on exactly how many cocktails you wind up drinking.
41. Feast on beer at Oktoberfest (Oct 7-13)
Drinking ist sehr gut regularly, but at Oktoberfest, where there’s fine German beer and lederhosen involved, it only gets better. Prost!
42. Get lost in a book (Oct 14-20)
London Literature Festival takes place in October, drawing huge names from the world of literature and beyond. We’ve seen Phillip Pullman, Hillary Clinton, and Tom Hanks arrive in previous years, so keep your eye on the lineup for 2019’s big names.
43. Go leaf peeping on an autumn walk (Oct 21-27)
London is prettiest this time of year, and we’ve got five walks that best show off the glory of autumn. Maybe start small before tackling the 152 mile London LOOP trail, though.
44. Enjoy fright nights and fireworks (Oct 28 – Nov 3)
The two seasonal heavyweights will vie for your affection this week. Seven days stuffed with enough Halloween events to fill a haunted castle, and an armada of fireworks lighting up the skies for the Bonfire Night weekend.
45. Drink in a cosy pub (Nov 4-10)
Winter is closing in, which is the perfect excuse to retreat to the fireside with a pint and some pals. Our oldest pubs roundup will keep you toasty, content, and most importantly, full of beer.
46. Head on a tour of London’s loveliest lights (Nov 11-17)
It’s time to make a little festive magic with the return of London’s best Christmas lights, as they’ll begin switching on at this time of year.
47. Get your skates on (Nov 18-24)
London’s best ice rinks are usually up and skating by now, so it’s time for the ol’ slide and glide. Top it off with a boozy hot chocolate and you’ve got yourself a lovely winter evening.
48. Embrace the spirit of Christmas (Nov 25 – Dec 1)
December begins this week, so activate full Christmas mode. Head over to Winter Wonderland, or just throw on a turtleneck and watch Love Actually.
49. Meander around a charming Christmas market (Dec 2-8)
Can we all take a moment to laugh at the fact that this week read ‘Ride the Elizabeth Line’ last year? Won’t be making that mistake again… Anyway, London has a whole host of Christmas markets that are both charming and (more importantly) actually open.
50. Hit up some Christmas pop-ups (Dec 9-15)
The arrival off Christmas brings with it innumerable festive pop-ups aiming to make you jollier than Santa. They’ll all provide you with a steaming hot mug of Christmas cheer, and some pretty filling food too.
51. Go last minute shopping on Oxford Street (Dec 16-22)
Now we wouldn’t usually recommend this, ever. But Christmas is a busy time, and you’re inevitably going to be rushing around by the end of it, unless you’re the organised type. Which we are not.
52. Eat, drink, and be merry at Christmas (Dec 23-29)
As London winds down for the holidays, there’s little you need to do except watch Christmas telly and lazily open the next tub of Celebrations. If you’re feeling up to it, we’ve found some brilliant Boxing Day walks, but you’ve certainly earned yourself a laidback Christmas if you’ve been following this list!
Bonus: See 2019 off with a bang (Dec 30-31)
It seems weird to be planning the end of 2019 literally before it’s even started, but we’re a forward thinking bunch. Whether you’re heading to a party or looking for a place to watch the fireworks, Secret London will be here to guide you safely into the New Year.
So much to do, and so little time – head out there and make 2019 your best year yet!
Also published on Medium.