Today, London is one of the most diverse cities in the world; rich in history and tradition, it is home to some of the most prominent cultures on the planet. The British capital attracts more than 27 million visitors each year, making it the most visited city in Europe.
On a one-off basis, February is an excellent month to visit London, as the cold of winter tends to attract fewer crowds and queues are reduced. In addition, the festive atmosphere of Valentine's Day will captivate you. Here's a refined list of activities to consider if you visit London this month.
1. Visit Harry Potter Park at Warner Bros. Studio
This attraction takes us straight into the behind-the-scenes making of one of the most iconic sagas of all time. It is a tour of the Harry Potter Park in London where you can see the real sets of the legendary saga, as well as a variety of props, models and accessories for the special effects of the big screen.
If you are wondering how to get to the Harry Potter Park at Warner Bross Studios you should know that it is located in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, about 32 km northwest of London. Or you can also book tickets including transfers from London.
2. Celebrate Valentine's Day on a Thames River Cruise
If you're visiting London in February with your partner, resisting the festive Valentine's Day atmosphere that permeates the city throughout the month will be mission impossible. London is the ideal setting for a Valentine's Day that is not plagued by boring plans and seasonal clichés. In the British capital there are people who even dress up during this day.
Undoubtedly, the star plan for this special night is to take one of the cruises on the Thames. There is a wide variety of prices for these cruises, adapted to all budgets. You have from the cheapest in a 1 hour tour from Westminster to Greenwich, to those that include dinner, to the most romantic: the sunset cruises.
3. Discover the colorful Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens
Every year, from the first weeks of February until mid-March, Kew Gardens hosts its annual Orchid Festival. If you have an interest in plant life, this is an opportunity not to be missed and an experience that only London can provide.
The festival is held in the Princess Of Wales Conservatory, an air-conditioned space designed to preserve the tropical atmosphere that these beautiful flowers demand.
This flower paradise in the center of London is a place to go if you feel like getting away for a while from the hustle and bustle and polluted air of the city. Here you will find countless species of plants and trees, several galleries of perfectly manicured gardens, greenhouses and even an impressive representation of a bee hive.
4. Don't miss the musicals of London's West End
London, in addition to being a popular tourist destination, is a city famous for its theater industry. Just like Broadway in New York, in the West End you will find the best musicals in London. That's why tourists visiting the city always add a West End show to their list of things to do in London.
At the same time, winter in London is the perfect time for theater lovers to take advantage of the sales. Depending on the show you can find discounted tickets and different offers. During the months of December, January and February theater tickets are cheaper in an effort to get more people out of the warmth of their homes.
5. Delight yourself with London Fashion Week
This is an immersive c outure experience featuring runway shows and presentations by British and international designers that fashion lovers enjoy immensely.
London Fashion Week is one of the four most important fashion weeks in the world and takes place every year in February and September. This event is held in other cities such as Paris, Milan and New York. Tickets for the event are purchased directly on their website by choosing the designer you hope to see and contacting the event's Press Office.
If you have trouble attending the more exclusive events, here's a tip: get tickets to attend the London Fashion Week Festival. This is a more accessible and affordable event that takes place right after London Fashion Week. You can participate in live talks with personalities of the fashion industry, attend exclusive catwalks, access discounts from high-end stores and many other activities.
6. If you go with children do not miss the Imagine Children's Festival
If you plan to visit London with children we recommend you to participate in the Imagine Children's Festival, an arts festival designed primarily for children, which takes place every February for 12 days at the Southbank Center. There are events for all ages, from babies to teenagers, and at least half of them are totally free!
This children's festival, besides being charming, celebrates the power of storytelling. We recommend on your visit to London to check out the delightful variety of activities and performances, as there is something for all ages and tastes. From music, art, storytelling, puppetry and games, creativity is the order of the day.
7. Join the English Pancake Day celebration.
Shrove Tuesday is a religious holiday that precedes the 40-day fasting period of Lent. It is celebrated between February 3 and March 9 each year and the English celebrate it with their traditional pancake feast. If you are in London for this celebration treat yourself and join the fun with a mountain of pancakes and attend one of the famous pancake races.
What are the Pancake races?
It is a relay race where participants run down a street pan in hand flipping pancakes. It is a Shrove Tuesday tradition in England; although it takes place in almost all English towns and cities, historians place its origin in Olney, Buckinghamshire. If you want to join this peculiar celebration here are some ideas:
- Great Spitalfields Pancake Race takes place at Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane starting at 12:30 pm.
- Trowbridge Flipping Race is held in Trowbridge from 10:30 am.
- Greenwich Market Pancake Race is held at GreenwichMarket to raise funds for cancer. Starting at 1:00 pm.
- Parliamentary Pancake Race raises funds for the charity Rehab, held outside Houses of Parliament from 10:15 am.
- Lendenhall Market Pancake Race is held in the heart of downtown LendenhallMarket and free pancakes are awarded to the first 100 spectators.
Why do they celebrate pancake day?
The tradition behind this celebration involved the creative use of certain foods that would be voluntarily renounced during Lent for fasting reasons, these foods are: butter, eggs and milk.
8. Don't miss the London Classic Car Show
The London Classic Car Show is defined as the event that every owner, collector, connoisseur or fan of classic cars should attend. It is a popular celebration held in February in the English metropolis that gathers one of the largest collections in the United Kingdom.
For a couple of days you will have the opportunity to enjoy a collection that usually includes more than 700 classic cars. In past events they have set up an indoor driving track where exhibitions of the best cars in action take place. Additionally, there is the opportunity not only to view, but also to purchase some of the models on display and get in touch with influential figures or leading dealers in the industry.
9. Be sure to attend Camden Market
This is the fourth most popular tourist attraction in London and one of the most famous markets in the world; approximately 10,000 tourists visit every weekend so it can get incredibly busy. Our advice is that, if you visit London in February, take advantage of the low season and less crowded days to visit Camden Market and enjoy the experience even more.
What can you find in Camden Market?
Located in the north of London in a place known as Camden Town, there is a very different atmosphere from the rest of the city. Full of originality and an alternative air, the market is divided into six different spaces, where you will enjoy souvenir stores, alternative clothing, footwear, thousands of handmade items and of course good food!
What are the opening hours of Camden Market?
The official website states that Camden Markets are open every day from 10 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. During the winter season these hours may vary from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 PM. Camden Market is open year round and only closes on Christmas Day.
10. Immerse yourself in the celebration of the Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year occurs every year around the middle of February, varying by a few days or weeks. London's celebration of this holiday is one of the largest in the world outside of Asia, which is why hundreds of thousands of people gather each year.
The Chinese New Year events in London are lively, fun and welcoming. They include dragon dances, traditional dishes and theatrical performances. The wonderful creative display involving the Chinese New Year parade held by the Asian community takes place in the very center of London. In addition to this celebration, local bars and restaurants adopt the tradition to hold themed parties in their establishments.
London temperatures in February
If you decide to visit the city of London during the month of February you should be prepared to find quite cold weather during most of the month. According to official data the average maximum temperature is 8 ° C or 46 ° F; while the average minimum oscillates around 2 ° C or 36 ° F.
Sunny days in the month of February average only 12 days; with 16 rainy days or 10 rainy days and 3 snowy days. To recap, you can expect sunshine for only half of your days in London during the month of February. Take advantage of those times to do outdoor activities such as the main tours of the city.
London's February tourist crowds
As a consequence of the winter and its low temperatures, the number of tourists in London in February is below average compared to other months of the year in this same destination.
February is the ideal month to travel to London on a budget. During this month, more traditional tourists prefer to vacation in warmer destinations. This is a great advantage that you should take advantage of: queues are reduced to almost none, so you will be able to enjoy many more activities such as the main museums of the British capital.
Prices in London in February
February is a good time to visit London on a budget, as it is an off-season period and due to the cold weather there are many who do not consider it the best time to travel to London. A visit during the month of February could end up costing much less than a similar trip during peak season months such as June or July.
While it is still quite cold we are sure that the reduced ticket prices will encourage you to stick it out. During February many accommodations offer discounts and, if you are traveling by plane from another country, you can also find discounts on airline tickets. In addition, you can also enjoy reduced prices on excursions.
What to pack for your visit to London in February
As mentioned above, London is a very cold destination during the month of February, so you should have your winter clothes ready before traveling. As a general advice, avoid using loose clothing, since in addition to the cold winds can be quite strong, resulting in discomfort or a gust of wind blowing away some of your favorite pieces.
When traveling to London try to introduce in your suitcase:
- Warm winter clothes.
- Waterproof coats
- Waterproof boots
- Warm gloves and earmuffs.
- Hats, make sure your coats include a hood or both.
- Don't forget the umbrella, you will appreciate it when the rain starts to fall.
Alternative plans to protect yourself from the rain in February
As February in London is a month that promises rain every now and then, it's good to have alternative plans or activities to take when your weather app forecasts showers all day. I leave you with a post of activities worth doing in winter in London:
Visiting London's museums
Whether you are interested in art, science or history in London you will find some of the most impressive museums in the world and all with free admission to the public. Among the best museums in London are the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Tate Modern, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum.
On the fringes of this list is the London wax museum, better known as Madame Tussauds; it is one of the few museums for which you will have to pay admission, but if you consider the wax figures you can find at Madame Tussauds it is worth it.
A tour in the London Tower
This is the ideal place to learn about British history and, incidentally, delight in the wonderful display of the Crown Jewels of the Royal Family, including the crown of the imperial state. The guards are really friendly and delight visitors who buy tickets for London Tower with gory tales and stories of times gone by.