You know the weird in-between time after Christmas and before New Year? Well, it’s called Twixmas – from the word betwixt which is an old-fashioned word for between – and here at Secret London, we’ve put together a guide on how to make it less ‘Meh’ and more ‘hell to the yeah!’. Don’t worry about the post-Christmas blues and the winter sniffles, because there are still loads of opportunities to stretch out the magic of the season that little bit longer (the Christmas decorations are still up on the tree after all).
1. Head to the opening of Dalí: The Immersive Experience
Surrealist art projected across the walls is certain to be the silver bullet you need to snap yourself from the turkey coma and head out into London. Dalí Cybernetics: The Immersive Experience arrives just shy of Christmas (December 23), and there’s tickets on sale all through the Twixmas period. You’ll be enveloped in a world of work from the famed Spanish painter Salvador Dalí as part of a world-first digital exhibition. You’d be daft as a brush to miss it. Get your tickets here.
2. Pay a visit to Winter Wonderland while it’s still around
If you’ve got a Christmas activities itch that still just can’t be scratched, we recommend heading to this classic winter fairground-style pop-up before it vanishes back into thin air on January 2 for another year or so. From adrenaline-pumping rides to their legendary Bavarian beer hall, there’s plenty to see and do here during the twixmas period.
One thing you can’t miss is a stroll through their Christmas markets section which has over 100 traditional chalets offering charming Christmas decorations, handcrafted gifts and culinary delights from all around Europe. There’s also bars aplenty if you’re still looking for that extra Christmas tipple, as well as the UK’s largest open air ice rink. Due to numbers, make sure you book ahead this year.
3. Explore a museum or an art gallery when the crowds aren’t there
London is famous for its museums and art galleries, so why not get your culture vulture hat on and see some of them without the crowds during twixmas? Obvious choices include the Natural History Museum – which has the ever-popular Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition and the parading of the legend that is Dippy the Dinosaur (here until January 2).
Other perhaps less obvious choices include Charlie Mackesy’s beautiful takeover of Sotheby’s Story Café, complete with wall-to-ceiling murals; or the Bitter Nostalgia exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery until late January.
4. Go for a thrilling twixmas spin on an ice rink
So many lovely ice rinks pop up around the capital for the Christmas period, and here at Secret London, we’re always sad to see them go – so you’d better get your skates on while you have the chance! One of the most magical is situated right outside Battersea Power Station, which is London’s newest icy offering – and others include the iconic Somerset House rink, the Hampton Court ice skating rink and the one outside the Queen’s House, set amongst the dreamy surrounds of a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Many of these fine are here until January, but Canary Wharf’s offering is with us all the way up until February 25, so there’s plenty of time to go and perfect your pirouettes.
5. Wander off that Christmas meal with a countryside walk
After all that ceremonial stuffing your face with turkey, pigs in blankets and mince pies, Twixmas might be a good time to get a head-start on that January fitness regime! Why not wrap up in your warmest outerwear and head out of town to tackle a country walk in the rolling, green hills of England? Top walks include Surrey’s Box Hill hike, the Seaford to Eastbourne ramble – which takes in the famous Seven Sisters cliffs and Beachy Head – and Bodiam Castle, one of Britain’s most evocative castles, characterised by soaring turrets, manicured grounds and an extensive moat.
6. Brave the Boxing Day sales in person or virtually
Ok, so we don’t actually have that much information we can give you about this one, because it turns out most retailers like to keep this part of their year hush hush, so you’ll have to go and visit them to find out what their sales are like. No surprises there. But you could go to the shops if you felt comfortable doing it on Boxing Day or the other days pre-NYE.
Chances are sales will be happening both in person and virtually, so you can still sit with your laptop and a glass of mulled wine and grab yourself some bargains. Camden’s Hawley Wharf is a neat spot in which to shop, and Skyscanner will probably also be offering a few surprise flight deals, so keep your eyes peeled for those here.
7. Indulge in yet more food and drink this twixmas
It’s not quite January yet, and twixmas is the perfect time in which to fill your boots with yet more food and drink. If you’ve had enough of turkey or nut roast with all the trimmings, why not try one of London’s endless bottomless brunch offerings, including this brilliant one at Boccocino – letting you devour pizza and sink hearty rounds of bubbly.
You could also indulge in a fabulously-festive afternoon tea or do a pub crawl around 40 (!) of London’s best pubs with heated outdoor areas – well some of them, at least!
8. Delve into London’s history under the cover of darkness
London remains one of the world’s most visited cities, and many come for its fascinating and diverse history. Many architectural gems here date all the way back to the mid-16th century, and instantly-recognisable landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London and Big Ben are all steeped in legends of days gone by. Go out for a big ol’ explore and see what the city has got to teach you (spoiler: loads).
9) Get preparing for Veganuary
Now, for those that are planning to partake in Veganuary in 2023, this could be done in a few different ways. For one, you might want to eat the meal you’re going to miss the most, be it your favourite London breakfast or your beloved Sunday roast with the family. Or, you could get started earlier, either by diving straight into it after Christmas dinner, or by gradually increasing your number of meat-free meals.
Regardless of your method, you’ll want to be planning what you’re going to eat in January 2023, so it’s fortunate that London is absolutely full to the brim with Vegan restaurants. Here’s some of our favourites.
10) End Twixmas with a bang
This part of the year always seems to simultaneously last forever, like time standing still, and go by in a flash. However you spend it this year, there’s one way that scores and scores of us will choose to end Twixmas: taking in the London New Year’s Eve fireworks. In fact, this is the first time we’ve been able to do this since the year two-thousand-and-nineteen (!) so there’s all the more reason to take them in.
Whether you have a ticket to the front, a view from your flat (TV, top floor window or balcony – all are good), or a vantage point from a rooftop London New Year’s Eve event, you’ve got check out the dazzling painting of London’s skyline as it waves good by to Twixmas and ushers 2023 out onto the stage. Showtime.