Happy New Year! It’s January 2019 and there’s plenty to do in the UK this month. The advantage of visiting the UK at this time is that it’s usually a bit quieter. So it’s a good time to visit some of the big museums without facing the crowds. If you want to take it easy after the festive season then we have some recommendations of things to see at the cinema. If you have energy left for partying then there are the Burn’s night celebrations to look forward to at the end of the month and today there’s the New Year’s Day Parade in central London.
1 New Year’s Day Parade in London
If you’re visiting London then head out to see the New Year Day’s Parade. There are marching bands, dancers, giant balloons, Pearly Kings and Queens, vintage cars, acrobats and music and you can watch for free along the streets in London’s West End.
Beware of the crowds though – there are 10,000 performers and it attracts around 600,000 spectators. If you’re worried about getting lost in London then take one of our Blue Badge Guides with you. We can give you a tailor-made tour of London so don’t miss any of the best bits. Blue Badge Guides are often the only external guides permitted to conduct tours at many attractions, so come with us if you want to beat the crowds.
2 Go to the cinema
It’s the perfect month for getting cosy in the cinema and there’s plenty to see. If you remember the much loved British comedy duo Laurel and Hardy then we recommend Stan and Ollie. It’s filmed mainly in Dudley, in the West Midlands of England, as well as The Old Rep theatre Birmingham, the West London Film Studios and Bristol in South West England. If you want to see these parts of the country then we can find you a guide to show you the film locations. Our Cumbrian guides can show you where Stan Laurel came from in Ullverston.
The Favourite is also out starring Olivia Coleman as Queen Anne. Queen Anne was crowned and buried at Westminster Abbey and we can take you on a private tour. We can also show you Kensington Palace and Blenheim Palace (home to Sarah Churchill, paid for by order of Queen Anne).
If you’re looking for something for the kids then there’s still time to catch Mary Poppins Returns.
You can take a Film Locations Tour with one of our Guides. See where your favourite films were shot and inspired. Contact our office and we can find you a guide.
3 Visit Windsor castle for the end of the Royal Wedding exhibition
There are still a few days left to see the exhibition A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle. It runs until 6 January 2019 and features the wedding outfits that the couple wore on their big day in May 2018. See the Duchess of Sussex’s wedding dress, alongside The Duke’s frockcoat uniform and the pageboy and bridesmaid outfits worn by Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
If you don’t get there in time for the exhibition then don’t despair as there is still plenty to see at Windsor Castle. Our Guides can take you on a tour of Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest continually inhabited castle in the world, currently residence to Queen Elizabeth II.
4 Visit a museum
January is the perfect month to visit a museum. It’s a great way to escape the cold and it’s also the quietest month to visit. If you’re in London then we’d suggest The Victoria and Albert, The British Museum, the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain. Although if you would rather get off the beaten track then we can also suggest some more unusual museums. We also offer tours of museums around the country too so if you’re visiting Liverpool, Manchester, York, Edinburgh, Brighton or anywhere else then contact us and we can recommend a museum tour for you.
If you’re not sure where to start then contact our office and can discuss with you your interests and plan a visit to make sure you see all the best and most interesting exhibitions.
5 Celebrate Burn’s Night – 25 January
Burn’s Night commemorates the life of the poet, Robert Burns whose birthday was 25 January 1759. He is most well know for writing Auld Lang Syne – the song traditionally sung on New Year’s Eve. Burn’s night is a celebration of Burn’s contribution to Scottish culture.
A Burn’s night centres around a Burns Supper of haggis (a savoury pudding traditionally held in an animal’s stomach) mashed nees and tatties (swedes and potatoes). The evening celebrations include bagpipes, singing and reciting the writer’s songs and poems and of course whiskey.
If you’re visiting Scotland find out where to celebrate Burns night. We have plenty of Scottish guides who would love to show you around Scotland. See our tours of Scotland.