The diary: what’s on this January

Plan a trip to the capital this January with our pick of the finest exhibitions and events in London

A portrait of King Charles I

Charles I: King and Collector

King Charles I had quite the artistic eye. In fact, he owned one of the most extraordinary art collections of his age, including works by Van Dyck, Rubens, Titian and Mantegna. ‘Charles I: King & Collector’ reunites this hoard of artworks for the first time since the 17th century.


* 27th January–15th April. Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London, W1J 0BD. 020 7300 8000;

London Antique Rug & Textile Art Fair

On a cold midwinter’s day, cheer yourself up with a visit to The London Antique Rug & Textile Art Fair, the UK’s leading fair for woven art. LARTA is hosted on the Mezzanine of Battersea’s Decorative Fair from 23rd to 28th January and 16 specialist dealers bring together the finest oriental rugs and tribal textiles. Immerse yourself in suzanis and ikats, Berbers and flatweave dhurries, Brussels tapestries, and fibre art and weavings from around the world. Contemporary handmade art rugs are also available from exhibitors such as Gideon Hatch.

* London Antique Rug & Textile Art Fair (LARTA), Mezzanine, The Decorative Fair, Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London, SW11 4NJ. Opening times vary. £10. 07976 826218;

An antique rug

Lumiere London

Following the success of the event in 2016, Lumiere London is returning to the capital for a second time this January. Transforming the city with a decadent array of sculptural neon-light installations, Lumiere encourages international and local artists to create thought-provoking works that bring buildings and public spaces to life. Plus, every installation is completely free to visit. Highlights this year include The Light of the Spirit by Patrice Warrener – a vibrant, ecclesiastical-themed display set against the backdrop of Westminster Abbey. And Bough 3 by Simon Corder, a dramatic spectacle of fluorescent tubes ‘growing’ up the sides of iconic buildings in Mayfair.

* 18th–21st January. Key areas to see Lumiere London include the West End, King’s Cross, Covent Garden, Victoria, South Bank and Waterloo.

An image by Simon Corder

The Greatest Showman

Visit your local cinema for a taste of the fantastical this winter! Inspired by the life of PT Barnum (1810–1891), The Greatest Showman tells the story of how entrepreneurial Barnum started the travelling Barnum & Bailey Circus, billed at the time as ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’. Directed by Michael Gracey and starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Michelle Williams, this highly original musical celebrates the birth of American showbusiness as we know it.

* The Greatest Showman will be in cinemas nationwide from 1st Jan


Exploring the real people and relationships behind AA Milne’s charmingly forgetful teddy bear, ‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic’ is the first time in nearly 40 years that EH Shepard’s original pencil sketches of Pooh and his friends will go on display.


* 9th December 2017–8th April 2018. Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL. 020 7942 2000;

Pencil drawing of Winnie the Pooh