December is a magical time to visit this amazing city! Here’s our guide on how to spend Christmas in London this festive season.

Go Ice Skating in an amazing London setting

What better way to get in the Christmas spirit than by twirling around an ice rink under twinkly lights whilst festive tunes play in the background?

Come late November, London is dotted with a number of ice rinks in impressive settings. Grab a few friends, get your skates on and enjoy an evening gracefully gliding (or falling!) on the ice. Afterwards, treat yourself to a mulled wine and warm yourself up whilst you watch the other skaters have a go. It’s definitely one of the best ways to spend Christmas in London! Here’s our pick of the best rinks in the city:

  • London’s Natural History Museum provides the backdrop for one of the city’s most magical ice rinks. One look at the impressive Christmas tree here will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside!
  • To feel close to London’s history head to the spectacular rink at Tower of London. Sitting in the shadow of the imposing tower, this rink has a very dramatic feel.
  • Somerset House’s rink is probably one of the most famous in the city. And it’s not hard to see why. Sitting in the courtyard of a stunning 18th century building, with a huge twinkly tree at the entrance, this ice rink has Christmas written all over it.
  • Hampton Court Palace was famously the residence of King Henry VIII. Now, you can enjoy spectacular views of the building whilst you slide around the ice!
Ice skating in London How to Spend Christmas in London Clink Hostles

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Looking for a bite to eat near Clink? Check out our guide to the best cheap eats in King’s Cross!

See the London Christmas Lights

London sure knows how to do Christmas lights. From quirky and cool displays in Soho through to more traditional spectacles in Trafalgar Square and Mayfair, the city really sparkles during the holiday season! And best of all, it’s completely free to see all of them! So, if you’re in the city and on a budget this December it’s a great way to join in the festive cheer and spend Christmas in London without splashing too much cash! Here’s some of our favourite places to let the twinkle of Christmas lights wash over you:

  • Regent Street’s Christmas display is a sight to behold, with over 300,000 lights and 16 angelic spirits strung high over this famous shopping street.
  • Head to Trafalgar Square to see the gigantic and world-famous Christmas tree which is brought to life with twinkly lights aplenty!
  • Cool kids should head to Soho where the Queen inspired lights of Carnaby and the surrounding streets will leave you feeling energised and inspired. Make sure to check out Liberty and its gorgeous festive display whilst you’re at it!
  • Grab yourself a bag of chestnuts and take a magical walk along the South Bank as the Christmas lights twinkle next to the Thames.
  • Covent Garden has a great festive vibe during the winter months. Check out the giant mistletoe chandeliers and disco balls that are up this year!
Carnaby Street How to Spend Christmas in London Clink Hostels

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Looking for more things to do on a budget? Check out our guide to things to do in London under £10.

Join in with some Christmas Carols

As Buddy the elf famously said: ‘the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!’ We totally agree and reckon that joining in or even just listening to some festive Carols is a great way to spend Christmas in London! There’s some services and concerts going on in some pretty amazing locations too, so you can immerse yourself in London’s history whilst soaking up the sounds of Christmas. Sounds good to us! ;) Here’s some of the best places in London to get your Christmas Carol fix:

  • If you’re already planning on visiting the Christmas tree in Trafalgar square why not tie in your visit with one of their regular carol performances, taking place between 4pm-8pm on weekdays and between 2pm and 6pm on weekends?
  • A visit to St Paul’s Cathedral is a must when visiting London. Throughout December they are running a series of musical advent events. Tickets aren’t required for most although early arrival is advised to secure a place.
  • Soak up the Christmas spirit at The Royal Albert Hall with their series of musical events throughout the holiday season. Singalong to festive favourites on the 23rd and 24th
  • If you’re an animal lover, then you don’t want to miss this one! Battersea Cats and Dogs home is hosting a carol concert at St Luke’s church and all funds raised will go towards helping to look after cats and dogs in need. If that doesn’t give you the festive feels we don’t know what will!
Christmas Carols How to Spend Christmas in London Clink Hostels

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Visit a Christmas Market

London is full of bustling Christmas markets at this time of year. The smell of mulled wine fills the air, happy revellers fill their bellies with tasty Christmas treats and stall-holders sell their trinkets to delighted Christmas shoppers. A wander round one of London’s many Christmas markets is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening in London this Christmas. There’s plenty to choose from, each with something different to offer. Here’s a few of our favourites:

  • Leicester Square Christmas market will get you feeling all festive this December with its traditional Christmas Market. Quaint stalls are selling an array of Christmas goodies and tempting food and drink.
  • Borough Market is not officially a Christmas Market, but it’s definitely worth a visit during the festive season for its delectable array of artisan meats, cheeses and other foodie favourites that make Christmas what it is!
  • Winter Wonderland is much more than a Christmas Market, it’s a full blown Christmas experience! It’s definitely not understated, but if you want crowds, bright lights and a lively atmosphere this is for you.
London Christmas Market How to Spend Christmas in London Clink Hostels

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If you’re looking for more inspiration on Christmas markets to visit in London then read our handy guide

For Something a bit different

If you’re not all that into the more traditional Christmas activities, then fear not! London has plenty of alternative festivities to offer that are bound to provide you with an interesting way to spend Christmas in London! Tell your friends back home about your visit to Hogwarts in the Snow or send news about the beauty of Kew Gardens’ illuminated trail. London has so much to offer that’s a bit different this Christmas, so why not venture off the beaten track and discover something new this festive season? Here’s our pick of the best festivities with a difference:

  • The Great Christmas Pudding Race. Yes, this event is as ludicrous and as wonderful as it sounds. On Saturday 8th December you can watch a host of runners dressed as various Christmas characters tackle obstacles, slaloms and inflatable hazards – all whilst attempting not to drop their precious cargo – a plate of Christmas pudding! It’s all in the name of raising money for Cancer Research UK. More on that
  • The Art Car Boot Fair Christmas Wrap Party is a great shout for those looking for a Christmas gift with a difference along with fun and games including a raffle, pass the art parcel, art bingo and Secret Santa Casino!
  • Christmas at Kew is extra special. Follow their amazing illuminated trail through the stunning botanical gardens for a truly magical Christmas experience.
  • Big Harry Potter fan? Then this is just the thing for you! Visit the Warner Brothers Studio and see the wizarding school decked out for Christmas at Hogwarts in the Snow.
  • Just around the corner from Clink is The Charles Dickens Museum (did you know Dickens once worked as a clerk in the courthouse that is now Clink78?) The Museum is running a programme of interesting seasonal events that are well worth checking out if you’re into literature and history.
How to Spend Christmas in London Clink Hostels

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Already planning that festive visit to London? Check availability at Clink now or chat to one of our friendly elves on live chat!