Kick-start 2017 by spending the first few wintery weeks of the year exploring London and soaking up the vibrant capital’s outstanding arts and culture. From surrealist mime theatre to mesmerising lantern displays, each day offers a new and unexpected experience. Get the most out of your stay by following our guide to the best events around London in January.
New Year’s Day Parade
London begins the New Year on a high note by hosting the annual extravaganza, the New Year’s Day Parade. Setting off at midday, the procession of acrobats, dancers and people in national costume, not to forget the marching bands, make their way from Piccadilly to Parliament Street.
New Year’s Day Parade 2017
1st January 2017
Chinese New Year
This year celebrating the Year of the Rooster, Chinese New Year falls at the end of the month. Outside of Asia, there aren’t many cities better to mark the occasion than London. Here, a costumed parade winds through Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and the West End, with Trafalgar Square also setting the stage for performances.
Chinese New Year in London
29th January 2017
Held to honour the eminent Scottish poet Robert Burns, Burns Night has become a much loved January tradition, not just across his home country but worldwide. London celebrates the occasion with Scottish dinners and whisky tastings – often featuring poetry readings and Scottish music – in restaurants and bars citywide.
Burns Night in London
25th January 2017
International Mime Festival
Back for its 40th edition, London’s International Mime Festival will bring together new upcoming artists with some of the best-known names in visual theatre. With surrealist acts like a manga-inspired drama from Italy, the festival continually strives to host a cutting-edge festival programme.
International Mime Festival London 2017
9th January – 4th February 2017
London Boat Show
Now in its 63rd year, London Boat Show is without doubt one of the city’s best annual events for sailing enthusiasts. Not only can visitors see inside some of the latest and greatest boats, they are also promised an insight into new boating technology, with the chance to meet like-minded people in the popular Black and White Bar.
London Boat Show 2017
6th – 15th January 2017
London Art Fair
Annually kick-starting the art world calendar, London Art Fair is considered a highlight of the new year, and is said to be the UK’s number one fair for modern British and contemporary art. Here, visitors can browse the latest work of both leading and emerging artists.
London Art Fair
18th – 22nd January 2017
Magical Lantern Festival
This year adopting the theme, ‘The Silk Road’, the Magical Lantern Festival promises to be as spectacular as it’s been in previous years. Through outdoor installations of colourful sculpted lanterns, the festival will reflect the arts and culture of countries that lie along this ancient trade route, with the addition of an ice rink and funfair.
Magic Lantern Festival London 2017
19th January – 26th February 2017
While London’s event calendar is enough to entice visitors, it’s the historic landmarks and iconic sights that most people come for. To take in the city’s best and most famous sights, join a day tour of the capital with Evan Evans, from the London in One Day tour to the more specialist Jack the Ripper Tour or London by Night.
Image credits: Cover photo of the Magical Lantern Festival © Flickr / Alexander Baxevanis. The New Year’s Day Parade © Flickr / Andrius Petrucenia. Whisky for Burns Night © iStock / Noctiluxx. A Mime Artist © Flickr / Sarah Elizabeth C. London Boat Show © Flickr / oatsy40. London Art Fair © Flickr / Blowing Puffer Fish. The Magical Lantern Festival © Flickr / Alexander Baxevanis.