Sharing is caring!

Tower of London looking over the River Thames

Things to do in London in winter whatever the weather 

With high-class museums, galleries, pubs, restaurants, and entertainment, one thing that can be said about London, is that London does not disappoint when the weather changes and the magic of December begins. 

There is no better place to be if you want to experience that fuzzy, festive, feeling that comes when visiting London during the Christmas season. With so many activities, here is the low-down on some of the best you can find during December.

If you are looking for more staycation ideas then please have a look at:

15 Best Staycation Ideas That Make You Feel Like You’re Abroad

The Best London Day Trips For Adults

7 Incredible Scotland Road Trips for 2021

Free travel printables

If you are looking for help planning your next trip or looking for help remembering what to pack then come join our free Resource Vault. You can download them as many times as you like.

Come join our free Resource Vault here

(By joining giving us your email address you are consenting to us emailing you about our other travel, home and lifestyle ideas. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of every email.)

Things to do in London in December

These are the best things to do in London in December. Wrap up warm and enjoy the capital during this special month.

Christmas lights in London

Magical, illuminated, and suitably pleasing to the eyes are just a few words to describe the experience of looking and gazing into the lights that fill London during December.

While it may be wonderful to experience the lights walking around, why not watch the lights by getting a different perspective while riding the local bus routes.  

You’ll want to catch the 390 at Victoria, which travels the length of Oxford Street. Just make sure to try and nab the seats at the front of the upper saloon which will give you a great view of the lights along the way.

London Christmas Markets

Shopping? Food? Music? There are plenty of sights to see, sounds to hear, smells to enjoy, and food to entice any taste bud.  Amongst the more than 15 markets, these five markets will give you plenty of things to do.

Leicester Square Christmas Market offers visitors beautiful food and gift stalls, and a variety of award-winning performances.

Southbank Winter Festival offers luscious foods, festive goodies, and gifts, and heartwarming performances as well

Kingston Christmas Market brings festive cheer, hand-crafted gifts and mulled wine! With such lovely wooden cabins embellished with Christmas decorations, one can expect to find lots of stocking stuffers!

Alley Pally Christmas Carnival has lots of festivities including weekend craft markets, great food, live music, funfair, and other family activities

Maltby Street Night Market is a special market that offers plenty of opportunities to indulge in decadent delights, finish up some late-night shopping, and stop by the cozy bars.

Christmas at the London Zoo

Illuminated with dazzling displays, The London Zoo also has a host of activities in December.  Here are a couple of family-friendly activities:

Meet Santa where little ones will receive a special Christmas gift and there is the opportunity to book a VIP.

Meet Santa Breakfast

From Arthur Christmas, The Santa Clause, The Polar Express, and more, the zoo is offering the chance for families to experience a slew of festive films.

Carriage Rides

Imagine the beautiful scenery through Richmond Park when you take a horse-drawn carriage ride. You’ll be greeted with mince pie, sloe gin, and be given some beautiful blankets to keep you warm as you experience the gentle ride around the winter wonderland of the park. 

Guests are also given a behind the scenes look of the working stables and see where the Shire horses live.

Natural History Museum

This museum is free to enter and is great for all ages. Home to many of the world’s exciting exhibits, the Natural History Museum is perfect for a cold day out.

Walk around the halls and discover science, wildlife and transport. It’s a day out like no other.

Hampton Court Palace

Just outside of London, Hampton Court Palace is the home of Henry 8th and many other royal family members. Many of the halls are as they would have been in the 16th century. Explore the palace, gardens and everything this amazing building has to offer.

Make sure you visit the Great Hall and Courtyard as they really are a sight to see!

Hyde Park

Hyde Park in winter is beautiful. Right in the middle of central London and on many tube lines, Hyde Park is the perfect place to take a stroll at any time of day.

The park is lit up with lights during the Christmas season and is home to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, playgrounds and a huge boating lake.

Covent Garden

Full of artisan shops and al fresco dining, Covent Garden is the place to be in December. Explore the local markets, get in the festive season with their full-blown Christmas displays and enjoy a nice hot glass of mulled wine.

Right in the centre of London, Covent Garden is just a short walk from Trafalgar Square. It’s great for Christmas shopping and relaxing with the whole family.

Leicester Square

Leicester Square is within walking distance to Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square. Whatever food or entertainment you are in to, you’ll find here.

During December, the Christmas lights are up and you’ll normally find some amazing street entertainers making it feel more festive.

Related Posts: 

Charles Dickens Museum

Based right in the middle of London, the Charles Dickens Museum is the home of the famous writer. Come explore over 100,000 items including manuscripts, rare editions, personal items and paintings.

Make sure you check their website first as you do need to book in advance.

Laura x

If you enjoyed this post and would like some more UK destination ideas then have a look at our section here for our full guide to staycations. You could also pop over to our Pinterest boards for lots more travel ideas on where to go travelling throughout the UK, what to pack and beginner travel guides.

What the * means

If a link has an * by it, then this means it is an affiliate link and helps S4SM stay free for all. If you use the link, it may mean that we receive a very small payment. It will not cost you anymore that it would normally.

You shouldn’t notice any difference and the link will never negatively impact the product. The items we write about are NEVER dictated by these links. We aim to look at all products on the market. If it isn’t possible to get an affiliate link, then the link, or product is still included in the same way, just with a non-paying link.