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I would like to present to my sister a journey to London. I found an economic flight around mid-December.

I have two questions:

  • What will the weather be? Do I have to expect to really cold temperature and feelings or they will be not too much different with respect to Italy?
  • Will I find some special decorations and feel the "Christmas spirit"?
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I think there is no month in that you can compare the italian and the british weather :) –  Dirty-flow Sep 19 '12 at 15:22
    
@Dirty-flow Of course :) I'm asking whether the weather will be not too cold with respect to italy or really colder :) –  Maverik Sep 19 '12 at 15:27
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I find wikipedia usually has statistics for weather. Claims average high for December 8.6 °C and average low 2.8 °C with 53.0 mm precipitation and 8.2 cm of snow (across the month). If you want better weather than that, edit the page. / It's unlikely you'll end up in snow, but it will be miserable. Plenty of lights on Oxford and Regent Streets and FREE Norwegian christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. Plenty of pubs for spirits everywhere (except in the City at weekends). –  Tom Hawtin - tackline Sep 23 '12 at 22:49
    
@lucaghera We get four seasons in one day here, anything goes. –  Simon Mar 7 '13 at 11:24
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4 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

As a native Londoner:

The weather in the UK is notoriously variable, so the only way to know for sure is to check nearer the time. But it's likely to be around freezing, maybe as low as -10C or as high as +10C. I would certainly bring some warm clothes. Snow is possible, but doesn't happen every year. If the weather is very cold or snowy, prepare for potential public transport delays.

London is normally dressed up for Christmas, yes. You should find Piccadilly Circus/Oxford Street in particular will have Christmas decorations up. Depending on how close it is to Christmas, prepare for potential crowding in some popular tourist areas (e.g. Oxford Street is often busy).

London has a lovely atmosphere around Christmas, though. Hope you enjoy your trip! Like all enormous cities, plenty will be happening. Time Out is a good place to look for events / restaurants / etc.

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Partial answer:

Arguably the best way to get non-subjective weather information is to use the actual numbers. A number of websites have records from many years gone by, one such site is Weather Underground.

There you can see the weather for all of December 2011, or why not December 2010. From my own quick look it seems that the temperature during day time is between 0 and 10 degrees C. And a rather high humidity, so wind chills should be taken in to consideration.

Good luck and have a great journey!

EDIT: I would assume from what I've heard that there are indeed lots of Christmas decorations about in London. But I've never been there myself.

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Thanks, the website you linked is really useful! –  Maverik Sep 20 '12 at 7:54
    
I think you mean 'non-subjective', or 'objective' :) –  Andrew Ferrier Sep 22 '12 at 22:18
    
@AndrewFerrier Indeed I do, thanks! –  Alendri Sep 22 '12 at 22:19
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There is normally a 'winter wonderland' in Hyde park with fairground rides and stalls:

The South Bank normally has a German style Christmas market.

There is also normally a couple of outdoor ice rinks one of which is at Somerset house which is very pretty.

If you are here for Christmas Day there is no public transport. And a reduced service normally on the 26th December.

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While the other answers tell you what temperatures you can expect, as a Londoner I think it is important to prepare for possible continuous rain, especially if you plan to be out in the open a lot.

Also, while it may snow, it is very rare for it to settle on the ground in central London.

From my observations, Italian and other Southern European tourists often wear quilted "puffa" coats which are great in dry or snowy cold conditions, but are rarely waterproof (I own one too!).

I'd advise a decent waterproof jacket with a hood and reasonably waterproof shoes for puddles. An umbrella is an option, but I find them inconvenient and tend to lose them.

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