If you’re stuck on a layover in London during the winter months, when the days are shorter and the temperature cooler, you may feel limited on what you are able to do. Yet, there are many things to do in London during the winter months that can keep you entertained.
Ice Skating — Winter is the only season where you can trap on some blades and hit the ice in London. Head over to the moat of Tower Hill or “Ice at the Tower” which is open from November 17th to January 6th, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. except for Christmas Day. It is considered London’s most dramatic open air ice rink, and is located in the moat of the tower. The rink and tower is lit up spectacularly at night, and trained guides are available for those who need a lesson or two. Next to the rink is the Ice Bar and Café for a warm drink and snack.
In addition to the moat of Tower Hill, Somerset House Ice Rink is another main skating attraction in London during the winter months. The rink is open from November 16 – January 6, 2013 and tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster or by phone at 0844 847 1520. There are Club Night skates that include live music, as well as Skate School, an adjacent arcade, and café. There’s also a New Year’s Eve skate with champagne, music, and a view of Mayor’s fireworks on the Thames.
There are additional ice skating rinks in Canary Wharf and Hyde Park.
London’s Hyde Park also offers the annual Winter Wonderland which includes an ice skating rink, a bungee dome, an observation wheel with views of London, Santa’s Grotto and more.
Additional Wintertime London activities include:
Take a Cruise – The City Cruises Company offers Christmas Day Lunch Cruises along the River Thames. There’s also a lunchtime cruise that offers a traditional English Christmas meal.
Museums – London has countless wonderful museums depending on your interests including British Museum , V&A, Science Museum, Natural History, and Imperial War Museum.
London Musicals & Christmas Carol Concerts – London has some of the best theater in the world, and you can catch a world-class performance of an acclaimed show. In addition there are many Christmas Carol Concerts throughout the city including performances at St. Martin-in-the-fields church, the Royal Albert Hall, and St, Paul’s Cathedral.
Or, when all else fails, find a warm pub with a lit fireplace, and watch some English sporting events with a pint or two!