Winter Guide 2017 – London
From Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland to The Royal Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, there are no shortage of festive events in London this winter. And when the new year arrives, you can expect even more world-class occasions, from landmark art and design exhibitions to iconic boat shows. Stay up to date with our guide to the best winter events in the capital.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park will once again bring a little festive magic to the British capital with its Winter Wonderland festival. This year, there are over 100 attractions and rides to enjoy, including circus performances, the UK’s largest open-air ice rink, and the fairytale of Cinderella on Ice, as well as a Christmas market for shopping and cocktails at Bar Ice for those in need of a little extra seasonal cheer.
17th November 2017 – 1st January 2018
Hyde Park, London, W2
There are few performances that so readily conjure the spirit of the festive season like The Nutcracker. Peter Wright’s seminal production for The Royal Ballet, which follows on from Lev Ivanov’s 1892 ballet, with its Christmas setting and dancing snowflakes, has danced its way into the hearts of many over the years, becoming a seasonal tradition that’s not to be missed.
5th December 2017 – 10th January 2018
Royal Opera House
Bow Street, London, WC2E 9DD
Disney on Ice: Passport to Adventure
A freewheeling ice spectacular, Disney on Ice’s Passport to Adventure show promises to be an unforgettable night of family entertainment. Peter Pan and Tinkerbell will be among the famous characters making an appearance during the show, which moves all around the world, from under the sea with the Little Mermaid to the African Pride Lands with Timon and Pumbaa. For extra festive fun, the characters from Frozen, including Olaf the snowman, will also be skating onto the scene.
20th – 30th December 2017
The O2 Arena
Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX
Set in a farmhouse in 1980s Ireland, Jez Butterworth’s new play The Ferryman takes on family, the IRA and harvest time with wild, wonderful aplomb. The production, directed by Sam Mendes, opened at the Royal Court in early 2017 to critical acclaim, soon becoming the fastest-selling show in the theatre’s history. This West End transfer is proving similarly popular, with an extension to the show’s run announced only 10 days after opening.
June 20, 2017 – January 6, 2018
Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6AR
A celebration of the sculpture of Turner Prize winning British artist, Rachel Whiteread, opens this autumn at the Tate Britain. Showcasing works from over 25 years of her artistic life, the exhibition includes famous pieces, such as Untitled (100 Spaces) 1995 and Untitled (Staircase) 2001, as well as newer works that have never before been shown to the public.
September 12, 2017 – January 21, 2018
Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG
Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia
The Scythians – nomadic tribes that roamed the northeastern corners of the world between 900 and 200 BCE – are the focus of the British Museum’s latest ambitious BP exhibition. Gold jewellery, painted clay death masks and fur-lined garments are among the 200 objects on display, some of which are over 2,500 years old, with pieces loaned from a number of international collections, including the State Hermitage Museum and the Royal Collection.
September 14, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG
Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’
This promises to be as much a milestone as an exhibition. Not only is Johns considered to be one of the most significant artists of both this century and the last, but over 60 years of his works will be thematically-arranged and on display at the RA this autumn, making Something Resembling Truth the most thorough look at the American artist’s career seen in London in decades.
September 23 – December 10, 2017
Royal Academy of Arts
Burlington House, London, W1J 0BD
Verdi’s Aida at ENO
When duty and love collide, it’s never going to end well. Thus, the stage for Verdi’s Aida is set. Directed by Olivier Award-winning director Phelim McDermott, Aida is a grand, bold story told with sympathy. Sopranos Latonia Moore and Morenike Fadayomi will sing the title role, but it’s ENO’s powerful Orchestra and Chorus that are really given space to shine in this dramatic tale of love in wartime.
September 28 – December 2, 2017
St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4ES
Monochrome: Painting in Black and White
Think of art, and you might think of colour. Not so at the National Gallery’s exhibition, Monochrome: Painting in Black and White. The show takes in the full sweep of art history, from the Middle Ages to the current century, exploring how and to what effect monochrome has been employed. This is one occasion where history really is black and white.
October 30, 2017 – February 18, 2018
Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
Ferrari: Under the Skin
Marking the 70th anniversary of these iconic cars, the upcoming exhibition at the Design Museum will tell Ferrari’s story through racing memorabilia, drawings and photographs, as well as beautifully-executed models and rare vehicles. Peter Collins’ 1957 250 GT Cabriolet and the 1967 275 GTB4, considered by many to be the most beautiful car in the world, will also be on display.
15th November 2017 – 15th April 2018
224-238 Kensington High Street, London, W8 6AG
The Tate Modern is holding a landmark exhibition of the work of 20th century artist Amedeo Modigliani this winter. In addition to his paintings, including 12 of his famous nudes (the most ever assembled in the UK), the exhibition will feature his sculptural work. The use of virtual reality technology, meanwhile, will also allow visitors to experience the bustle of early 20th century Paris, where the artist spent the last years of his tragically short life.
23rd November 2017 – 2nd April 2018
Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic
Designed with both children and adults in mind, the Winnie-the-Pooh exhibition at the V&A – the largest of its kind ever held in the UK – promises to be a delightful return to everyone’s favourite bear and the world of the Hundred Acre Wood. Around 230 works will be on display, including E. H. Shepard’s first sketches of the beloved characters (drawn by studying Christopher Robin’s real life toys), and a 1929 audio recording of A. A. Milne himself reading Winnie-the-Pooh.
9th December 2017 – 8th April 2018
Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
London Boat Show
Relaunching in 2018 with a dynamic, re-imagined identity, this world famous boat show, featuring the best of boating, yachting, and watersports, is set to make a splash in January. Renowned brands, new boats, and exciting marine technology will be showcased during the event, and the inaugural Beach Club will be available to families wanting to learn paddle boarding, canoeing or sailing.
10th – 14th January 2018
Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London, E16 1XL
London Art Fair
An unmissable fixture on the international art calendar, the London Art Fair brings together a stunning collection of museum-quality contemporary and modern art every year. Leading British and global artists will be on display, as well as the curated spaces, Art Projects and Photo50, in the next edition, which marks the 30th anniversary of this iconic art fair.
17th – 21st January 2018
Business Design Centre
52 Upper Street, London, N1 0QH
Charles I: King & Collector
Following the execution of Charles I in 1649, his astounding art collection was sold and scattered across Europe. Thanks to generous loans from institutions and private collections, the exhibition at the Royal Academy will bring together the incredible artworks of his collection – from miniatures and tapestries (including the Mortlake tapestries of Raphael’s Acts of the Apostles) to paintings by Rubens, van Dyck, and Albrecht Dürer – for the first time in over 300 years.
27th January – 15th April 2018
Royal Academy of Arts
Burlington House, London, W1J 0BD
London Fashion Week
The streets of London will once again welcome the leading lights of the fashion world, from models and stylists to bloggers and influencers, to its biannual fashion week. Spread over five days in February, LFW will feature catwalk shows, Designer Showrooms, and events celebrating and showcasing the upcoming designs of Autumn/Winter 2018.
16th – 20th February 2018
Various locations around London.
Hyde Park Stables
Horses and riders have long been a common sight on the bridleways of Hyde Park. The perfect day excursion for equestrians, a trip on horseback affords a novel and exhilarating way to experience the natural beauty and iconic sights of the area, including the Diana Memorial Fountain and the Serpentine.
A 19th century luxury shopping arcade in the heart of Mayfair, Burlington Arcade is a space for distinguished shoppers. Myriad boutiques dedicated to fashion and accessories line the covered walkway, where a special focus is on fine jewellery. Highlights among the jewellers’ offerings include Tessier and Plukka.
Since its founding by the English jazz tenor in 1959, Ronnie Scott’s has remained one of the best places to watch live music in London. The legendary Soho venue once hosted the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis, and today welcomes top jazz, soul, blues and folk artists from around the world.
A traditional Georgian pub on a discreet side street in Mayfair, the Punchbowl is one of the area’s oldest pubs. With a selection of real ales on tap and hearty pub classics on the menu, the establishment manages to balance a quintessentially British pub atmosphere with something a little more upmarket.
Sir John Soane's Museum
The Sir John Soane Museum may have a reputation for being one of London’s more unusual museums, but it can also be one of its most romantic. Once home to architect Sir John Soane, the venue is filled with artworks, antiquities, and unusual decorative touches. However, it’s at its most atmospheric during the candlelit tours, held on the first Tuesday of each month.
Columbia Road Flower Market
Columbia Road is a charming stretch in London’s East End, lined with boutiques, restaurants and independent galleries. Every Sunday morning the road blossoms into life with the arrival of its resident flower market. From freshly cut flowers to orchids, ferns and fruit trees, the selection is vast, and the scene lively until late afternoon.
A shopping park with a distinctive East London twist, Shoreditch’s Boxpark has turned retail therapy into an art form, with over 60 innovative stores built out of industrial shipping containers. The brands and restaurants on offer here are far from your typical high street chains and have turned the once derelict area into a buzzing retail destination.
Advertised as a live escape game, ClueQuest sees small teams of three to five solve various logic-based riddles in a bid to release themselves from a locked room. An unusual premise it may be, but the experience is exhilarating and allows a rare bonding opportunity between family members of all ages.
Chin Chin Labs
Chin Chin Labs is located in the centre of Camden Town and offers an alternative to traditional ice cream with imaginative flavours like Pondicherry vanilla and melon salted almond. The ice cream is prepared using liquid nitrogen in a shop that is designed to look like a science lab, which adds to its idiosyncratic charm.