Christmas in London is truly an enchanting time to visit. There’s a certain magic that can be felt throughout December. The lights are brighter, smiles are larger, and the city’s 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 11th November 2023 until January 2024, take our Christmas Lights Tour to see the capital’s iconic landmarks illuminated for Christmas. If you fancy singing your heart out to festive tunes and tucking into mince pies and mulled wine, then our Singalong Christmas Lights Tour is just for you.
Without a doubt the best Christmas present in London, Trafalgar Square is home to a roughly 20-metre-tall Norwegian spruce. Every year, the City of Oslo, Norway donates a tree from the Nordmarka Forest to the people of London. It’s a tradition that started after the Second World War as a way to say thanks to their British allies.
For the glitziest tree in the capital, head to Covent Garden to see the magical 60-feet-tall Christmas tree with over 115,000 lights!
London’s annual Christmas attraction, Winter Wonderland, turns Hyde Park into a world of Christmas bliss. Discover its very own Bavarian Village, vintage fairground, roller coasters, numerous bars, traditional Christmas market and more. Why not enjoy a spin around the UK’s largest open-air rink or take to the skies in the iconic 70-metre-high Giant Wheel for unbeatable views across London’s epic skyline.
One of the best ways to get into the Christmas spirit and have some winter fun is by wrapping up warm for a 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 rinks 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 Christmas markets. These traditional markets sell unique gifts, 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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- The Ultimate Guide to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland
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- A Complete Guide to Christmas in London
- Family Fun – 7 Great Christmas Activities for Kids in London