It’s fair to say that a trip to London is always a great idea. In
January it’s cold, you wrap up nice and warm and you can pop into
great bars and, if you’re lucky, grab a glass of hot spiced cider to
keep the internal central heating going before heading out and
hitting the January sales on one of the worlds most famous shopping
streets (Oxford Street to those who don’t know!). There’s beautiful
parks to wander through, even in winter they are incredibly
picturesque, museums to explore and restaurants and cafes aplenty!
It’s said that London has the biggest Chinese New Year Celebrations (outside of Asia of course) so this is an ideal place to venture for the year of the Rooster!
Fabulous decorations throughout Chinatown, celebrations, dragons, lions and the big parade on January 29th. The parade starts at 10am from Trafalgar square then makes its way onto Chinatown through Charing Cross and Shaftesbury Avenue and you can expect a marvellous spectacle of acrobats, pyrotechnics, traditional Chinese Dance, martial art demonstrations, food stalls, craft stalls and entertainment galore! The big finale is back at Trafalgar Square for a spectacular show and fireworks.
If you are near Greenwich on the 29th January, then the Maritime
Museum will be holding a Chinese New Year Celebration, again,
traditional dance, music, arts etc all from 11am - 4pm and it’s
FREE! There is also a wonderful performance from the Guangzhou Art
Troupe on the 28th January from 1pm – 2.30pm.
There will be a family festival at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, from 11am - 4pm aimed at kids under 11.
Head to Chiswick House and Gardens between the 19 January and 26th February to marvel at the Magical Lantern Festival. A fantastic Chinese Lantern Festival with over 50 installations and of course, there will be a giant Rooster this year!
Restaurants, especially in Chinatown are packed for CNY so you may want to book your favourite restaurant asap, here are just a few you might want to try out:
Ma La Sichuan
Hakkasan Hanway Place Restaurant
You can watch the culmination of the party live on the Trafalgar Square webcam.
There is also likely to be some local TV coverage, we'll add the details as we get them.
London is busy all the year through, but for Chinese New Year,
make sure you’ve booked your hotel as soon as possible to be in the
area you want:
The Milestone Hotel
Egerton House Hotel
Amba Hotel Charing Cross
The Soho Hotel
You can search, check availability and book local hotels here.
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