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Visiting London in February?
While the weather might still be a bit of a wintery mix (hint: pack your coat), I love London at this time of year as the daylight continues to increase each day and the tourist levels are at a major low.
You won’t be fighting for a spot at the front of the line to see the Crown Jewels or paying insane prices for hotel rooms if you’re staying in town, and a little bit of potential rain and some cold never stopped anyone from enjoying all of the wonderful things this city has to offer.
So whether you want to go full-tourist or if you’re looking for more local things to do in London in February, here’s my expertly curated list based on…10 years of living in London throughout February!
- Weather in London in February
- What to Pack for February in London
- Things to Do in London in February
- 1. Take a Romantic Thames Cruise for Valentine's Day in the UK
- 2. Visit the V&A Museum
- 3. Get Afternoon Tea
- 4. Take a Tour of London's Secret Village
- 5. Legion: Life in the Roman Army Exhibition at the British Museum
- 6. Women in Revolt! Exhibition at Tate Britain
- 7. Get Tickets to The Play that Goes Wrong
- 8. Day Trip to Hampton Court Palace
- 9. Celebrate Chinese New Year in Chinatown
- 10. See the Pancake Races on Pancake Day
- 11. Play at the Postal Museum
- 12. Enjoy a Sunday Roast
- 13. Walk through the Butterfly Trail in Soho
- 14. Get Brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn
- 15. See a Show at Cadogan Hall
- 16. Eat at Market Halls Victoria
- 17. Visit the Imperial War Museum
- 18. Get Tickets for the Book of Mormon
- 19. Take the Premier Classic London Black Cab Tour
- 20. Enjoy a Day Trip to Stonehenge and Bath
- 21. Guided Westminster Walking Tour
- 22. Ghosts, Ghouls, and Gallows Tour
- 23. Shop at John Lewis on Oxford Street
- 24. Buy a Souvenir at Hamley's
- 25. Get Spooked on a Jack the Ripper Walking Tour
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The Absolute Must-Knows (from a Londoner)
Weather in London in February
Is it cold in London in February?
Yes! It’s one of the coldest months of the year, with the most chance of snow historically, so prepare yourself for temperatures ranging from 40 – 49 F and a potentially wet or drizzly experience with an average of about 15 days of precipitation.
The weather in the UK is generally mild compared to many other places in the world, so the chance of getting any sort of intensely freezing temperatures is low, but just be prepared for some grey skies and possible rain or snow and some wind chill – many of the things I’ve recommended to do when visiting London in February are indoors for this reason.
What to Pack for February in London
In addition to my ultimate London packing list of things you need year-round, here are some items you should definitely consider bringing to London in February:
- warm coat
- hand moisturizer/lotion
- long sleeve shirts
- rain coat or umbrella
- sweaters to layer
Things to Do in London in February
1. Take a Romantic Thames Cruise for Valentine’s Day in the UK
There’s nothing quite like cruising down the Thames while enjoying a delicious meal for 2, and it’s a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in London with the ones you love (whether that’s your partner or your entire family on vacation!)
This is my favorite London dinner cruise, including a 4 course dinner that includes food and wine, as well as live entertainment.
You’ll sail past iconic London attractions like the London Eye, Tower Bridge, and St. Paul’s Cathedral all the while enjoying London illuminated at night.
2. Visit the V&A Museum
Nestled in the heart of South Kensington, the V&A is a gorgeous museum featuring culture, design, and architecture (among other things) from around the world.
It’s absolutely stunning inside, as well as large – you could easily spend hours in here exploring all of the different exhibits, as well as the fashion-forward exhibitions that rotate regularly.
There’s a beautiful café and if you visit at the weekend, you can check out the outdoors café and area which is also great for some fresh air while still giving you the option to head back indoors if the winter weather turns on you.
3. Get Afternoon Tea
One of the best afternoon teas in London is the afternoon tea at the Lanesborough Hotel, though I’ve got a full list of other great afternoon teas here.
Not only is it a great way to warm up and talk with friends and family, but afternoon tea is such a classic British experience that I recommend it to everyone visiting London if they can squeeze it in at least once (and it totally is enough food to be your lunch, not just a snack, so there’s a meal taken care of!)
4. Take a Tour of London’s Secret Village
There are a few London walking tours that take you off-the-beaten-path, and London’s Secret Village with the London Walks company is one of those.
It takes place on Mondays at 2:30pm and will take you all around Clerkenwell, an ancient, hidden village that most visitors have never heard of, let alone been to.
It’s important when you’re visiting London to make sure that you see things that are off the normal tourist routes, and this is a great option!
5. Legion: Life in the Roman Army Exhibition at the British Museum
In February of 2024, the British Museum is holding an exhibition all about ancient Rome and life in the Roman Army that is well-worth a visit.
From tablets from Roman Britain to ancient coins, helmets, and more, this is a great thing to do in London in February and will be hugely interesting to history buffs everywhere!
You do need to book tickets and pay for this exhibition, which you can do here.
6. Women in Revolt! Exhibition at Tate Britain
Tate Britain is hosting a special exhibition in London this February all about art and activism by women throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s within Britain.
Enjoy displays of powerful pieces of artwork that reflect the ideals and activism of women throughout the country during this time period as you learn more about how they stood up for things like equal pay, reproductive rights, and other injustices.
This is a paid-for exhibition, but you can book your tickets in advance here.
7. Get Tickets to The Play that Goes Wrong
A hilarious romp through a play put on by an “amateur drama” society, The Play that Goes Wrong is a classic in the West End and is the perfect play for families with kids of all ages.
It relies heavily on slapstick comedy and hijinks on stage and is fun, light-hearted, and a great way to spend a few hours on a cold London February day.
8. Day Trip to Hampton Court Palace
Venture out to Hampton Court Palace for a day trip as you explore the home of Henry VIII.
The palace itself is well-worth a visit, and the gardens are absolutely gorgeous any time of year.
There’s also a fun kid’s play area if you’ve got the little ones with you, and you’ll feel so far away from the hustle and bustle of central London as you explore the palace.
I’ve got a full guide on how to get from London to Hampton Court Palace here.
9. Celebrate Chinese New Year in Chinatown
Saturday, February 10th is Chinese New Year and you can bet there will be big celebrations in Chinatown, right next to Soho within central London.
Book dinner at one of the many Chinese restaurants here (I recommend Dumplings Legend) or just stop by to see the festivities on the night.
10. See the Pancake Races on Pancake Day
Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is celebrated across London in the UK as people enjoy pancakes the day before Lent begins, which this year falls on Tuesday, February 10th.
You can find plenty of cafes serving up pancakes (which will be more like crepes if you’re used to American-style pancakes), and if you wait until a little bit later in the month (Tuesday February 21st), you can see the pancake races at Leadenhall Market.
Yes, seriously. Check it out here.
11. Play at the Postal Museum
The Postal Museum is a fantastic escape from the February weather in London, as it’s entirely indoors and features a fun ride on the historic Mail Rail, as well as plenty of interactive exhibits throughout its two buildings.
If you’ve got young kids with you, there’s also a play area that you can book into that has even more interactive play areas and soft play toys and “play pretend” items that they’ll love.
If it sounds like you can’t make an entire museum out of the postal service, think again: Royal Mail and its history are a huge part of British culture and how it has developed over the years is truly fascinating.
12. Enjoy a Sunday Roast
Ever heard of a “Sunday roast”?
If you’re not British, it’s possible you haven’t, but that’s about to change as you have to enjoy a Sunday roast when you’re in London in February.
It’s the perfect winter meal – a meat, typically chicken or beef or lamb, plated with roast potatoes and vegetables and gravy and yorkshire pudding (not actually pudding – it’s a doughy consistency).
You can get a Sunday roast in most pubs in London on a Sunday, but make sure to book ahead to one near your hotel to make sure you don’t miss out.
13. Walk through the Butterfly Trail in Soho
While you’re walking through London in February, take a detour through Soho to explore the Butterfly Trail.
I just randomly came across this exhibit the other day, and it’s a completely free and outdoor exhibit featuring digital projections of butterflies and ever-changing patterns that are quite frankly mesmerizing to look at.
It’s a cool outdoor art installation and there is so much to do in this general area that it’s just a fun stopover on your way to other London February attractions.
14. Get Brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn
Want a nice brunch? Head to Sunday in Brooklyn in Notting Hill for a delicious menu featuring everything from smoked salmon brioche to a cheddar scramble and steak and eggs.
Try the Sunday pancakes or opt for the crispy chicken sandwich or cauliflower melt if you want something closer to a lunch option.
It’s definitely one of the nicer restaurants in London, so make sure to dress appropriately and make reservations ahead of time here to ensure you get a seat.
15. See a Show at Cadogan Hall
One of my favorite music venues in London, Cadogan Hall, has everything from jazz to classical music to dance and spoken word performances.
The venue itself, in the heart of Chelsea, is gorgeous inside and out, and I always recommend checking out its What’s On page in February, which in 2024 includes a bluegrass night, rock music, a chamber orchestra, and so much more.
16. Eat at Market Halls Victoria
Got a bunch of different types of appetites in your travel group? Want to enjoy a meal together, but don’t want to have to agree on the same restaurant?
Market Halls Victoria is a great place to go for dinner when you want to give everyone as many options as possible, as this street market style restaurant and bar area has vendors for Thai cuisine, burgers, tacos, Malaysian street food, barbecue, and more.
17. Visit the Imperial War Museum
One of the best museums in London that isn’t as talked about as much is the Imperial War Museum, but if you have any interest in military history, this is the place to go.
From Spitfires flying over your head to historic tanks to a piece of the Twin Towers, the history of British military and war is respectfully and comprehensively displayed in this museum.
It’s also entirely free, so it can be something to do in London in February on the cheap (and of course fully indoors to get out of the cold).
18. Get Tickets for the Book of Mormon
There are so many choices in the West End, but the Book of Mormon continues to be a popular choice for visitors of all ages.
If you want to enjoy a night at the Book of Mormon (or a matinee), book tickets here as they sell out quickly.
19. Take the Premier Classic London Black Cab Tour
One of my favorite private tours in London, this black cab tour takes about 4 hours and covers so much of the city that you’ll feel like you’ve seen it all even with only one day.
The best part is that you get to enjoy the scenery from the warmth and comfort of a London black cab, along with an experienced guide who will make sure that all of your questions are answered in full!
This means that you won’t need to rearrange or worry about what the weather is doing, which is a bonus in London in February as it can change so quickly.
I often recommend people use this as an introduction to London early on in the start of your trip, and then you can go back to other places more in-depth later on.
You can also work with your driver to make sure that your particular interests are covered, as this is a private tour so there is some leeway in making sure you see what you want to see.
20. Enjoy a Day Trip to Stonehenge and Bath
Stonehenge and Bath are an amazing day trip combination, often done on the same day by many companies because they’re close to each other, but obviously much different in what’s in store.
Stonehenge, of course, the iconic standing rocks with an ancient history, and then, Bath, the home of the famous Roman Baths, adorable cobblestone streets, and plenty of boutique shops and restaurants.
Neither of these need particularly good weather to enjoy, which is why I think February is a great month.
The stones of Stonehenge can look even more magnificent in the winter months, while Bath is very walkable and compact with things to do inside, so unlike somewhere like the Cotswolds where you’d be outside all day, you can enjoy Bath no matter the weather.
Westminster Abbey is one of the most iconic things to do in London, but I would recommend going a step further and doing this tour which includes both the Abbey and other parts of Westminster (the main area in London that includes Big Ben!).
You’ll get an experienced guide to take you around to all of the best parts so you don’t spend hours just staring at things you don’t understand, and with lower crowds in February, you’ll get an even better experience and smaller tour groups.
The daylight hours are short in February in London, which means you can fully enjoy the spooky side of the city on the Ghosts, Ghouls, and Ghallows tour!
Your tour guide will take you around some of the most haunted places in the city and make you shiver (and not just from the cold) with all of the stories of some of the ghostly happenings.
This is a tour suitable for adults and older teenagers, and also includes a nighttime river cruise that ends at the Tower of London so you get to see the city by land and by “sea.”
23. Shop at John Lewis on Oxford Street
Ever heard of the iconic British department store, John Lewis?
This is one of the most famous names in shopping across the country, known for their attention to quality and general positive shopping experience and customer service.
There is a giant John Lewis on Oxford Street, and it’s one of the best places to buy things in London to take home, whether you’re looking for a tea set or maybe a mug or even something silly like a British oven glove.
They’ve got it all, but in a more refined and sophisticated way than the tourist shops, so you can actually picture yourself putting your purchases on display in your home rather than sheepishly hiding your Queen Bobblehead in a drawer.
24. Buy a Souvenir at Hamley’s
Hamley’s, a multi-story toy store on Regent’s Street, is a fantastic place to visit in London in February to stock up on birthday presents for any kids in your life, or to buy your own souvenir from London.
Similar to the American toy store, FAO Schwartz, Hamley’s is well known across the UK and heading into all of the toy aisles is enough to make any inner child (or real child happy!)
25. Get Spooked on a Jack the Ripper Walking Tour
Another great nighttime tour for February in London to take advantage of the darkness is this Jack the Ripper tour.
Your tour guide will take you around all of the famous Jack the Ripper crime locations, as well as give you more information about what was going on in London during the years the Ripper was haunting the area.
It’s not for the faint of heart, but any true crime enthusiasts and history buffs will enjoy this tour by darkness (just make sure to wrap up warm!).