Everyone has their own approach when it comes to setting goals for January. But whether you’re doing dry, damp or business-as-usual Jan, it’s always a nice idea to have a few ideas up your sleeve for fun ways to socialise that don’t involve drinking. Especially after a Christmas of indulgence! So we’ve partnered with South Western Railway to bring you inspo on some of the best sober activities in London to kick off your 2024.
1. Sweat out the holiday season in Hackney sauna
Could there be a better way to ease yourself into a January detox than a sauna sesh? Located in the back of a 1930’s public bath building, Hackney Wick Sauna Baths has six communal saunas along with a special one for private bookings, and plunge pools galore. 60-minute morning sessions start at just £8.50, so it’s not too scary for the bank account either. Get the most out of your month of sober activities by sweating out the old, and plunge into the new! The Baths 80, Eastway, E9 5JH
2. Warm up with some food from Victoria Park
Food always tastes ten times better when you’ve exerted yourself in some way before eating it. And if plunging into ice cold water doesn’t count as exertion, we don’t know what does. But the short walk from Hackney Baths to Victoria Park will be totally worth it for the food you’ll find at the end. Both Pavilion and Hub Cafe are open daily, serving delicious breakfasts, brunches, cakes and more. But if you happen to be visiting on a Sunday, we suggest heading straight to the market where you can peruse irresistible street food from all over the world. Grove Road, E3 5TB
3. Sip a crispy alcohol-free pint at The Lucky Saint
Just because you’re looking for sober activities, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ritual of a cosy wintery pint in one of London’s great pubs. In fact, alcohol-free beer brewers The Lucky Saint, have restored a historic Marylebone pub and made it their own. And don’t worry if not everyone in your squad is off the booze, they’ve got plenty of choice across the low, no and alcoholic drink spectrum. But where non-drinkers might feel out of place at a regular pub, The Lucky Saint is ‘a pub for our times’, an inclusive space for all to feel right at home. 58 Devonshire Street, W1W 5EA
4. Get your kicks at a comedy night
There’s no denying January can be a bit glum, we have to take the good times where we can find them. And one of the most straightforward ways to do this is to sit in front of someone very funny for an evening and let them make you laugh. Luckily for us, London is full of fantastic comedy clubs and comedians alike, to provide you with joyful entertainment all January long. See our comedy clubs round up to find exactly the kind of laughs you’re looking for!
5. Wes and Sandy’s pick of the week
South Western Railway’s winged friends, Sandy and Wes are always ready to share their top London recommendations. Sandy loves the arts, theatre and lunching with the girls, while Wes loves clubs, pubs and going to gigs with his mates. But one thing they will never disagree on is their love of a great exhibition. Conversation Galante at Pilar Corrias combines the work of a diverse group of painters whose work traverses themes such as conversation, playfulness and intimacy. Running at Pilar Corrias until February 24, this thought-provoking exhibition urges visitors to transport their minds to a world where conventional societal roles become unfixed.
6. Admire Greenwich Park from the Royal Observatory
Want to beat the January blues? Spend as much time as possible outside, we say (weather permitting, of course). Spanning 183 acres, Greenwich Park’s 17th-century landscape is built up of picture perfect flower gardens and historic tree avenues. It really does make for the most lovely walk, and the view from the observatory? Well, that’s something else entirely. Affording dramatic views across the park, the City of London and the Thames, the Royal Observatory is known as the historic home of British astronomy. As well as gazing over the cityscape, you can touch a 4.5 billion year old meteorite and watch how the universe was formed – and you can use this SWR reward to get 10% off your ticket.