Christmas is a truly enchanting time to visit the city. There’s a certain magic that can be felt throughout December. The lights are brighter, smiles are larger, and London attractions look even more beautiful than usual. Read our guide for a full run-down of recommended activities.
You don’t have to wander far during Christmas in London to see some blindingly good Christmas lights and decorations. Oxford Street is the place to be if you want to see the biggest Christmas lights switch on in London. The famous street welcomes Christmas with celebrity appearances, music and a countdown to the illuminations. Covent Garden, Carnaby Street and Regent Street also have their own magnificent display of Christmas lights.
From the 18th November until the beginning of January, take our Christmas Lights Tour of London and see all of the capital’s iconic landmarks illuminated for Christmas.
Trafalgar Square is home to the capital’s biggest and best Christmas tree, donated to Londoners from the people of Oslo. It’s also the location for nightly carol singing throughout December.
Without a doubt, London’s most comprehensive Christmas attraction is Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. This annual event turns a huge area of Hyde Park into a world of Christmas bliss with its very own Bavarian Village and other yuletide attractions. You’ll find roller coasters and rides for thrill seekers, including a 70 metre high Giant Wheel giving riders unbeatable views across Winter Wonderland and London’s epic skyline. Why not enjoy a spin around the UK’s largest open-air rink or the numerous bars, food stalls and traditional Christmas market.
One of the best ways to get in the Christmas spirit and have some winter fun in London is by wrapping up warm for an ice skating session at one of the capital’s ice rinks. Top attractions such as Canary Wharf, Hyde Park, Battersea Power Station and Somerset House are all home to charming ice skating venues during the winter months.
If it’s Christmas presents you’re after, shopping in the city definitely won’t disappoint! From mammoth department stores to pop-up markets, you’ll find something for even the most difficult people to buy for. Shopping in London at Christmas is a sightseeing opportunity in itself, as Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason all boast dazzling Christmas displays and impressive seasonal décor both inside and out.
You’ll find almost everything you need in these famous London stores but if a spot of outdoor shopping appeals to you, check out one of London’s quaint Christmas markets. These traditional markets sell unique gifts and seasonal food and drink, and can be found at various locations throughout the city.
Meet the man himself at one of many Santa’s grottos in London. The famous bearded guy in red will set up shop at a number of locations for a limited period in the run up to Christmas. Children can have a chat with him and receive a little gift if they’ve been good! Locations include Harrods, Hamleys, Winter Wonderland, ZSL London Zoo, Selfridges, Kew Gardens and more. Bookings must be made in advance.
Christmas Day Trips
If you’re here over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year, it’s a good idea to check out our full range of Christmas activities and tours. We have a dreamy range of Christmas Day activities, including a day trip to Canterbury, Dover, Greenwich and a full Christmas Day Lunch in Canterbury Cathedral! And don’t forget to check what stays open on Christmas Day, as many places across the city will be closed.
Are you planning a trip to London this Christmas? Tag us in your festive photos @goldentoursuk!
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