December is a great time to go to Stockholm, with SAS (www.flysas.co.uk) offering flights until the end of the month from Heathrow, starting at £170 return. So pack your thermal hat, socks and gloves, wrap up warm and head for the stylish Swedish capital.
Visit the old town, Gamla Stan, heading away from touristy Västerlånggatan into the upper sector, recommends the Telegraph. Stortorget Square is home to the Nobel library and surrounded by colourful coffee houses where you can warm up with hot chocolate before visiting the nearby Royal Palace. Stroll over to the trendy art galleries and funky boutiques on Södermalm, Stockholm's largest island. There’s also a 750-metre-long ski slope at Hammarbybacken with pistes for all levels and ski, snowboard and boot hire (www.hammarbybacken.se).
Go for a fairy tale skate with the locals on the frozen canals, or if you prefer something more conventional, Kungsträdgården Park has a rink with live music and skate hire for £3.50 an hour. Djurgården, Stockholm's enormous island park, is home to the hundred-year-old plus, open-air Skansen museum and zoo (www.skansen.se) which features re-created period houses, cottages, shops and farms transported from all over Sweden.
Special events this month include Sweden's largest Santa Lucia festival which kicks off on the 13th of December, offering a number of concerts and processions (tinyurl.com/stluciastockholm), and the non-touristy Christmas markets in Stortorget and Skansen are picture postcard stuff.