Great activities for a cold winter’s night
Guest post by Phil Comyn
Winter is coming! Or, more accurately, it’s arrived in full force! Winter is the season that tends to rouse a sense of excitement in people. There’s always plenty of activities going on in London to coincide with the festive season. However, for those on a budget, it might not be as fun.
London has gained a reputation for itself as being a costly city to live in (and visit!). In fact, London is now the 19th most expensive city in the world. A basic lunch with a drink reaches upwards of £20, but overpriced beverages and pricey meals are just the tip of the iceberg! The average cost of a single cinema ticket is miles higher than anywhere else on the planet.
With prices like that, how are you expected to have a good time in London without burning a hole in your pocket?
Thankfully, there’s actually a lot of budget-friendly activities to enjoy in London in winter – you just need to know where to look! Here are five affordable things you can do in “The Big Smoke” over the upcoming winter months:
#1 | British Museum
With the cold (and often wet) weather starting to make an appearance, it’s nice to find something to do that doesn’t involve running through the streets of London in your wellington boots! The British Museum was founded in 1753 and was the first national public museum in the world. It’s home to numerous artefacts dating back centuries from the Elgin Marbles to the Rosetta Stone. There’s something new to discover around every turn. And, more importantly, the British Museum is 100% free.
It’s no surprise that over six million visitors pile into the museum each year. There are always new events taking place including seasonal collections and exhibitions such as The Citi exhibition and the BP exhibition, which runs from 8th November 2018 to 24th February 2019.
#2 | Visit a Christmas Market
You can’t visit London in winter and not stop at one of the many charming Christmas markets that pop up throughout the city. It’s the festive season and decorations go up towards the end of November, which gives you plenty of time to get your Christmas shopping lists ready and find some bargain deals at one of the festive markets.
One of the most popular markets is the London Bridge City market. You’ll get to enjoy splendid views of Tower Bridge and munch on Christmas-themed snacks as you wander through a series of charming stalls. If you’re looking for a fun family day out, head to Winterville, where you can hop on a few carnival rides and enjoy free entertainment such as fantastic street performances and affordable film screenings.
#3 | 888poker LIVE London Festival
The 888poker Live London Festival runs from the 22nd November to 3rd December. It doesn’t cost a lot to go, which is excellent news if you’re on a budget and searching for something fun to do in London this winter. The festival is the main event qualifier, and there’s an amazing line-up of guests including some of the biggest names in the poker industry such as Scott Blumstein and Joe Cada.
The event will be held in Aspers Westfield Stratford City with buy-ins starting at just 1p, which means you can work your way to the top and watch the drama unfold right in front of you. The 888 poker Live poker event is expected to be the biggest highlight of the poker calendar with incredible prizes up for grabs including three nights’ accommodation, travel money of $350 paid into your 888poker account and lots more.
#4 | Winter Walks
London is a beautiful city all year round, but in winter, it really comes alive. Budget travellers can enjoy a brisk walk on a crisp winter’s morning through Richmond Park. Richmond Park is the largest Royal Park in London and home to over 600 wild deer. Explore the natural beauty of the park at your own pace or hop on a bike for some cycling along the charming Tamsin Trail.
If you arrive on a particularly chilly or snowy day, you might prefer to stay closer to the city centre where you can grab a cup of hot chocolate and sip on it as you stroll through Greenwich Park. This park is perfect for a family picnic, and it is dog-friendly, so you can bring your four-legged friend along for the ride. Some other great London parks include Hampstead Heath, Hyde Park, Clapham Common, Regent’s Park and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
#5 | Ice-skating at Somerset House
London turns into a winter wonderland during the festive season, which opens up a variety of winter activities that would otherwise be unavailable. One of which, is ice-skating at Somerset House. The courtyard transforms into a majestic ice rink every year, so lace up your skates and glide across the ice with friends, family, or someone special.
Tickets are cheap, and you can also benefit from a few Skate Extras both on and off the ice rink. Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade returns at this time of year,
offering lots of snacks and festive shopping opportunities for bargain-hunters. If you’re willing to stretch your budget just a little, you and a loved one can enjoy some festive mulled wine and a slice of mince pie before heading back out on the ice.
Enjoy Winter in London on a Budget
Just because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean you should hibernate all winter in London. There’s plenty of activities going on throughout the city in addition to those mentioned above. If you’re a bit of a history buff, make your way to the free Shoreditch museum and discover how Christmas was celebrated in years gone by.
If you’re in London on Boxing Day or early January, hang around for the London sales! You never know what you might stumble across and hundreds of shops across the city host fantastic deals at this time of year.