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Festive Things To Do For Christmas in London

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From visiting Christmas markets, Trafalgar Square Tree, and Christmas shopping, to ice-skating rinks and Christmas events – there are so many magical things to do in London at Christmas.

Are you looking for Christmas things to do in London?

Many different things are happening, including Christmas markets, Christmas lights, and seasonal food and drink, so it’s a perfect spot to get festive whether you live here or are visiting the city for the holidays.

However, for people of all ages, a vacation to London during the holidays is highly recommended.

Children will enjoy ice skating, and Christmas-themed afternoon tea, and love the rides at Winter Wonderland.

Adults will love shopping in the Christmas markets, drinking mulled wine, and dining in a restaurant exquisitely decorated for the holiday season.

In addition, December brings pleasant but chilly and humid weather to London. Rainfall is moderate, and occasional showers are common, making it advisable to bring a light jacket or sweater.

London has a lot of activities to enjoy over the Christmas season, so we’ve created a brief guide of things to do.

A Glimpse Of This Blog:

  • London’s Christmas markets are a treasure trove of festive delights. The Christmas markets in Leicester Square, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Christmas by the River, and King’s Cross are a must-see if you’re in London for the holiday season.
  • Christmas in London is truly spectacular, with its vibrant light displays and seasonal décor, such as the shining lights at famous locations like Oxford Street, Regent Street, and Covent Garden.
  • The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, an annual gift from Norway to London, is worth seeing if you’re in London for Christmas. It symbolizes gratitude and friendship. 
  • Canary Wharf, Hampton Court Palace, and Somerset House all have ice rinks open from October to January, making winter ice skating a favorite activity in London.
  • London experiences cool temperatures during Christmas, with temperatures ranging from 5 to 9 degrees Celsius. It’s wise to dress warmly and be prepared for occasional rain.

Best things to do at Christmas in London

Visit London Christmas markets

Photo credit: The London local

A trip to one of London’s charming Christmas markets is a must for any true London Christmas celebration.

These tiny markets are the ideal spot to look for gifts for friends and family, sample some new tasty foods, sip mulled wine, and get into the Christmas spirit.

They are filled with stocking stuffers, holiday decorations, clothes, and street cuisine.

The following are a few of London’s best Christmas markets:

  • Hyde Park Winter Wonderland opens with a massive amusement fair, an ice rink, games, a Christmas market, and seasonal meals and drinks.
  • Christmas by the River is a charming riverbank market including pop-up bars, snacks, and crafts.
  • Leicester Square Christmas Market is a bustling market located in the city center.
  • The King’s Cross Christmas market returns to the city on November 28 and spans six weeks with eight different themed markets.

Allyssa, an enthusiastic traveler, advises – “The Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park was a delightful experience, featuring carnival rides, games, and food, making it an ideal Christmas market worth visiting.”

Recommended read The Best Things To Do In London In Winter

See the London Christmas lights

London Christmas lights

Admiring the stunning lights of the capital is the nicest part of celebrating Christmas in London.

Are you looking to find the greatest place in London to see Christmas lights?

Iconic locations such as Oxford Street, Regent Street, and Covent Garden are adorned with millions of twinkling lights, creating a magical ambiance that captures the holiday spirit.

Stroll through the beautifully decorated streets, enjoy window displays, and feel the warmth of the season.

Robert, a traveler, advises – “During a December flying visit to London, I had a chilly but enjoyable experience. I took a Friday off to enjoy the wonderful festive lights along Oxford St and Regent St, New Bond St, and the side alleys and arcades. I highly recommend going there.”

See the famous Trafalgar Square Tree

See the famous Trafalgar Square Tree

Norway has been donating trees to Great Britain annually since 1947. This has become an annual tradition.

Not long after World War II, this tradition got started. In appreciation of Britain’s assistance during the war, Norway gave the tree to London.

The tree is a prominent feature in Trafalgar Square during the Christmas season. In addition, the lighting ceremony, typically held in early December, marks the official start of the festive season.

Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, adorned with thousands of twinkling lights, brings a magical and picturesque scene to London, attracting locals and tourists alike.

Find Places To Stay In London

Go ice skating

Go Ice Skating
Photo credit: Smc coach hire

In London, winter ice skating is always extremely popular.

SKATE at Somerset House is one of the top ice skating places. Shops and restaurants surround the large ice.

Also, pretty ice rinks pop up at places like Canary Wharf and Hampton Court Palace from October right through until January — including one that opens on Christmas Day.

Don’t forget to treat yourself to a hot chocolate after you skate at the top ice rinks in London!

Christmas in London weather

Christmas in London weather

London experiences a cool temperature in the Christmas season.

The average high temperature in December is 9°C/49°F, while the average low temperature is 5°C/41°F.

Further, rainfall is moderate, and occasional showers are common, making it advisable to bring rubber boots and an umbrella if you’re keen on staying dry.

December in London is likely to bring a couple of days of snowfall. When exploring London at Christmas, it’s crucial to wear warm mittens and snow boots to stay warm.

Also read The Best Time to Visit London: The Complete Guide

FAQ

Is London expensive during Christmas?

Yes, London can be relatively expensive during Christmas. The holiday season sees an influx of tourists, and prices for accommodations, dining, and attractions may be higher.

Does everything close in London for Christmas?

On the 25th, most large shops, offices, services, and public transport will be closed, leaving only a few local convenience stores open.

Which place in the UK is the greatest for Christmas?

The UK’s top Christmas destinations include London, the Scottish Highlands, and charming market towns like York or Bath, each offering unique experiences and festive atmospheres.

How many days in London is enough?

The ideal London trip duration is 4 to 5 days, allowing ample time to explore major attractions, museums, and neighborhoods, while also allowing leisure and discovery.

Is Christmas the best time to visit London?

The Christmas season is a wonderful time to visit London. London’s festive season is a unique experience with towering Christmas trees, glittering baubles, candlelight, and roaring fires.

What to wear in London in December?

In December, London recommends wearing layered clothing, comfortable walking shoes, an umbrella, and dressy attire for cold weather, holiday events, or dining at upscale establishments.

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