Winter is a great time in London. The primary tourist season is over so many of the attractions are easier to get into. And on top of that, London in the winter is unique time. Like always. London offers numerous special events.

Tower Bridge in London with Fireworks above
Tower Bridge in London with Fireworks above

On November 12, the Lord Mayor’s Show takes place, just as it has ever year since 1215. The procession is for the Lord Mayor to pledge allegiance to the Queen. The procession takes place in theCity and goes from the Mansion House, home of the Lord Mayor, through St. Paul’s Cathedral and finishes in the area of Bloomsbury – West End at the Royal Courts of Justice. At 5 p.m. the event concludes with a firework show on the Thames.

Every winter, many ice skating rinks open to the delight of Londoners. You can skate outside under the stars in some of the most picturesque places in the entire world. A few of the notable outdoor skating rinks are the Tower of London Ice Rink, the Natural History Museum Ice Rink, or the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink in Hyde Park. Most of the ice rinks run from sometime in November until January.

New Year’s Eve in London is a big celebration. There are fireworks on the South Bank after Big Ben strikes midnight that are visible around much of Central London. They’re very crowded, so get there early. The best places to watch are around Big Ben on the Westminster Bridge or by the London Eye. As it is in other cities, the clubs and restaurants are particularly busy on New Year’s Eve, many hosting special ticketed-events. New Year’s Day has a popular parade stretching from the Ritz Hotel to Parliament street for a total of around two miles. To start 2012 on the right foot, check out accommodations in Westminster.

Starting in mid-January until mid-February, Get Into London offers theatergoers discounted tickets to some of the biggest shows. In February, Chinese New Year is celebrated in London’s Chinatown, and a great chance to explore the area just off Leicester Square many tourists miss. On February 21st the annual Pancake Day (what the UK calls Shrove Tuesday) occurs when Londoners traditionally eat pancakes, a treat that shouldn’t be missed. I’d suggest the pancakes at My Old Dutch Pancake House with locations in Kensington, Holborn, Chelsea and Ealing.

On top of the great winter activities vacation rentals in London in the winter, after New Years, offer great deals due to the thinner crowds. Check out some of the great flats in Southwark to be near the Thames or some apartment rentals in Westminster to be near many of the London Winter Events.

This studio vacation rental in the City, London (LN-830) comes with daily maid service, a concierge, health club, and TV with satellite channels. Its location in the City gives easy access to the Lord Mayor’s Show.

For a great centrally located apartment this two bedroom vacation rental in the West End, London (LN-401) is nearby all of the New Years Eve and New Years Day festivities as well as by Chinatown. With laundry, a fully-equipped kitchen, and close proximity to all the major attractions, this makes for a great place to spend some of the cold winter nights.