Visit London in December to discover a winter wonderland for adults and children alike. From pantos to sophisticated party spots, there's of plenty of fun to be had, while carol services offer a chance for reflection.
London’s festive atmosphere is truly special and there really is no better place to start than with a pantomime. This unique theatrical tradition is perfect for the young and young at heart as colourful characters, dastardly plots and audience interaction kick-start the Christmas season. Little ones will be equally in awe of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, a feast of festive fun with ice-skating, a Ferris wheel, stalls brimming with toys and sweets and of course, Santa’s grotto. The seasonal spirit continues on the ice as a host of temporary outdoor ice-skating rinks pop up across the capital. Many are situated in striking venues and stunning parklands, including medieval towers and neoclassical squares.
If Christmas to you is a time of reflection, then head to St. Paul's Cathedral, which hosts a superb programme of carol concerts and services. Even on Christmas Day, London offers a must-see event: the Peter Pan Cup. Not just any normal swimming race, it sees hardy members of the Serpentine Swimming Club compete in the icy waters of Hyde Park. And if you’re lucky enough to be in London over New Year's Eve, don’t miss the incredible fireworks display from the river Thames and London Eye. There really is no better way to see in the New Year.
Christmas and New Year are the perfect excuse for a party and London is certainly not lacking in places to let your hair down. From vast nightclubs with the hottest DJs to sophisticated bars with cocktails and fine wines, the city's party venues are many and varied. Christmas Markets also make a welcome appearance this month. They offer charming crafts and excellent food produce, not to mention a festive atmosphere and plenty of warming mulled wine. The seasonal nostalgia continues in Trafalgar Square, where the capital’s biggest Christmas tree sparkles. Carol services are held around the tree throughout the month. Or enjoy carols by candlelight. This atmospheric experience takes place in many venues across London and is the perfect way to mark this special time of year.
WEATHER: For average seasonal temperatures and rainfall, see our London Weather page.