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This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that never affects our editorial judgement.
T.S Eliot may have asserted that April was the cruellest month, but we challenge him on that: it has to be January. It's cold and dark, and we're financially stretched after Christmas and trying to cut down on indulgences after going for broke in December. And now we're in the tenth month of a pandemic, back in full lockdown, we've most likely already exhausted all of the other means of staying entertained at home.
Enter: the not so humble jigsaw. There's no finer way of wiling the hours when the weather is miserable. Consider: it takes you away from doom-scrolling Twitter or ceaselessly searching Netflix for something worth watching. It's scientifically proven to be good for practising mindfulness, which helps us to stop dwelling on our anxieties and instead enjoy the moment.
Indeed, the impacts of doing a decent jigsaw on the body is surprising: your heart rate slows, blood pressure lows. Mentally, it's akin to meditation, working to alleviate stress. The fact that it allows us to exercise control over something – regardless of how small the task – has been shown to make people feel calmer, especially in times of crisis.
But never mind the scientific justifications: the best thing about doing a jigsaw is that it is fun, a cosy, inexpensive activity to keep you entertained when it's cold outside. Here are 22 of the coolest jigsaws available in the UK. Get solving!
Where’s Bowie? 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Never mind Wally – entertain yourself by searching for the Thin White Duke in a landscape of music paraphernalia, instead.
Hieronymus Bosch: Garden of Earthly Delights: 1000-piece Jigsaw Puzzles
Art, debauchery, beauty, all in one iconic scene.
The World of Shakespeare: 1000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Challenge yourself with this beautiful illustration of Shakespeare's stomping ground in Elizabethan London.
Bodleian Library: High Jinks Bookshelves: 1000-piece Jigsaw Puzzle
One of the oldest libraries in Europe, the Oxford Bodleain is a wonderland for any booklover. This picture is a literary treat.
Hokusai: The Great Wave: 1000-piece Jigsaw Puzzle
We mentioned how calming jigsaws make you feel. Take it even further with this, the most famous image from legendary Japanese artist Hokusai, and loose yourself in the glory of nature
90s Icons 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
90s nostalgia is in full-swing. This witty puzzle is perfect for anyone who remembers the Fresh Prince, Buffy, Hugh Grant's arrest, or Friends with great fondness.
500 Piece Battersea Cats Jigsaw
At 500 pieces, this jigsaw is a mite easier, and ideal for feline fans.
Solid Colour Frustrating Jigsaw Puzzle
Whereas this puzzle is for those who are seeking a challenge. Solid red means there are no clues in the image to help guide the pieces into place.
Nuance Magnetic Field 1000 Piece Round Jigsaw in Square Box
Challenging and trippy. No edges make this a fiendishly puzzle to solve.
Wooden Cartoon Lion Design Puzzle
We did this jigsaw over Christmas, and it was great fun. Small, but still challenging, there are no corner pieces, and some of the pieces are miniature renderings of African animals.
NASA Constellation 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Love star-gazing? This NASA jigsaw will allow you to brush up on your star constellations as you work.
Ravensburger Planetary Solar System 3D Puzzle set
Another challenging one: if a flat jigsaw is boring to you, this 3D solar system puzzle is sure to put your skills to the test.
Button Moon 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
So sweet- if you miss heading off to Button Moon, this 500-piecer will transport you right back to the felt wonderland.
Solid Colour Red Puzzle You Can Do This (Your Name) - Personalised
Want to tailor a solid coloured jigsaw to the puzzle lover in your life? You can cheer them on by getting their name inscribed on this personalised puzzle.
Friends Milkshake 1,000 piece puzzle
No one told us life was gonna be this way, indeed. Sit down and put together a puzzle of your favourite imaginary friends.
Gibsons Marmite double-sided 500-piece jigsaw puzzle
This double-sided puzzle is ideal for those who adore the pantry-store staple.
Clementoni Impossible Stranger Things jigsaw puzzle 1000 pieces
Love the Netflix series? You'll be seriously challenged by this intricate 1000 piece Stranger Things jigsaw.
The Golden Girls: 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
If singing “thank you for being a friend” makes you grin, this Golden Girls puzzle is for you.
London 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Missing city life? Get lost in England's capital with this 1000-piece jigsaw of Trafalgar Square and experience hubbub vicariously.
Kylskapspoesi Astronaut 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Surreal and moody: this is a very cool option for any wannabe astronaut.
Kew Gardens’ Marianne North: Honeyflowers and Honeysuckers: 1000-piece Jigsaw Puzzles
Cast your mind ahead to spring with this beautiful rendering of honeyflowers and honeysuckers in Kew Garden.
Your Dog Portrait Puzzle
Turn your pooch into a puzzle with this personalised jigsaw. Send in an image of your dog and it’ll be rendered in full military regalia for your entertainment.