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 2016



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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.

Attractions open on New Year's Day

Hampton Court Palace

Henry VIII had many homes, but this one oozes historical drama. Shakespeare performed here and Cromwell made it his home after the Civil War.

  1. East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU
Book online

HMS Belfast

Europe's largest cruiser from World War II, HMS Belfast is now a floating naval museum, a landmark on the Thames near Tower Bridge, with nine huge decks.

  1. The Queen's Walk, SE1 2JH
More info

Kensington Palace

Catch the inspired 'Enchanted Palace' installation before it closes, at this royal residence in Hyde Park.

  1. The Broadwalk, Kensington Gardens, W8 4PX
Book online

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is a magnificent World Heritage Site covering 300 acres with more than 30,000 species of plants. The Xstrata Treetop Walkway – 18m up in the air and 200m long – provides a fresh perspective on Capability Brown's woodland.

  1. Kew Rd, TW9 3AB
More info

Sealife London Aquarium

The aquarium is well placed for the attractions of the South Bank; it's right beside the London Eye and a 20-minute walk along the river from Tate Modern.

  1. County Hall, Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB
Book online

London Bicycle Tour Company

Hire a bike or tandem to ride independently, or go on one of the regular tours, which include one covering the main London landmarks (it's available in seven languages), and rides out to east and west London.

  1. 1a Gabriel’s Wharf, 56 Upper Ground, SE1 9PP
Book online

London Eye

The world's largest observation wheel offers a number of trip options: for instance, you could combine your revolution with a river cruise, take a Champagne flight or book a private capsule.

  1. South Bank, SE1 7PB
More info

London Wetland Centre

The centre offers all sorts of other entertainment for all ages, including guided walks and courses for those who want to learn more about the birdlife or the flora, bat-spotting walks, wildlife photography courses and pond-dipping sessions.

  1. Queen Elizabeth's Walk, SW13 9WT
More info

London Zoo

London Zoo is home to more than 600 animal species, many of which are endangered. There are plenty of cafés and picnic spots, and the zoo offers educational and craft activities as well as events exploring science and conservation.

  1. Outer Circle, Regent's Park, NW1 4RY
More info

Tower Bridge Exhibition

The Tower Bridge Exhibition is an entertaining display on the history of the bridge, located in the old steam rooms and the west walkway, which provides a crow's-nest view along the Thames.

  1. Tower Bridge, SE1 2UP
Book online

Madame Tussauds

'Premiere Night' is an area in which contemporary stars including Harrison Ford and Sean Connery mingle with legendary icons such as Marilyn Monroe and James Dean.

  1. Marylebone Rd, NW1 5LR
Book online

Original London Sightseeing Tour

Hop-on, hop-off, open-top bus tour covering most of tourist London on three different routes, with commentary in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian and Japanese. The ticket price includes a river cruise and two walking tours.

  1. 17-19 Cockspur St, SW1Y 5BL
Book online

Ripley's Believe It or Not!

Attraction showcasing weird and wonderful items from around the world, such a piece of the Berlin Wall, shrunken heads and a Swarovski crystal-covered Mini Cooper.

  1. The London Pavilion, 1 Piccadilly Circus, W1J 0DA
Book online

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