With this Christmas on the brink of possibly being the warmest December on record, many across the country will be missing out on a white Christmas. Temperatures in the south east rose as high as 16C on 16 and 17 December, with highs of 17C expected on 20 December.
The unexpectedly mild weather comes as a shock to many after forecasters had predicted the "coldest winter in 50 years" for the UK. Instead of wallowing in the grief of no snow this winter, Britons could use this opportunity to take advantage of the mild weather and enjoy some late near-summer weather. IBTimes UK has rounded up 10 of the best ways you can make full use of the high temperatures this Christmas season.
1. Sunday lunch in a pub garden
With Britain being famous for its pubs and beer gardens, it would be a shame to see a warm holiday season go by without a visit to at least one. Why not move the family Sunday lunch to a pub garden this winter? Temperatures in the south east are expected to remain particularly high, rising to 17C on 20 December.
2. Go for a swim
For the daredevils amongst us, a few lidos and outdoor swimming ponds are open throughout the year. London, particularly, has a lot of options for those who are looking for a quick dip. One of the most popular outdoor swimming pools is the Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds in north west London and it is open all year round. Timings vary in the winter but the Men's and Ladies' Ponds are open for just £2 per person. However, to join the Mixed Pond in the winter season you are required to join the Winter Swimming Club.
3. Duck tours
London's infamous Duck Tours run throughout the winter months and the mild weather is the perfect chance to see London in a fun and quirky way. Ideal for children – and those who are children at heart – it's a great way to enjoy the unusually warm weather with the whole family this Christmas. Tours range from the classic sightseeing tour to a variety of themed tours, with some specifically tailored for Christmas festivities.
4. Have a drink on a rooftop bar
As much as Britons enjoy the pub life, there are times when a calming drink on a rooftop bar is in order. Make the most of the mild weather and sample one of the posh rooftop bars, all with incredible views of the city. For those who aren't looking for anything too fancy, some rooftop bars also host a more casual atmosphere, such as Frank's Café in Peckham and Dalston Roof Park in Kingsland in east London.
5. Go sailing on a reservoir
For those looking to take to the waters, we suggest trying your hand at sailing. It might not be the most ideal season for water sports, but the mild temperatures definitely mean that you can enjoy the calm waters of the Thames without turning blue in most parts of the country. For those in the south east, chances of smooth sailing are more likely as temperatures are set to be the highest in this region. The Queen Mary Sailing Club just outside London in Middlesex is open all year round and also offers windsurfing opportunities.
6. Take a cruise along the Thames
If you're not willing to travel too far out of London but would still like the chance to enjoy the Thames, a river cruise might be for you. Whether you opt for a sightseeing cruise to learn a bit about the history of London's riverbanks, or you choose to relax with a nice meal on a cruise boat, either choice will provide a lovely holiday activity with incredible views of London. Kids are sure to love the experience too.
7. Get close to the animals at a city farm
London may be one of the most bustling cities in the world, but what makes it so special is that there are still parts of the city that still remain untouched by city chaos. One of the best parts are London's city farms, which host a variety of farm animals that you can get up close and personal with. Animals on the farms range from cows and ducks to chickens, goats and rabbits.
8. Bring out your inner equestrian
For the real animal lovers and those who want to do more than just visit them, a number of stables in London provide horse riding facilities. Hyde Park Stables also offer children and adults horse riding lessons all year round, giving people the perfect relief from city activities.
9. Stop to smell the early-blooming flowers
The weather has been so mild this winter that daffodils have bloomed as far north as Chester and Northern Ireland. London, too, has seen its share of early flowering daffodils, with a few captured at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.
10. Picnic in a park
It might not be summer, but the weather is certainly mild enough for you to enjoy a quick picnic in one of Britain's many parks. For those who opt for Hyde Park in London, you can also go boating on the pond for a small fee. Additionally, retailers have reported that an increasing number of people have been buying barbecue items due to the unexpected mild weather. So whether you opt for the picnic or not, there's always the option of having your very own outdoor party in your own back yard.