So, it’s a new year and another year crammed full of things to do in the big smoke! The weather may be terrible and it’s still a little too dark in the afternoons but that’s no reason to stay in with Netflix and our leftover Terry’s Chocolate Oranges… let’s get out and about this January! Here’s some ideas to get you started!

Lumiere 

From Thursday 14th until Sunday 17th  Jan, London is hosting its first ‘Lumiere’ free light festival! I’ve seen some pretty impressive light festivals abroad and they really are spectacular – and a great way to get over the depressing removal of the city’s Christmas decorations (!). There will be different shows at several sites around the city, from King’s Cross, to Regent’s Street, to Mayfair, and they will run each evening from 6.30pm until 10.30pm. You can stay up to date with what’s happening where in the ‘London Official Guide’ app. Why not pop along, check them out and then make a night of it with dinner and a few drinks? Sounds like a done deal to me!

Derren Brown

Until the 16th, you can catch Derren Brown live in London with his show ‘Miracle’. I went along last week and the show was fantastic. Derren is a first class showman; funny, witty and quick and I won’t say much as I don’t want to ruin the show but it is impressive, shocking and thought provoking. If you don’t manage to check it out live, it will be on Channel 4 at some point as they filmed the night we were there – so keep an ear out!

Samuel Pepys exhibition

If you’re up for a trip to the lovely Greenwich, make sure you drop into the National Maritime Museum to catch the Samuel Pepys exhibition. On until March, the ‘Plague, fire and revolution‘ exhibition looks at the interesting things Samuel saw in his colourful life. With a large collection of items from the times, and some funny stories, the exhibition is a history lovers (guilty!) dream. And whilst you’re there, take a trip up Greenwich Park for spectacular views over London, and drop into the Market for some seriously delicious street food.

Silent Disco at Cutty Sark

Whilst we’re on the subject of Greenwich, the impressive Cutty Sark sits right next to the underground station and the Thames. But once the doors are shut, the tourists have left and the lights are off, if you’re ready to get up and go again after the festivities of Christmas, there is a Silent Disco in there on Friday 22nd Jan! There’s some great pubs around the town so why not crawl your way down there beforehand too? See you there!

‘Creation from Catastrophe’ at RIBA 

How often do you admire the beauty of the buildings around us in London? I Instagram them or comment on how quaint they are but only recently have I started to look at the history or stories behind their styles, their quirky features and where in the world these influences have derived from. Why not come down to RIBA’s latest exhibition offering ‘Creation from Catastrophe: how Architecture rebuilds Communities’ which opens on 27th January and takes a very real look at how a disaster can affect areas and sometimes be made into an opportunity.

RIBA open their doors to the public regularly for free exhibitions, ‘Tuesday Lates’ with talks and tours (the next is March 8th) and walking tours to get out and see how this amazing subject fits into the lives we lead and the buildings we walk past day-to-day! Find out about becoming a RIBA Friend here.

Well, that’s enough to keep you out of the house this January! What else will you be exploring around the city? Let me know over at @keepitnorthern!

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