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Average Weather in London During December
In December, the London weather gets colder, and the days get shorter. But, the city comes alive with Christmas light displays – from Oxford Street to the Covent Garden. You can wander through Christmas markets to shop and celebrate the most magical time of the year in London.
So, if you’ll be in London in December, it’s best to know what the weather is like.
In this post, we reveal what the weather is like in London during December.
What Are the Average December Temperatures in London?
In early December, daytime temperatures are high between 9°C and 10°C. But overnight, the temperatures drop between 5°C to 6°C. The average daytime temperatures range between 5 to 7°C (40 F), while average overnight temperatures are 3°C (37 F).
In late December, the average daytime temperature ranges between 6°C to 7°C (43F – 46F). Overnight temperatures during this period range from 3°C to 4°C (36F – 39F).
The highest temperature ever recorded in December in London was 17°C. For 18 days during December, the city experiences Sunny or partly sunny days. Winter in December gets very cold with temperatures dropping to 1°C. If you plan to visit London in December, put on layers to protect yourself from the cold.
How Much Rain and Sun in London During December?
The Sun is low in December and averages about 8 hours. December is the most humid month in London with an average relative humidity of 85% to 90%. Skies are partly overcast or fully overcast with 9 to 10 days experiencing 37mm of precipitation. This falls in the form of light to moderate rain. The city also experiences snow but for about 1 to 3 days.
December is also the month with the lowest UV index with an average maximum of 2. A UV index of 2 or less is a low health risk. But people with sensitive skin, babies and children should always be protected from prolonged sun exposure. Near midday, solar radiation is the most powerful. To protect yourself – eyes, ears, neck and face – use a wide brim hat. Remember, the reflection of snow doubles the intensity of the Sun’s UV radiation.
What to Wear in London During December?
Prepare yourself weather-wise as temperatures can drop significantly, especially at night. Having multiple layers will keep you warm. You also need:
- Warm Trousers
- Long-sleeved pants
- Waterproof/Winter boots
- Warm coat
If you’re celebrating the holidays in London, don’t forget to pack your festive clothing.
Things You Can Do in London in December…
London is busy all year round, but December is a peak travel time. The city gets 30 million travellers every year. As one of the most visited cities globally, visitors flood the most popular attractions, Christmas markets, ice rinks and more. Since the city gets transformed every winter, there are lots of activities to do.
Here are the top 10…
1. Christmas lights on Regent Street
Regent Street is home to the largest lights installation in London. Named “The Spirit of Christmas” they feature suspended spirits and unite Regent Street’s stores under a grand canopy of lights. Inspired by Regent Street’s Christmas lights, they glow and shine warming up people’s hearts. They also fill them with the holiday spirit.
Each of the sixteen spirits is a piece of three-dimensional sculpture. Handcrafted in London, the spirits’ 17-metre wing is usually studded with LED lights in varying shades of white. They twinkle in harmony creating a coordinated ripple effect.
The lights run from Oxford Circus to Waterloo Place at the southern end of Regent Street. There are complementary schemes across Jermyn Street and the St James’s Market. This makes the street a perfect place to stroll as the light illuminates the street from 3:30pm to midnight.
2. Explore the Christmas Markets
At the top London Christmas markets, you can find the perfect gifts for family and friends. You can also enjoy plenty of street food. London hosts some of the top Christmas markets. One of the most popular Christmas markets is the Winter Wonderland Hyde Park. Over 100 wooden cabins are overflowing with gifts. You can find handmade crafts, jewellery and more.
Another Christmas market you should explore is the Greenwich market. It has more than 150 stalls selling a wide range of gifts. They include crafts, fashion items, stocking fillers and more. If you wander around the ancient maritime neighbourhood, enjoy some festive goodies.
Westfield London is a one-stop-shop for all your Christmas gifts. With over 250 shops and 70 cafes plus restaurants, Westfield is the best place to shop and eat. The malls host high street retailers and major department stores such as John Lewis.
3. Go Ice Skating
The Natural History Museum has the most enchanting ice rink in London as you can skate beneath thousands of twinkling lights. The open-air ice rink is usually nestled in front of the South Kensington museum. Surrounded by thousands of fairy lights, skating sessions run between 10 AM to 9 PM.
The Somerset House is another fantastic ice skating rink. It runs throughout the day and evening with special music events. This year, the Somerset House may bring back Skate lanes but with different artists.
4. Enjoy a Pantomime
At the Greenwich Theatre, follow Sylvia and Bonnie on their brave adventure as they travel through snow wastelands. To do so, book your seat to “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.” The Palace Theatre will host a West End Musical Christmas. This festive show comes from West End Musical Drive-In producers.
Watch a Christmas Carol – The Musical Staged Concert complete with music while basking in a cosy atmosphere. You can also squeeze yourself into seven classic pantomimes at the Garrick Theatre. For 70 minutes, you can watch Olivier nominee, Jeff and Dan bring on the hilarious Potted Panto.
5. Borough Market
Every week, hundreds of traders gather to sell artisan chocolate, hand-reared pork, homemade bread, wine and more. Located in the heart of London, the Borough Market atmospheric passageways and halls are a pleasure to explore.
Established in 1756, the Borough Market has more than 1,000 years of history. A few decades ago, it was a wholesale market. Today, it’s run by a charitable trust and acts as a beacon for sustainable food chains.
6. See a West End Show
Escape the blistering cold in London and watch some of the best shows in the world. At the West End, you can watch shows such as:
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- Prince of Egypt
- Moulin Rouge
- Phantom of the Opera
- Lion King
- Book of Mormon
- Les Misérables (the longest-running show at West End.)
London experiences fewer visitors in Winter. As such, tickets to West End shows are lower making it the perfect time to watch the shows.
7. Celebrate at the Magical Ski Lodge
The Ski Lodge London offers one of the most unique ways to celebrate the festive season. As London’s original winter party venue, the Ski Lodge’s Wood Deck gets transformed into a magical ski lodge with:
- Ski racks
- Pine trees
- Snowmen and more
The centrepiece features a selection of beverages, including flavoured vodkas. To combat the cold, enjoy mulled wine, mugs of steaming hot chocolate cocktails, and big woolly rugs. This will keep you warm and lovely during the winter nights.
8. Warm Your Bones With Tea at Ritz
Enjoy a selection of freshly baked scones, finely cut sandwiches and tea at the Ritz in London. Afternoon tea is usually served daily between 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm, 7.30pm. The tea is usually priced at £55 for adults and £35 for children. While it’s slightly pricey, you can find vouchers online, which can save you money.
9. Go on a Christmas Tour
Go on a tour through London and see the very best of Christmas decorations and fairy lights. It’s free to take the tour but on foot. You can wander through the West End to see the oldest working theatre and discover the world’s longest-running musical. Walk down cobbled streets, and browse the stores selling menswear, womenswear, jewellery, and more.
10. Meet the Reindeer
Every year at the Convent Garden, real reindeer are always brought for visitors to see. Since they are busy helping Santa, they are only available on Saturdays from noon to 4pm. Around the Covent Garden, there are over 115,000 Christmas lights and decorations illuminating the popular plaza. The market buildings and cobbled piazza form the best backdrop for the 60ft Christmas tree. This is a perfect setting for photos.