It won't be long now before Santa Claus is coming to town and as we speak he will no doubt be making his list and checking it twice.

But who will be on the good list and who will be on the naughty list for Father Christmas?

If you have children, grandchildren or nieces or nephews to spoil, no festive season will be complete without a visit to Santa's grotto.

And, because he is magic, Santa can be in several grottos at once.

Fortunately for all of us in London there are plenty of places where children can visit Santa across the city, both in the heart of the capital and some wonderful ones worth visiting outside the centre.

In no particular order of preference we list some of best and most loved Santa's grottos in London.

To help you plan your day we have also provided some travel information - if the grotto is in the centre of London it's probably best to use public transport but for those a little further out we have given some advice if you're planning to travel by car.

1. Santa's grotto at Westfield London

Step inside the Santa's Grotto at Westfield London for some snowflake magic

Santa's Snowflake Grotto

Santa’s Snowflake Grotto at Westfield London in Shepherds Bush and also at Westfield Stratford City is a spellbinding Snowflake Factory.

At the Wish Cannon, children fill in a Christmas Wish List, put it in a special container and then see their list zoom up the tube and activate a puff of smoke.

Snowflake Scope allows children to look through microscopes at artificial snowflakes magnified thousands of times.

At Snow Control children can play with levers, buttons, cranking wheels and telephones, which light up, beep, start music and even release jets steam. But whatever they do, they must not press the “do not press” button.

And when they enter the Snow Chamber, children will meet Santa and get a present and have a photo taken to buy. Parents can take their own photos, too.

Visits last 20 to 25 minutes.

Where it is: Westfield London, Ariel Way, Shepherds Bush, W12 7GF

When it's open: November 22 - Christmas Eve

Opening times: Various, opening at 10am or 11am and finishing between 5.30pm and 8.30pm, with longer opening hours on Saturdays and in the lead up to Christmas, including 9am openings

Ticket prices: £7.50 for each adult and each child

Book tickets: Online here

Nearest Tube stations: Shepherd's Bush and White City on the Central line, Wood Lane and Shepherd's Bush Market on the Hammersmith & City and Circle lines

Nearest mainline train station: Shepherd's Bush

Buses which stop near here:

White City Bus Station: 31, 49, 148, 207, 237, 260, 607 and C1

Shepherd's Bush: 72, 94, 95, 220, 272, 283, 295 and N207

Parking: Type postcode W12 7SL in your sat nav to be directed to all three car parks - charges range from £3 to £9

Find out more here.

2. Santa's grotto at Westfield Stratford City

Children can have some snowflake fun at the Santa's grotto at Westfield Stratford City

Santa's Snowflake Grotto

If you live in the east of London then you can enjoy all the same fun of Santa's Snowflake Grotto at Westfield Stratford City.

The Wish Cannon, Snowflake Scope and Snow Control will be here too.

And, of course, children will be able to meet Santa himself in the Snow Chamber, have their photo taken and get a present too.

Visits last 20 to 25 minutes.

Where it is: Westfield Stratford City, Montfichet Road, Olympic Park, Stratford, E20 1EJ

When it's open: November 22 - Christmas Eve

Opening times: Various, opening at 10am or 11am and finishing between 5.30pm and 8.30pm, with longer opening hours on Saturdays and in the lead up to Christmas, including 9am openings

Ticket prices: £7.50 for each adult and each child

Book tickets: Online here

Nearest Tube station: Stratford on the Central and Jubilee lines

Nearest DLR station: Stratford and Stratford International

Nearest mainline train stations: Stratford and Stratford International

Buses which stop near here: 25, 69, 86, 97, 104, 108, 158, 238, 241, 257, 262, 276, 308, 339, 388, 425, 473 and D8

Car parking: Use either postcodes E20 1EJ, or E15 2EE for older devices, to be directed to all three car parks. Charges range from £2.80 to £9.80

Find out more here.

3. Santa's grotto at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Children can meet Father Christmas in Santa Land at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Santa Land

It's FREE to meet Santa in his grotto at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and he will have a gift for you. Parents can take photos of the special moment or buy a professional one.

Santa's grotto is in Santa Land where you'll be be able to visit Santa’s Toy Factory fun house where Santa and his elves are making gifts ready for the big day.

Santa Land this year also includes a 45-metre-long Ice Slide and an Ice Trike Trail.

There are rides for little children and plenty of places to eat and buy a sweet treat.

You can't book your visit to Santa's Grotto, though, so it's first come, first served and you'll want to give yourself plenty of time to wait your turn. If it's a busy day, the queue might close early so everyone in it will have a chance to be seen.

This year there is a family entrance which takes you straight into Santa Land.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and Santa Land within it are free to enter but you will need to buy tokens for the rides.

There are also other attractions and events, including ice skating, circuses and Christmas markets, which you can buy tickets for.

Where it is: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, W2 2UH

When it's open: November 23 - January 6

Opening times: Thursdays to Sundays 10am-6pm, Mondays-Wednesdays 10am-4.30pm

Ticket prices: FREE

Nearest Tube stations: Bond Street on the Central and Jubilee lines, Green Park (for avoiding steps) on the Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria lines, Knightsbridge on the Piccadilly line, Marble Arch on the Central line and Hyde Park Corner on the Piccadilly line

Nearest mainline train stations: Paddington and Victoria

Buses which stop near here:

North: C2, 6, 7, 10, 16, 19, 23, 36, 52, 73, 82, 98, 113, 274, 390, 414

South: 2, 36, 137, 148, 159, 436

West: 9, 10, 14, 19, 22, 52, 74, 94, 148, 414

East: 8,15, 23, 30, 38, 274

Find out more here.

4. Santa's grotto in Leicester Square

Children can gather round for a festive tale from Santa before sharing their Christmas wishes at the Santa's grotto in Leicester Square

Santa's Grotto at Christmas in Leicester Square

Christmas in Leicester Square returns courtesy of festival and event organiser Underbelly, with a programme of festive entertainment.

This includes Santa’s Grotto, which was a huge hit last year.

In his grotto, Santa will tell children a festive tale before hearing each child's Christmas wishes, posing for a photo with them and giving them an early Christmas present.

It lasts 25 minutes and sessions are for up to 20 children.

Where it is: Christmas in Leicester Square, Leicester Square

When it's open: November 10 - December 24

Opening times: Mondays to Thursdays from 4pm-8pm and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-8pm. Sessions begin every 30 minutes

Ticket prices: £11.50 including £1.50 fee - each child ticket includes one free adult admission, for each child ticket you may also buy one additional adult ticket, price £6.50 including fees

Book tickets: Online here or on the door

Nearest Tube station: Leicester Square on the Northern and Piccadilly lines

Nearest mainline train station: Charing Cross

Buses which stop near here: 24, 29, 176, N5, N20, N29, N41 and N279 at bus stop J

Find out more here.

Wondering what the kids will want for Christmas? This video shows what they might be asking Santa for:

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5. Santa's grotto at Hamleys

Spectators watch as a giant inflatable Santa is paraded during the Hamleys Christmas Toy Parade on Regent Street in 2015 (Photo - LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Meet Father Christmas at Hamleys

Where could be a more appropriate place to meet Santa than in the famous Regent Street toy shop, Hamleys?

Weekend dates are already fully booked but there was still availability for some weekday slots at the time of writing.

As part of a group session, children will hear magical stories of Christmas, write their own Christmas wish list and meet Father Christmas himself.

The Hamleys Elves will be there and children will be able to chose a cup of Scrumpalicious sweets from the pick and mix.

They will also get a balloon, sticker and a gift bag.

Each session lasts 45 minutes and includes up to 12 children. It's suitable for children aged three to seven.

Where it is: Hamleys, 188 - 196 Regent Street, W1B 5BT

When it's open: November 24 - December 24

Opening times: 9am-7pm - December weekend dates are already fully booked but there was still availability for some November 24 and 25 weekend and December weekday slots at the time of writing

Ticket prices: £39.95 per child

Book tickets: Online here

Nearest Tube stations: Oxford Circus on the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria lines, Piccadilly Circus on the Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines, Tottenham Court Road on the Central and Northern lines

Nearest mainline train station: Charing Cross

Buses which stop near here:

Conduit Street: 23, 88, 94, 159, 453, C2, N18, N109, N136

Beak Street: 12, 139, N3, N15, N113

Find out more here.

6. Santa's grotto at the Royal Albert Hall

Children have some fun with lots of characters before meeting Santa at the Royal Albert Hall

Father Christmas at the Hall

It is said that the Royal Albert Hall is the secret London headquarters of Father Christmas and his elves.

In an hour-long visit, children will take a journey though areas of the Royal Albert Hall and and meet some characters from the North Pole.

There will be the toy soldiers, fairies, workshop elves, toymakers and, of course, Santa along the way, and some fun activities.

Children will have the chance to sit in Father Christmas’ sleigh and get a gift from him. They can also choose some pick ‘n’ mix sweets with help from a magical fairy.

Parents, who go free with their children, can take photos of their little ones with Santa and buy a professional photo too.

It's suitable for all ages but best suited to children aged three to eight.

Where it is: Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP

When it's open: November 22 - December 22

Opening times: 9am-5pm (last slot 4pm)

Ticket prices: £30.07 including booking fees, per child

Book tickets: Online here

Nearest Tube stations: South Kensington on the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines and High Street Kensington on the District and Circle lines

Nearest mainline train stations: Victoria and Paddington (30 minutes walk)

Buses which stop near here: 9, 10, 52, 70, 360, 452, 702, N9 and N52

Find out more here.

7. Santa's grotto at the Museum of London

A traditional Victorian Christmas atmosphere awaits at the Santa's grotto at the Museum of London

Santa's Victorian Grotto

You can take a stroll with the children through a twinkling Victorian Walk, adorned with festive decorations and with the sound of carols in the distance.

At the end you'll find discover Santa in his secret grotto, waiting to hear your Christmas wishes before giving you a present.

You can also have a photo taken to buy.

Sessions are 15 minutes.

While you are there you can explore the free-to-visit museum and learn about the history of London.

Where it is: Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN

When it's open: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from December 1 - 9 and then daily from December 14 - 23

Opening times: 10.30am-5.15pm, last session 5pm

Ticket prices: £10 per child when booked online in advance, £11 on the door

Book tickets: Online here

Nearest tube stations: Barbican on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines and St Paul's on the Central line

Nearest mainline train stations: Liverpool Street City and Thameslink Farringdon

Buses which stop near here: 4, 8, 25, 56, 100, 172, 242 and 521

Find out more here.

8. Santa's grotto at the Museum of London Docklands

There will be a gift for good children at Santa's Grotto at The Museum of London Docklands

Santa's Victorian Grotto

The Sailortown gallery at the Museum of London Docklands is magically transformed with festive decorations while the sound of Victorian carols can be heard in the distance.

You'll find Santa in his grotto where he will have a gift for good children. You can also have a photo taken to buy. Sessions are 15 minutes.

While you're there you can explore the free-to-visit east London museum.

Where it is: Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse, Hertsmere Road, Canary Wharf, E14 4AL

When it's open: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from December 1 - 9 and then daily from December 14 - 23

Opening times: 10.30am-5.15pm, last session 5pm

Ticket prices: £10 per child when booked online in advance, £11 on the door

Book tickets: Online here

Nearest Tube station: Canary Wharf on the Jubilee line

Nearest DLR station: West India Quay

Nearest major mainline train station: London Bridge

Buses which stop near here: D3, D7, D8, 277, D6, 15, 115 and 135

Get here by boat: Canary Wharf Pier is a short walk and the MBNA Thames Clippers River Bus services departs every 20 minutes with connections places including Embankment, London Eye, Bankside, London Bridge and Greenwich

Find out more here.

9. Santa's grotto at Ham House

Look who is arriving at Santa's grotto at Ham House

Meet Father Christmas at Ham House

You might fancy leaving the city centre behind and, without venturing out of the M25, making a visit to the National Trust's beautiful Ham House on the River Thames in Richmond, which is sure to make your feel all Christmasy.

Each child enters the house to be greeted by festive elves, then walks through the beautifully lit rooms to meet Santa in a grotto decked out with candles, presents and a sparkling tree. He will, of course, have a present for each good child.

During their visit to Ham House this Christmas, children will also be able to have some crafty fun, blow off steam with games and hunt out all of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

The family can then visit the rest of Ham House where candles (battery lit but still effective) guide your way. The house is decked out in an abundance of natural greenery, swags and garlands draped over banisters, mantelpieces and windowsills all with light spilling from them.

Christmas trees can be found spread throughout the house and grounds while in the magnificent great hall is the largest tree, decked with lights and presents in a Christmas card scene.

In the gardens trees and hedges twinkle and you might like to stop by the giant Christmas wreath and take the perfect family photo.

Where it is: Ham House, Ham Street, Ham, Richmond, TW10 7RS

When it's open: December 15-23

Opening times: Grotto open 11am-4pm

Ticket prices: A visit to the grotto is £5 per child, and normal admission charges to get into Ham House apply

Book tickets: Online here

Nearest Tube station: Richmond on the District line, 1.5 miles by footpath, two miles by road

Nearest mainline train station: Richmond station, 1.5 miles by footpath, two miles by road

Buses which stop near here: 371 to Ham Street bus stop then a half-mile walk and 65 to Sandpits Road bus stop and a three-quarter-mile walk

By car: Ham is on the south bank of the River Thames, west of the A307, between Richmond and Kingston and can be reached from the M3, M4 and M25 and the Richmond Park Ham Gate exit. There is free parking in the riverside car park at the end of Ham Street and on nearby streets.

Find out more here.

10. Santa's grotto at Fulham Palace

Children can meet Santa in his very festive grotto at Fulham Palace

Father Christmas at Fulham Palace

This is a another beautiful and popular place to meet Santa. Tickets to see Santa at the historic Fulham house and garden of the Bishops of London go on sale in late September each year and tickets for three of the four dates have already sold out.

But at the time of writing there was still good availability on Friday, December 7, so if you have pre-school children this would be ideal.

Children need to knock on the door of the Great Tudor Door and listen for the bell before walking in with their family to meet Santa.

There is a wonderful festive atmosphere in the room - expect a roaring log fire and Christmas tree and see the elves gift wrapping section, Father Christmas’s desk and the naughty and nice list all on display.

Each child will get a small gift and while they wait their turn they can have a go at craft activities.

If you can't go this year then you can make sure you don't miss out next year by signing up to the Fulham Palace mailing list on its homepage here or you can pick up a What’s On brochure from the Palace.

Where it is: Fulham Palace, Bishop's Avenue, Fulham, SW6 6EA

When it's open: Tickets available at the time of writing for Friday, December 7 only (December 1, 2 and 9 sold out)

Opening times: 9am-5pm

Ticket prices: £11 per child

Book tickets: Online here

Nearest Tube station: Putney Bridge on the District line

Nearest mainline train station: Putney Station

Buses which stop near here: 74, 220 and 430 to Bishops Park Road bus stop on Fulham Palace Road and 74, 220 and 430 to Putney Bridge

By car: The entrance is at the end of Bishop’s Avenue, on the left. There is no parking on-site but there is ample parking on Bishop’s Avenue. Parking meters operate from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday but there are special restrictions on match days. For parking information click here.

Find out more here.

And here is one for next year:

11. Santa's grotto at Harrods

Harrods is a place everyone wants to visit on a festive trip to the centre of London

The Harrods Christmas Grotto

We can't have a list of some of the best Santa's grottos in London and miss out one of the most famous of them all, even if - unless you're one of lucky ones - you won't get tickets for this year now.

The Harrods Christmas Grotto leaves children of all ages and their parents with memories which last a lifetime.

The magical festive experience at the iconic Knightsbridge department store takes young guests through Santa's gingerbread house before they are immersed into a storyland filled with imagination.

This Christmas the grotto experience has been offered by invitation only to the store's most loyal Rewards customers.

Those invited to visit were sent an email on August 22 which included details of how to book their ticket.

The decision to make the event invite-only was due to a "high demand" each year, Harrods explained as it revealed the information on its website.

Four different Harrods Rewards cards are available, depending on how much you spend in store, ranging from green (the lowest) to black (the highest).

We don't know yet if the same system will be used next year but if you think you are likely to be one of Harrods' most loyal customers and want a Reward card to be in with a chance of getting an invite, then you can apply for one at www.harrods.com.

But even if you are not seeing Santa, Harrods is magical place at Christmas and a must-visit for anyone looking to soak up some festive atmosphere in London.

Where it is: Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7XL

Nearest Tube station: Knightsbridge on the Piccadilly line and also South Kensington on the Piccadilly, District and Circle lines and Sloane Square on the District and Circle lines.

Nearest mainline train station: Victoria

Buses which stop near here: 9, 10, 14, 19, 22, 52, 74, 137, 414, 452 and C1

Find out more here.