Christmas in London 2023

Christmas in London 2023

Christmas in London 2023

London looks a whole lot prettier when it’s hung with strings of glistening lights and glittering Christmas trees and with the majority of London’s lights already illuminated, now is a great time to take a trip out to the gleaming streets that will flutter your heart.

Best of Christmas Lights

If you're after some gorgeous Christmas lights, Oxford Street is a great place to start. The busy shopping thoroughfare is bringing back its display of dangling stars which make a lovely impact in the night sky. Pretty magical looking, really.

Best Christmas Tree Display

Every year since 1947, Norway has gifted Londoners with a classic Norwegian spruce by way of thanking Britain for its support of Norway during the Second World War – and 2023 will be no different. Trafalgar square is already decked out with vertical strings of light, with a tree that towers over the surrounding buildings. It’s little wonder the bedazzling tree is fondly described by Norwegians as ‘the queen of the forest’.

Best Christmas Markets

Spitalfields Market has been transformed into the jolliest spot in the East End this festive season. Your browsing for stocking fillers will be lit by stunning lights and decorations, and you'll be sustained until that last gift is bought by delicious festive food and, of course, mulled wine. Late-night shopping so you can make the most of all the big brands and independent stalls is on programme, as are some fantastically festive pop-up theatre shows!

Cosiest Winter Pop-ups

Tis the season for some serious melted cheese action. And where better to indulge then Southbank, decked out in all its festive finery? Jimmy’s Lodge is a pop up restaurant on the Thames where you can stuff your face with fondue. If you're looking for a group get-together, then book an igloo in advance for a three-course menu, designed for parties up to 10. Or keep things more casual at the Raclette Bar next door, serving up gooey cheese galore and fine riverside views.

Best Places to Ice Skate

Spitalfields Market is about to transform into the jolliest spot in the East End this festive season. Your browsing for stocking fillers will be lit by stunning lights and decorations, and you'll be sustained until that last gift is bought by delicious festive food and, of course, mulled wine. Late-night shopping so you can make the most of all the big brands and independent stalls is on programme, as are some fantastically festive pop-up theatre shows!

There's no need to stay indoors and hibernate under a blanket. Suddenly, the city's full of endless festive things to do.  Check TimeOut regularly for a comprehensive round up of all the festive feels. 

E-Bikes and E-Scooters - Important Safety Guidance

E-Bikes and E-Scooters - Important Safety Guidance

E-bikes and e-scooters are becoming increasingly popular, thanks to their convenience and eco-friendliness. Most are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which can be charged in the home. The use of these batteries in a wide range of household products is becoming increasingly common.

It is important, when charging e-bikes and e-scooters, you do so safely to avoid a risk of a fire starting and putting your families and homes at risk.

With an increased use of e-bikes and e-scooters, comes a corresponding fire safety concern associated with their charging and storage. The use of these products is expected to continue to rise. Some fire services and fire investigators have seen a rise in e-bike and e-scooter battery fires.  On occasions, batteries can fail catastrophically, they can ‘explode’ and/or lead to a rapidly developing fire.

The incorrect disposal of lithium-ion batteries in general household and recycling waste can lead to significant waste fires.  

It is essential to understand how to reduce these risks and keep homes and businesses safe. Here's our guide to reducing fire risks when charging and storing e-bikes and e-scooters.



  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when charging, and always unplug your charger when it’s finished charging.
  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms. If you charge or store your e-bike or e-scooter in a garage or kitchen ensure you install detection, we recommend heat alarms rather than smoke detectors for these areas.
  • Charge batteries whilst you are awake and alert so if a fire should occur you can respond quickly. Don’t leave batteries to charge while you are asleep or away from the home.
  • Always use the manufacturer approved charger for the product, and if you spot any signs of wear and tear or damage, buy an official replacement charger for your product from a reputable seller.
  • Do not cover chargers or battery packs when charging, as this could lead to overheating or even a fire.
  • Do not charge batteries or store your e-bike or e-scooter near combustible or flammable materials.
  • Do not overcharge your battery – check the manufacturer’s instructions for charge times.
  • Do not overload socket outlets or use inappropriate extension leads (use uncoiled extensions and ensure the lead is suitably rated for what you are plugging in to it).
  • In the event of an e-bike, e-scooter or lithium-ion battery fire – do not attempt to extinguish the fire. Get out, stay out, call 999.


  • Avoid storing or charging e-bikes and e-scooters on escape routes or in communal areas of a multi occupied building. If there’s a fire, it can affect people’s ability to escape.
  • Responsible Persons should consider the risks posed by e-bikes and e-scooters where they are charged or left in common areas such as means of escape, bike stores and mobility scooter charging rooms. They may wish to offer advice to residents on the safe use, storage and charging of these products.
  • Store e-bikes and e-scooters and their batteries in a cool place. Avoid storing them in excessively hot or cold areas.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for the storage and maintenance of lithium -ion batteries if they are not going to be used for extended periods of time.


  • Buy e-bikes, e-scooters and chargers and batteries from reputable retailers.
  • Many fires involve counterfeit electrical goods. Items which don’t meet British or European standards pose a huge fire risk and while genuine chargers (or battery packs) may cost more, it’s not worth putting your life at risk and potentially destroying your home by buying a fake charger to save a few pounds.
  • If buying an e-bike conversion kit, purchase from a reputable seller and check that it complies with British or European standards. Take particular care if buying from online auction or fulfilment platforms. Also be aware that if buying separate components, you should check that they are compatible.
  • Register your product with the manufacturer to validate any warranties – batteries are usually included in warranties. Registering makes it easier for manufacturers to contact you in the event of safety or recall information.
  • Check any products you have bought are not subject to a product recall. You can do this but checking Electrical Safety First’s website or the government website.

Damage and disposal

  • Batteries can be damaged by dropping them or crashing e-bikes or e-scooters. Where the battery is damaged, it can overheat and catch fire without warning. Check your battery regularly for any signs of damage and if you suspect it is damaged it should be replaced and should not be used or charged.
  • If you need to dispose of a damaged or end of life battery, don’t dispose of it in your household waste or normal recycling. These batteries, when punctured or crushed, can cause fires in bin lorries, recycling and waste centres. Your e- bike or e- scooter manufacturer may offer a recycling service. Alternatively, check with your local authority for suitable battery recycling arrangements in your area.

We hope that the above information is of use to you. Enjoy and ride your e-bike or e-scooter safely and ensure you are using these products correctly. Further information can be found here and for e-scooters

Tips To Look After Your Home This Winter

Tips To Look After Your Home This Winter

As we approach the winter months, the changing weather conditions can cause damage to your home. 

With heating and hot water accounting for over half of the average household’s energy bills, it’s important to know what we can do to prepare our heating system for the colder months and save money on your energy bills. 

Find out the simple steps we can take to prepare our heating system for winter.

Reduce your boiler flow temperature to save up to £60 a year

If you have a Combi boiler, its efficiency can be improved by adjusting the ‘flow temperature’ dial/setting to 60 degrees.

Reducing flow temperature isn’t the same as turning down the thermostat. It won’t noticeably reduce the temperature of your home but may take longer to heat up.

Bleed your radiators

Bleeding radiators makes your home warmer and can help reduce the cost of your energy bills. It does this by removing air pockets which reduce the pressure in your radiator so you don’t need to turn the heating up as much.

Get your boiler serviced

An annual service helps keep your boiler running safely. Faulty boilers can be very dangerous. During your boiler service, a Gas Safe registered engineer checks for leaks and issues and they will ensure that your boiler is running properly, which can save you money on future repairs.

Reduce your hot water tank temperature to 60°C to save up to £20 per year

If you have a heating system with a separate hot water cylinder (instead of a combi boiler), you can turn down the temperature of the cylinder itself so that water is not heated unnecessarily.

Install a smart meter to help you see what you’re spending

A smart meter provides you with near real-time information about how much energy you are using via an in-home display, which you can use to track your spending and have greater control over your usage. Smart meters provide automatic readings to your energy supplier, meaning an end to estimated bills and enabling easier budgeting.  Contact your energy supplier, who can arrange to install a smart meter free of charge.

Find and fix draughts to save up to £50 a year

Draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective actions you can take to stop or prevent heat escaping and reduce your energy bills. Block unwanted gaps around windows, doors, chimneys and floors that let the cold air in and warm air out. 

Insulate your hot water cylinder to save up to £50 a year

If you have a hot water tank, you can invest in a hot water cylinder jacket, available in most hardware shops and online. It reduces the amount of heat the cylinder loses and keeps water hot for longer, making them more efficient and cheaper to use.

For further information, please check the government website 


Renters’ Reform Bill Passes Second Reading

Renters’ Reform Bill Passes Second Reading

MPs have given the Renters Reform Bill its Second Reading - a procedure which means it now continues into the Committee Stage, at which it will undergo line-by-line scrutiny.

No vote was taken, as is common at the end of this stage of parliamentary business.

Opening the debate Housing Secretary Michael Gove repeatedly spoke of the need to balance the needs of tenants and landlords in the progress of the Bill; he acknowledged issues with the existing Bill for the student market and committed to regulating student housing appropriately. 

The role of the justice system was central to the debate and several responses reiterated the need to make the courts fit for purpose before Section 21 is abolished - a point the Housing Secretary made over the weekend in a letter to the Select Committee on Housing. 

However, he repeated the government was committed to the removal of Section 21  to prevent bad landlords from intimidating tenants, silencing those complaining about poor standards of housing and the need for repairs. 

Alongside this there was a commitment to strengthening provisions under Section 8 to reliably regain possession where necessary, lowering the threshold to prove anti-social behaviour and tackling unscrupulous tenants who abuse provisions to protect the vulnerable.

Labour has made it clear it will be pushing for measures that go beyond those already in the Bill, particularly on an expansion of rent repayment orders; amending possession grounds to protect tenants against ‘no fault’ evictions; and the outlawing of blanket bans on landlords accepting tenants with children or who are in receipt of benefits.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn - now an independent MP - called for rent controls and strengthening of some provisions in the Bill; these were rejected by Michael Gove. 

Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark, says: "It is clear that more needs to be done to get the balance right for landlords, agents and tenants. Outstanding questions need to be answered about the role of a reformed judicial system.

"The UK Government have failed to take seriously the potential impact and the unintended consequences of the removal of Section 21 and the impact this could have on landlords exiting the market, which will do nothing to tackle the demand crisis in the private rented sector. It is important that the details are published and shared.

“The UK Government has listened to the concerns of our members with the need for special requirements for the student market, which is welcome, and many MPs outlined how the Bill can be strengthened through a review and reversal of recent tax changes, raising the Local Housing Allowance and local authority capacity to enforce legislation – issues that Propertymark has consistently raised.

“Propertymark will engage further at Committee Stage to ensure the Bill is evidence based and the role of property agents is incorporated fairly within the introduction of a new Ombudsman for landlords, and agents can play a full role in increasing property standards.” 

Halloween 2023 in London

Halloween 2023 in London

The best Halloween events in London

Frighten yourself silly with our pick of terrifyingly good Halloween events and activities in London 2023.

Halloween falls on Tuesday October 31 2023, and while Tuesday nights don’t always lend themselves to spooky, spine-chilling fun, you can always count on the capital to provide you with the biggest, baddest events for the occasion. 

There’s plenty of fright-filled fun to be had throughout October, whether you want to watch horror films on the big screen, join a lantern-lit ghost tour, learn about London’s graveyards, carve pumpkins, or let your synthetic wigs down over themed cocktails.

So when you’re after something strange in your neighbourhood, who ya gonna call? Time Out London, that’s who! We might not be so great at ghost-busting, but we’ve got everything else covered this ‘scary szn’ with our whopper list of the very best Halloween events in London for 2023. 

Here's 10 of the best, handpicked by Time Out London

The Green Lungs of London

The Green Lungs of London

On a snowy afternoon, while walking on Hampstead Heath, author C.S. Lewis was inspired with the idea for a new novel; it became The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Anyone who has ever been to the Heath will have to admit that there is something magical about it.

It’s hard to point out exactly what makes the Heath so special, so enchanting and alluring. Maybe it’s the combination of old and new woodlands, the ponds, the many paths, the wildlife, or the hilly landscape. Or perhaps it’s simply the sheer joy of finding 800 acres of breath-taking nature and fresh air right here in London.

Whatever the reason, artists have always been drawn to the Heath. There are numerous poems, paintings, and books dedicated to, and inspired by, its beauty. But even though this collection of art is impressive in its own right, there is only one way to truly experience the Heath, and that’s to walk on it.

We say walk, but we mean roam. Follow the main walkways or discover an overgrown path. Leap over a brook, walk up Parliament Hill and enjoy the stunning view. Unlike many of the other London parks, the Heath is devoid of signs pointing you towards the nearest tube station or tourist attraction. This just adds to the feeling of truly being out in nature. Once you set foot on the Heath, you leave the rest of the city behind.

A newspaper from 1816 described the Heath “like Shakespeare and Newton, the property of Europe”. Common land, open to the public, and yet having the qualities of a hidden treasure.

Thank you to The Heath and Hampstead Society for the above.

Take you own guided tour of Hampstead Heath using the interactive map here

How To Rent - The checklist for renting in England

How To Rent - The checklist for renting in England

When renting a property all tenants must receive a copy of the latest “How to Rent Guide” published by the UK Government. This is a mandatory document which landlords or agents must provide tenants with at the very start of their tenancy.

This guide is for people who are renting a home privately under an assured shorthold tenancy, either direct from a landlord or through a letting agency. Most of it will also apply if you are in a shared property but in certain cases, your rights and responsibilities will vary.

Get you guide here

Identifying and Addressing Damp and Mould in your Property

Identifying and Addressing Damp and Mould in your Property

Mould & Damp 

Every person across the country deserves to live in a home that is safe, warm and dry.

The tragic death of 2-year-old Awaab Ishak in 2020, due to mould in his family home, should never happen to another family.

This guidance is a direct response to the Coroner’s report, and has been developed with a multidisciplinary group of experts in housing and health. It makes sure that social and private sector landlords have a thorough understanding of their legal responsibilities, and of the serious health risks that damp and mould pose.

Landlords must ensure that the accommodation they provide is free from serious hazards, including damp and mould, and that homes are fit for habitation. They must treat cases of damp and mould with the utmost seriousness and act promptly to protect their tenants’ health.

As this guidance also makes clear, tenants should not be blamed for damp and mould. Damp and mould in the home are not the result of ‘lifestyle choices’, and it is the responsibility of landlords to identify and address the underlying causes of the problem, such as structural issues or inadequate ventilation

Read the full report here, including the health risks and how to proactively approach it to reduce the risk.


EPC Rule Changes

EPC Rule Changes

EPC Rule Changes - months more uncertainty for worried landlords


It appears that there may be months more uncertainty over new energy efficiency rules for the private rental sector.

A statement from the National Residential Landlords Association over the weekend says its chief executive met with a government minister and discovered that a long-awaited update on New EPC deadlines would happen “before Christmas”.

The association’s Ben Beadle had a private meeting with Energy Efficiency Minister Lord Callanan to express landlords’ frustration at a lack of movement, following a consultation on plans to introduce new minimum Energy Performance Certificate ratings more than two years ago.

As most landlords will know, the government wants a minimum rating of C for privately rented homes from 2025 for new tenancies )that’s under 18 months from now) and 2028 for all others.

Beadle says he raised landlords’ uncertainty and nervousness over the timescales, and their fear that a cap on improvement works at £10,000 per property might create huge bills for those landlords with the most problematic properties. 

“Landlords are not the ‘fat cats’ the media would make us out to be, with almost 70 per cent basic rate taxpayers. However £10,000 also has a different value depending where in the country you and your portfolio are based” says Beadle.







The Summer Festival 2023 is happening!

Sunday 2nd July 12-5pm 

Big Fair on Heath Street. Back for the first time in three years with 120 craft and fabulous food stalls, fun fair, music to get you dancing in the street, circus school for kids, SportZone, chess café and giant chess set.   Free entry.