10 things to do in and around Richmond this Christmas
Quaint and charming, Richmond is a wonderful place to celebrate the festive season with plenty happening in and around the local area. From the spectacular light visuals at the world-famous Royal Kew Gardens to winter wildlife walks at the London Wetlands Centre, there are exciting festive activities for all the family to enjoy.
Why not combine your Christmas visit to Richmond with a Festive Escape package at The Petersham? Unwind with an overnight stay and dinner from our festive menu with a glass of Joseph Perrier Petersham Champagne to celebrate the season. We will even guarantee snowfall!
The following morning, relax with a lazy breakfast in our restaurant and enjoy panoramic December views of the River Thames.
1. Take a winter wildlife walk through the London Wetlands Centre
Believe it or not but the colder season offers some of the best opportunities to spot beautiful wild birds in the UK. This December, embark on a winter wildlife walk with the experts to spy flocks of over-wintering birds such as teal and wigeon at the London Wetlands Centre. Don’t forget to grab your gloves!
And that’s not all the centre has to offer this festive season. Bring the little ones to say hello to Santa in his magical grotto, or let them help out the man himself in the elves gift workshop.
2. Ice-skate at the historic Hampton Court Palace
Prepare to be wowed as you glide across the ice with Henry VIII’s former royal home Hampton Court Palace as your backdrop – what could possibly be more regal? If ice-skating isn’t your forte, fear not as those of all expertise are welcome. Grab your friends and family to skate in perhaps one of the most scenic ice rinks in the country!
Friday 23rd November 2018 to Sunday 6th January 2019
3. Laugh out loud at Peter Pan the pantomime at Richmond Theatre
Perched opposite the famous Richmond Green, the delightful red-bricked Richmond Theatre is well worth a visit and nothing says Christmas quite like a jovial pantomime. Catch the likes of BAFTA award winner Robert Lindsay as the mean Captain Hook and west-end frequenter Harry Francis as the boy who never grew up in this exciting adaption of Peter Pan.
Saturday 8th December 2018 – Sunday 6th January 2019
4. Enjoy a sing-song at a Christmas Carol service
Fully embrace the festive spirit and belt out some festive favourites at one of the many Christmas carol concerts dotted around Richmond, such as at the grand Hampton Court Palace or the charming Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington.
Friendly Carol Service at Holy Trinity Barnes
2.00pm – 3.00pm, Wednesday 12th December 2018
Carols by Candlelight, Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington
7.30pm, Saturday 15 December 2018
Courtyard Carol Singing, Hampton Court Palace
6.00pm & 8.00pm, Monday 17th December 2018 – Sunday 23rd December 2018
5. Go Christmas shopping in Richmond’s cobbled town centre
Visiting Richmond’s small but buzzy hub of shops, pubs and restaurants over the festive period is an experience in itself. Lit up with festive decor and lined with independent boutiques, bakeries and grocers, Richmond proves to be an ideal spot to spend a leisurely late afternoon seeking out those stocking fillers. Finish your day in one of Richmond’s snug old-English pubs to escape the chill – we recommend the cosy Cricketers on Richmond Green.
Richmond’s Christmas light switch-on
Thursday 22nd November 2018
6. Marvel at Kew Garden’s after-dark festive trail of lights
A UNESCO world heritage site, the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens put on a spectacular light trail throughout the grounds over the festive season. Amble past millions of sparkling lights, mind-boggling illuminations and dazzling performances of dancing laser beams, jets of light and colourful kaleidoscopic projections. Stop off en route for a warming cup of mulled wine or a soft marshmallow on a stick to roast on one of the roaring fire pits.
Thursday 22 November 2018 to Saturday 5 January 2019
7. Take a magical walk through Syon Park’s Enchanted Woodland
For a slightly quieter and more affordable alternative to the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens light trail, discover Syon Park’s Enchanted Woodland. Trace an illuminated trail winding around the lake and through the grand and historic Syon House.
Friday 9th November 2018 until Sunday 25th November 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only
8. Visit Ham House dressed for Christmas
The majestic 17th century Ham House sits proudly on the banks on the River Thames and is famously recognised for its eclectic collection of historic paintings, furniture and textiles. This December, Ham House will be given a magically festive makeover, with the grand rooms filled with atmospheric candles, glittering Christmas trees and verdant wreaths and garlands.
Learn how Ham House’s previous residents, the affluent Lauderdales celebrated Christmas in luxury lavish fashion.
9. Browse local Christmas fairs in the area
There’s nothing like browsing through festive fairs and markets to pick up knick-knacks and glitzy Christmas tree decorations. From arts and crafts at the fine Gothic castle of Strawberry Hill House to Twickenham’s pedestrianised Church Street fair featuring street food stalls and Punch and Judy, there are plenty of options to get you into the festive spirit.
Kingston Christmas market
Thursday 15th November 2018 – Monday 31st Dec 2018
Strawberry Hill house Christmas fair
Sunday 25th November 2018
Christmas Fair in Church Street, Twickenham
Sunday 9th December 2018
Sparkle: Contemporary Craft and Gourmet Food Fair, Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington
Thursday 7th December & Saturday 9th December
10. Dine amongst falling snow in our festive restaurant
This Christmas, we’ve gone all out with our festivities. In The Petersham Restaurant, expect a magical line-up of indulgent festive feasting alongside guaranteed snowfall, day and night! If you’re lucky you may even have the chance to meet Santa Claus himself – he pops by every day during lunch to help out cleaning the snow from our restaurant windows.
Head Chef Jean Didier’s carefully-curated festive three-course menu includes seasonal favourites such as rolled and stuffed Norfolk turkey breast with all the trimmings, slow cooked featherback steak and the vegetarian pumpkin and sage tortellini. Sweet treats include the indulgent Christmas pudding with brandy and crème anglaise and the playful chocolate ‘bauble’ – an orange mousse encased in hand-crafted chocolate served with hot vanilla rum and caramel sauce.
Plus, our grand Victorian building will be decked out with masses of twinkling lights, festive wreaths and towering Christmas trees.
Saturday 1st December 2018 – Monday 24th December 2018
Updated 25/10/18 By Ellie Swain