A Backpacker’s Guide to Surviving a Snow Day in London

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How to Survive a Snow day in London

This week London has been hit by Storm Emma causing heavy snow and freezing cold conditions in the capital city. On the news, they've been calling it the Beast from the East, with blizzards and travel chaos disrupting commuters, schools and of course, backpackers. These are the snowiest conditions England has seen for years.

However, it doesn’t all have to be bad. London in the snow is simply stunning so we’ve rounded up 13 ways to survive the storm and embrace the winter wonderland that has graced London this week...

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1 Avoid public transport if possible

The rail and tubes have been affected with cancellations and severe delays on certain lines so be sure to check tfl.gov for travel updates so you can plan your journey appropriately to make it as stress-free as possible.

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Ideally, try to plan your day so that you can walk from place to place. While snow in London can be a nuisance for getting around, it’s a truly beautiful sight when walking by foot.

2 Head to the parks

Perhaps the prettiest place to go on a walk during the snowy period is one of London’s beautiful parks. The tree lined paths and conifers topped with white powder create the picture perfect setting for that stellar Instagram shot.

We recommend London’s Royal Parks. Hyde Park for the frozen lakes, Regents Park for beautiful pathways and snow covered rose gardens. Then there’s St James’ Park for pretty snowy views of the London Eye.

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These are the 7 Best Parks in London

3 Chill out in the hostel bar and make friends

Find sanctuary indoors and stay in the hostel. There will always be something fun going on  in the bar or in the hostel chill out room. The snow brings people together, so you’ll probably meet more fellow backpackers today compared to usual, who are seeking warmth from the comfort of St Christopher’s.

Check out our London hostels, including the UK's first capsule hostel in London Bridge.

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4  WRAP UP WARM

You’ll only get highs of -1 today so throw on your hat, scarves and gloves so that you’re as warm as possible. And with lows of -4  you’ll want some extra layers under your coat and jumper too!

Like this little guy...

We also recommend moisturising your hands and face as these low temperatures can dry out your skin very easily.

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5 Wear shoes with good grip

The streets of London are more slippery than ever so make sure you’re wearing something robust on your feet. Boots, wellies, show shoes, suitable trainers or anything with a firm grip. A lot of the pavements will be icy and covered in city slush this week so take extra care when you walk.

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Thick socks recommended.

6 Get cosy in London pubs

There’s nothing better than heartwarming British pub grub on a cold, snowy day. Use our guides to seek out the quaintest little British pubs for a hot pie and mash or hearty roast dinner.

These are the 10 best places to tuck into a warm pie

Or try one of the 10 Affordable Sunday Roasts in London

7 Then warm yourself up with a hot chocolate

When you’re in London, you’ll never be far from a Starbucks, Pret or local coffee shop selling delicious creamy hot chocolate. For something a little more special, treat yourself to London’s finest hot chocolate shop in Chelsea (link below), where a cup of cocoa will only set you back £2.80. The perfect beverage to survive the frost.

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Find out the best hot chocolate shop in London

8 Museums will be open as usual

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The Natural History Museum

When planning out your day time activities, try to stick to indoor fun such as London’s greatest museums. They will be open as usual and many of them won't even cost you a penny. The majority of permanent exhibitions in London, including the Tate, Tate Modern, Natural History and the Victoria & Albert Museum don’t charge an entry fee.

9 Make a snowman

The obvious snow time activity is to build yourself a snowman. You never know, it may become a viral sensation...

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10 DO use the taxis

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If you can’t brave the frosty winds, hop into a taxi. Taxi drivers will be driving around the city doing their duties as usual - and they know London roads and shortcuts better than anyone so you’ll be in safe hands. When in London, only trust the British black cabs or Uber.

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11 Get the sky high views

If you’re looking for a beautiful panoramic view of the snowy city, there are some pretty awesome skyscrapers that are open to the public. The Sky Garden (pictured) is free to go up so head there for some sky high views of London. Or you can try the Shard, Sushi Samba and Tower 42 if you’re willing to splash the cash a little on food and drink.

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Check out 12 Free things to do in London.

12 Say thanks to the emergency services if you pass them

The police, ambulance and emergency services are busier than ever when snow hits the capital and they do their best to keep us safe.  If you happen to see them when you’re around the city, it doesn’t hurt to say a little thank you for all their hard work.

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13 Explore the pretty London streets

London looks like a rom com movie when it snows. Some of the prettiest streets to explore are in Notting Hill, Chelsea and Primrose Hill (that literally look like magical movie sets in winter).

Kynance Mews is one of the prettiest streets in Europe.

See the 13 Prettiest Streets in Europe

Check out 27 of London's Most Instagrammable Sights

Travel safely guys and enjoy London in the snow!

Article by Shereen Sagoo

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