With winter temperatures close to freezing (and below!) for much of the last month, no doubt there are plenty of Londoners groaning at the idea of another month of winter in sight. And, yes, we can’t deny it, February in the capital can be a bit of a slog, with grey skies, plenty of rain and even snow falling periodically!
But, hey, that’s the beauty of London - it’s jam packed with activities to enjoy, year round. Whether it’s heading to the theatre or a new exhibition at one of the capital’s museums, exploring London’s pubs, or wrapping up warmly to take a long walk in Hyde Park or on Hampstead Heath, you;lll never be short of ways to fill your days.
Here are some of our recommendations to enjoy yourself this February - just remember to take your umbrella (and if it’s a bit chilly, invest in some thermal underwear!)
1. Legion: Life in the Roman Army - British Museum
What was life really like in the Roman Army? Well head to the world-famous British Museum in Bloomsbury to find out. The current exhibition ‘Legion - Life in the Roman Army’ looks at the reality of daily life for those part of this enormous army, one that conquered lands near and fare and built an Empire the like of which we still remember!
All kinds of objects are on display at this blockbuster, from helmets and swords to coins and sandals. Many are on loan from around the world, some belong to the British Museum’s extraordinary collection, but all help tell the stories of ordinary individuals. Take your kids too (for under 16’s it’s free entry) and encourage them to follow the personal story of a soldier named Claudius. What a history lesson…
‘Legion’ - The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1
2. Imagine Children’s Festival - 7th to 17th February, South Bank Centre
Back again, and offering families and kids the chance to enjoy all kinds of literature, music, theatre and crafts workshops, the ‘Imagine’ Children’s Festival for half-term at the South Bank.
Designed with kids aged 1-11 in mind, highlights this year will include
CBeebies Ocean Adventure with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, workshops in the Art Makes People Powerful creative zone, a theatre performance of ‘There’s a Monster in my Room’ and plenty of poetry, singing, and hip hop besides.
Over 100 events are being held and many of them are free - the South Bank is an incredible place to walk, explore and spend a day so get yourself down to the River Thames and enjoy yourself!
Imagine, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 (Waterloo tube)
3. A Chorus Line: the musical - Sadlers Wells
When ‘A Chorus Line’ first hit New York, in 1975, audiences were thrilled and blown away in good measure. Following the lives of Broadway dancers, on and off the stage, it became an iconic musical and it still wows audiences today with its catchy songs and energetic high-kick dancing.
Seventeen stories, eight chances…and one singular sensation are now on at Sadlers Wells. Watch a fantastic cast, with their amazingly synchronicity. What a way to chase away the winter blues - watching a crowd of dancers, singing and dancing in lockstep!
A Chorus Line - Sadlers Wells theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London EC1
4. Book Lab - Burgh House, Hampstead
Afterwards, why not grab a bite somewhere in the neighbourhood, because there are some top restaurants in Hampstead, all perfect for enjoying a late supper.
Book Lab, Burgh House, New End Square, London NW3
5. Madagascan Orchid Festival, Kew Botanical Gardens
This is not the first time we’ve mentioned this annual orchid festival and it won’t be the last - trust us, this is a very special event and few who go there leave without feeling wowed. Every year, the displays at Kew Gardens (the largest botanical gardens in the world) just seem to be more beautiful, and this year the country they’re theming is Madagascar.
Home to many species that you can’t find anywhere else in the world, there’s bound to be an explosion of colour and fragrance in the glass houses - not to mention the animal sculptures, not to mention live music and cocktails in the evenings. Kew is an incredible day out at any time of the year and with this ticket you’ll also have entrance to the rest of the grounds.
Kew Botanical Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9
Finally, if you’re coming to London and need a place to stay, then why consider our small but inviting hotel in Hampstead, La Gaffe. Set in leafy Hampstead, arguably one of the capital’s most beautiful areas, we’re family-owned and family-run and really go the extra mile to make you feel at home.
We’re just three minutes walk from Hampstead tube (on the Northern line) and then it’s a fifteen minute tube ride into the city centre, so you get both the charming ‘village’ feel of our neighbourhood and the opportunity to enjoy some ‘bright lights, big city’ atmosphere too.