In this article, you'll learn the following:
We gave you date ideas for a rainy day, and now it’s time for the Christmas edition. From cocktails and curling to light trails and Sunday lunch, we’ve partnered with Secret London to bring you inspo on some of the best festive date ideas in London.
1. Ice skate with a soundtrack at Somerset House
Ice skating is the ultimate festive dating activity. Why? Because if you’re good, you get to show off your skills. If you’re not, you’ve got an excuse to hold onto your date all night long! This winter, Skate Lates has a fantastic line up of DJs to see us through the holiday season. And like a scene from your favourite Christmas movie, the festive rink is just as delightful to admire from afar as it is to glide around on. The best place to do this is with a post-skating drink in the Skate Lounge bar.
How to get there: Catch the bus 341 or 76 from Waterloo Station / Waterloo Road (Stop F) to Aldwych. The address is Crown Works, Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA.
2. Pick up a Christmas tree at Petersham Nurseries
Whether you’re buying together or for your respective households, picking out the perfect tree is a wonderful Christmas ritual. And seeing as this is a date as well as necessary piece of Christmas admin, you might as well make a day of it right? Complete with a gorgeous gift shop, restaurant and tea room in the leafy haven of Richmond, Petersham Nurseries is the ultimate destination for a romantic wintery day out. Once you’ve selected your tree, prepare to become enamoured with their adorable festive wreaths and decorations.
How to get there: Catch the train from London Waterloo to Richmond, and then take the bus 65 from Richmond Station (Stop D) to The Dysart. It's 5 minutes walking from there. The address is Church Lane, Petersham Rd, Church Lane TW10 7AB.
3. Sip an indulgent hot drink at Melange Chocolate
This artisan chocolatier in Peckham has been satisfying south Londoners’ sweet cravings since 2008. The menu offers many different expressions of chocolate, including cakes, truffles and even ice cream, but it seems to be the hot stuff in particular that keeps customers coming back for more. And if drinking this luxurious elixir has you feeling inspired, you can sign up to a chocolate-making workshop for your next date night.
How to get there: Catch the bus 176 from Waterloo Station / Waterloo Road (Stop D) to Ondine Road (Stop F), and then walk 9 minutes. The address is 2 Maxted Road SE15 4LL.
4. Toast to the holiday season at The Perseverance
If ever there was a time to splash out on cocktails at one of London’s sultry and sophisticated speakeasy bars, it’s Christmas. But we’ll always say yes to saving a bit of money where we can! The Perseverance in Marylebone offers a range of their own signature concoctions, alongside classic house favourites (all of the best). And with this SWR reward, you can enjoy 15% off cocktails, as well as live jazz evenings, martini masterclasses and whisky tastings. We’ll definitely cheers to that.
5. Explore a magical lights trail at Christmas at Kenwood
Every year the lights at Christmas at Kenwood seem to get better and better. This year you can expect nothing short of Christmas magic, with internationally renowned, award-winning creative director Katherine Jewkes working alongside light art pioneers Luminism to create 13 new installations. What could be more romantic than strolling around the grounds of Kenwood house, illuminated by the glow of these enchanting displays?
How to get there: Catch the Northern line from London Waterloo to Belsize Park Underground Station, then walk 12 minutes. The address is Hampstead Ln, Hampstead Heath NW3 7JP.
6. Wes and Sandy’s pick of the week
South Western Railway’s winged friends, Sandy and Wes are always ready to share their top London recommendations. Sandy loves the arts, theatre and lunching with the girls, while Wes loves clubs, pubs and going to gigs with his mates. But one thing they will never disagree on is the importance of a little healthy competition. This Christmas they’ll be going beak to beak at Club Curling, King’s Cross’ answer to a fun and affordable festive outing. Games are just £8 per person, and you can hit the Club Curling bar after for a frosty cocktail and some live DJs after.
How to get there: Catch the Bakerloo line from London Waterloo to Oxford Circus, and then hop on the Victoria line to King's Cross St. Pancras. It's 10 minutes walking from there. The address is Coal Drops Yard N1C 4DQ.
7. Spend a Sunday in the Drapers Arms
Now that we’re feeling nice and Christmassy, we’d see no problem with going out for a roast every single weekend if you so desire. But however many decide to factor in over the festive season, one we very much recommend trying is the Drapers Arms. This cosy neighbourhood pub is a favourite among locals, and is a wonderful place to set up camp on a cold Sunday afternoon. Sharing roasts range from 35 day aged bone-in sirloin to seven hour shoulder of lamb or a whole roast chicken - with all the trimmings of course!
How to get there: Catch the Bakerloo line from London Waterloo to Oxford Circus, and then hop on the Victoria line to Highbury & Islington. It's 13 minutes walking from there. The address is 44 Barnsbury Street N1 1ER.
8. Take a wintery walk through Richmond Park
Whilst they may not be pulling a sleigh, the sight of galloping deer is sure to have you feeling festive. Home to over 630 red and fallow deer, this Richmond Park Nature Reserve is the perfect place to enjoy a long, wintery walk. The seven mile circular route offers grasslands, gardens and woodlands to explore, with plenty of cafes where you can stop and warm up with a hot drink.
9. Visit Gelupo’s Alpine Winter Ski Lodge
Twinkling fairy lights, faux fur throws and an irresistible menu of festive Italian treats - sounds like the ideal Christmassy date to us! You might know them for their exemplary gelato, but until January 7, Gelupo is taking things up a notch, transporting guests to the Alps for the holiday season. Enjoy the festive gelato flavours as they are or sandwiched between a Sicilian brioche bun, bomboloni doughnuts or as a melted chocolate affogato. There’ll also be plenty of boozy hot drinks on offer for a festive tipple.
How to get there: Catch the Bakerloo line from London Waterloo to Piccadilly Circus. It's 6 minutes walking from there. The address is 7 Archer Street W1D 7AU.
Save money by travelling with SWR
Now you’ve discovered these wellbeing activities to try, it’s time to plan your travel. Find cheap train tickets by travelling off-peak and enjoy further discounts with a Railcard. If you’re travelling in a group, you could benefit from GroupSave.
Don't forget to check out SWR Rewards to unlock rewards when you travel with us. Enjoy discounts on any of our rewards including days out, dining deals, theatre tickets, hotel stays and much more.