Lifestyle

12 Of The Best Santa’s Grottos In London To Visit This Christmas

It’s about that time of year when the big man comes into town on a sleigh with reindeers, and whether you’ve been naughty or nice, there are plenty of places where you can meet him this year. So without further ado, if you’re looking for things to do this Crimbo, then here are ten of the best Santa’s grottos in London to visit:

1. Santa’s Grotto at Alexandra Palace


Santa Claus is swapping the North Pole for North London this year as he sets up camp in the East Court this December at one of the best Santa’s grottos in London.

Little ones are treated to a meeting with Santa, a small pressie, plus the opportunity to have their photo taken with Santa in his festive grotto. Sounds like the Christmas cheer we all need. 

📍 You’ll find Santa’s Grotto at Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY.

🚇 Nearest station is Alexandra Palace. 

2. Storytime with Father Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall


Father Christmas once again returns to his secret London headquarters at the Royal Albert Hall, this year with one of his favourite books, ‘Tiny Reindeer’. In this very special festive experience, magic awaits your little ones as their beautiful porch is transformed into an enchanting North Pole street. 

You’ll be able to step inside a whimsical world where you’ll be greeted by Father Christmas and his merry Head Elf as they take families on a joyful journey in a charming Christmas storytime session featuring Chris Naylor-Ballesteros. Each story will also end with a child taking home their own gift.

📍 You’ll find Storytime with Father Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP.

🚇 Nearest station is Knightsbridge. 

3. Santa’s Grotto at Hamleys Regent Street


Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas! Now this place needs no introduction. A haven for kids both small and large at any time of year given the plethora of toys on offer to purchase, it’s now got even more magical to the in-house Santa’s grotto. Enchanted elves will be on hand to make your time with Jolly St Nick even more special, and there’s even a gift waiting for you during you visit. For something even more magical, make your way to the iconic Ritz Hotel for another Hamleys-infused grotto – ’tis the season for magic after all.

📍 You’ll find Santa’s Grotto on the third floor of Hamleys Regent Street, London, W1B 5BT.

🚇 Nearest station is Oxford Circus.  

4. Christmas at the London Transport Museum


All aboard the train to meet Santa Claus! Yep, you read that right. Santa is making his way to the London Transport Museum this year with a group of elves to see if you’re been naughty or nice! Hop aboard his interactive, Routemaster-inspired sleigh and see exactly what goods he’s brought to Covent Garden. Add in a card-making workshop and a light-filled, wintry trail and you’ve got a real dose of magic on your hands.

📍 You’ll find Christmas at the London Transport Museum at The Piazza, London, WC2E 7BB. 

🚇 Nearest station is Covent Garden. 

5. Sunday In Brooklyn


West London’s must-visit American hot spot, Sunday in Brooklyn has just launched its fantastically festive winter pop-up, ‘A Snowday in London’ – with a decked-out festive grotto and a selection of whimsical Christmassy cocktails throughout.

They’ve also got some fantastic dishes here including vegan wellington with sautéed chestnut mushrooms, fresh garlic and thyme and seasonal crumble with apples, whisky and clotted cream. Winner, winner.

📍 You’ll find Sunday In Brooklyn at 98 Westbourne Grove, W2 5RU.

🚇 Nearest stations are Bayswater and Royal Oak. 

6. Shrek’s Grotto

A picture of Shrek with a family at Shrek's Immersive Adventure, one of the best Santa's grottos in London
Photo: Shrek’s Adventure! London

London’s South Bank has a new guest coming to town, as Shrek’s Adventure! London announces that Shrek’s Grotto, inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s beloved franchise, will return to Far Far Away this festive season.  For kids and grown-ups looking for some much-needed yuletide cheer, the big green ogre has teamed-up with Santa to create a festive misadventure the whole family will love.

Guests who visit Shrek’s Adventure! London on selected days between December 3 and 24 will get the chance to meet their very own Shrek Santa and pose for a picture with him to mark the occasion. Plus, guests will also be given a candy treat – and it’s all included within the standard ticket price. Now that’s what we call Christmas spirit. 

📍 You’ll find Shrek’s Grotto at the Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB.

🚇 Nearest station is Waterloo. 

7. The Chelsea Christmas Grotto

Santa sitting in a decked out Winter's grotto in Chelsea this Christmas, one of the best Santa's grottos in London
Photo: Chelsea Christmas Grotto

The Chelsea Christmas Grotto opened on Saturday November 19, as part of a magical new family experience on Sloane Square, Chelsea. Cadogan has partnered with festival and events organiser, Underbelly to create a winter terrace under Sloane Square’s twinkling lights, featuring a traditional grotto, al fresco seating, festive food and drink along with a Bavarian Curling rink to enjoy one of the world’s oldest winter sports. 

Follow the festive Fir tree-lined path into the Chelsea Christmas Grotto, the perfect place to create unforgettable memories with little ones – following a meeting and story time with Santa, each child will be given a small gift by his elves. The grotto will also be scented by renowned parfumerie Diptyque (who have just opened a flagship store a snowball’s throw from the Grotto) to ensure it’s a treat for adults and children alike!

📍 You’ll find The Chelsea Christmas Grotto at Sloane Square, Chelsea, SW1.

🚇 Nearest station is Sloane Square. 

8. Hammersmith Christmas Market

Two women posing for a photograph dressed as sparkling deer at Hammersmith Christmas Market
Photo: Hammersmith Christmas Market

Get into the festive vibes at the Hammersmith Christmas Market for one day only – on Saturday December 03. The traffic-free event in King Street and Lyric Square will be full of more than 100 stalls filled with seasonal food, drink, and gifts plus entertainment, a Santa’s grotto, a Christmas tree and more.

Live performances here include the Abba tribute band ‘Abba Stars’, Christmas tunes and carols, and there’s elves, living lampposts and a Santa to boot too (of course).

📍 You’ll find Hammersmith Christmas Market at King Street and Lyric Square, W6.

🚇 Nearest stations are Hammersmith and Ravenscourt Park. 


Santaland, where all days are merry and bright, hosts the magical Santa’s Grotto once again at Winter Wonderland, plus countless food and drink options for all the family. New this year, Santaland is offering a special family value package which lets visitors enjoy four Santaland rides for just a tenner.

The year also sees the return of the UK’s largest open-air ice rink, Zippo’s Christmas Circus, Bar Ice and ice sculpting workshops too. You’re spoiled for choice at this fantastic addition to our Santa’s grottos in London roundup!

📍 You’ll find Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, W2 2UH.

🚇 Nearest stations are Hyde Park Corner and Marble Arch. 

10. Strand Palace


One of London’s most famous hotels, the Strand Palace, will be Christmas Central this year as it brings the North Pole to the capital for Christmas. The hotel is now preparing for the ‘bearded guy in the red suit’ to arrive, with elves putting up trees, decking, garlands and magic to befit the best grotto in town.

Entering Santa’s warm and authentic grotto, festive travellers will meet the man himself, and he won’t disappoint with a gift for every good little boy and girl. Plus, the fun doesn’t stop there… following the experience, a Christmas afternoon tea will be served in the opulent, Art Deco tea room at Haxells upstairs.

📍 You’ll find the Strand Palace at 372 Strand, WC2R 0JJ.

🚇 Nearest station is Temple. 

11. Hackney Christmas Market


The nights have drawn in and the temperatures are dropping so it’s time to don your big coat, fill up on festive treats and warm yourself through with some wintery brews at the Hackney Christmas Market. This famously conscious and cultured coming together of festive fun takes place at Bohemia Place Market in Hackney on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Saturday November 26.

You can also expect a world of wonderful workshops and entertainment to add extra fun to your visit including Santa’s grotto, Xmas Bingo, candle making, Sip N’Paint, FIFA World Cup screenings, Christmas trees galore and live music too.

📍 You’ll find Hackney Christmas Market at Bohemia Place, E8 1DU.

🚇 Nearest station is Hackney Central.

12. The Magic of Christmas at London Zoo


Little ones can join in festive crafts before meeting Santa in his magical grotto right at the very heart of the zoo. From 25 ft Christmas trees to festive food and drink (including marshmallow toasting around our cosy fire pits!) Keep your eyes peeled for the big man himself, as Santa will be popping up around the zoo throughout the day to feed some of our animals and if you’re lucky, you might just spot him!

📍 You’ll find The Magic of Christmas at the ZSL London Zoo at the Outer Circle, NW1 4RY.

🚇 Nearest station is Camden Town. 

So there you have it, a roundup of the best Santa’s grottos in London. So if you’re looking to meet the big man himself, then we hope this roundup has got you sorted!