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Festive fun with Thameslink this winter

Five people smiling and drinking mulled wine

Discover enchanting winter experiences available through the Thameslink network, offering a delightful way to embrace the festive period.

Whether you're into ice skating or indulging in delicious treats, we have hand selected a range of options to cater all preferences and are conveniently accessible by train.

Santa Clause reading a book

Father Christmas’ Grotto at St. Pancras International

This enchanting experience offers a chance to meet Father Christmas, enjoy a story, share wishes, and receive a token gift. Plus, there's fun and games with playful elves. Perfect for busy families!

Where: St. Pancras International station

When: Friday 17 November – Saturday 23 December 2023

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Santa and two elves in the Brighton i360

Brighton i360 - Santa in the Sky

Experience Christmas magic at Brighton i360 in December. Meet Santa and his elves during a 25-minute festive pod journey. Plus, enjoy a festive-themed cream tea afterward. Each child receives a special gift as part of the experience.

Nearest station: Brighton

When: Saturday 2 December – Sunday 24 December 2023

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A clock tower lit up at night

Brighton - Burning the Clocks

‘Same Sky’, the largest community based arts charity in the Southeast, hosts ‘Burning the Clocks’ in which the city of Brighton comes together to celebrate the shortest day of the year. Local residents craft their own lantern using kits provided by the charity, then join a parade through the city. Afterward, they place these lanterns into a bonfire on Brighton beach to symbolize the end of the year celebrating the changing of the seasons. The event provides a moment for contemplation and reflection.

Nearest station: Brighton. Event starts at New Road at 6:30pm and arrives at Madeira Drive at approximately 7.15pm

When: Thursday 21 December

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Christmas lights in Greenwich

Greenwich Market Christmas lights

Experience the dazzling Greenwich lantern procession, followed by the enchanting moment when the Greenwich Market Christmas lights illuminate the night.

Children from local schools will parade their handcrafted lanterns along a route that encompasses the Old Royal Naval College grounds, Cutty Sark Gardens, and culminates in the Market for the grand Christmas countdown and the ceremonial lighting of the festive lights.

Afterward, indulge in some Christmas shopping and enjoy delightful treats from an array of charming stalls and shops, all extending their hours until 6pm.

Admission to this event is free.

Nearest station: Greenwich

When: Wednesday 15 November 2023, 4:00pm – 6:00pm

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Photo by Ed Simmons

Close up of Christmas baubles on a christmas tree

Botanic Gardens Christmas lights

Visit Cambridge Botanic Lights at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. These enchanting light displays will bring the garden to life at night, showcasing its beloved features like the fountain, lake, and glasshouse range while creating captivating scenes of colour and light throughout the landscape.

This exciting new experience is perfect for families looking to explore the garden after dark, friends seeking a fun night out, and couples in search of a romantic adventure in the city centre. The Garden Café will be open, and you can enjoy hot drinks and snacks midway through the trail to keep warm and add to the enjoyment of the evening.

Nearest station: Cambridge

When: Friday 1 December – Friday 22 December 2023

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A young boy in the audience

Peter Pan on Ice

Embark on a magical journey to Neverland with Peter Pan on Ice this Christmas at Alexandra Palace. See your favourite characters from J.M. Barrie's classic tale come to life, featuring impressive skating, aerial stunts, and plenty of pixie dust. The cast includes talented performers of all ages, including West End professionals. Perfect for children aged three and up. Don't miss this spectacular event!

Nearest station: Alexandra Palace

When: Friday 8 December – Monday 11 December 2023

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People dressed up as Santa while ice skating

Christmas Ice Disco

Visit Alexandra Palace's indoor ice rink for an unforgettable night of festive fun. Step into a winter wonderland with enchanting lights, dance to your favourite Christmas tunes, and glide across the ice beneath a massive Christmas tree as snowflakes twirl around. Please note, ages 14 and up are welcome to enjoy this magical experience.

Nearest station: Alexandra Palace

When: Thursday 14 January 2023 – Wednesday 3 January 2024

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Aerial view of Queens House Ice Rink

Queen’s House Ice Rink

Enjoy the magical Queen's House Ice Rink in the heart of Greenwich's UNESCO World Heritage Site. This charming outdoor ice rink is surrounded by historic architecture and provides views of Greenwich Park to the south and Canary Wharf to the north, creating a picturesque winter wonderland with stunning London views.

Nearest station: Greenwich

When: 23 November 2023 - 7 January 2024

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A woman skating at Brighton Royal Pavilion

Royal Pavilion Ice Rink

Embrace an eco-friendly Christmas at the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink in Brighton. This magical ice rink is adorned with twinkling lights and is powered by green energy.

The spacious main rink is ideal for confident skaters, while the separate beginners' rink with penguin skate aids is a safe place for young skaters to learn. If you'd rather watch and enjoy the festive ambiance, there's no cost to spectate from the rink-side Bar & Kitchen or outdoor viewing areas.

Nearest station: Brighton

When: Saturday 28 October 2023 – Sunday 7 January 2024

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A girl looking into a shop window at Christmas

Gingerbread trail in St Albans

Embark on a delightful gingerbread adventure in the heart of St Albans. Explore the city centre and hunt for ten charming gingerbread characters hidden in shop windows. As you find them, jot down their names on your Trail Sheet. Once you've completed the sweet mission, fill in your information, and drop your trail sheet into Santa's post box inside the St Albans Museum + Gallery on St Peter's Street. Get ready to have a gingerbread-tastic time while exploring and discovering the holiday spirit in this lovely city!

Nearest station: St. Albans

When: Friday 17 November – Saturday 23 December 2023

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A boy dressed as an elf in Santas Post Office

St Albans Christmas Cracker

St Albans ushers in the festive shopping season with an exceptional day out for the whole family. Enjoy musical and theatrical performances by local choirs and theatre groups, explore market stalls offering a variety of crafts, games, and delectable street food. And don't forget to visit Santa's magical grotto!

Nearest station: St Albans

When: Sunday 19 November 2023

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Aerial view of Brighton Royal Pavilion ice rink at night

Christmas at the Royal Pavilion

Experience the enchanting world of Christmas at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, making its grand return for 2023. Immerse yourself in the opulence of elaborately adorned trees and delve into the fascinating history of Royal Christmases.

Get ready for the mischievous Royal Pavilion mice to make a festive comeback, all set to share holiday joy. Can you spot them on our free family trail?

Visit our 2for1 page to get great offers when visiting.

Nearest station: Brighton

When: Saturday 18 November 2023 to Tuesday 2 January 2024

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Photo by David Levene

Aerial shot of South Bank London at Christmas

Winter Festival at South Bank

Experience the South Bank's riverside magically turned into a winter wonderland, where a blend of world cuisines and an artisan Christmas market converge in one dazzling setting at Southbank Centre's Winter Festival. Stroll along the Thames, where traditional wooden chalets offer beautiful stocking stuffers at the winter market, or savour cheese-based delights and warm mulled wine from the stalls.

Nearest station: London Bridge

When: Thursday 2 November – Tuesday 26 December 2023

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