January is a time for new beginnings and to embrace the coming year, and what better time to do this than during your trip to London. Whether it’s sailing, the contemporary arts or theatre that you’re looking for, you’ll find it in this buzzing capital city. Read on to discover the top events happening around London in January and get your new year off to a great start.

New Year’s Day Parade

London in January
See the new year in with London’s New Year’s Day Parade © LNYDP

Kick-start the new year by being a part of London’s New Year’s Day Parade. At midday, a procession of around 10,000 participants will set off from Piccadilly to make its way across London to Parliament Square. Horse drawn carriages, a marching band and performers in colourful costumes will all take to the streets while raising funds for charity. Even though the parade is broadcast to a global audience, you can’t beat soaking up the atmosphere in person.

1st January 2016
New year’s Day Parade

London Boat Show

London in January
Spend the day exploring London Boat Show © Flickr / sarchi

Over 10 days, boating enthusiasts will gather in London for an event line-up encompassing water sports sessions, a sailing simulator, and appearances by top boating experts and exhibitors. The boat show’s party night brings live music, celeb chefs, and a Guinness bar to the event, while the on-site restaurant and Champagne bar will make you want to stay even longer.

8th – 17th January 2016
London Boat Show

London Short Film Festival

London in January
Catch screenings at the Short Film Fest © Photo of festival directors Philip Ilson and Jo Duncombe by Elle Sillanpaa

Film buffs will jump at the chance of attending this short movie showcase, as it endeavours to represent cutting edge UK independent filmmakers. Screenings and events take place citywide at over 75 venues, with more than 300 films being shown overall, giving visitors the chance to discover their favourite up-and-coming and established talent, while seeing another side to UK culture.

8th – 17th January 2016
London Short Film Festival

London Art Fair

London in January
See a diverse collection of artworks at London Art Fair © Courtesy of Oliver Sears Gallery, Samuel Walsh Autumnus X (Bénodet), 2014

Now in its 28th edition, the London Art Fair is back to showcase the modern and contemporary artworks – spanning the last century – of leading names in the art world. The main fair runs alongside the showcase ‘Art Projects’, which focuses on an eclectic range of contemporary installations, film and group displays from across the globe, as well as ‘Photo50’, the fair’s photography exhibit.

20th – 24th January 2016
London Art Fair

Lumiere London

London in January
See light installations at Lumiere London © Flickr / Greg Clarke

Over four days, London will come alive through the illuminating work of a selection of international artists. 3D light displays will be projected on to some of the city’s landmarks, while other installations have an interactive element. Look out for 1.8 London, an illuminated hanging net sculpture by Janet Echelman representing the moment the earth’s rotation sped up during the 2011 earthquake in Japan.

14th – 17th January 2016
Lumiere London

Burns Night

London in January
Take part in the Burns Night celebrations © iStock / Jordan Rusev

Despite being a Scottish tradition, Burns Night is celebrated with vigour in London. Each year, in honour of the famous Scot poet Robert Burns, restaurants and bars across the capital host a night of haggis, poetry readings, whisky tastings and ceilidh. And in the spirit of the occasion, Leicester Square Theatre will be hosting a Burns Night Comedy Gala, with appearances from top comedy acts.

25th January 2016
Burns Night London

The London International Mime Festival

London in January
At London Mime Festival catch Compagnie Yoann Bourgeois ‘He Who Falls’ at Barbican Theatre © Géraldine Aresteanu

This month-long celebration of mime is a whirlwind of theatre and film from across the world, with a number of workshops and talks to get involved in. And many of the city’s greatest arts venues, including Tate Modern, Southbank Centre and the Barbican, will be getting involved as well. Hands-on workshops include Extreme Puppetry and Clowning.

9th January – 6th February 2016
Mime London

Combine some of these exciting events with one of our city tours, and you’re sure to enjoy the greatest winter offerings in London.

Header image: London Mime Festival will feature 11 Ockham’s Razor ‘Tipping Point’ at Platform Theatre © Nik Mackey

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