For festive inspiration, see our guide to London at Christmas

Have a read

Catch up on some of our 2018 highlights:

Things to do

CHRISTMAS IN LONDON: Keep the festivities going with our guide to spending the Christmas period in London.

WEEKEND WALKS: This week is practically one long weekend anyway, so grab your walking boots and head out on one of our weekend walk routes. See a part of London you haven’t visited before, and best of all, it’s free.

PUB: Been looking for an excuse to check out a new watering hole? Our guide to the best pubs in London is on hand to show you the best boozers in your area — heck, why not try a few out? Check opening times before you go as they may vary from usual this week.

ICE SKATING: Get out and about on one of London’s many ice skating rinks, twirling and pirouetting to your heart’s content at venues ranging from central London rooftops to outer London palaces. Not all will be open today — check before you go.

CHRISTMAS FESTIVALS: Several of London’s Christmas festivals — and yes, there are many — continue into the new year, with fairgrounds, ice rinks, food markets and other entertainment to banish the post-Christmas blues.

FREE CHRISTMAS EVENTS: Christmas is an expensive time of year in London, so indulge in these festive things to do that won’t cost a penny — though of course there are plenty of ways to part with your money if you’re so inclined.

Moana takes centre stage at Disney On Ice

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: Head into central London and hop on a bus to see London’s Christmas lights without having to walk too far. Peer down on the sale shopping crowds as you glide through Oxford Street, Regent Street and Piccadilly with the lights overhead. Here’s an idea of what to expect.

FINDING FITZROVIA: Charles Dickens, Bob Dylan, Virginia Woolf and Marie Stopes are some of the famous faces to have frequented Fitzrovia. Follow in their footsteps on this walking tour, and hear stories of bad behaviour, and inspiring developments in medicine and science. Warren Street station, £10-£12, book ahead, 11am

SEVEN NOSES TOUR: Discovering London tour guide Peter Berthoud offers a special, extended version of his excellent Seven Noses of Soho tour — with added pub stops. He guides you through the streets of Soho in search of the seven noses rumoured to bring infinite wealth to anyone who finds them all (yes please!), plus he shows some other hidden gems of the area, including a bonus ear. Starts at Covent Garden station. £29.50, book ahead, 12pm-3.30pm

HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGES: Experience Richmond Park from the luxury of a horse-drawn carriage. Take a 60 minute ride through the park and then get a behind the scenes tour of the working stables. £125 for two, book ahead, 12.30pm (until 30 December)

RUMPELSTILTSKIN: Aimed at ages 8+, Southbank Centre’s retelling of Rumpelstiltskin uses rock music, magical mayhem and Aussie cabaret legend Paul Capsis to bring the story to life on stage. £20-£40, book ahead, 2pm (runs until 6 January)

LEARN TO BALLROOM: Put your dancing shoes on and take part in a free ballroom dancing session, where you’ll learn the basic steps. Free, just turn up, 3pm. The lesson is followed by a social dancing session, which dancers of all levels are welcome to attend. Free, just turn up, 4pm

Watch Rumpelstiltskin at Southbank Centre

DISNEY ON ICE: Some of our happiest childhood memories involve a bucket of popcorn, a huge Slush Puppy, and a Disney On Ice show. The theme this year is ‘Dream Big’ (so far, so Disney), with Moana taking centre stage, joined by Rapunzel, Frozen’s Anna, Elsa and Olaf, plus Jasmine, Ariel, Belle and other Disney classics.  The O2 Arena (North Greenwich), from £32.25, book ahead, 6.30pm (runs until 6 January)

GRACELAND: The London African Gospel Choir performs Paul Simon’s Graceland album in its entirety, backed by a live band. The original album was recorded in Johannesburg with South African musicians, over a period of two weeks in 1986. The choir performs some of its own songs too. Jazz Cafe (Camden), £20, book ahead, 7pm

Take a look at our guide to things to do in London between Christmas and New Year for other ways to keep busy this week.

Good cause of the day

There are many good causes worthy of support, but one that comes to the fore at this time of year is homelessness. If you’ve got a bit of cash spare, why not donate to a homeless charity to help someone less fortunate. Options include sponsoring a room at Centrepoint, providing a hostel welcome package at St Mungo’s, or paying for a meal or a bed at Hackney Winter Night Shelter — just a handful of the many worthy charities and causes out there.

from Londonist