(Updated 2019) London’s 18 Best Christmas Attractions to Visit This Winter

Decorated Christmas Tree On Waterloo Place

Get into the festive spirit by visiting one of London’s many Christmas markets. Pick up some special gifts, taste some mulled wine or try your hand at ice skating, London truly is a magical place this time of the year. So why not add London’s best Christmas Markets and attractions to your Crimbo shopping list? 

Markets

Selling everything from handcrafted gifts to tasty winter warming food and drinks, London is home to some truly unique Christmas markets that are sure to put even the biggest Grinch in a festive mood. Here are a selection of our favourites:

Spirit of Christmas Fair

4th November – 10th November 2019

Spirit of Christmas Fair

Think Christmas market minus the cold weather. Including 800 independent boutiques selling everything from homeware to jewelry and clothing, this exhibition is huge! You will most certainly find that unique gift here.

Opening times: check website, times vary in different days

Address: Olympia Grand, Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX

Admission: £20 – £31, children tickets available

More information: Spirit of Christmas Fair

Nearest serviced apartments: Hamlet Gardens by Q Apartments and B Shan Apartments

Southbank Centre Wintertime Festival

8th November 2019 – 5th January 2020

Southbank Centre Wintertime Festival

A centre for art and culture, Southbank Centre takes Christmas to the next level. Think Nordic chalets selling all manner of gifts, arts and crafts, food, drinks and treats.  And if this beautiful market wasn’t enough, the Centre also offers an array of activities alongside the festive stalls. Think Christmas lights, theatre performances and even a Finnish rooftop sauna! Yes, you read that right, a Finnish sauna on the roof. 

Opening times: Monday to  to Sunday from 11am 

Address: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX

Admission: free admission to the market, but events and performances are ticketed

More information: Southbank Centre Wintertime Festival

Nearest serviced apartments: Pear Place Apartments and Exeter Street Apartments

Christmas in Leicester Square Market

8th November 2019 – 5th January 2020

Christmas in Leicester Square Market

One of London’s newest Christmas market, ‘Christmas in Leicester Square’ returns to the famous West End square for its second year.

It’ll be home to a grotto, vintage Spiegeltent, and of course, all of the Christmas gifts and treats that you would expect from a Christmas market!

Opening times: Monday to Friday 12pm – 10pm, Saturday to Sunday 10am – 10pm

Address: Leicester Square, London WC2

Admission: free admission to the market, but attractions and performances are ticketed

More information: Christmas in Leicester Square

Nearest serviced apartments: Floral Street Apartments and No.5 Maddox Street Apartments

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

21th November 2019 – 5st January 2020

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park is home to what is quite possibly London’s biggest celebrations of all things Christmas. From market huts selling all sorts of treats to a fun fair for all ages, you will find everything in here from circus and theatre performances to ice sculptures and the biggest ice skating rink in London. An absolute must for anyone who loves the festive season. 

Opening times: 21th November 4pm – 10pm (open night), all other days 10am – 10pm daily

Address: Hyde Park, London W2 2UH

Admission: free admission to the market, but attractions, performances and rides are ticketed

More information: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Nearest serviced apartments: Cheval Hyde Park and Milestone Apartments

Cockpit Arts Christmas Open Studios

Holborn: 29rd November – 1st December

Deptford: 6th – 8th December

Cockpit Arts Christmas Open Studios

If you want to find some truly unique gifts for your friends and loved ones, these open studios are perfect. They’re a great way to support independent designers and find some gifts which you certainly won’t find on the high street, with over 170 designers taking part, covering everything from furniture to clothes.

Opening times: check website, times vary depending on location

Address: Cockpit Yard, Northington Street, London WC1N 2NP and 18-22 Creekside, London, SE8 3DZ

Admission: £4 – £6

More information: Winter Open Studios 2019

Nearest serviced apartments: Bloomsbury Kingsway Serviced Apartments

Other Christmas Attractions

Hogwarts in the Snow

16th November 2019 – 26th January 2020

Hogwarts in the Snow

There are few more magical places at Christmas (or any other time of the year for that matter!) than Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

So there’s no better place to visit than the Harry Potter Studios, where the Great Hall gets dressed up for Christmas, the Gryffindor common room fills up with festive treats, and of course, the excellent model of the castle itself gets covered in snow.

Opening times: 9.30am – 10pm daily

Address: The Making of Harry Potter, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden WD25 7LR

Admission: £37 – £39 per adult, family and children tickets available

More information: Hogwarts in the Snow

Christmas at Kew

20th November 2019 – 5th January 2020

Christmas at Kew

Walk into a true winter wonderland at Kew, with a mile-long night-time trail through the beautiful botanical gardens, illuminated by more than 60,000 lights.

Follow the sparking trail of lights into the garden of blazing fires, before ending your journey with a spectacular light and water display in front of the famous Palm House.

Opening times: Wednesday to Sunday 5pm – 10pm (advance booking only)

Address: Kew Gardens, Victoria Gate, Richmond, London TW9 3JR

Admission: adult from £18, family from £52, child 4 – 16 from £11, under 4s – free.

More information: Christmas at Kew

Nearest serviced apartments: The Quadrant Apartments and Penthouse Kew

Winterville at Clapham Common

15th November – 23rd December 2019

Winterville at Clapham Common

Clapham Common will be hosting a unique yet whimsical Christmas experience this year with Winterville. With an ice skating ring and a Christmas market full of food stalls, Winterville also brings live music, comedians and even Mexican wrestling! Be sure not to get lost in the Christmas maze as you don’t want to miss out on 18 holes of crazy golf madness.

Winterville also makes an appearance in our blog ‘The Best Pop-up Events in London This Christmas’

Opening times: Weekdays: 3pm – 10pm (10.30pm on Friday) Weekends: 10am – 10pm (10.30pm on Saturday)

Address: London SW4 9DE

Admission: All children under 16 go free! 

Monday – Wednesday: Free
Friday – £2 after 3pm & £5 after 6pm
Saturday – £2 after 12pm & £5 after 6pm
Sunday – £2 after 12pm

More information: Winterville at Clapham Common

Nearest serviced apartments: Nine Elms Apartments and St George Wharf

FriendsFestive

28th November – 21st December 2019

The TV show ‘Friends’ is still one of the most popular shows in the UK, even though its over fifteen years since the last episode aired. With a day full of re-enacted scenes of Christmas specials, set recreations and a bundle of exclusive merchandise, this is certainly not one to miss if you are a Friends fanatic.

Opening times: 11am till 10pm everyday

Address: 83 Brick Ln, Spitalfields, London E1 6QR

Admission: £32 admission + £2.50 booking fee

More information: FriendsFestive

Nearest serviced apartments: Native Shoreditch Apartments and MYLO Aldgate Apartments

Ice Skating

London is home to a number of ice skating rinks at Christmas, some of them even have attractions and historic stately homes as a jaw-dropping backdrop! So it’s definitely something worth trying if you’re in the capital this Christmas.

Natural History Museum

19th October 2019 – 12th January 2020

Natural History Museum Ice Rink

One of London’s most popular winter ice rinks, the Natural History Museum provides quite a magnificent spectacle. Located in front of the beautiful Victorian façade of the museum, the ice rink has an excellent backdrop. If you’re not a skater yourself, then there is a viewing platform where you can watch with a glass of mulled wine from the Café Bare.

Opening times: 10am – 9pm (Closed 25th December)

Address: Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD

Admission: Adults from £12.65, children from £8.80, families from £39.60

More information: Natural History Museum Ice Rink

Nearest serviced apartments: Gore Street Apartment and Fraser Suites Queens Gate

Somerset House

13th November 2019 – 12th January 2020

Somerset House Ice RInk

Surrounded by the gorgeous Georgian walls of Somerset House, it is easy to see why this ice rink is one of the most visited in London. Celebrating 20 years of the rink being open, it will also be hosting a 40ft Christmas tree. Whether it’s a for a blissful mid-morning skate or dancing around on the ice to their late night DJ series, Somerset House ice rink caters to all guests.

Opening times: 10am – 10pm (10.45pm on selected days)

Address: London WC2R 1LA

Admission: Adults from £11, children from £8.50

More information: Skate at Somerset House 

Nearest serviced apartments: Exeter Street Apartments and Floral Street Apartments

Hampton Court

22nd November 2019 – 5th January 2020

Hampton Court palace ice rink

Similarly to Somerset House, Hampton Court Palace is a lovely place to visit for a few hours of ice skating. One of King Henry VIII’s abodes, the palace not only provides an ice rink, but also a Café Bar in which you can enjoy the magical Christmas atmosphere. The palace will be open to visitors around this time too!

Opening times: 9am till late

Address: Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9AU

Admission: Adults/teens from £15, Children from £10.50, family from £45

More information: Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink

Nearest serviced apartments: The Quadrant Apartments and 20 The Barons Apartments

Tower of London

16th November 2019 – 5th January 2020

Tower of London Ice Rink

Set in front of the mystical Tower of London, the ice rink provides a central location to skate during the day and next to The Thames. With a fantastic lighting display around the walls of London’s fortress, this is a brilliant location for a family outing or a romantic date. As per with most of the ice rinks dotted around London, their a plenty of refreshments available if you would rather watch.

Opening times: 10 am – 9pm

Address: London, EC3N 4AB

Admission: Adult/teen from £15, children £10.50, family ticket from £45

More information: Tower of London Ice Rink

Nearest serviced apartments: Cheval Three Quays and Four Seasons Residences – Ten Trinity Square

Christmas Theatre Productions

Christmas Theatre

London’s West End is notorious for hosting some excellent productions all throughout they year and Chrsitmas is no exception. With classics such as The Nutcracker and Mary Poppins on offer, why not treat yourself to an extravagant evening at the theatre.

The Snowman

22nd November 2019 – 6th January 2020

The Snowman show at Peacock theatre

One of Britain’s most famous Christmas books, The Snowman, is also one of London most popular theatre productions. Partnering some incredible dance routines with a fantastic soundtrack, The Snowman is a production that all the family can go and see during the Christmas period. The Peacock is also a superb venue to view a production in and with tickets starting at £15, it could be a perfect place to visit during a trip to London.

Opening times: See website for timings

Address: Portugal St, Holborn, London WC2A 2HT

Admission: Prices vary

More information: The Peacock

Nearest serviced apartments: Times of Reflection by Merino and SACO Covent Garden – Arne Street

English National Ballet’s Nutcracker

11th December 2019 – 5 January 2020

A Christmas classic, the ballet take on The Nutcracker involves a cast of over 100 people and creates quite the spectacle. With music from the famous composer Tchaikovsky, the production is one of the most coveted in London around the Christmas period. With tickets sure to sell out before the opening performance, why not head over to the website and book some tickets now.

Opening times: See website for timings

Address: St Martin’s Ln, Charing Cross, London WC2N 4ES

Admission: Prices vary

More information: Nutcracker at London Coliseum

Nearest serviced apartments: Exeter Street Apartments and SACO Covent Garden – Arne Street

Disney on Ice at the O2

26th December 2019 – 5th January 2020

Disney on Ice

Celebrating 100 years of the fictional Disney franchise, the O2 is hosting several Disney on Ice performance from Boxing Day till the 5th January, all your favourite characters will be out in full force. From Mickey Mouse to Buzz Lightyear, Cinderella to Elsa, all the Disney characters will be showing off their tricks and flips.

Opening times:  See website for timings

Address: Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 0DX

Admission: Prices vary

More information: Disney on Ice

Nearest serviced apartment: Fraser Place Canary Wharf 

Mary Poppins

23rd October 2019 – 29th March 2020

The Prince Edward Theatre in the West End is hosting Mary Poppins for the majority of days over the winter period. The supercalifragilisticexpialidocious performance is one for the whole family and perfect for a first time trip to London’s infamous West End.

Opening times: See website fo timings

Address: Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 4HS

Admission: Prices vary

More information: Prince Edward Theatre

Nearest serviced apartments: No. 5 Maddox Street Apartments and Arlington House

Christmas Lights

Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

Beginning – Middle of November

Some of London’s most famous streets will be turning on their impressive display of Christmas lights. With Oxford Street being one of London’s most popular streets, the organisers are sure to put on a great show and previous years have always been better than their former display.

With the lights set to be switched on at around between the beginning and middle of November, it could be the perfect occasion to start getting into the Christmas spirit.

Planning a winter trip to London this year? Head over to our website for an extensive portfolio of luxury serviced accommodation.

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