What’s on in January?
After the fun and jollity of Christmas, January seems like a very long and dull month to get through. What better time then to take a day trip to lift those spirits? Here’s our pick of some of the fun events happening throughout the country.
Celebrate Chinese New Year in London
- 25th & 26th January
- Please note, Grand Central trains are not running on 25th & 26th January 2020
Kung hei fat choi! Welcome in the Year of the Rat at the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of Asia. A riot of colour, sounds and smells, Chinese New Year in London is not to be missed. Happening throughout the West End, there is so much to see and do, including watching the large dragon puppets in the parade that makes its way from Trafalgar Square to Chinatown. There’s lots to keep the kids entertained in Leicester Square, while you’ll be able to watch traditional dragon and lion dances, acrobats and other performers on stage at Trafalgar Square. It all wraps up with a spectacular fireworks display. If you want to sample some authentic food in Chinatown, be sure to book a table in advance, so you don’t miss out!
To get to the action, you can catch the Tube from any London station to Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus or Charing Cross.
Go ice skating in Sunderland
- 2nd – 5th January
Make sure to catch the last few days of the Keel Square ice rink before it’s gone for another year. The square, which takes its name from Sunderland’s shipbuilding heritage, is just under a ten-minute walk from Sunderland Station - less if you get your skates on!
Ice skating is a fun activity for all the family, and for those who aren’t so sure on their skates, you can even hire a friendly polar bear skating aid! The rink is open from 10am to 9pm every day. Family tickets are available, and you can book tickets in advance or buy on the day.
Take a ride through history in Blackpool
- 18 – 19th January
The classic trams that serviced Blackpool and the Fylde Coast for over 100 years were taken out of action in 2011 and replaced with more modern vehicles. However, Blackpool Heritage lovingly repaired and restored many of the old trams and this weekend, you can hop on board one of six heritage trains, some of them over 80 years old, and travel back through time.
This special ‘Winter Gold’ route runs the full length of the tramway - from Starr Gate near Blackpool Pleasure Beach all the way to Fleetwood – and if you buy a Heritage Day travelcard, you can hop on and off and make a day of it. The travelcard is also valid for modern Blackpool Transport buses and trams. Don’t forget to stop off at the Blackpool Heritage shop for a model tram souvenir!
The Tower / North Pier Blackpool Heritage stop is approximately a ten-minute walk from Blackpool North Station.
Treasure, Tours and Tea at the Lord Mayor’s House in York
- 9 – 11th and 16 – 18th January
York Mansion House, a short walk over the river from York station, has been home to the Lord Mayors of York since 1732. It houses a spectacular collection of furniture, glassware, gold and silver spanning over 340 years and is a popular tourist attraction.
The house closes to the public in January to allow for some essential cleaning and restoration work. This January however, you can join an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour which allows you to find out about the conservation work that goes on to preserve the grandeur of this incredible building. From silver cleaning to repairs at the highest point of the State Room, you’ll find out all about the secrets and stories of the house as you go. End your visit in style with tea and cake in the State Room.
January doesn’t have to be boring. Hop on a train and see what adventures you can have!
Ideas and articles about seasonal travel with Grand Central
How you and your family can get the most out of Grand Central's services between London and the North.
Beyond the journey - where can Grand Central take you?
For business travellers interested in maximising their usage of Grand Central and rail