Averages for London in December

What's the Weather Like in London in December?

Temperature

December is one of the coldest times of the year to visit London, UK, when the temperatures plummet and the chance of rainfall is high. At this time of year, the average temperature for the month is 6°C which changes as the month progresses. Daily highs start off at around 9°C on December 1st, falling to 8°C by December 11th and decreasing a third time...

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What's the Weather Like in London in December?

Temperature

December is one of the coldest times of the year to visit LondonUK, when the temperatures plummet and the chance of rainfall is high. At this time of year, the average temperature for the month is 6°C which changes as the month progresses. Daily highs start off at around 9°C on December 1st, falling to 8°C by December 11th and decreasing a third time to 7°C by December 25th.

The daily high temperature very rarely exceeds 13°C or falls below 3°C, doing so only one day out of every ten. The daily low temperatures follow a similar pattern, starting off at 5°C on December 1st, before dropping down to 4°C on December 11th and falling once again down to 3°C by December 25th. The daily low temperatures very rarely fall below -1°C or exceed 9°C, doing so only one day in every ten.

The highest temperature which has ever been recorded in recent times in London in December is 16°C, with the lowest ever recorded temperature for this month being -4°C. Take a look at these temperatures alongside the average for the month – 6°C – and it's clear that they're the extremes and aren't what you should expect during your holiday.

The longest warm spell of 2012/2013 took place between December 20th 2012 and January 10th 2013 – that's 22 consecutive days with warmer than average temperatures. With 87%, December 2012 had the largest fraction of days that year which were warmer than average.

Rain

The average rainfall for December is 53mm – that's 10mm less than in November. Despite the decrease in amount, with rainfall occurring on 17 days throughout the month, it's still highly likely that you'll experience a shower or two during your visit, so make sure you pack an umbrella. Moderate rain is the most common type of precipitation for this time of year which tends to occur around December 1st.

Light rain is the second most likely type of rainfall you can expect during December and usually happens around December 5th. Overall, December 8th is most likely to see rainfall, with precipitation making an appearance of 64% of days around this date.

On the other hand, December 31st is the least likely to see any type of precipitation, with rainfall occurring in 59% of days around this date.

The likelihood of London experiencing some kind of precipitation during December decreases as the month goes on. On November 8th, the chance of rainfall is 64% which drops down to 62% by December 21st, before falling once again down to 59% by December 31st. If you don't want to chance any rainfall spoiling your holiday, you're best off booking your trip for the final two weeks of the month.

Visibility

Across December, the median cloud coverage remains a constant 81%. This figure does not vary substantially, beginning at 79% on December 1st, rising to 80% on December 11th, 81% on December 21st and rising once again to 82% by December 30th. On average, London is affected by foggy conditions on two days during this month.

Average Sea Temperature

At 11°C, the average sea temperature for the closest coastal location to London is very cold. As you'd expect, this frigid temperature is far too cold to enjoy a dip, no matter how hardy a swimmer you are.

Humidity

In December, the relative humidity for London ranges from 68% to 92%, rarely falling below 60% or rising above 98%. The air tends to be at its driest around December 1st, when the relative humidity drops below 72% three days out of every four.

On the other hand, December 22nd is most likely to be the day with the highest humidity, when it rises above 89% three days out of every four.

Average Sunshine Hours

London enjoys an average of three hours of sunshine each day throughout December – the same as in November. As the month progresses, the amount of sunshine hours and daylight hours stays roughly the same.

December 23rd is the shortest day of the month, with seven hours and 50 minutes of daylight, whereas December 2nd is the longest day of the month, with eight hours and 10 minutes of daylight.

The earliest sunrise takes place on December 1st at 7:44am, with the latest sunrise occurring on December 30th and 8:06am. The earliest sunset takes place on December 12th at 3:50pm, with the latest sunset occurring on December 31st at 4:01pm.

Wind

Across December, typical wind speeds tend to fluctuate between 1 m/s and 7 m/s, rarely rising above 10 m/s. The highest average wind speed of 5 m/s usually happens on December 1st, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 7 m/s.

The lowest average wind speed of 4 m/s tends to occur on December 22nd, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 6 m/s. During this month, the wind is most often coming out of the south west, followed by the west and then the east.

London Hotels in December

When it comes to affordable accommodation in London, the Premier Inn London Kew is a prime pick. Surrounded by lush gardens and within one mile of the M4 and two railway stations, this hotel provides the perfect getaway from hectic city life, whilst still being close enough to access the best attractions that London has to offer.

Accommodation comes in the form of single, twin, double, triple, quad, family and accessible rooms, each of which features satellite TV, tea/coffee making facilities, heating and private bathroom with shower, hairdryer and toiletries.

Within the hotel you'll find free WiFi access throughout, paid public parking, restaurant which serves an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet with full English, continental and vegetarian options, plus one bar. Children under 16 enjoy free breakfasts when staying with parents.

For something a bit more traditional, consider staying at Rhodes Hotel. Situated in a Georgian House only a stone's throw away from Hyde Park, this hotel offers single, double, triple and quad rooms, as well as standard, superior, deluxe and family rooms. Each guestroom features satellite TV with Freeview, WiFi access, tea/coffee making facilities and heating.

Deluxe rooms are significantly larger and come with a Whirlpool bath and fridge. Onsite services and amenities include dining room which hosts breakfast buffets with traditional English and continental options, free WiFi access throughout and limited parking. 

The three-star Best Western the Boltons is located in Earl's Court, close to the Royal Albert Hall, Natural History Museum and Hyde Park. Here guests can choose between single, double, twin and family rooms, each of which includes flat-screen satellite TV, iPod docking station, free tea, coffee and mineral water, free WiFi access and private bathroom with hairdryer.

Free WiFi access is available throughout the hotel, although there is no onsite restaurant or parking. Thankfully, there are loads of services and amenities in the local area, including Olympia Exhibition Centre, Earls Court Exhibition Centre underground stations.

Ibis London Euston St Pancras is set in a central location, metres away from Euston Station, a ten-minute walk from St Pancras International Station and Regent's Park and a 20-minute walk from Covent Garden and Oxford Street.

Accommodation is provided in the form of 380 non-smoking twin and double rooms, each of which includes tea/coffee making facilities, flat-screen TV with on-demand films, WiFi access and private bathroom with hairdryer.

Onsite amenities and services include Fogg's Restaurant and Bar which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, bar which serves soft drinks, alcohol and coffee, free WiFi access throughout and paid public parking.

If you're looking for an authentic British experience during your holiday in London, check out the Brewers Inn. This traditional inn is set in the heart of Wandsworth, close to the River Thames, Chelsea Harbour, mainline station and A205.

Here guests can choose between 16 double and twin classic and superior rooms, each of which includes flat-screen Sky TV, free WiFi access, tea/coffee making facilities and private bathroom with hairdryer.

The highlight of the hotel is Young's Pub which specialises in cask ales and British food. You'll also find 17 wines by the class, three champagnes, fruity ciders and European lagers on offer here. Other services and facilities onsite include free WiFi access throughout, free private parking and garden.

Bars and Restaurants

Experience a hearty, warming and traditional British classic: pie and mash. Mother Mash in Soho is the place to go for this tasty dish. For less than £10, choose your pie flavour, your preferred mash, and then pick from 5 types of gravy. The Aberdeen Angus steak pie is extremely popular, and the horseradish mash is thoroughly recommended.

The Wilmington in Clerkenwell is a superb example of British gastro pub fare. The beautiful 19th century public house is in a fantastic location, and has been recently refurbished to a modern standard. The highly praised Sunday roast dinners are a must try, and for quality, fresh and seasonal produce, the prices are reasonable (between £13-£18).

For an unforgettable culinary delight, experience British food at fine dining level at The Foyer At Claridge's located in the affluent area of Mayfair. Lavish and opulent decor, complimented by live piano music, be treated like royalty at this unforgettable restaurant. The menu changes regularly to take advantage of seasonal produce of the utmost quality. Expect high prices, but be assured that it will be worth every penny.

Explore one of London's oldest pubs, The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead. Built in 1585, this inn has survived the Great Fire of London and the Blitz. Here you'll find a perfect selection of craft beers, local brews and bottled beers and ales from around the world. Savour a drink and admire this beautiful time capsule, said to have been visited by Dick Turpin, Charles Dickens and William Hogarth.

London's trendy East End neighbourhoods are known for their fashionable hangouts, and Happiness Forgets is the place to go if you're looking for quiet cocktails after a heavy day of sightseeing and shopping.

This basement bar is recreated in the style of a Prohibition-era speakeasy and combines character with modern sophistication. It's a bit out of the way over in Hoxton, but the range of drinks make up for the journey. 

Things to do in London in December

Winter Wonderland is one of the best winter events which takes place in London. Held each year in Hyde Park throughout December and the beginning of January, Winter Wonderland features a large ice rink, an ice kingdom complete with sculptures, two circuses, giant observation wheel, various rides, Santa Land and the Arctic Circle.

There's also a superb Christmas market where you can find all sorts of festive artisan products as well as a festive assortment of food and drink from around the world. 

If you've got your heart set on ice skating during your visit, take a trip to Somerset House. This iconic building is home to a 900m2 ice rink throughout December and provides a stunning backdrop for couples and families gliding across the ice.

If you've never gone ice skating before, you'll be pleased to hear that there is an onsite skating school which offers lessons for adults and children alike. In addition to the ice skating, Somerset House also offers a rink-side bar and lounge which serves drinks and snacks throughout the day, as well as a Christmas shop where you can buy all sorts of festive treats.

Each December, the Geffrye Museum hosts a winter exhibition entitled Christmas Past. Suitable for visitors of all ages to enjoy, this exhibition allows you to step back in time and see how the Christmas traditions have evolved over the years, with the museum's period rooms decorated in various styles to reflect our changing tastes at this time of year.

As well as the exhibitions, there's also a programme of events and plenty of child-friendly activities – such as make your own Christmas decoration workshops and carols by candlelight.

Visitors who want to indulge in some retail therapy during their holiday in London should check out the Crafty Fox Market at Brixton's Dogstar. This festive market is open for one weekend each year in December and provides a wonderful opportunity to try unusual food, snap up some last-minute Christmas presents or find the perfect souvenir.

The Crafty Fox Market is completely free to enter and is held over three floors of an old Victorian pub where you'll find around 80 stalls selling everything from hand-made decorations and home-made pastries to designer handbags and jewellery. In addition to the shops, there are also several workshops where you can learn origami, knitting and card-making.

If you're a fan of the Nutcracker, don't miss the opportunity to catch it at the Royal Opera House in London in December. This immensely popular performance is held each year in the city and is sure to get adults and children alike into the Christmas spirit.

Thanks to its wonderful music, superb choreography and stunning costumes, the Nutcracker is one of the most popular ballets in the world. Suitable for adults and children aged five and over, this show is two hours and 15 minutes long and includes one 30 minute interval.

December events in London

Art

Kensington Dollshouse Festival

3rd December 2017

The Kensington Dollshouse Festival takes place at Kensington Town Hall and sees more than 170 of the best dolls’ house and miniature makers from around the world come together. During the festival you'll be able to chat to the artisans, admire their creations, purchase miniatures, take part in workshops and wander around exhibitions.

Website:

http://www.dollshousefestival.com/kensington/index.html

Event

Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

7th December 2017

The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony marks the start of the festive season in London. The tree is usually lit at 6pm during a ceremony led by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, accompanied by the St Martin in the Fields choir and the Salvation Army. The tree remains lit throughout the whole of the Christmas season, until January 5th the following year.

Website:

http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/whatson/trafalgar-square-christmas-tree-feature-event-4291.html

Religious

Christmas Day

25th December 2017

Christmas Day is a bank holiday in London, when almost all shops, supermarkets, bars and schools remain shut. On this day, many people enjoy a large meal with families and friends in their homes. After feasting, there are loads of things you can do in London on this day, including visiting the home of 'A Christmas Carol', admiring the Christmas lights throughout the city and checking out the exhibits at Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum in Piccadilly Circus, which is open 356 days a year.

Website:

http://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/things-to-do-on-christmas-day-in-london

Sports

Peter Pan Swimming Cup

25th December 2017

Every year at 9am on December 25th, the Peter Pan Swimming Cup is held at the south bank of the Serpentine. The tradition of this 100-yard swimming race first began in 1864 and continues to this day as members of the Serpentine Swimming Club meet together in Hyde Park before heading on over to the river where they'll race in the icy water which is usually below -4C at this time of year.

Website:

http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/event/10716901-peter-pan-cup

National Holiday

New Year’s Eve

31st December 2017

December 31st marks New Year’s Eve when parties, firework displays and loads more takes place all across London. Whilst Trafalgar Square used to be the focal point for the celebrations, the South Bank is now the best place to see free firework displays which last around ten minutes and begin immediately after Big Ben chimes midnight.

Website:

http://www.timeout.com/london/new-year

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