What's on in December

The best events across our network

December is a time for celebrating with family and friends. And nowhere better can you find the best things to do this December than here - from markets and shopping to pantomimes and Christmas Wonderlands.

But it's not all about the traditional activities. Why not head out to see Santa on a steam train, or embrace the spiritual with a visit to Stonehenge for the Winter Solstice? Check out our list of some of the best things to do to get you in the spirit on the South Western Railway network.

Santa Specials on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway

When? Weekends through December
Our nearest station: Smallbrook Junction

Make your weekend magical with a visit to see Santa, as well as enjoy a 10-mile trip through the Isle of Wight countryside. At Havenstreet, explore the Christmas market, entertainment and magic shows, as well as seasonal treats in the refreshment rooms.

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Chanukah in Trafalgar Square

When? Sunday 22 December, 14:30-16:30 (Lighting Ceremony at 15:50)
Our nearest station? London Waterloo (15-minute walk, or take the Bakerloo or Northern line to Charing Cross)

Thousands of people head to Trafalgar Square each year to celebrate the lighting of the first candle of the menorah for Chanukah in the Square. A very family-friendly event, you'll find stalls, entertainment, and food to enjoy. Rachel Creeger (It's no job for a nice Jewish girl) hosts his year's event.

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Trafalgar Square Christmas tree lighting ceremony

When? Thursday 5 December, 18:00
Our nearest station: London Waterloo (15-minute walk, or take the Bakerloo or Northern line to Charing Cross)

For more than 60 years, the people of Norway have thanked the UK for their role in liberating the country during the second world war - by sending us a 25-metre high Norwegian spruce to sit pride of place as London's Christmas tree. The tree is picked years in advance by a delegation including the Lord Mayor of Westminster and the British Ambassador to Norway.

The tree is decorated in the traditional Norwegian style - with vertical strings of energy-efficient lights - in time for its lighting ceremony at Trafalgar Square in December.

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Ginchester Christmas Market

When? 7 December 2019
Our nearest station: Winchester

Winchester Cabinet Rooms host this unique Christmas market - covering everything spirit-related! For £15 you'll have full access to the event and a tasting glass for sampling. Plus, you'll find cocktails and festive G&T’s at the Cabinet Rooms bar - perfect for an afternoon out.

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Visit Ginchester Christmas market with SWR

London Prosecco Festival

When? 14 December

Our nearest station: London Waterloo (take the Bakerloo line to Edgware Road)

Head to St Mary's Events Venue for the London Prosecco Festival, where you'll find live music, Italian street food, and a handpicked selection of gins & proseccos from around the world. You'll also get a souvenir guide, and a prosecco glass to take home with you. A perfect day out for the fizz-lover in your life.

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Visit London Prosecco Festival with SWR

Winter Solstice at Stonehenge

When? 22 December
Our nearest station: Salisbury (short bus ride to Stonehenge)

Join other people at Stonehenge to mark the Winter Solstice - the shortest day of the year. Salisbury has long been the centre point of the celebration, with druids, pagans and wiccans gathering to witness first light of the dawn - known as Ostara.

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Visit the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge with SWR

Christmas Racing Weekend at Ascot

When? 20 - 21 December
Our nearest station: Ascot

A festive two-day finale to the 2019 racing season - with special festive menus, winter cocktails, mulled wine, brass bands, dodgems and even more after the racing finishes. The Christmas Family Raceday on Saturday features visits from Father Christmas, a polar bear, animal meet-and-greets and much more.

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Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre

When? 6-8 December
Our nearest station: Hampton Court

Head to Henry VIII's favourite residence for this festive food weekend in the palace grounds. With artisan producers, chefs and demos (including Michael Roux Jr and Alex Hollywood), live music and more - it's a great day out to make the most of the impressive palace and to enjoy some Christmas treats too.

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A Winter Wild Swim

When? Every Sunday through December at 11:00
Our nearest station: Bournemouth

Wild swimming has become more and more popular, with numerous health benefits associated with it. The Bournemouth Spartans are a regular group that partake in sea bathing - every Sunday morning from October until April. Head to the changing rooms at Boscombe Pier for 11:00 to enjoy a particularly bracing dip.

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Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Make the most of reduced price entry with your train ticket

Discover

Strawberry Hill House

Explore Horace Walpole's "little gothic castle", just 5 minutes from Strawberry Hill station

Explore

Azzurro Italian Bar + Kitchen

Enjoy 2FOR1 on pizza and pasta when you purchase a drink

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More offers

Discover over 150 2FOR1** offers including entry to attractions, restaurants, theatres, exhibitions and many more when you travel by train to the capital!

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