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Best Things to Do in London in December

We’ve put together some of the best things to do in London this December. Pretty much all of them are good for anyone – families, friends, partners or just you! We hope you love them!

Heads up: Some of our articles are sponsored and/or may contain sponsored links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, at no cost to you. This is how we keep the Nonchalant magic alive. We only work with brands we truly love.

Winter Wonderland 

Of course, it had to be said. Possibly the most popular London, wintery attraction. We’ve all heard of it, we all know and love her – Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. With off-peak entry free (yes, FREE!), Winter Wonderland is one of our must-see December sights in London. Packed with rollercoasters, lovely hot food and drinks, and a Bavarian Village, almost nothing feels quite so cosy in London as a hot choccy in Hyde Park. This year’s features include The Giant Wheel, Traditional Funfair, and The Christmas Markets, where you can gift shop! Btw, this is a pretty good date spot (*wink, wink*), with games, hot chocolates, and ice skating (or maybe you just want to watch other people fall over, you villain!). Plus, a lot of it is outdoors, so you get to dress in your cosiest winter knits for that chilly, December vibe. To get here by tube, get off the Piccadilly Line at Knightsbridge.

Department Stores

Okay, cozzie livs, we hear you. But trust us, do not miss the Fortnum and Mason window display this December! Always beautiful, mesmerising, and Christmassy, Fortnum’s is one to stop by if you love the pre-Christmas department store vibe. It’s so cosy and lovely to have a wander around and have a look at their absolutely drool-worthy Christmas food and drink. Gawking at the window display is actually free too… Of course, we have Harrods, Selfridges, and all the other department stores in the department store boat with Fortnum’s. If there’s one thing on which our beloved, early-2000s/ late-90s rom-coms can agree, it’s the fact that department stores are so iconic at this time of year. If you stop at Selfridges, don’t forget to take in the Oxford Street lights, too. Twinkly lights and red buses? London in winter in a nutshell. It’s even lovely to just grab a top seat on the bus and observe the beauty that is the Oxford Street Christmas lights or the beautiful window displays of Mayfair.

Ice-Skating

Maybe you like to ice skate, maybe you like to watch others ice skate, maybe you like to watch people try and ice skate but ultimately fail and fall on their bums. We’re not judging, we are simply here to provide the best ice skating spots* so you don’t miss out on this classic winter activity. Good for friends, partners, families, or just you! 

Best in central – Somerset House

This year’s ice rink at Somerset House comes with a “uniquely Swiss winter vibe courtesy of Switzerland Tourism“. It’s super close to the South Bank and perfect for cosy winter walks this December. 

Best in East – Ice Rink Canary Wharf

Let’s be honest, Canary Wharf and New York have such similar vibes and if there’s one time of year for that vibe, it’s December. This is a not-to-miss. Plus, it has a bar for a little winter tipple, if that’s your thing! 

Best in West – Westfield, White City

I know, Westfield in the run-up to Christmas? What are we thinking? It’s a great open-air ice rink, a chance to get any last-minute shopping done that you may need and maybe grab a bite without even leaving the centre. See, it has its benefits! Also, it’s right next to the station!

Best in South – Battersea Power Station

Featuring “three interconnecting rinks with a spectacular 30ft Christmas tree as its centrepiece“, this ice rink is possibly the most iconic in South London. Battersea Power Station is newly refurbished with shops and provides the perfect place to have a skate on the bank and do some last-min Christmas shopping. Battersea is literally the perfect place for anything – friends, partners, families. It’s full of activities. Some of them are indoors too (if you don’t like the cold!).

Best in North- Alexandra Palace

This one’s a bit different. Alexandra Palace hosts ice skating lessons for both adults and children, including drop-ins, so this is def one to try! Not only do you actually get taught, it might even be a hobby you want to continue with after December!

*Check with websites/organisations about pricing, accessibility, opening times, etc. 

Borough Market

We can all agree that Borough Market is really cute and cosy, right? It gives us SUCH lovely, wintry vibes. It’s definitely one to watch this December. Again, the bank is just at your feet and it’s in a pretty prime position for a nice walk. It’s also a great food spot, serving international and local cuisines and food and drinks to go (could also be a great gift spot), with a barber shop and super, super close to the Everyman. If you’re trying to catch a great film this December, stop along. It’s really cosy, so should warm you up if you’ve been out in the December cold. Whatever you’re looking for, you can be pretty confident you’ll find something at Borough Market. Make sure you check the Christmas times though! Don’t want to be turning up and nothing’s open. We recommend hopping off the Northern line at London Bridge, but Borough Station works just fine too!

Camden Market (especially Yorkshire Burrito) 

If you love a roast, love a Yorkshire, and love Camden, get to Camden Market. Seriously, walk, don’t run. Camden’s already a lovely spot for December, especially with the indoor market and hot, hot, almost too hot Northern line. Trust us, Camden’s such a cute little gift spot, shopping spot, and food spot. Yorkshire Burrito serves in both Camden and Boxpark Wembley, producing such amazing Yorkshire pudding wraps. Be warned – the seating at the market can get a little (very) busy during peak times, so if you’re trying to find seating at the market this winter, aim for a quieter time. 

So…

This is a pretty good selection, but nowhere near exhaustive. December in London is full to the brim with Christmas markets, cosy pubs, fairs, New Years’ events and more. We love these ones, but if you check out any others you’d recommend to our readers, leave them in the comments below! Vice versa, if you check out any of our recommendations, let us know what you think!

Happy Adventuring!

Love, Team Nonchalant x

Last Updated on 30th November 2023 by Nonchalant Magazine

Jo Carter
Jo Carter

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