How to have a capital Christmas

It might be the most wonderfully busy time of the year, but don't forget to celebrate the Yuletide.


For those lucky enough to find themselves in and around London over the holiday period you'll be spoiled for choice on what to see and do from seasonal markets and Santa's grottos to ice-skating and musical shows.


So why not pack up the car and venture round the capital this Christmas.


Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Father Christmas might be an extremely busy man at this time of year, not least for all the personal appearances he'll be putting in around the London area. The Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is one such place where you'll be able to visit Santa in his grotto.


And that is not all, as visitors to this annual extravaganza can also put their skates on and zip round an ice rink, while Zippos Circus wows the crowds with Christmas-themed performances. On top of all this there's a great selection of gift and food stalls selling the usual winter warmers such as mulled wine.


Winterville, Victoria Park

Wintervilleis a new event coming to Victoria Park in East London this Christmas, promising to celebrate the season with a twist and a lot more grown-up appeal.


Opening on 2 December for the month, in an amongst the usual suspects such as food stalls and a fairground, visitors are also promised club nights in a roller disco, live music in a Spiegeltentand alternative comedy.


Lantern Parade and Lights Switch-On, Greenwich

If you're looking for an event that marks the start of the Christmas countdown, take the family south of the river to Greenwich to witness the Lantern Parade.


On the 26 November, local schoolchildren will take part in a procession from the Old Royal Naval College to Greenwich Market, with their handmade lanterns.


Once at the market, the parade will be joined by CBBC presenter Sarah Jane Honeywell, who will switch on the Christmas illuminations at Greenwich with some help from local pantomime characters, and even a visit from Santa.


- For those looking for car hire, we have several pick-uplocations round London, such as Marble Arch.