Things to do in London

Visiting London In December – The Definitive Guide

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London is more than just a city; it is an experience that has been growing with its myths and tales for over centuries now. A city with as many palaces and palatial houses as modern skyscrapers, it is a bubbling pot of cultures. As a tourist you will be welcomed and be amazed by everything it has to offer. Visit the iconic landmarks like Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, Parliament House, Buckingham Palace and learn about the history of the great nation that not only impacted Europe but all of the world! London in December is shrouded under a veil of clouds but that does not dampen its holiday spirit. Here is a guide on how to enjoy the Christmas festivities in the city and make the best of your visit to London in December.

What makes London in December Special?


London in June

London in December is an exciting destination, predominantly marked by the holiday fever. The weather is overcast and dreary but there is no snow to worry about and warm clothing should be enough to get you street-ready. Christmas cheer is spreading and you can enjoy the season’s festivities in its many Christmas Markets and Winter festivals. Every attraction including the zoo ensures there are special Christmas programs for adults and children alike. It is the time to indulge in sweets and treats, and British cuisine has some of the best Christmas and comfort foods ideal for the winter. There is no getting away from the crowds but it calls for more celebration as you have tourists from all across the world bringing in the New Year in the city!

London in December : Weather


london in june - weather

Winter settles in London during the month of December and the weather is cold and wet. You will mostly experience overcast days with occasional rain, however there won’t be any storms or heavy downpours. The average daytime temperature hovers around 9°C and goes down to 5°C during the night.

Visiting London in December : Things to do


1

Westminster Abbey

London in June - things to do - Westminster Abbey


For over 1,000 years Westminster Abbey has been an important church in England and since 1066 the coronation church. The magnificent Gothic Cathedral is the resting place of 17 Monarchs and is a treasure house of art and architecture. Take a guided tour to learn more about the abbey and its history.

December Timings

Monday – Friday: 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Saturday: 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Closed on Sundays & Christmas (25th December) for service.

Location

20 Deans Yd, Westminster, London SW1P 3PA,
UK
Getting There ›

2

Tower of London

London in June - Tower of London


The Tower of London is a place of myths and stories of yore. Built in 1078 it has a colorful history that includes its use as a prison, menagerie, mint and armoury. Take a guided tour and learn about when it was a Royal Mint or why the guards are known as beefeaters.

December Timings
Tue - Sat - 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sun - Mon - 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Location

St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB,
UK
Getting There ›

3

Hampton Court Palace

London in June - Tower of London


The Hampton Court Palace is a Royal palace dating back to 1515 and is known for its unique amalgamation of Tudor and Baroque architectural styles. The palace is known for its gardens that includes a hedge maze, and is the location of the annual flower show.

December Timings
Monday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Location

Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9AU, UK
Getting There ›

4

Westminster Palace (Parliament)

London in June - Tower of London


A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Westminster Palace with its iconic Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower) is one of the most recognizable buildings in London. Rebuilt in the 1840s, the palace today houses the Parliament and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in London.

December Timings
Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Location

Westminster, London, UK
Getting There ›

5

London Eye

London in September


Get a bird’s eye view of London as you embark on the London Eye – the tallest observation wheel in Europe. The Ferris wheel completes a revolution in around 30 minutes and is a unique way to view the London skyline. You can spot all major landmarks including Big Ben, the Shard from atop the wheel.

December Timings
Monday – Friday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – 8:30 PM

Location

Lambeth, London SE1 7PB, UK
Getting There ›

Best Safety
Golden Tours: 24Hrs London Hop-On-Hop-Off & London Eye Tickets
London Eye
Golden Tours: 24Hrs London Hop-On-Hop-Off & Lo...
upto 12% off
from
£56 £49

6

West End Theatre

London in June - things to do - West End Theatre


West End is the equivalent of Broadway in New York and offers brilliant live theatre and stage entertainment. In December you can watch new shows like The Snail and the Whale, Spencer Jones: The Things we Leave Behind, A Kind of People, and Girl from the North Country.

December Timings
Depends on the show

Location

40 Bloomsbury Way Lower Ground Floor, London WC1A 2SE,
UK
Getting There ›

Free Cancellation
TINA: The Tina Turner Musical
TINA: The Tina Turner Musical
from
£24
Free Cancellation
The Book Of Mormon
The Book Of Mormon
from
£24
Free Cancellation
The Mousetrap
The Mousetrap
from
£36
Free Cancellation
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
from
£21.6
Free Cancellation
The Play That Goes Wrong
The Play That Goes Wrong
from
£24
Free Cancellation
The Woman in Black
The Woman in Black
from
£21.6
Free Cancellation
Magic Mike Live
Magic Mike Live
from
£132
Free Cancellation
Six
Six
from
£27.6
Free Cancellation
The Drifters Girl
The Drifters Girl
from
£24
Free Cancellation
Hello, Dolly!
Hello, Dolly!
from
£24

7

Thames River Cruise

London in June - things to do - Thames Cruise


The Thames is the lifeline of London and its banks are home to the most iconic landmarks including the Tower of London and House of Parliament. A river cruise is the best way to admire the city and you can choose from a variety of cruises including lunch, dinner or afternoon tea cruise.

December Timings
Depends on the chosen cruise.

Location

Pipers Island, Bridge St, Reading RG4 8AH,
UK
Getting There ›

Free Cancellation
Westminster To Greenwich River Thames Sightseeing Cruise
Westminster To Greenwich River Thames Sightseeing ...
from
£13
Best Safety
Thames Rockets High Speed Boat Experience
Thames Rockets High Speed Boat Experience
from
£39
Best Safety
Lunch Cruise with Sightseeing on Thames River
Lunch Cruise with Sightseeing on Thames River
from
£34
Free Cancellation
Bateaux London: Lunch Cruise on River Thames
Bateaux London: Lunch Cruise on River Thames
from
£39
Best Safety
Evening Cruise with Sparkling Wine & Live Music on Thames River
Evening Cruise with Sparkling Wine & Live Music on...
from
£29
Free Cancellation
Bateaux London: Dinner Cruise on River Thames
Bateaux London: Dinner Cruise on River Thames
from
£79
Best Safety
London Showboat 4 Course Dinner Cruise on Thames River
London Showboat 4 Course Dinner Cruise on Thames R...
from
£70
Free Cancellation
Willow Room : Afternoon Tea Cruise
Willow Room : Afternoon Tea Cruise
from
£46
Best Safety
Unlimited Hop On Hop Off Thames River Sightseeing Cruise
Unlimited Hop On Hop Off Thames River Sightseeing ...
from
£17.8
Best Safety
Afternoon Tea Cruise on River Thames
Afternoon Tea Cruise on River Thames
from
£34

8

Merlin's Magical London

London in September


Merlin’s Magical London is a fantastic pass that helps you save upto £92 in ticket costs and can be used over five days and valid for 90 days! The attractions include the London Eye, Madame Tussauds, The London Dungeon, SEA LIFE London, Big Bus Tours, and DreamWorks Tours: Shrek Adventure.

Location

Marylebone, London, UK
Getting There ›

9

ArcelorMittal Orbit

London in September


The ArcelormIttal Orbit is London’s largest public art and was constructed during the 2012 Olympic Games. A grand legacy today it is known for being the world’s longest tunnel slide that goes down 178m with 12 twists and turns. There is also an observation point on top of the tower.

December Timings
Monday – Friday: 11:15 AM – 4:15 PM
Saturday – Sunday: 10:15 AM – 5:15 PM
Closed on 25th December

Location

ArcelorMittal Orbit, Stratford , London, UK
Getting There ›

10

Kew Gardens

London in June - things to do - Warner Bros Studio Harry Potter


The Kew Gardens have the distinction of being the most botanically diverse place on Earth, with over 50,000 species in about 300 acres. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in December the gardens are transformed for the Christmas lighting celebrations.

December Timings
Monday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Closed on 24th and 25th December

London in December : Events to Look Out For


London in June events

Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

All Through December
One of the most popular Christmas festivals in London, Winter Wonderland has an array of attractions including ‘Magical Ice Kingdom’, a 70 metre observation wheel, and shows like Paddington on Ice, Zippos Christmas Circus and Cirque Berserk. There is also an Ice Bar, Bar Hutte Karaoke and Comedy Club for adults to unwind.

London in June events

Southbank Centre's Winter festival

All Through December
Be amazed at life-size Elephant puppets and watch their antiques at the Circus 1903 at the Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival. Play in the multi-sensory Soundpit, and immerse yourself in art installations like Squidsoup. The festival also has a winter market with food and shopping stalls.

London in June events

Hogwarts in the Snow

All Through December
Harry Potter fans can enjoy Christmas at Hogwarts as the theme park changes its landscape to winter. The snowy castle is home to the traditional Yule Ball scene complete with long dining tables ready for the Christmas feasts. Take a studio tour to learn all the backstage secrets of the movies.

London in June events

The Great Christmas Pudding Race

5th December 2020
The Great Christmas Pudding Race is a fun event that contributes towards cancer research and awareness. The race involves running a festive obstacle course while carrying a Christmas Pudding on a tray. The race is conducted in Covent Garden and is a fun event to participate and watch!

London in June events

Christmas at Kew

All Through December
The Royal Botanical Gardens transform during Christmas nights as the entire place is illuminated with light installations. Enjoy a new trail ‘Waterfalls’ that cover the tree walkways at the Kew Arboretum. You can extend your trip by dining at the Botanical Restaurant.

London in June events

Christmas at ZSL London Zoo

30th November 2020 – 24th December 2020
The London Zoo puts up a brilliant show for Christmas! You can step into an igloo and meet Santa himself and enjoy spending time with animals like penguins. Become the Zoo Keeper’s Little Helpers and help Mrs. Santa make treats for the zoo animals, and spend time at the Christmas theme stalls.

London in December : 5-day Itinerary


London in December : Essentials


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LanguageEnglish

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Time zoneGMT+1

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Country Code+44

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Socket Type G

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CurrencyPound (£, GBP)

London Weather in December

Find a way to stay warm because London in December is chilly and damp. The temperatures drop down steeply through the month and while there isn’t much chance of snow, you might experience frost towards the end of the month. The days are short with sunrise at around 8:00 AM and sunset around 3:50 PM, which means you should make the best of outdoor photography!

Where to Stay in London during December

London is generally an expensive city and during the holidays the rates of accommodation can shoot up. There is however a variety of accommodations you can choose from depending on your budget. Some of the great neighbourhoods for tourists to stay in are South Bank, Bankside, SoHo, Covent Garden, South Kensington, Marylebone, Mayfair and Leicester Square. Here are our favorite hotels to stay in London –

What to Pack for London in December

Be prepared for unexpected weather changes and temperature to feel colder than the numbers say, in London in December. Pack layers which can be worn depending on outdoor and indoor activities. A raincoat, jacket or parka is a must item on your list, add a warm fleece jacket and thermals for those extreme condition days. If you are out on town on holidays, pack dress clothes, especially for fancy restaurants. Don’t forget to pack full length sleeved clothes for visiting churches and places of worship.

Getting Around London in December

London is a great city to walk around but the cold and rain in December can make it a tough task for newcomers to the city. The best way to explore the city as a tourist remains the Hop on Hop on bus that has a set route that covers all the landmarks and attractions. The public transportation is cheap and convenient and covers all the 32 boroughs of the city. You can buy Oyster Travel Card to get access to all modes of public transportation including Underground (Tube), Bus, and Tram. You can read all about the various travel options in the city here.

Must-Try Dishes While Visiting London in December


london in June - Food
Christmas Pudding

The English Christmas pudding is a work in progress for weeks prior to Christmas! It is a massive endeavour that includes cooking the pudding and letting it soak in brandy or wine. It is steamed just before being served and is accompanied with trimmings like brandy butter, hard sauce, and poured custard.
Where to eat – Angler

london in June - Food
Yorkshire Pudding

The Yorkshire pudding is a classic British dish that is often a staple on Sunday meals and special occasions like Christmas. The baked pudding generally is made of water, flour and eggs and served with onion gravy for the first course, and often served with beef and gravy for a main course.
Where to eat – The York Roast Co.

london in June - Food
Roast Beef

Roast Beef is the closest you can get to a national dish of England and even has a patriotic ballad to its credit ‘The Roast Beef of Old English’! The popular dish is rich and heavy and ideal to be had during the winters in London in December. It is often served with a side of Yorkshire pudding.
Where to eat – Roast

london in June - Food
Pigs in a blanket

You just can’t stop at having one of these! These sausages covered in bacon are the best thing to dig into on wintry days. Pigs in a blanket are bite sized appetizers that are a favourite comfort food of the British and are served with cocktails or the larger versions are eaten as snacks!
Where to eat – Regency Cafe

london in June - Food
Beef Wellington

Winter is the time to tuck into flavourful meats and Beef Wellington is a British favourite! The choicest of fillet steaks is coated in pâté, wrapped in parma ham and puff pastry and then baked. The crunchy golden exterior is a delicious contrast to the moist meat and is served with potatoes.
Where to eat – Heddon Street Kitchen

Tips for Visiting London in December


  • The Christmas Tree lighting ceremony takes place in Trafalgar Square on 5th December, it is followed by Christmas Carols starting from 9th December until 24th December. The entire square is a lively and electric place during the entire month of December.
  • Ice Skating is a popular activity in London in December and some of the best places to go ice skating are Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Natural History Museum, Somerset House, and Alexandra Palace.
  • Christmas Markets pop up all across London in December and you have multiple things to do in these markets, ranging from concerts to food and shopping stalls. Some of the best Christmas Markets in London are at Leicester Square, Westfield London, Greenwich, Kingston and Christmas By the River at London Bridge City.
  • Christmas Shows are a great way to bring in the festivities. You have a wide range of choice like A Christmas Carol (Old Vic Theatre), Goldilocks and the Three Bears (London Palladium), Nutcracker English National Ballet (Coliseum), The Snowman (Peacock Theatre), and Cinderella (Trafalgar Studios).
  • The London Eye New Year’s Eve fireworks are the most spectacular shows worldwide and the best places to watch the London fireworks are from Victoria Embankment, South Bank, Westminster Bridge, Cannon Street, Tower Bridge, and Parliament Hill.
  • Shopping sales in London start right from Boxing Day which falls on 26th December and go on until January. Several high-street stores offer deep discounts on all categories of merchandise.

Explore London by Months


Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Paris in Jan
Jul
Aug
Paris in Jan
Sep
Paris in Oct
Oct
Nov
Dec

Ready To Visit London in December?


Here are some helpful links to make your trip to London in December an enjoyable one:

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