Christmas in London
This post is a guide to things to do London during Christmas, including markets, ice skating rinks, beautiful lights, and holiday shows. If you are planning on visiting many attractions during the holidays, then consider a tourist discount pass, and be sure to check out our definitive guide for free things to do in London.
London is a great city in which to celebrate Christmas. There are several events and performances put on exclusively during the holiday season. The thought that goes into many of the sets and decorations featured around the city is truly extraordinary. Below are a few of our favorite things to do in London during Christmastime.
- Visit the reindeer in Covent Garden
- Go on a magical ride in Winter Wonderland
- Wander through the Enchanted Woods at Syon Park
- Enjoy mulled wine on a Christmas pub crawl
- For a full list, check out our post: Things to Do in London at Christmas
During the holiday season, nearly every street and building in London is covered in lights and decoration. A great way to really get into the Christmas spirit without spending a lot of money is simply by walking down the many colorful streets. Though there are several great places to enjoy London’s Christmas decorations, a few streets stand out above the rest.
- Oxford Street is probably the most famous of them all… and for good reason!
- Regent’s Street is a spectacular array of lights and color that is guaranteed to put you in holiday spirit!
- Trafalgar Square boasts one of the most impressive Christmas trees you will find in the city.
- For a full list, check out our post: Where to See Christmas Lights & Decorations in London
If you’re visiting the UK during the holiday season, you absolutely MUST visit a Christmas market. Originating in Germany, these fun events can be found in many cities around Europe. London boasts a huge variety of Christmas markets, including some that are more quaint and traditional, as well as others that are very big and modernized. You honestly can’t go wrong when it comes to choosing a Christmas market, but below are some of our favorites.
- Winter Wonderland is the biggest and most well known Christmas market in London. Though it can get overcrowded on the weekends, it’s absolutely worth seeing for the production value alone.
- Southbank Centre Christmas Market is conveniently located along the River Thames and features traditional chalets selling holiday trinkets, traditional German food, and mulled wine.
- The Greenwich Christmas Market isn’t quite as well known as some of the others, but features an amazing array of over 100 chalets.
- For a full list, check out our post: The Best Christmas Markets in London
Though December is one of the coldest times of the year in London, the early part of the month tends to still reflect fall temperatures — making it the perfect time to go ice skating or visit a Christmas Market! In fact, there is SO much to do in London during December that we don’t mind even when the weather is bad. However, in general, temperatures in December tend to hover between 35F-45F. For a full description of the weather, check out our post: Weather in London in December.
There is no shortage of incredible ice rinks to go skating on in London during the holiday season. With so many incredible places to choose from, the hardest part is figuring out where to go ice skating first! As with the Christmas markets, you really can’t go wrong with any of these options. Below are some of our favorites.
- Somerset House – Think of this as the Times Square of London in terms of ice rinks. Beautiful location set in the courtyard of a 17th century building.
- Tower of London – Did you know that you can go ice skating in the shadow of London’s oldest fortress! Mulled wine and baileys is served nearby to keep you warm in between skates.
- Natural History Museum – This is another fantastic location set in front of the beautiful Natural History Museum.
- For a full list, check out our post: The Best Ice Skating Rinks in London
No visit to London during the the month of December is complete without a visit to the Charles Dickens Museum! As stated on their website, this museum holds the “world’s most important collection of paintings, rare editions, manuscripts, original furniture and other items relating to the life and work of Dickens.” This impressive collection is carefully arranged and displayed over the three floors of the house. Learn more about visiting in our post on the Charles Dickens Museum.
If you love to ice skate, then you definitely shouldn’t leave London before visiting the London Eye Frostival. This winter wonderland features the largest ice skating rink the London Eye has ever seen! Lines can be long, so be sure to get there early. Learn more by checking out our full post on the London Eye Frostival.