5 AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN DECEMBER
Christmas in London can be colourful while maintaining its “less is more” motto. The colourful lights and decorations make the city festive while persuading people to sing a long to Christmas songs. Enjoy the Christmas markets, go on several rides in Winter Wonderland, drink mulled wine and feel the cold breeze as you swing yourself in the ice skating rink.
When planning to visit London, make sure you plan what you’re going to see. Although London is an island, there’s just not enough time to visit everything, especially in a short time. Winter in London is as beautiful and as radiant as it is in Summer.
Does it snow in London in December?
Forget looking online for snowy photos of London, it’ll just disappoint you when you arrive. Snow doesn’t come that much and at times, you’d see sleet, black ice and wet pavements. Snow can be up to 2 inches thick and may come every 4 years if we’re lucky. The weather in December is usually freezing and rain every so often. I advise on bringing a big umbrella or a thick hooded coat. Small umbrellas are quite impractical, it will blow away before you know it.
Here is a list of places to visit and things to do during December. In London, every year, the events are always the same, so you won’t miss out on much if you plan to go next year. So read on to find out the places you can visit in December during Christmas.
1. Southbank Winter Market
Southbank Winter Market is one of the markets you should visit when you come to London during Christmas. Situated by the River Thames, the Winter Market in Southbank is the best one compared to the one in Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square. What makes it so special is, in addition the markets, it’s got a carousel ride, Starflyer, where you will be swung around in circles up to 70 feet up in the air overlooking London, best to go on in at night with a better view.
Southbank Winter Market offers various stalls by the River Thames and it’s lit by lamps by the river and on top of the stalls itself. The stalls include hot food and drinks including mulled wine, Christmas decorations and winter warmers all ready for winter. Like other Winter Markets around London, the stalls light up in a cool dark evening.
If you go through the Udderbelly Festival, there are more food stalls there. There are also various beer gardens by the Thames as well as two quirky bars such as The Circus Bar and the Bar under the Bridge. Click on the Southbank Winter Market link to find out more.
2. Christmas Market Leicester Square
The Christmas Market in Leicester Square is literally similar to the one in Southbank but it’s situated in the middle of the square and it’s much more smaller with less stalls. The items they sell and the food and beverage stalls are more or less the same; christmas decorations, winter warmers, mulled wine, fish and chips and many more. It does get busy here and the products can be a little expensive, but feel free to go window shopping.
As you get off at Leicester Square tube station, first impression of Leicester Square seems dark. It seems like there’s nothing happening. The boarded up Square seems like the market’s closed, only the giant oak trees illumates around the square.
A few are still walking around Leicester Square going to different places in London. Once you reach the entrance, you’re able to see the hustle and bustle of people window shopping, drinking mulled wine, listening to Christmas music and enjoying the Christmas festivity. Even if you want to go window shopping, you’ll still enjoy the environment.
The extras that you won’t get in Southbank are:
Santa’s Grotto – good for children as they’ll get presents each from Santa as they gather in the middle of the grotto.
La Clique circus show – enjoy cabarets, circus and comdy for adults only.
The Christmas market in Trafalgar Square only has 5 stalls.
3. Winter Wonderland London
When you think of Christmas in London, Winter Wonderland is, in my opinion, the best thing about Christmas for all the family. You basically get a huge fun fair in the middle of Hyde Park, the largest in Europe in fact, plus stalls selling mulled wine, fish and chips, burgers and every other hot food and beverage you can think of under the sun. The entrance fee is free but going on the fair rides and you’d have to pay.
There is also a Santa’s Grotto and Santa Land for the children. The Big Wheel is bigger than ever in 2019. From the top, you will see crowds of people at the bottom and colourful lights from the rides. You’d assume you’d see the London lights but beyond, Winter Wonderland, it’s all dark.
In my opinion, this is the complete, bigger and better version of all the Christmas markets in London.
4. London Christmas Lights
Your trip to London wouldn’t be complete if you haven’ seen the Christmas lights in Regent Street and Oxford Stree. When you want to see Christmas lights in London, there’s so many places to visit during the evening that you just don’t know where to start. First of all, Carnaby Street and Covent Garden Christmas lights are the best spots to visit.
In 2019, Oxford Street Christmas lights are quite simple but for first time visitors, it can be very festive. Regent Street’s Christmas lights are more interesting. Rows of Christmas angels light up at the top of buildings like the ones you see above. The city illuminates in the dark as the lights reflect on passing vehicles and store windows. Don’t forget to check out the Christmas lights in the side roads. It’s just as beautiful and there’d be less people walking.
Other Christmas lights worth checking are in Kew Gardens and The Enchanted Woodlands, Syon Park. You will walk through different coloured lights in different shapes and sizes. You can also enjoy the tall Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. These are my favourite picks for next year 2020.
5. Ice Skating in London for Christmas
Ice skating in London during Christmas is the most festive feeling in the world. The feeling of the cool breeze sweeping your face. The smell fresh air as you breathe in. The major tourist attraction standing high above you. The taste of hot dogs and beef burgers at the market stalls after 1 hour of ice skating. The Christmas music you’ll hear and the different coloured Christmas lights will make you want to enjoy Christmas in London every day.
Ice skating happens every year and it’s good for all the family to enjoy. People ask me if there’s ice skating lessons. Unfortunately, there’s no lessons but once you’re in the rink, you’ll be a pro in no time.
There are ice skating rinks in Winter Wonderland, Tower of London, Somerset House, the Natural History Museum, Hampton Court Palace and Covent Garden. Take your pick. You can also enjoy ice skating on top of London’s tall buildings where you’ll see views of the London Eye and many others. These are the major ice skating rinks I recommend trying out.
Other places include Skylight London and City London ice rink. Wherever you go, you’d be having so much fun trying not to drop on your bums while laughing with your loved ones.