Things to do on New Year's Day in London

Some of the capital's best museums, galleries and attractions are open on January 1 2015



Add +

Ben Rowe / Time Out

It's business as usual for most of London's big museums, so peel yourself out of bed and start your cultural year as you mean to go on. Note that some attractions have reduced opening hours, so be sure to check details in advance.

  1. Museums
  2. Attractions
  3. Galleries
  4. Events

Museums open on New Year's Day

Churchill War Rooms

The Churchill War Rooms are dedicated to the life and achievements of former British prime minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965). There's much on his political career, and many of his trademark props – including a cigar and his red siren suit – are on display.

  1. King Charles St, SW1A 2AQ
More info

Horniman Museum

An anthropological museum set in 16 acres of landscaped gardens, the Horniman Museum has a traditional natural history gallery, a state-of-the-art aquarium and gardens that offer spectacular views over London.

  1. 100 London Road, SE23 3PQ
More info

Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum holds an important collection of twentieth-century art as well as collections of the machinery of war, official communications and manuscripts of war literature.

  1. Lambeth Rd, SE1 6HZ
More info

London Transport Museum

The museum's design gallery is a tribute to Frank Pick, the man responsible for rolling out the London Underground brand and giving each line its own character. For children, the London Transport Museum has an under-fives play area.

  1. Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB
More info

Museum of London

The history of London, from prehistoric times to the present, is told in the Museum of London through reconstructed interiors and street scenes, alongside displays of original artefacts found during the museum's archaeological digs.

  1. 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN
More info

National Maritime Museum

As well as the National Maritime Museum, on this Greenwich Park site you'll find the Queen's House and the Royal Observatory, which houses the only public planetarium in the UK and features daily shows with astronomers.

  1. Park Row, Greenwich, SE10 9NF
More info

Natural History Museum

The handsome Alfred Waterhouse building houses a collection that contains some 70 million plant, animal, fossil, rock and mineral specimens and the famous plaster cast of a diplodocus that lords it over the Central Hall.

  1. Cromwell Rd, SW7 5BD
More info

Science Museum

The Science Museum features seven floors of educational and entertaining exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command module and a flight simulator. Launch Pad is a popular hands-on gallery where children can explore basic scientific principles.

  1. Exhibition Rd, SW7 2DD
More info

Sherlock Holmes Museum

When you visit you are likely to be greeted by an august person wearing a bowler hat and whiskers; this, you will deduce, is Doctor Watson. The museum bristles with murder weapons, Victoriana and waxworks depicting scenes from the stories.

  1. 221b Baker St, NW1 6XE
More info

Somerset House

Open noon to 6pm on Jan 1 2012. The venue houses a formidable art gallery (the wonderful Courtauld), a beautiful fountain court, a terraced café and a classy restaurant. The Embankment Galleries explore connections between art, architecture and design with a series of temporary exhibitions.

  1. The Strand, WC2R 1LA
More info


The V&A houses one of the world's greatest collections of decorative arts, in such varied fields as ceramics, sculpture, portrait miniatures and photography.

  1. Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
More info

Wallace Collection

This handsome house, built in 1776, contains an exceptional collection of eighteenth-century French furniture, paintings and objets d'art, as well as an amazing array of medieval armour and weaponry.

  1. Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1U 3BN
More info

  1. Museums
  2. Attractions
  3. Galleries
  4. Events

Users say


Looking for London Business Travel List for Dining , Museum Visits and Things to Do this Season Have an upcoming business trip to London? Jet Lag is one of the most common problems business men and women experience when traveling overseas. Why not indulge yourself to a relaxing spa day at your hotel after your flight? It can erase those bleary eyes and disoriented state of being from jumping through time zones. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel near Hyde Park features a luxurious spa offering hydrotherapy, color therapy and an opportunity to create a custom spa experience. There’s also Urban Retreat (for the ladies) and The Refinery (for gentlemen) at Harrod’s .Harrod’s also provides a menu of services as a quick jump-start for the hard-working businessperson. Once you’ve relaxed your mind, body, and soul, there’s nothing better than a rich meal to top it off. Treating yourself to luxurious restaurants and outings can really turn a trip around. London is home to some of the finest and luxurious restaurants you can find. West End restaurants in London to enjoy dinner at include The Ivy London, Thames Barrier and dinner by Heston Blumenthal. The Fat Duck, the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park location of Din-ner are all restaurants from acclaimed 3 Star Michelin Chef which are packed with foodies who come for degustation of ofal and classic British country fare prepared with modern gastronomic technique. If you have a morning free before you head off to your meetings, you should enjoy an authentic English breakfast at The Wolseley. It offers an award-winning full English breakfast starting as early as 7 am for early risers (or those not yet adjusted to London time). The breakfast menu features a viennoiserie basket, the famous The English (eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, tomato, black pudding and mushrooms), and lighter fare like grapefruit or granola. Reservations are recommended as this event is very popular amongst the business set during the week. Then you can soak up the city by going to some of the most controversial and intriguing contemporary British art at the Saatchi Gallery. Located in a 70,000 square-foot space in Chelsea, exhibitions of sculpture, painting, photography, video and installations keep the eye and mind engaged. After that, you can stop by Buckingham Palace and try and see the queen! Explore London between meetings and after the business day ends with Carnet ‘s entertainment and dining guide for the on-the-go business traveler, for both the jet-lagged and the ambitious explorer.

Christmas in the capital

Find everything you need for celebrating this Christmas in style. Discover the best places to ice skate, buy gifts, see panto and much more.

See our guide to Christmas in London

Celebrate New Year in London

From NYE parties to live comedy, fireworks to the New Year's Day parade, see in 2013 in style with our guide to New Year in the capital.

See our guide to New Year in the capital

Looking for more inspiration?

Hot events this week

Here are the best things to do, places eat and sights to see over the next seven days

Things to do today

Looking for some last-minute inspiration? Find great ways to spend your day in London

Things to do this weekend

Check out our pick of what's taking place in London over the weekend

Plan further ahead

Arranging your diary? Fill it with London's best festivals, celebrations and sporting events

See the hottest events in London this week