5 Things To Do In London At Christmas

Out here in the desert, Mr Sunshine and I have been busy recreating all of the Christmas-mood enhancing traditions that help you to survive the festive season in Qatar.

However, we haven’t put our heart and soul into it in the same way that we did last year, because for a few weeks now we have had leave booked in to head home for the holidays. In two weeks today, we will be up in the skies and en route to our favourite place in the world to celebrate the Christmas season: London!

To help myself get into the festive spirit, I’ve put together a checklist of things we must do while we’re in the English capital in order to get the best out of Christmas.

1. Visit the West End and Mayfair

Show me anywhere on earth that feels more Christmassy than this area of London and I will eat my (Santa) hat! Beautifully decorated shops and streets, twinkling lights and even fake snow falling on Oxford Street make the Christmas shopping experience in the West End and Mayfair a rather special one.

2. Have afternoon tea

Sure, this London tradition can be done at any time of year, but many hotels put on an extra special Christmas afternoon tea for December, with special Christmassy treats accompanying the usual sandwiches and scones and live choirs and piano music playing festive tunes in the background while you eat. The perfect way to catch up with family while indulging in the way you should indulge at Christmas.

My favourite Christmas afternoon teas this year are the new Ventian dining room, Celeste at the Lanesborough.

And of course, The Ritz.

3. Go ice skating

London has a plethora of ice skating options that open up to the public every year around the end of November.

I partricularly love the rinks that are bordered by beautiful old buildings and decorated with pretty lights. Somerset House is a must, but book well in advance because places fill up very quickly. But my personal favourite is the rink outside the stunning Natural History Museum.

4. Go to a Christmas market or fair

There are many well-known markets that pop up around this time of year, such as the South Bank Christmas Market and the More London Christmas Market. However, it’s worth checking out some of the smaller, less mainstream offerings in the capital, including the Monocle Christmas Market in Marylebone and the Fair Christmas Fayre in Regent Hall, Oxford Street.

However, there is one Christmas fair in particular that’s on everyone’s minds at this time of year and that is Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. If you’re looking for ice skating, shopping, eating, drinking, games, prizes and entertainment all in one spot, this is the fair for you. Don’t forget to book your ticket online in advance!

5.  Wrap up warm and have a wander

Finally, one day don’t make a plan. Pop on your scarf and hat, take a train somewhere central and simply walk around, soaking up the unique Christmas atmosphere of the capital.

Just don’t forget to stop for a warming eggnog latte to keep you going.

I am posting this as part of the monthly travel link-up. To join in, simply head over to Kelly‘s, Rebecca’s, Emma’s, or guest host Ayla’s blog at Mrs Ayla’s Adventures to link up your post on a festive season theme before the 7th December.


  1. December 5, 2015 / 8:44 pm

    Jingle, jingle, jingle all the bells!

  2. December 6, 2015 / 10:35 am

    Yes yes yes! Isn't the afternoon tea at The Lanesborough super gorgeous…I could happily live inside the Celeste restaurant and I'm with you about the ice rink at the Natural History museum!
    Merry Christmas Polly
    Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes

    • December 18, 2015 / 1:33 pm

      I completely agree, it's SUPER gorgeous. I love the duck egg blue walls as much as the cakes I think 😉 Merry Christmas love!

      Polly xx

  3. December 6, 2015 / 11:56 am

    Christmas in London is the absolute best!

    • December 18, 2015 / 1:34 pm

      SO good! I think it's unbeatable, but I might be a little biased.

      Polly xx

    • December 18, 2015 / 1:34 pm

      You do, you would love it! It's definitely one of my London favourites now.

      Polly xx

  4. December 7, 2015 / 10:58 am

    Mr Ayla and I intend to do exactly that this year – have a festive unplanned day out and just wander around taking in all the Christmas sights. I'm sure we'll still end up doing most of these things though but I might sit out on the ice skating this year as I never seem to let go of the side anyway!

    • December 18, 2015 / 1:41 pm

      Yay, it's the best way to enjoy London! Haha, ice skating is so over-rated for most people unless you are pro. I still love it even though I'm pretty wobbly but only because it gets me in a Christmassy mood!

      Polly xx

  5. December 7, 2015 / 1:26 pm

    That photo of you in the arcade is STUNNING, Polly! And I agree: I love visiting the West End for Christmas lights! That reminds me … I need to make my way to Fortnum & Mason at some point for gifts, but it's going to be mayhem …

    • December 18, 2015 / 1:45 pm

      Thank you Jaime! 🙂 Fortnum and Mason is always heaving at this time of year, but oh so worth it I think! I hope you're having a great time with your family!

      Polly xx

  6. December 7, 2015 / 1:55 pm

    Totally agree about the west end personifying xmas! Never had xmas afternoon tea though or been on the ice rink so need to try get those in the diary asap! Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea's Passions

    • December 18, 2015 / 2:00 pm

      Definitely! If you are going to choose just one afternoon tea then I'd go with the Ritz – hate myself for saying this but it's truly magical!

      Polly xx

  7. December 7, 2015 / 8:16 pm

    London is the best place for walking and at Christmas – I love it! I can't get enough of my commute-walk in December!

    • December 18, 2015 / 2:04 pm

      How far do you walk Anna and where does it take you? I'm so envious!!

      Polly xx

  8. December 8, 2015 / 10:30 am

    I'm definitely intending to get to Winter Wonderland. I hope you have a lovely time here in London for Xmas

    • December 18, 2015 / 2:05 pm

      Let me know how it goes Suze! Merry Christmas, enjoy your time in the west country with family.

      Polly xx

  9. December 8, 2015 / 1:49 pm

    Mayfair is without a doubt my favourite place in London at Christmas – it just looks SO beautiful!

    C x | Lux Life

    • December 18, 2015 / 2:05 pm

      Isn't it stunning?! I would seriously love to live there one day…

      Polly xx

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