Christmas in London is truly magical with plenty of events to get you into the festive spirit! Strap on some skates and hit the open-air ice rinks dotted around central London – many in the shadow of London’s historic buildings. Whether you’re looking for stress-free Christmas shopping or a chance to feel enveloped in the festivities, Oxford Street has more than just Christmas lights to offer.
Don’t forget, an easy way to save your spending money is to book budget accommodation. If you’re looking for hostels London has plenty of choice right in the city centre. Another way to save money is by making the most of the many cheap and free events in London over Christmas…
1. The Great Christmas Pudding Race
6th December 2014
London is far from scrooge-like at Christmas, with yet another top charity event to watch. The Great Christmas Pudding Race raises money for Cancer Research, and is completely free to watch. Various companies form teams, dress up, and then compete in a relay race across an obstacle course in Covent Garden Market, all while balancing a Christmas pudding on a tray. The event raised £21,000 for charity last year.
Check out the event here:
2. Santa Dash
Various dates and locations between 16th November-21st December 2014, check this list for more details
Think Santa is a fat old codger who stays strapped up in his sleigh? Then think again. Raising money for Children’s Hospices, the 2014 Santa Dash event sees hundreds of runners don a Santa suit for a run in various London locations including Spitalfields, Richmond Park and Victoria Park.
Dressed in a Santa suit, you can run, walk or jog the 5km track. Even if you don’t fancy getting dressed up in red, you can always watch the race for some laughs.
Might have to rethink if it’s sleet and snow though…
3. Winter Wonderland
21st November 2014 to 4th January 2015
Roll up, roll up! Hyde Park is transformed into a ‘Winter Wonderland’ during the festive period, with a German Christmas market and London’s largest open air ice rink to enjoy. Our favourite yuletide treat is the Giant Observation Wheel costing from £8 for adults, or for the child in you, try Zippos Circus, held in a heated big top in the park (adults from £12). The 50-minute Cirque Berserk show showcases daredevil acts with a festive slant – so expect to see Santa walking the tightrope. Find out more about Hyde Park Christmas events at the Winter Wonderland website.
4. London open-air ice rinks
Until 11th January 2014
It’s rarely a white Christmas in London, but you can still make like Torvill and Dean and get your skates on this winter. Peak times are a little pricier, but worth it. Some of the most picturesque open-air ice rinks are beside some of London’s top monuments.
- The Natural History Museum has a separate area for the wobbly little ‘uns.
- Ice-skating at the Tower of London has spectacular and dramatic lighting.
- Skate at Somerset House has a heated bar serving hot chocolate and mulled wine, and a super-stylish giant Christmas tree.
Tickets include skate hire and peak tickets are priced between £11 and £13 for adults.
2nd December 2014 until 1st January
The self proclaimed ‘antithesis of corporate Christmas theme parks’ you can expect a more creative and slightly edgy festive experience in Hackney this year. Expect everything Christmassy and more, from the traditional Ferris wheel and Christmas market to a roller disco and ‘Wall of Death’. Entry is completely FREE, find out more here.
Pantomimes in London
Until 11th January
There are loads of pantomimes in London to choose from – oh no there aren’t! Ahem. Yes, actually, there are. To name a few:
- Amazing Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks
- Cheap and Cheerful New Year’s Eve in London
- Christmas Gift Guide for Travel Lovers