‘Tis the season to be jolly, and London has a sleigh-load of festive delights waiting for you.
If you’re spending a Christmas break in the capital, here are 10 things you absolutely can’t miss in London during Christmas.
But before we delve into the list, here’s a vlog of a Christmassy 2023 weekend in London exploring all of the lights and festivities that London has to offer:
1. Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is the undisputed champion of Christmas festivities. Picture this: You’re surrounded by the scent of roasting chestnuts, the sounds of laughter, and the sight of a giant observation wheel lighting up the winter sky.
Ice skating, mulled wine, and thrill rides – it’s a holiday dream come true.
2. Southbank Skate
For a skating experience that’s nothing short of magical, head to the Southbank Centre. Glide along the ice with the twinkling lights of the city as your backdrop. The best part? The breathtaking sunset views over the Thames that turn your skating adventure into a truly Instagrammable moment.
Other places to skate at Christmas in London include: Somerset House, Winter Wonderland, and Battersea Power Station.
3. Covent Garden
Covent Garden transforms into a festive wonderland during Christmas. The cobbled streets are adorned with twinkling lights, and street performers add an extra layer of magic.
Take your time exploring boutique shops, grab a warm drink, and enjoy the festive atmosphere as well as the giant Covent Garden Christmas tree. Plus, once per hour, a flurry of snow descends upon shoppers for a magical winter experience.
4. Christmas Markets
London’s Christmas markets are scattered across the city like presents under a tree. From the Southbank to Greenwich, these markets are a treasure trove of handmade crafts, unique gifts, and mouth-watering street food.
Embrace the holiday spirit and indulge in the seasonal treats that make these markets a true reflection of London’s diverse culture.
5. Christmas Carol Singalong
Get ready to belt out your favourite Christmas tunes at one of London’s many carol singalongs. Whether in a cozy pub or a historic church, these events are a surefire way to immerse yourself in the joyous sounds of the season.
A popular location is Colombia Road where a local church rolls a piano onto the street each Wednesday evening for some carols in the street. Grab your friends, warm up those vocal cords, and let the festive singalong begin!
A very wholesome activity for a London Christmas.
6. Festive Flicks at Backyard Cinema
Escape the winter chill and immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas movies at Backyard Cinema.
Picture this: You’re surrounded by fairy lights and snuggled up with blankets on comfy bean bags. It’s like your own private cinema, but way cooler. The only thing missing is the popcorn – and they’ve got that covered too!
7. Magical Lights of Regent Street
Regent Street takes the concept of Christmas lights to a whole new level. The dazzling display turns this iconic shopping destination into a twinkling wonderland.
The best time to experience the magic? Definitely at night when the lights are in full splendour. Grab your camera – this is an Instagram opportunity you won’t want to miss.
8. Christmas Shopping
Dive into the ultimate Christmas shopping experience at iconic stores like Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, and Selfridges. These retail giants don’t just sell gifts – they offer a festive feast for the eyes.
Picture grand window displays, towering Christmas trees, and lights that turn the act of shopping into a holiday spectacle. Even if you’re just window shopping, the festive vibes are worth the visit.
9. Festive Feasting
London’s culinary scene goes all out during Christmas, offering everything from traditional British fare to global gastronomic delights. Indulge your taste buds in hearty Christmas feasting at one of the city’s many festive-themed restaurants.
From turkey dinners with all the trimmings to creative twists on classic holiday dishes, London’s eateries are a gift that keeps on giving.
10. Countdown to New Year’s Eve
As the Christmas festivities wind down, gear up for the grand finale – London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks. Find a prime spot along the Thames, join the crowds in anticipation, and welcome the new year with a dazzling display that will leave you in awe.
It’s the perfect way to wrap up your Christmas adventure in the heart of the city.