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London in February: the secrets to get the most out of your trip

Visiting London at any time of the year is always a good idea. The month of February in England's capital is synonymous with fabulous activities including fashion, music, art, exhibitions, and Tortitas - read on to find out more!

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

London in February: the secrets to get the most out of your trip

Trafalgar Square, London | ©Diane Picchiottino

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. London is certainly a must-see for every traveler and a destination to which you will want to return.

February is an excellent month to visit London, since the cold of winter tends to attract fewer crowds. The result: all the goodness of London with reduced queues and the festive atmosphere of Valentine's Day! Here's a curated list of activities to consider if you're visiting London in February.

1. Delight yourself at London Fashion Week

London Fashion Show| ©Isabel Infantes
London Fashion Show| ©Isabel Infantes

This is an immersive c outure experience that includes 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 from 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: Buy 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.

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2. Dive into the celebration of the Orchid Festival

Kew Gardens Festival Orchids| ©Russell Harris
Kew Gardens Festival Orchids| ©Russell Harris

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.

Tickets for the tours are purchased directly from the Kew Gardens website. The celebration of the festival takes place in the Princess Of Wales Conservatory, an air-conditioned space designed to preserve the tropical atmosphere that these beautiful flowers demand.

You will find a wonderful collection of specimens, you will enjoy the opportunity to meet new wild species and, very importantly, you will have a specialized guide on how to care for and conserve orchids at home.

How long does the London Orchid Festival last?

The Kew Gardens Orchid Festival lasts four weeks. Each year the organizers take as inspiration a different theme around which they create structures of flower arrangements with very creative designs that accompany the colorful displays.

Book a tour to Kew Gardens

3. Enjoy a Valentine's Day English style

Valentine's Day Cruise| ©Paul Kohler
Valentine's Day Cruise| ©Paul Kohler

If you visit London in February with your significant other, 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 isn't plagued by boring menus and seasonal clichés - some people even dress up for the day.

For these dates, many restaurants and hotels offer the traditional British afternoon tea with a Valentine's Day theme. Scones, sandwiches, cakes and even the decoration of the spaces are adapted to the shapes and colors of this celebration. Some places famous for adopting this practice year after year are:

  • The Claridge Hotel's tea room, which costs approximately £50 per service and tends to fill up very quickly.
  • The City Cruises ship offers its traditional Valentine's afternoon tea for approximately £48 per service accompanied by a romantic cruise on the Thames.
  • Dominique Ansel Bakery
  • The Maitre Choux patisserie.

Note that, as in other cities around the world, Valentine's night is extremely busy for restaurants in London so, if you want to have a romantic dinner with your partner, you should book in advance.

Book a tasting tour in London

4. Immerse yourself in the Chinese New Year celebration

Chinese New Year Parade| ©Kel, eh?
Chinese New Year Parade| ©Kel, eh?

The 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 every 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. This celebration is joined by local bars and restaurants that adopt the tradition to hold themed parties in their establishments.

5. If you go with children do not miss the Imagine Children's Festival

Children at the Imagine Children's Festival| ©Victor Frankowski
Children at the Imagine Children's Festival| ©Victor Frankowski

If you plan to visit Londonwith 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, as well as 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.

6. Join the celebration of the English Pancake Day.

At the Pancake races| ©Martin Deutsch.
At the Pancake races| ©Martin Deutsch.

Shrove Tuesday is a religious holiday that precedes the 40-day fasting period of Lent. It is celebrated between February 3rd and March 9th 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 Pancake races?

It is a relay race where participants run down a street pan in hand flipping pancakes. It is a tradition of Shrove Tuesday 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:

Why do they celebrate Pancake Day?

The tradition behind this celebration involved the creative use of certain foods that would be voluntarily given up during Lent due to fasting, these foods are: butter, eggs and milk.

7. Don't miss the London Classic Car Show

Touring the London Classic Car Show| ©Tony Harrison
Touring the London Classic Car Show| ©Tony Harrison

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 and brings together 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 see, but also to buy some of the models on display and get in touch with influential figures or leading dealers in the industry.

8. Get discounted theater tickets

Waiting for the show to start at Her Majesty's Theatre| ©Lotta Holmström
Waiting for the show to start at Her Majesty's Theatre| ©Lotta Holmström

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.

London, besides 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.

Book tickets for London musicals

9. Don't miss Camden Market

Visiting Camden Market| ©Mario Sánchez Prada
Visiting Camden Market| ©Mario Sánchez Prada

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 become incredibly crowded. 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 at Camden Market?

Located in the north of London in a place known as Camden Town, it has 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 the 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. The Camden Market is open year round and only closes on Christmas Day.

10. Dazzle yourself with the Warner Bross Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter

Hogwarst Castle| ©Karen Roe
Hogwarst Castle| ©Karen Roe

This attraction takes us directly behind the scenes of the making of one of the most iconic sagas of all time. It is a tour of the Warner Bross studios in London where you can see the actual sets used in the Harry Potter films, 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 Warner Bross Studios you should know that it is located in Leavesden, Hertfordshire; 20 miles northwest of London.

Book tickets for the Tower of London

Temperatures in London in February

Snow in London| ©Landsil
Snow in London| ©Landsil

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.

The number of tourists in London in February

Visiting Tower Brigde| ©Vienna Reyes
Visiting Tower Brigde| ©Vienna Reyes

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.

Prices in London in February

Paying the bill| ©cottonbro
Paying the bill| ©cottonbro

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 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 flying in from another country, you can also find discounts on airline tickets.

What to bring in your suitcase to visit London in February

Preparing your luggage| ©Timur Weber
Preparing your luggage| ©Timur Weber

As we 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 wearing loose clothing, since in addition to the cold, the winds can be quite strong, resulting in discomfort or a gust of wind blowing away some of your favorite pieces.

When traveling to London, make sure you pack 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

From afar, the Tower of London| ©Federico Lo Forte
From afar, the Tower of London| ©Federico Lo Forte

As February in London is a month that promises rain every so often, it's good to have alternative plans or activities to take when your weather app forecasts showers all day.
Activities worth doing in winter are:

Visiting museums in London

Whether you are interested in art, science or stories 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.

Buy tickets for Madame Tussauds

A tour of 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.

Book tickets for the Tower of London