Visit London Blog » london walks Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Seven Things To Do On New Year’s Day in London Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:40:31 +0000 Don’t waste the first day of 2015 buried under your duvet. There’s plenty to do and see in London on 1 January. Here are just seven ideas:

1. Experience London’s New Year’s Day Parade

The New Year’s Day Parade is a spectacular procession that takes place every year in London. More than 10,000 performers fill the parade route, from dancers and acrobats to musicians and local groups. Watch the highlights of last year’s parade for an idea of what treats lay in store:

2. Hear the classics at the Barbican’s New Year’s Day Gala

The Barbican Centre presents wonderful programme of classical music in its New Year’s Day Gala. The London Concert Orchestras, with Anthony Inglis as conductor, will perform a range of classics and favourites, from Tchaikovsky’s Finale from Swan Lake and Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers Duet, to Nessun Dorma, Land Of Hope And Glory and Rule, Britannia!

3. Take a spin on a festive ice rink

Burn off some of those Christmas calories and have a blast at one of London’s ice rinks. Many are open on New Year’s Day, including Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, Somerset House and Westfield London. Don’t forget to book your skating session in advance. More London ice rinks.

Somerset House Ice Rink

Somerset House Ice Rink

4. Grab a bargain at the Sales

London’s famous ‘January Sales’ actually often begin on Boxing Day, with many retailers cutting prices as soon as Christmas is over. But the sales usually continue well into the New Year, so there are still plenty of bargains to be had. Check our January Sales listings to find out when the sales begin at London’s top shopping destinations, including Selfridges, Harrods and John Lewis.

5. Blow away the cobwebs on a winter walk

Wrap up warm and enjoy the beautiful wildlife and nature of London on a crisp winter walk. There are plenty of walks to choose from. If you want a short stroll in Central London, walk around the beautiful lake in St James’s Park and watch the ducks dipping in and out of the water. For a longer ramble, why not explore the ancient woodland of Highgate Wood or spot red foxes, stoats, kingfishers and other winter wildlife at Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve. And on New Year’s Day, London Wetland Centre is also running a ‘Tick And Twitch’ guided walk for keen birders.

Rainham Marshes

Rainham Marshes

6. Have a laugh at The Comedy Store’s New Year show

Laughter is the best form of medicine, so if you’re feeling a bit delicate come 1 January, dose yourself up at The Comedy Store’s special New Year’s Day Best In Stand Up show. The line-up includes MC Sean Meo, Canadian comic Phil Nichol, Josh Howie and the aptly-named Jarred Christmas.

7. Carry on the party at XOYO’s New Year’s Day club night

If you’re still in the celebratory spirit after New Year’s Eve, mark the first day of 2015 at top Shoreditch club XOYO’s New Year’s Day bash, featuring acclaimed deep house act Âme – aka German duo Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann – known for their track Rej and remixes of Radio Slave and The xx. Plus special guests including Marcus Worgull.

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10 of the Best: Unusual London Tours Thu, 16 Jan 2014 10:00:16 +0000 Pedibus on London Bridge. Photo by RHaworth (Creative Commons)

From bus trips to river cruises, you’ll find all sorts of tours in London. But if you’re looking for something a little different, why not try one of these unusual London tours?

From an East London walk led by homeless guides to a spooky London bus tour, we pick 10 of the most quirky, eye-opening and unique trips around town.


A group of friends pedalling away on a Pedibus is an increasingly common and always entertaining sight around Borough Market, London Bridge, Shoreditch and Liverpool Street. A quirky way to explore London, these pedal-powered buses have space for 12 people – and feature a VIP platform and bar table for drinks.

East End Pub Tour

Learn about the history of the London pub and how it’s faring today on this 2.5-hour East End Pub Tour from Alternative London. You’ll also have a few pints (or your tipple of choice) in a few local watering holes on the way, and see Brick Lane and Spitalfields street art – so it’s like two tours in one!

Chislehurst Caves Tour

Explore the colourful history of Chislehurst Caves, a labyrinth of man-made tunnels once used (some claim) by Druids, Romans and Saxons. Over the years it has seen smuggling, murder, mushroom-growing and music – even serving as a giant air raid shelter during the Second World War.

Unseen Tours

See a different side to London on one of Unseen Tours’ city walks, which are led by homeless and formerly homeless guides. You’ll visit top London landmarks but also places you’ve never been to before – and hear anecdotes of street life in London. Tours cover London Bridge, Covent Garden, Shoreditch or Brick Lane.

Highgate Cemetery

Highgate West Cemetery Tour

Overgrown, atmospheric and beautiful, Highgate Cemetery is the famous burial ground of the likes of Karl Marx, George Eliot and Michael Faraday. The West Cemetery is accessible on a guided tour only, and features stunning architectural memorials like the Egyptian Avenue, terrace catacombs and mausoleum of Julius Beer. The tour includes access to the East Cemetery.

Thames Beachcoming Walk

London’s past is deeply entwined with the River Thames, so the river is a veritable treasure trove of historic artefacts. Led by an inter-tidal archaeologist guide, this riverside outing from London Walks gives you the opportunity to find your own hoard – perhaps some medieval roof tiles, Elizabethan clay pipes or a relic from the Roman or even Mesolithic eras (it has been known).

London Ghost Bus Tour

The spooky London Ghost Bus Tour takes you around the sites of some of London’s most grisly and murderous events – on board a black 1960s Routemaster bus. Enjoy jumps (and laughs), and discover the dark side to top attractions such as the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London.

Hidden City: Cryptic Covent Caper

One of Hidden City’s fiendish treasure hunts, Cryptic Covent Caper leads you around the West End and Covent Garden with a trail of clues sent to you by text that you must solve. The 11 cryptic clues will test your skills – and lead you ultimately to a pub, café or pub where you can reward your ingenuity.

London Behind The Scenes: St Katharine Docks and Wapping Tour

Learn about the vibrant trading past of London’s East End on this tour of the eastside of the River Thames – once home to the largest port in the world. Developed by volunteers of education charity WORLDwrite, the London Behind The Scenes tour begins at St Katharine Docks and ends at Tobacco Dock on Wapping Lane – passing ivory sheds, wine vaults and the dockers’ bell en route.

London Helicopter Tours

For a spectacular journey around London, a London Helicopter Tour is hard to beat. On this amazing ride you’ll get a bird’s eye view over the capital’s most famous landmarks, and see the city from a totally new, unique perspective. And with prices starting at £129 per person, it’s not as expensive as you might think.

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What’s On This Weekend. 28-30 Dec 2012 Mon, 24 Dec 2012 10:52:51 +0000 Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

With Christmas and New Year’s Eve both mid-week, there are fewer unique events than usual on in London this weekend. However, with the opening of the January sales, spectacular new theatrical productions such as Fuerzabruta and the usual wide range of attractions, it’s still very hard to get bored!

January Sales

Although they’re traditionally called the January sales, most shops actually start discounting their goods very shortly after Christmas. This weekend there are fantastic bargains to be had at famous department stores such as Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason, although be warned that, for the most sought-after items, it’s very much a case of ‘the early bird catches the worm’! Take a look at our January Sales 2013 guide for tips and sale dates.

Ice Rinks

Head to London’s many ice rinks for a frosty seasonal treat that the whole family will enjoy. The city’s largest ice rink is at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, which also contains rides, shows, seasonal refreshments and the enchanting Magical Ice Kingdom. Elsewhere, lots of ice rinks are conveniently located within other great attractions – why not combine skating with shopping at Westfield London, a trip on the London Eye or a visit to the Natural History Museum?

Museums and GalleriesThe 'Didactic Teaching Skull' exhibit in 'Medicine Now'  Credit: Rama Knight/Wellcome Images.

Most of London’s fantastic museums and galleries are open this weekend, giving you the chance to catch up on some of the great exhibitions that have opened in recent months. You could see stunning works by Pre-Raphaelite painters at Tate Britain (£14), see Mario Testino’s photographs of the Royal Family at the National Portrait Gallery (free), or browse fascinating exhibitions on medicine and death at the Wellcome Collection (free). The Tower of London is also running special Charles Dickens-themed events this weekend, check this flyer for full details.

Theatre & Pantomimes

As ever, London is full of great theatrical productions. Why not celebrate Girl Power at the Spice Girls musical Viva Forever, see the hotly anticipated return of mind-blowing Argentinian show Fuerzabruta, or super-size your theatrical experience at Walking with Dinosaurs at The O2? If you’re in the mood for something more frivolous, you can indulge your silly side at a traditional pantomime in London: find out more about these hilarious, celebrity-filled shows on our dedicated panto page.


If you’ve over-indulged at Christmas, a guided walk around London is a great way to burn off some of the calories – not to mention learn something new about our great city! London Walks have a fantastic range of sightseeing tours on everything from The Beatles to Jack the Ripper, and you can view the full schedule by visiting the London Walks website.

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London Visitor Charter Promises Fair Prices During the 2012 Games Thu, 21 Jul 2011 14:15:33 +0000

Good news if you’re planning to visit London for the Olympic and Paralympic Games: some of the capital’s biggest attractions have signed up to a new charter promising fair pricing during 2012.

The London Eye, Tower of London, The O2, London Walks, Eurostar and Tom Aikens are among those who’ve pledged to maintain normal prices during the Games. More than 30 businesses have signed up so far.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said, “The London Visitor Charter demonstrates our determination to offer all our visitors both a great deal as well as a great time.”

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