Christmas in London is mighty special, and we’ve all seen how romantic it can be in the movies. You’ll find plenty of fun things to do during Christmas in London in December at the Royal Parks. Prepare yourself for the return of our whimsical Winter Wonderland, scenic Shire Horse Carriage rides, fabulous wreath-making workshops and the magical experience of picking your own Christmas tree and decorations.
Here are 10 of the best things you can do in The Royal Parks this festive season.
Be merry at the iconic Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland is synonymous with Christmas in London. One of the UK’s most festive events will be making its grand return this Christmas. After a one-year hiatus and a difficult Christmas for many in 2020, friends and family can finally get together and enjoy the magic that the Winter Wonderland has to offer.
Expect a number of wondrous attractions, including the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink, new Magical Ice Kingdom and Bar Ice experiences, a new Zippos Christmas Circus and Cirque Berserk shows, the Giant Wheel, and more besides.
WHEN: Friday 19th November 2021 – Monday 3rd January 2022
TICKETS: To buy tickets and receive further information, click here.
Cosy up for free ‘Winter Warmer’ talks
The Royal Parks are delighted to bring you a series of live stories to snuggle up to, inspiring discussions and, best of all, conversations that will bring a little light, community and learning to you during those long, cold winter nights!
Join one of their live talks and explore a variety of topics with some of The Royal Park’s greatest minds as they discuss a range of fascinating subjects, from the secret parts of the parks to the stunning wildlife found within.
WHEN: November 2021 – March 2022
TICKETS: Book your place here.
Kick-off the season with wreath-making and Christmas afternoon tea
Brighten up your home with a handmade Christmas wreath infused with warm colours and natural flourishes that your friends and neighbours will love.
Discover the historic origins of some of the Royal Park’s favourite festive traditions while crafting your very own seasonal wreath using natural materials collected from within the Royal Parks. You’ll be spoilt for choice, with lush greenery and mixed foliage with seasonal toppers such as orange slices and cinnamon sticks. A Christmas in London wouldn’t be completely without a scrumptious afternoon tea, all while you’re admire your newly made creation.
WHEN: Sunday 5th December 2021
TICKETS: Buy your ticket here.
Step back in time with a fairy-tale horse-drawn carriage ride
When it comes to Christmas in London, what could be more magical than a horse-drawn carriage ride in beautiful Richmond and Bushy Parks?
Enjoy the sounds of hoofs and bells, revel in the crisp air and watch the wildlife up close while you snuggle under a blanket sipping sloe gin or mulled wine and indulging in festive delicacies.
The experience will also include a unique behind-the-scenes visit to the working stables, and all proceeds will fund sustainable conservation initiatives with the shire horses in the Royal Parks.
Earn your Figgy Pudding with our Christmas runs
Give back this holiday season and join the Santa Fun Run in Bushy Park.
Dress up as Father Christmas and run 5K to raise money for the Princess Alice Hospice. The annual run is suitable for all ages and abilities, and you can complete the course however you want – walk, jog or run. A Santa suit is included in the price of a ticket, and under 12’s receive an elf hat.
If a 10K is more your speed, or you are looking for something in south-east London, then the Greenwich Meridian race is for you. Take in stunning views of the capital as you run in one of London’s most iconic Royal Parks.
Enjoy some downtime with the family on a guided Christmas walk
This Christmas, discover what makes each of London’s historic green spaces so special on a guided walking tour that lets you delve into the hidden history and nature of the Royal Parks. Unearth fascinating facts about underground rivers, native bats and secret pet cemeteries.
Whether you join us and go behind the railings of the Albert Memorial or explore the folklore and mythology of trees, you will experience the parks from a whole new perspective.
TICKETS: Book an upcoming walking tour here.
Buy sustainably grown Christmas trees and decorations
Visit Bushy, Greenwich or Richmond Park to take your pick from a variety of non-drop Christmas trees, including Nordman, Noble and Fraser Fir. The stalls will be a one-stop-shop for all of your festive needs, with baubles and fairy lights for sale, as well as wreaths and garlands.
Each tree is hand-selected to ensure that it is of the highest quality and comes with a care label and a unique code, so you can check the origin of your tree online.
- Bushy Park – Diana Fountain Car Park
- Greenwich Park – Blackheath Gate
- Richmond Park – Roehampton Gate Car Park
Proceeds from the sales will go towards maintaining and managing our 5,000 acres of historic parkland in London.
Christmas trees will be available for purchase from the following Royal Parks from 20th November to 24th December. Find more information here.
Watch the Peter Pan Cup on Christmas Day
Swimmers have been taking to the water in Hyde Park since 1864 to race against each other in an icy 100-yard swimming race before going home to tuck into their Christmas dinner. Author J M Barrie became associated with the Christmas Day race in 1903 and continued to present the Peter Pan Cup until 1932.
The race is only open to members of the Serpentine Swimming Club, but members of the public can watch for free.
WHEN: 25th December, 9 am
For more information visit the Serpentine Swimming Club website.
Think outside the box with unique Christmas gift ideas and cards
Spoil your loved ones with an array of calendars, cards, decorations, books, puzzles, tea towels and even honey collected by bees situated within Richmond Park!
Each gift provides a snapshot of what makes these two parks so special, and every image has been sourced by local photographers and artists. All proceeds will go towards maintaining and managing our 5,000 acres of historic parkland in London.
Escape the crowds and get to know the 178-year-old Brompton Cemetery
Did you know that there are around 205,000 people buried in the cemetery – including Sir Henry Cole, who is believed to have invented the Christmas card?
Whether you would like a guided tour of this historic setting, or you simply fancy some festive treats and a latte with a view, why not pay a visit to beautiful Brompton Cemetery?
Find out more from the Friends of Brompton Cemetery.