LONDON TRAVEL

21 Festive Things To Do in London in December at Christmas

I love Christmas and I especially love London in December! As the countdown to Christmas in London 2019 is on, I have pulled together my favourite things to do in London at Christmas, to get you in the christmas spirit. From glittering Christmas lights, ice skating at Somerset House, a trip on the London Eye and traditional Christmas markets. There’s so many magical things to do in London in December at Christmas! 

This festive season I’ve booked all my activities using my favourite activity booking app Klook. Here are some of my favourites activities to book in London with Klook:

  • Ice skating at Somerset House
  • Views from the London Eye
  • Magic at Harry Potter Studios
  • Tour of St Paul’s Cathedral
  • Bicester Village Shopping Trip
  • Stonehenge Day Trip

Throughout London in December there are lots of events to attend, and activities to take part in including a visit to the panto, boat parties and lots of Christmas markets. Some of my favourite Christmas markets include the Southbank Winter Market and Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. London has so much on in Christmas 2019!

And if cocktails, ice-skating and christmas markets weren’t enough, and you need to get your shop on, you’ve got all the christmas shopping you could ever dream of in London. 

There are lots of christmas event on in London throughout the festive period, so make sure you check out this guide of things to do in London at Christmas and check some other sites for christmas events and christmas activities in London. Here are my favourite 21 Things To Do in London in December at Christmas…

London Eye

London Somerset House

Things To Do in London in December

How to get to London 

London in December and travel to London by train, by Eurostar, by ferry, by coach, by car, by motorcycle, or by plane into one of London’s five airports. If you are like me, based in the UK, the quickest transportation is the train as it drops you straight into central, however if you are coming from abroad simply jump on a flight to Heathrow, City or Luton and jump on a train from there.

 

Things To Do in London in December

When to go to London 

London can be visited at any time of year, as it has a mild climate and extreme weather is rare. 

The summer is a great time to visit, with warm weather, where everyone comes outdoors to celebrate the sunshine and make the most of the pub gardens, parks and rooftop bars. You can expect temperatures average 18°C and can go above 30°C. And then autumn is mild, 11° to 15°C and you can enjoy a variety of annual events, and although London is colder in winter, average temperatures of between 2 and 6°C mean you’ll still be able to fully enjoy a visit to London!

And then there’s December, where London comes alive with everything Christmas! December in London is also an incredibly popular place to be during the holidays, so expect the streets to be crowded with both English and international tourists.

London Somerset House London in December 

Things To Do in London in December

Where to stay in London at Christmas

The Royal Lancaster London

Any festive weekend in London requires somewhere comfy to lay your head and the perfect hotel for doing so is the Royal Lancaster London. As Michael Bublé would sing, “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”. Make sure you plan a luxurious Christmas with loved ones with a stay at the magical Royal Lancaster London, perfectly located in the centre of London. Take a stroll through the beautiful Hyde Park to the Royal Albert Hall for a festive show, or experience the magic of Winter Wonderland, before returning to the warmth and sparkle of a hotel that makes Christmas its own. This is the perfect place to stay during a weekend in London in December.

A contemporary, stylish hotel next to Hyde Park and walking distance to Paddington station, Bayswater and Marble Arch, the Royal Lancaster London has Hyde Park as it’s main attraction with many of the bedrooms looking over the park’s lime and silver maple trees, and you can nibble on homemade bircher muesli while enjoying views of the Italian Gardens from your breakfast table. The convenience of Lancaster Gate is often underappreciated – with Oxford Street is a 15-minute walk away and Paddington Station a 20-minute amble.  

Step through the revolving doors into a stunning gold and white marble lobby featuring a spectacular 21ft Nordmann Fir Christmas tree, alongside elegant decorations throughout the hotel, which will be unveiled on the morning of 1 December 2019.

With rooms starting at £259 per night, the Winter Wonderland package enables you to experience a luxurious stay with guaranteed early check-in at midday and late check-out at 3pm, a delicious buffet breakfast, a surprise festive gift on arrival, and fluffy Paddington Bear for the little ones. The package is available from 21 November 2019 to 5 January 2020. For the ultimate family getaway, the interconnecting rooms are perfect for a spacious stay. Enjoy 50% off the second bedroom when booked at the same time.

The hotel’s convenient location just above Lancaster Gate Tube Station will whisk you to the sparkling lights of Oxford and Bond Street. After a day of shopping for Christmas presents, head back to the hotel for some delicious food. Relax in the elegant Park Restaurant, which overlooks Hyde Park and the Italian Gardens and enjoy a Festive Afternoon Tea with delicious sandwiches, warm bakes scones, and deliciously sweet cakes and delights. Priced at £39 per person, or £45-£49 per person including a glass of Champagne or Rosé Champagne.

Lancaster Terrace, Lancaster Gate, London W2 2TY, England.

London in December

London in December

London in December

London in December

Things To Do in London in December

1. Admire the Christmas Lights!

One of the best things to do in London at christmas is to visit the London Christmas Lights. This year you can find an amazing array if lights of Regent Street, sea animals hanging down in Carnaby Street and a festive take on the northern lights in Coal Drops Yard.

Address: All across London
When: November – January

2. Amazing views from the London Eye

The London Eye offers impressive views all year round, but I especially love a trip on the London Eye at christmas as the views are just spectacular with the christmas lights on across the city. I booked our ticket with my favourite booking app, Klook and booked a fast track pass so we didn’t have to queue.

Then once you are onboard you can experience an unforgettable panoramic flight on the world’s highest observation wheel as you watch London unfold beneath you as you rise 135 meters to see the Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace from all new heights. And if you book the Klook champagne experience you also get champagne served to your to further enhance your experience.

Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB
When: All year round

3. Rooftop Ice-Skating at Skylight

East London’s coolest winter pop-up is back above Pennington Street car park, at Skylight, where there is ice=skating, ice hockey and igloos and more. You can also sit back and enjoy a hot mulled wine, take in the views of London and get comfy.

Address: Skylight Rooftop, Pennington Street Car Park Entrance, Wapping, London E1W 2SF
When: Tuesday 1 October 2019–Saturday 25 January 2020

London in December

London in December

London Somerset House

4. A tour of St Paul’s Cathedral

Get yourself feeling ridiculously festive with an evening of carols inside Sir Christopher Wren’s architectural masterpiece St Paul’s Cathedral and book a tour, which I booked through Klook. Or if you are after some family-friendly services, a night of organ-led carols curated by French composer Olivier Messiaen and a traditional carol service on Christmas Eve.
 
By booking a St Paul’s fast track ticket with Klook you can enjoy entry to the magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral, one of London’s most iconic landmarks steeped in over 300 years of history and explore the awe-inspiring interior where legendary figures of British history, such as the Duke of Wellington and Sir Winston Churchill, are buried. Also if the weather is good, you can climb to the top of the majestic dome for breathtaking aerial views over London! 

Address: St Paul’s Cathedral, 
When: 

5. Christmas at Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is worth a visit all year round, but it looks more spectacular than ever when it’s all dolled up for its annual winter celebration. Back for the seventh year, the illuminated evening trail through the botanic gardens is bigger than ever, with more than a million twinkling pea-lights, thousands of laser beams that light up the trees and a dramatic Fire Garden. Wrap up warm and gently stroll along the atmospheric Winter Trail with a spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate. 

Address: Kew Gardens, Richmond, TW9 3AB
When: 20 November 2019 – 5 January 2020

6. Ice-skating at Somerset House

If you fancy channelling your inner Torvill and Dean, head to the wonderful Somerset House this December for a spot of ice-skating! Of all the best ice-skating rinks in London, none are as beautiful as this one. Simply book your tickets through Klook and get fast-track access to the ice. Then afterwards you can warm up in the cabin with a mulled wine or a mince pie. If you want to make an evening of it, book one of the Friday night Skate Lates sessions, where there’ll be top DJs and some very slippery dancing.

Address: Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
When: 13 November 2019 – 12 January 2020

London in December

London in December

London Somerset House

7. Watch a Christmas Carol at the Old Vic

Jack Thorne’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol is back for another year at the iconic Old Vic for the third year running. The wonderful actor from Peep Show, Paterson Joseph will star as Ebenezer Scrooge and it’ll be a night you’ll never forget with carol singers, mince pies and enough cheer to make an scrooge melt. Make sure you get tickets ASAP!

Address: The Old Vic, The Cut, Lambeth, London SE1 8NB
When: Saturday 23 November–Saturday 18 January 2020

5. Ballet at the Colosseum

If you are ever going to see the ballet then it should be at christmas! The English National Ballet’s annual Nutcracker performance is back at the Colosseum, with 100 dancers and the most amazing costumes in this iconic Tchaikovsky classic. Be prepared to the blown away with this stunning play to Edwardian London with Clara and her enchanting new toy.

Address: The Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, Charing Cross, London WC2N 4ES
When: From Wednesday 11 December–Sunday 5 January 2020

6. Discover Southbank Christmas Market

2019 is the year Christmas got sustainable with multiple markets across London making it easier than ever to buy thoughtful gifts from local businesses. My favourite is the Southbank Christmas Market where you can find a whole host of smart and sustainable gift ideas. It is also worth checking out London’s Zero Waste Christmas Market return to the Old Truman Brewery again to host 45 independent and plastic-free traders. 

Address: Southbank Christmas Market
When: November and December

7. Enjoy Christmas Afternoon Tea!

For the best afternoon tea in London to visit at Christmas has to be The Ritz. The hotel’s stunning Palm Court is turned in to an Edwardian winter wonderland, decked with luxury christmas decorations, and music to match. There is also an in-house choir to sing classic carols and added mince pies to the menu. 

Address: The Ritz, 150 Piccadilly, London W1J 9BR
When: Until December 30 2019 at 1,30pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm sittings

London in December London in December

London Eye

8. Festive cocktails at Henrietta Hotel

WOW – this place was so unexpected but it was amazing. I went here during my weekend in London and me and Sandy were shown upstairs at Henrietta Hotel. Once upstairs you are shown to a bar where Christmas has simply exploded. Located next to the Covent Garden piazza, in amongst the shops and boutiques, Miracle at Henrietta will provide the perfect pitstop for a cocktail, and a chance to escape the inevitable Christmas craziness that consumes the capital.

Hidden away on the mezzanine, guests are transported back in time to Christmas past, with a nostalgic take on festive décor, designed by experiential company Cheeky Tiki. The christmas bar phenomenon is back with a jingle this christmas again, and they have festive cocktails, served in festive glasses, and play christmas music on repeat.

Address: 14–15 Henrietta Street, London, WC2E 8QH
When: November – January

9. Get festive at Flat Iron Square Apres Ski Lodge

The Flat Iron wooden ski chalet bar will be serving winter cocktails, street food, and offering live music, and wreath-making workshops throughout December. On November 30th, they will host Pebblefestive, a one day festival including a Conscious Christmas market of over thirty independent traders.

Address: 64 Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU
When: Throughout the festive period

10. Food galore at King’s Cross Canopy Market

King’s Cross’ food and crafts market is the place to go this Christmas for lots of festive food, markets and handmade treats. There will a,so be carols, live music and a mulled wine bar. And if you still need to pick up some extra presents, it’s also the perfect opportunity to check out the newly opened shopping hub Coal Drops Yard which I love visiting when I am in London.

Address: West Handyside Canopy, 1 Wharf Road, King’s Cross, London N1C 4BZ
When: Friday 22 November-Sunday 29 December 2019

London in December

London Somerset House

11. Winterland in Fulham

At Winterland you can enjoy hot mulled wine around their amazing fire pit or sip a glass of Prosecco in the hot tub whilst gazing at the stars. Dance to DJ tunes or chill on a sofa under their covered and heated pergola. Winterland London is beautiful, situated in an Alpine Lodge, with fur-lined Sofas, Cabins, Forest, Igloos, Fire-pit, and more. And if you are thirsty you can grab cocktails from the Moose Bar. Or if you are feeling competitive? Take a look at their games – skittles, table tennis, arcade games and beer pong.

Address: Neverland, Wandsworth Bridge Road, London SW6 2TY
When: November – January

12. Get cosy at Winter Terrace

Another great way to spend Christmas in London is curled up with a glass of mulled wine, and the best place to do this is at London’s Winter Terrace. Grab your friends and head here for a festive few hours in an apres-ski style cabin, with mince pies, food, drinks and more. The bar has been transformed in to an enchanted wood and is just magical.

Address: Cafes and bars all across London
When: Throughout the festive period

London in December London in December

London Eye

14. Skate at The Queen’s House Ice Rink

Another amazing place to go ice skating this christmas is at the Queen’s House Ice Rink in Greenwich. Located within a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the elegant surroundings of Royal Museums Greenwich, the Queen’s House Ice Rink is a magical place to skate this Christmas with amazing views over The Thames and the Royal Park. Located close to London Bridge, the Queen’s House is London’s newest Christmas ice skating destination and the only outdoor ice rink in south London.

Address: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
When: December to January

15. Hogwarts in the Snow

Celebrate a very magical festive season with Hogwarts in the Snow at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. Winter has arrived at the wizarding world, with a true festive makeover. Glittering Christmas trees line the Great Hall and a replica festive feast including flaming Christmas puddings is laid out on the long tables; while the top section of the hall is transformed for the Yule Ball with snow, icicles and an orchestra of magical instruments. I didn’t get chance to visit this festive season but make sure you book up for next year soon, as they always sell out this time of year. Again use Klook to get the best discounts in town!

Address: Studio Tour Dr, Watford WD25 7LR
When: December 

16. Immerse yourself at Winter Wonderland 

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is London’s spectacular Christmas destination and is FREE to enter! Located in the heart of London, see Hyde Park beautifully transformed with sparkling winter magic, and immerse yourself in all things festive. Winter Wonderland is open every day from 10am to 10pm, and this year they bring you exciting new attractions including the World’s Tallest Transportable Observation Wheel, a new theme ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Magical Ice Kingdom, a Season Ride Pass, Paddington™ on Ice, Mr. Men & Little Miss, a fantastic new programme of comics at the Winter Wonderland Comedy Club and a brand new pre-bookable restaurant, Cedar & Spruce Bar + Kitchen.

Address: Hyde Park 
When: November to January

London in December London in December

London Somerset House

17. Go to Lapland at Broadgate Winter Forest

If you can’t get to the real Lapland this christmas then head to Broadgate Winter Forest instead for some festive fun this December. Here there are 200 snow covered pine trees with adorable cabins and fairy lights galore. They also have an array of events and themed evenings on including carol singing, quiz nights and craft classes. And it’s all totally free!

Address: Broadgate Winter Forest, 1-2 Exchange Arcade, London EC2M 3WA
When: Open until December 20 2019

18. Christmas at Leicester Square

Christmas in Leicester Square transforms the centre of bustling London into a wonderland including traditional Christmas markets, Created by the owners of Udderbelly, Leicester Square is yet again another great place to find christmas markets and mulled wine this festive season in one of London’s most iconic squares. 

Address: Leicester Square
When: November – January

19. The View from The Shard with Cocktail Experience

The View from The Shard is the premium visitor attraction at the top of Western Europe’s tallest building, The Shard. Designed by Master Architect Renzo Piano, the Shard redefines London’s skyline and has become a dynamic symbol of London. At a height of up to 800ft or 244m, The View from The Shard offers spectacular views over London, enabling visitors to see as far as 40 miles away.

Twice as high as any other vantage point in the city, it is the only place where visitors can see the entire city at once. Book your tickets in advance for your chance to see London in high definition, and save £5 compared to the door price!

Address: 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG
When: All yea round

London in December London in December

20. Visit the famous Petersham Nurseries

I love going to a wreath making class each year, and I love especially going to Petersham Nurseries in Covent Garden. Here you can get involved, at London’s most famous garden centre using wild flowers, foraged foliage and woodland materials. 

Address: Held at both Richmond and Covent Garden stores. Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Off Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW10 7AB and Petersham Nurseries, Floral Court, London WC2E 8JD
When: Various dates from Tuesday 26 November 2019

21. Christmas in Covent Garden

Christmas at Covent Garden. Covent Garden is the ultimate destination for a magical festive experience this Christmas, with an array of events and activities on for all of the family. The Christmas season officially started in Covent Garden on Tuesday 12th November, after they hosted their Christmas lights switch on in the Piazza. And they’ve also got their iconic 55-foot British grown handpicked Christmas tree, decorated with over 30,000 lights, as well as the entire area being transformed into a winter wonderland glittering with 115,000 lights. 

Address: Covent Garden 
When: November to January

 

What are your favourite things to do in London in December? 

 

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Ultimate Guide to Columbia Road Flower Market London

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Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.

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Sophie X

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