Things To Do in London in the New Year

things_to_do_in_london_new_year

2016 is finally over! It’s time to embrace the new year with open arms and discover the cheap, fun and unusual side of England’s royal capital.

New year, new me. That’s the resounding message fluttering around the socialscape at the moment. And it’s no wonder. 2016 was a pretty terrible year for a lot of us. We lost icons – Bowie, Prince, Ali, George, Carrie – we saw political divides deepen dramatically, and we saw the world rocked by adversary forces.
 
So 2017 is going to be a year of regeneration; reimaginings and new beginnings. And what better way to kick things off than a crisp, brisk tour of a city that thrives in the colder months. So drag yourself out of hibernation, here are some things-to-do in London this new year.
 
Bustling Food Markets
Twenty minutes East of the London Generator is the mouthwatering Exmouth Market. Set on a cool street with tattoo shops, independent book shops, craft shops and premium restaurants, this food market is open Monday to Friday and serves some of the city’s best ethnic food – from traditional Ghanaian street food to Bangladeshi lunchboxes and naughty French crépes. Twenty minutes south of Exmouth Market is Smithfield Market, one of the largest wholesale meat markets in Europe. It’s an impressive macabre affair, set in a historic red-brick building and well worth a look – there’s a cool hidden church around the corner too, Saint Bartholomew the Great, which is said to be one of the most haunted in London and which was also the setting of the fourth wedding in Four Weddings and a Funeral.
 


 
Wrap-Up Warm Walks (or Jogs)
Just fifteen minutes west from the Generator in Kings Cross is London’s beautiful Regents Park. In the summer you can catch a play at the Open Air Theatre here and in October the prestigious Frieze Art Fair passes through but winter in Regent’s Park has its own kind of frosty magic and is well worth a peruse. A little further north is Primrose Hill, Camden’s affluent hat. This sloping park, where the rich and famous walk their pups, provides one of the best views of the city at the top. Stroll east five minutes and you will hit Camden Market, still a hub of treasures, trade and troubadours. The Hawley Arms is worth stopping by as its known for its secret gigs and was Amy’s favourite pub. Jump on a train a little further North to Hampstead Heath, the late George Michael’s neighbourhood, and you’ll discover a gorgeous rambling expanse with swimming ponds – which can still be used by the hardy in winter – and a plethora of pretty pubs dotting the outskirts, where you may spot Will Self having a pint if you’re lucky.


 
Nightclubs With A Difference
After an inspiring people-powered campaign to allow megaclub Fabric to reopen its doors after losing its license last year, the party behemoth is raging once again. And it’s starting 2017 with a strong lineup that includes a new ‘Curates’ night where the club invites artists it admires to programme their own dream club night. American techno DJ and producer DVS1 is first up and promises not to disappoint. Just around the corner from the London Generator is Scala – a long-running club and venue in an old art deco cinema that always offers an eclectic line-up with the capacity for bigger bands and up the hill is the Lexington, a pub with a venue upstairs that supports a more DIY scene with upcoming bands as well as cult favourites – controversial Danish punks Iceage are on the bill in January.
 

 
A Little Further Afield
If you’ve got some time on your hands and don’t mind hopping on public transport, anywhere in London is pretty accessible and it’s worth it to get to the more unusual sights. Both the Tate galleries (Modern and Britain) are totally amazing and absolute no brainers for any trip agenda. The Tate Britain launches its huge hotly anticipated Hockney retrospective in February and will be a must-see for any fan of his work, or fan of art in general. Further out again is Kew Gardens, a gorgeous botanical gardens with an impressive tree-top walkway, and in Chiswick House and Gardens from January 17 is the Magical Lantern Festival – a glowing Chinese celebration with VR, theatre, performances and over 50 light installations.
 

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