It may be New Year, New Tier, but there’s still plenty of incredible things to do in London in January 2021!
2020 is finally, mercifully, completely, OVER. And whilst that’s a cause for celebration in itself, we’re facing the most uncertain start to a year in recent memory, with London currently under Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions, and the possibility of a New Year lockdown never far from the headlines. So, a strange old time to be planning the best things to do in London for January 2021, but we’re nothing if not committed to unearthing something aside from Netflix reruns and another slow turn around the local park. And hey, you’ll definitely end January knowing that it was the best month of 2021 – so far! [Featured image: David Harmantas]
With all the restrictions London is likely to be under throughout January, sometimes it’s best to keep it simple. A lazy amble around town will get you out in the fresh winter air without breaking any Tier 4 restrictions, and we’ve got some choice walks picked out for you.
OK, so it’s a year you’re probably trying to forget as soon as possible, but there’s still the chance for eternal quiz glory up for grabs, so take it seriously! Your tickets are available here.
In the absence of the charming Winter Lights festival, Canary Wharf are doing something slightly different this winter. A plethora of inventive installations now bathe the area in shimmering, glowing, dizzying light, and happily, it’s both socially distanced and entirely free to attend. Light ’em up! (If you can’t get down there, we’ve rounded up some pictures for you to enjoy!)
This virtual Guinness-inspired cookalong brings you a delicious beer-infused dish to feed your soul and brighten up your month. Top chef, Robin Gill, will be guiding you through the process of baking your own Guinness-infused Irish rarebit on homemade soda bread. Gooey, melted Guinness-flavoured cheese on fresh bread – sounds delicious right? Tickets are here.
5. Kick start your New Year, New Me plan with a little jog
After all, if you’re going to start, now is the prime time. Definitely start small though – these little London jogs are all under 3 miles, and can easily be squeezed into a lunch break.
6. Or opt for something a little more taxing
Once you’ve built up a little stamina, or got back into your usual routine after a Christmas break, we’ve picked out five rather beautiful longer routes that burn calories whilst giving you a proper eyeful of scenery.
Pub nights with the squad are looking a distinctly long shot in January, but a mind-melting night of puzzles with the gang will certainly keep you entertained. Each interactive puzzle can be enjoyed with multiple players, and since it’s all taking place online, it doesn’t matter where in the world your teammates are. Get your tickets here.
In my humble opinion, Portugal’s famous custard tarts can go toe-to-toe with any dessert on the planet and emerge triumphant, and if you feel as strongly about this as I do, then our friends at Fever have got the perfect activity lined up for you. This online custard tart workshop will have your sweet tooth thanking you for weeks to come, so grab your tickets here to take part.
Lidos aren’t just for boiling summer days, you know – especially since outdoor swimming is still permitted under Tier 4 restrictions. The capital has no fewer than four heated pools, including the ultra-swish London Fields Lido, or hardy souls can see if cold swimming really is better for you…
Magic and mystery combine at virtual escape room experience The Wonder Cave, where you’ll need wits and bravery to overcome every challenge put in front of you and escape with an incredible prize. Tickets can be found here.
Whether you’d like to be a little more informed about the vintages you’ve been drinking all these years, or you’d just like another reason to toast the arrival of 2021, these Borough Wines tasting sessions will help you have an absolutely grape time. Sign up for a session here.
12. Redecorate your flat with a little modern art (January 20-31)
If you’ve ever wandered around the Tate and wished you could take something home, then the London Art Fair will be right up your alley. Modern and contemporary art from over 130 galleries will be on display for their first-ever digital fair, and if you like the look of a piece, simply flash the cash and its yours (don’t expect it to be cheap though).
Not to add any more issues to your plate, but a man’s life is in your hands in this virtual trial, in which you’ll need to weigh the evidence and witness statements to decide whether the suspect is guilty of murder. Find your tickets here.
Fresh air, pedal power, and a neat tour of the city’s loveliest spots – you can’t beat a good cycle ride to blow any remaining 2020 cobwebs away! Here are six of our favourites.
The comfort of your bed is probably the safest place to be on See Your City’s Jack The Ripper walking tour. Join the trail of London’s most notorious serial killer, and explore the crime scenes of Whitechapel under the supervision of a dedicated Ripperologist. You’ll be able to investigate the alleged perpetrators, learn more about the Ripper’s victims, and produce your own theory of who the Ripper was. It’s chilling and thrilling in equal measure, so grab your tickets here.
Free to visit, and boasting an amazing diversity of wildlife, Walthamstow Wetlands is the biggest nature reserve in town, and an excellent spot to explore on a frosty winter morning. Read all about it here.
This is no ordinary Zoom call: disco is back in a big way and it’s infiltrated the world of yoga. You can even get dressed up in sequins and set up the old disco ball in your living room to really get in the mood. And if you don’t own any disco attire, don’t be downhearted. A pair of sweats and a t-shirt is all you’ll need; the music and movement will soon put you mind at ease as you lose yourself in the class. Tickets are available here.
Legendary London bakery Bread Ahead are offering a very exciting virtual baking class this January, and both novices and Nigella’s are welcome! They’ll teach you the secrets of making their top-tier cream doughnuts, and it’ll put a delicious dent in those healthy eating aspirations… Find your tickets here.
19. Go vegan for a month
Veganuary rolls around once more, and it seemingly gathers speed every January. We say, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, so why not check out all the vegan delights that London has to offer to inspire your next supermarket trip.
Exotic animals, drugs, and now an arson attack at a new zoo are making life pretty tricky, and the local Sheriff is calling for an online investigation with you as the lead detective. You’ll need to collect statements, sift through alibis, and tolerate some live music performances to discover whodunnit, and the results are brilliantly madcap. Find your tickets here.
It’s not the bingo you’re used to, mind… This online drag bingo night is hosted by former Drag Race star Charlie Hides, and brings colourful drag performances and imitations to the game of bingo. Ripping fun, and your tickets are available here.
More things to do inspiration…
Also published on Medium.