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Christmas in London – Twelve Day List
Dec 18th 2012 | Written by Ben Wallace

Christmas in London – Twelve Day List

Now I always believed that the twelve days of Christmas started on the 13th of December (twelve days before the 25th). Apparently not; the gods of Wikipedia tell me that the days in the song begin on Christmas Day and carry on through into early January.

But whilst the song is great fun [read catchy as hell], its origins are from 18th century France and are therefore clearly a little out of touch with 21st century London. So we have updated this old favourite for the twelve days of Christmas in London.

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me…

Christmas presents

25th Dec – A Partridge in a Pear Tree

It’s Christmas Day so there is only one thing to do, even in this great city – stay in and relax with friends and family, eat guilt free and drink the peculiar liqueurs that only see the light of day during the Christmas Season.

26th Dec – Two Turtle Doves

Primrose HillTwo turtle doves represent devotion and loving kindness, so today grab your better half, escape the family and head out for a Christmas date. And what better than a romantic walk in the crisp winter air to burn off those Christmas calories. Our recommendation is the wonderful Primrose Hill with stunning (bird’s eye!) views of the city.


27th Dec – Three French Hens

Sick of turkey? Sounds about time to interest yourself in the French hens and get to a Gallic restaurant. But, after all the expense of the Christmas season you probably don’t want to splash out; head to Le Mercury on Upper Street for French taste on a skint London budget.

28th Dec – Four Colly Birds

The thing that they wanted since August has, in just three days, lost its appeal and the kids need entertainment. Well, why not tire them out with a trip to the London Wetland Centre. Now I always thought it was four calling birds, and I am not entirely sure what a Colly Bird is, but you’ll see plenty more than four birds at the wetland centre. In addition there are great walks and educational and interactive exhibits which should tire even the most sugar-high kid.

29th Dec – Five Golden Rings

Tinsel, baubles, fairy lights – there is plenty of sparkle at this time of the year. But if staring at the rapidly shedding Christmas tree in your front room is losing its magical appeal, why not up the ante with a visit to the Jewellery Room at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Full of gems and precious stones, it’s a beautiful place – just be careful who you take, or next year’s Christmas list might be that much more expensive…

30th Dec – Six Geese-a-Laying

Hackney City Farm

Rather than pick up your eggs from your local Sainsbury’s, why not head down to the Hackney City Farm. As well as picking up your freshly laid organic eggs, you can get up close with the farm animals, eat in the delicious cafe and see if you can arrange the farmyard into a makeshift nativity scene.

31st Dec – Seven Swans-a-Swimming

It’s New Year’s Eve and it is time to party. Where better to start the night than the Swan Bar and Chophouse restaurant at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. In the fantastic surroundings of the South Bank, with great food and amazing views of the midnight fireworks display, it’s a fabulous spot to ring in 2013.

1st Jan – Eight Maids a-Milking

If you can shake off your hangover then why not start 2013 with another party at the New Year’s Day Parade. I can’t guarantee eight maids, but there will be plenty of fancy dress, marching bands, soldiers, smiling children and much much more. 

2nd Jan – Nine Ladies Dancing

There is no hiding in your elastic waist PJs anymore, the Christmas weight is there and it’s not going to shift itself – so what better time to start the normal January get-fit regime. But make it a bit more fun this year, and bop along with the instructors at Frame. Choose from a range of classes, including learning music video routines or getting your leotard on for the Jane Fonda tribute class. (

3rd Jan – Ten lords-a-leaping

In the original twelve days of Christmas the ten lords referred to the Ten Commandments. Since exercise is already taken care of then perhaps it’s time to write up your other resolutions. Start a new hobby, ring your mum more often – or perhaps commit to enjoying London more and more? And remember-Townfish is here to help!

4th Jan – Eleven pipers piping

Someone performing at The Windmill

The first weekend of January can be a terrible time. The fun seems over, you’re back at work, and pay day is an age away. But it doesn’t have to be doom and gloom! London’s music pubs are there to save the day. We can’t promise pipers, but try The Lexington, The Wilmington Arms, The Windmill or The Old Queen’s Head for live music and DJ nights to keep the January blues at bay.

5th Jan – Twelve Drummers Drumming

Facing the depression of January ahead of you, it’s the last night of Christmas so why not end it with a big, drumming, bang? Stomp is a dance show with percussion that is a treat for the eyes and the ears and will act as the perfect crescendo to your festive season.


Written by Ben Wallace