Yes, it’s December (we can hardly believe it), and Christmas in London has begun in earnest. Tis the most magical month to fill your cup with mulled wine, wear your thermals and shop for homemade gifts. Read our guide for the lowdown on cultural happenings, and things to do taking place in London in December.
Located in the heart of London in Hyde Park, immerse yourself in all things festive for 6 weeks from Friday 18th November to Monday 2nd January. Winter Wonderland is a spectacle filled with fairground rides, ice skating, charming Christmas markets and fun family shows. All visitors will need to have an entrance ticket before arriving at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.
When: 18 Nov- 2 Jan
Hampton Court Palace
Visit the Palace of Light at Hampton Court Palace. This year’s light trail is bigger and better than ever, with more elaborate installations and dramatic displays, taking a route through the wilderness, formal gardens and palace. Allow yourself around 45 – 60 minutes to soak up the atmosphere and take in the displays. Oh and come hungry, there will also be an expanded fantastic food and drink offer.
When: 7-26 Dec
Christmas Lights Bus Tour
See the capital’s landmarks glitter and sparkle for the festive season with a London by-night tour on an open bus. This 90-minute tour with a live guide takes you through the heart of the city. You’ll get to see London’s most iconic landmarks and locations come to life with over 5,000 thousands of sparkling lights, sensational Christmas displays and enough sparkle and glitter to light up the blackened night sky. And with plenty of opportunities for impressive nighttime photography,
18 Nov – 2 Jan
Catch a festive show
Celebrate Christmas in style at The Royal Albert Hall. This year’s programme is full of heart-warming live events to be enjoyed with your loved ones. There’s something for everyone, from our Christmas carols to traditional concerts, jazz, drag, soul, classic ballet and so much more.
Get your skates on
Ice skating season is back and London has more than enough slabs of ice to pick from. Winter Wonderland’s rink is the biggest; Canary Wharf’s is open for the longest period (18 sweet weeks!); Somerset House’s is the most fabulous; and Glide at Battersea Power Station is the shiny new kid on the block. Lace-up your boots!
Our top picks for festive eats and drinks
Bardo St James’s
Bardo St James’s is a high-end Italian restaurant which comprises a stunning large space with a walk-in wine cellar boasting an extensive selection of fine wines, a private dining room, a private lounge and a marble bar for guests to perch at.
Gordon’s Wine Bar
Established around 1890, Gordon’s Wine Bar is considered to be the oldest wine bar in London. Cheese, of course, is a given. In fact, there are over twenty cheeses to choose from! Not that you’ll need further convincing, but the festive season is all about cheese.
Le Comptoir Robuchon
Le Comptoir Robuchon is perhaps one of the best French restaurants in London. New to their Christmas menu, you’ll find slow-cooked pigeon and foie gras on cabbage with bacon. An impressive French-leaning wine list adds to the luxury.
Miracle at Henrietta
The Henrietta is bringing the festively famous Miracle pop-up bar to London. It’s the perfect pitstop for a cocktail, and a chance to escape the inevitable Christmas craziness. Hidden away on the mezzanine, guests are transported back in time to Christmas past, with a nostalgic take on festive décor.