Christmas Events | Historic Royal Palaces

It’s set to be another Christmas extravaganza at Historic Royal Palaces, with a range of magical events guaranteed to get everyone in the festive sprit. From taking a spin on the ice to enjoying traditional Christmas carols, a visit to a palace should be a must on everyone’s list this year!

2018 Christmas events

Hampton Court Palace will be filled with yuletide cheer, as it celebrates Christmas traditions from the past and present through the eyes of its Edwardian grace-and-favour residents. Join in the fun with Christmas Present, Christmas Past (1 December – 6 January), a new live offer which will transport visitors back to 1906, where the palace community are preparing for Christmas. From singing carols around the tree to telling spooky ghost stories, discover the centuries old traditions they’re drawing upon to inspire their festive play. Meanwhile, in the kitchens, the historic cookery team will be busy at work with live culinary demonstrations, showcasing the evolution of Christmas dinner as we know it today.

The popular Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre (7 – 9 December) will return this year, with the building’s historic courtyards set to be filled with over 80 stalls featuring mince pies, mulled wine and a host of treats guaranteed to set mouths watering. Visitors can also enjoy the backdrop of Henry VIII’s former home as they skate back in time with the return of the ice rink to the palace’s Tudor West Front (23 November – 6 January).

Get into the seasonal spirit at the Tower of London as the famous fortress plays host to a Victorian Christmas. From 27-31 December, visitors will discover how modern impressions of Christmas were shaped in the era of Dickens and Queen Victoria as the Tower comes alive with all the fun and festivities of the mid-19th Century. This year the popular ice rink also returns, offering the chance to soak up the holiday atmosphere and stunning medieval backdrop from the historic dry moat. Meanwhile Carols by Candlelight promises to hit all the right notes with an evening of traditional Christmas hymns performed in the atmospheric Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula.

At Kensington Palace – the birthplace of Queen Victoria – experience a royal Victorian Christmas with a personal twist as the palace is transformed with music, lanterns and decorations, with fun for all the family. On selected dates visitors will be able to meet Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and discover why yuletide was such an important time for their family. Family-friendly events include creating your own cornucopia Christmas decoration (1-2 December) and designing your own festive card (8-9 December). Throughout December there’s also the chance to delve into the history of Christmas presents in a series of expert talks, exploring how the Victorians shaped some of our most famous traditions. Finally, enjoy seasonal music from the Prince Regent Band (27 December – 1 January), playing traditional Christmas tunes on original Victorian brass instruments.

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink

23 November – 6 January

Tickets: £14.50 adult / £12.50 concessions / £10.50 child / £46.00 Family Ticket (2 adult + 2 children) / £42.00 Family Ticket (1 adult + 3 children)

Christmas Present, Christmas Past

1 December – 6 January

Included in palace admission

Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre

7 – 9 December

Included in palace admission

Courtyard Carol Singing

17, 18, 19 & 23 December

Tickets: £10 adult / £5 children

Tower of London

Tower of London Ice Rink

23 November – 6 January

Tickets: £14.50 adult / £12.50 concessions / £10.50 child / £46.00 Family Ticket (2 adult + 2 children) / £42.00 Family Ticket (1 adult + 3 children)

Victorian Christmas

27 – 31 December

Included in Tower of London general admission

Carols by Candlelight

8 December

Performance times 18:00pm and 20:00pm

Tickets: £20.00

Kensington Palace

Victorian Christmas

27 – 31 December

Included in palace admission

Meet Victoria and Albert

1 – 4 and 7 – 11 December

Included in palace admission

Create a Victorian Christmas Decoration

1 and 2 December

Included in palace admission

Create a Victorian Christmas Card

8 and 9 December

Included in palace admission

Talk: The making of Christmas Present

6, 13, 15, 20 December

Included in palace admission

Prince Regent Band

27 December 2018 – 1 January 2019

Included in palace admission

Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle. We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit

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