The clocks go back, the days get shorter, and there’s a bitter chill in the air that we love to hate. Whether we like to admit it or not, there’s something about winter that makes us Brits feel all warm and fuzzy inside (okay, maybe fleece leggings and 3 jumpers is a tad excessive).
But of all the UK’s major cities, there’s something magical about London that sends those festive feelings into overdrive. With endless attractions and activities, we’ve done the hard work for you and chosen our top picks. Here’s the best things to do in the capital this winter…
1. Visit Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park
It wouldn’t be winter without a trip to Winter Wonderland now would it? Complete with an ice skating rink, ice bar, circus, comedy club, over 100 rides, and plenty of mulled wine, this festive extravaganza is not to be missed.
2. See a show on the West End
With so many unmissable shows on London’s West End, it’s hard to know where to start. To get you in the mood for Christmas, why not book tickets to Nativity! The Musical or A Christmas Carol? Even wilful Grinch’s won’t be able to resist their charm.
3. Go ice skating at Somerset House
Nothing says winter like ice skating at Somerset House. Join the locals and head to London’s most famous (and prettiest) ice rink for a truly magical experience. Afterwards, warm your bones at Fortnum’s Lodge or their rinkside Skate Lounge. Think Baileys, hot chocolate, and plenty of mince pies.
4. Attend a festive concert
There’s definitely no shortage of Christmas concerts in London, but you’ll have to act quick as they’re known for selling out early. As an alternative to pricey recitals at the Tower of London and Royal Albert Hall, do your bit for charity instead. Head to Trafalgar Square and give what you can, or attend Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s concert at St Luke’s Church.
For the ultimate Christmas experience, join Mariah Carey at her ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ show at The O2 Arena. It doesn’t get much more festive than that.
5. Sip hot gin inside a cosy igloo
Since opening its doors in 2016, a table at Coppa Club has been as sought-after as a golden ticket to Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory. Overlooking Tower Bridge, their luxurious outdoor igloos are what Christmas dreams are made of. Make your reservation in advance and enjoy sheepskin rugs, cosy blankets, twinkling fairy lights, and their specialist hot G&Ts.
6. Experience Hogwarts in the Snow
When temperatures dip and winter is upon us, the magical world of Harry Potter transforms for its Christmas extravaganza ‘Hogwarts in the Snow’. Book your tickets to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter and enjoy an added dose of festive sparkle. The Great Hall alone is a spectacle worth seeing.
7. Visit London’s Christmas lights displays
The capital certainly doesn’t do things by halves when it comes to Christmas lights displays. Paying homage to Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, Carnaby Street has chosen the iconic song as this year’s theme – with neon lyrics shining overhead as passers-by shop. Oxford Street, Regent Street, and Covent Garden are also home to popular displays.
8. Indulge in cream tea and Prosecco at Harrods
With its very own Christmas World, a trip to Harrods is a no-brainer. Whether you’re buying gifts or simply want a photo of its dazzling exterior, the Knightsbridge department store is the epitome of festive shopping. Make an occasion of it and enjoy cream tea and Prosecco as part of our Magic of London Tour. If anyone knows about British scones and jam, it’s Harrods!
Have even longer in the capital? Explore more of what London has to offer here…