Feeling Festive: What to do During a December London Break
The hustle and bustle of London make this city an exciting place to be any time of the year, but especially in the run-up to Christmas. With so much to do and so many magical things to see, the capital brings Christmas spirit alive, making it the ideal place for a festive winter break.
Go on a Christmas Tree Hunt
Nothing says Christmas like a beautifully decorated tree and London arguably has some of the best in the country.
Head to St Pancras for a 47ft tree covered in 15,000 hand-placed flowers, to Claridge’s for an opulent inverted tree created by designer Karl Lagerfeld, or Trafalgar Square for a 69ft Norwegian fir tree – Norway have donated a tree every year since 1947, to thank Britain for support during WWII.
Alternatively, if you are looking for something more unusual, there is the metallic sculptural tree at Granary Square featuring neon lights and shapes. Or see Hogwarts decked out for Christmas at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour.
Visit a Christmas Market
A Christmas market is a must during December. There are lots to choose from in London, from more traditional affairs to unusual and unique.
For hand crafted gifts, delicious treats and a festive tipple, head to the Southbank Centre Wintertime Market. For one of the biggest in the capital, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland has its own Santa, ice rink, rides and a bandstand. While Leicester Square transforms into a traditional German market.
For something a little different, there is the Ally Pally Christmas Carnival (complete with street food), or the Hotboozapalooza in Hackney, a boozy event where you can buy hot cocktails.
See the Best Christmas Lights
There is something so magical about seeing Christmas lights and London has them all.
For amazing illuminations, head to Kew Gardens for rows of lights and laser shows. While Chiswick House and Gardens is playing host to an incredible light display. Or Oxford Street has been covered in almost 1,800 twinkling Christmas lights.
There is also the Bohemian Rhapsody themed Carnaby Christmas Lights, where this colourful display features Queen’s lyrics. While you can have fun in life-size light-up maze at Wembley.
Get Your Skates On
Finally, the festive season is a great chance to have some wintery fun and what could be more seasonally appropriate than ice skating?
Put on your skates and zoom around the rink at Winterville in Clapham Common where you can also attend a cinema or go to the roller disco. There is also the outdoor ice rink at the Natural History Museum, Tower of London and Somerset House. Or head to Elephant and Castle for ice skating and bumper cars on ice.