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9 great places to meet up with friends in London this winter

By Sophie Cross

London is currently in Tier 2 which means you can meet up outside in groups of up to six people. Here are nine brilliant things to do in London outside this winter and they are nearly all free.

Go to the market

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We’re gonna Lockdown 2 Electric Avenue… and Leather Lane and Chapel market. Markets in London selling food and other essential goods are open for you to pick up your bits from. Have a wander as a change from going to the supermarket and support the sellers.

Visit the parks

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London is actually a forest according to the official UN definition. There are over eight million trees and 3,000 parks making up over 18% of the capital with some real stunners too. As well as the eight Royal Parks, discover boating lakes, woodlands and birdsong in the lesser-known spaces like Dulwich Park, Clissold Park and Battersea Park.

Get arty

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London has loads of fantastic street art and even some outdoor galleries. For the most Instagrammable graffiti head to Brick Lane, Brixton, the Leake Street Tunnel in Waterloo, Camden or Stockwell and enjoy art on the outside.

Visit the Christmas lights

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Fill yourself with Christmas cheer by visiting the spectacular Christmas light shows across London, then head to an outdoor heated restaurant for a glass of mulled wine and some delicious food with a few friends.

Enjoy a meal al fresco

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Lots of cafes, pubs and restaurants are offering take-outs and al fresco options so you can still eat out and have a drink with a friend as long as you dine outside. Warm up on your explorations with one of London’s best hot chocolates.

Go wildlife spotting

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W.H. Davies said, “We have no time to stand and stare” in his poem ‘Leisure’ but we do now. Embrace your inner David Attenborough and appreciate the nature all around you in London from the urban foxes to the wild parakeets, from the stags in Richmond and Bushy Parks to the herons of New River. London has so much to offer in terms of wildlife if we take a little time to stand and stare.

Appreciate the architecture

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Now is the perfect time to appreciate the architecture of the capital’s most impressive buildings from the outside. Select some buildings and then take yourself on a tour to really marvel at them. Five of our favourites are the Royal Albert Hall, Battersea Power Station, The Shard, Shakespeare’s Globe and St Paul’s Cathedral but there are so many to choose from.

Walk the Thames

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The Thames Path is 184 miles long in total, going from the Thames Barrier in Charlton to its source near Kemble in Gloucestershire. You don’t need to walk all of it! Choose sections of the North Bank or South Bank to explore where you’ll find sculptures, beaches, parks and a whole host of history.

Botanical gardens

Image Credit: @plantipish

The outdoor spaces at Kew Gardens, RHS Wiseley and Chelsea Physic Garden, as well as other botanical gardens, are open. Walking around these beautiful places and finding out about all the different types of edible, medicinal, herbal and useful plants is great for your physical and mental health.

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