This year London is bursting with Christmas-themed events from ice rinks, particular Christmas markets to decorated shining streets and sets of events at the sightseeing spots. Christmas lighting in London especially has specific importance for the celebration. Here we gathered the highlight events of the city to get you into the Christmas spirit! Check out the following details if you are ready to get the Christmas vibes on a full day!
1. #Eat: Brunch with Christmas Treats
In London, many cafes and restaurants have various specialties that you could try out only at this time of the year. At Honest Burgers, they have a special Christmas Burger recipe with a lot of cranberry sauce and a significant amount of French cheese Camembert. The Pophams Bakery, however, added ginger and lemon-based liqueur into its recipe of Christmas mince pies. This combination is not new; this recipe was first made for the 16th King of London, Edward VII. There are even more options of sweet treats such as cinnamon macarons and mulled pear. Enjoy feeling the Christmas time first at your palate.
When do you plan to visit London?
Select your travel dates!
2. #Visit: Kew Gardens
The botanic garden of southwestern London, Kew Gardens, founded in 1840, will be spectacularly designed for Christmas time celebrations. The lights and colors around its Winter Trail will take you through a nostalgic journey. This UNESCO World Heritage site hosts exotic and rare species of plants. I suggest that you see this trail live, which is a better experience than exposing it on Instagram. Don’t forget to wrap up warmly and enjoy sipping your spiced cider or hot chocolate while wandering through the sparkling trail.
3. #Make: Christmas Wreaths
Creating value with your hands could be another distinctive way to feel the festive spirit of Christmas for you. It might be the right time for you to have a hands-on Christmas Wreath making experience. Many wreath-making workshops are going on at this time of year in London. Some places organizing such workshops are Kelly Atwood Floral Designs, MasterPeace Creative Studios, and Fortnum & Mason. These workshops might be an excellent opportunity for you to enjoy being crafty. You are better to reserve your place in advance before it already gets sold out.
4. #Attend: Winter Time Festivities
Many festive events are going on at many different spots of the city. In Hyde Park, there is an annually held Winter Wonderland London event. The park is decorated like a ground festival area full of games, shows, food and drink stand, and more. It could be so crowded that you have to pick the specific time of the day and pay accordingly before going there. You can join an interactive sleigh exhibition at the Transport Museum, take a selfie with Santa, or follow a fun trail full of lights. Similar to it, there will be a more sensory experience of track at Kenwood House: Christmas light trail. Mixed with light, fire, and sound throughout the path, you will see the laser garden, light avenue, and more. This trail is full of craft stalls where you can also try out street food and drink hot drinks.
5. #Sing: Christmas Carols
One of the best ways to feel the festive spirit of Christmas in London is singing Christmas Carols and originating from the old French word ‘caroler,’ this word meant to dance in a ring. At the time, it became a tradition to go around from place to place in a group and sing with joy and festivity during Christmas time. At All Souls Langham Place, you can sing along with a live choir and orchestra, which doesn’t require a booking or a fee. You can also join an evening of carols at Anglican Cathedral St Paul’s. It is located at the highest point of London, Ludgate Hill. In this 18th-century building, there will be a set of free carol concerts for you to join and enjoy the traditional way of welcoming the new year.
6. #Skate: Ice Rings
Have you ever skated during Christmas time? Doing it at this time of year brings a new festive spirit to this sport. It is common to find ice rings around London. Especially the one in front of the Natural History Museum, which is famous for its magical atmosphere. It is highly recommended that you check this one because the museum has recently announced that They will transform the same skating area into a hub for urban wildlife. So this is the last chance to skate in front of the museum. There is also another iconic ice rink at the Somerset House. This 900-square-meter outdoor rink on the grand neoclassical courtyard is a fantastic spot to enjoy skating during the Christmas season in London. Don’t forget to book in advance.
7. #Watch: Christmas Cinema Classics
View this post on Instagram
Now that it is way colder in the northern hemisphere, indoor activities such as cinema might be worth preferring more than outdoor activities. This Christmas, the Backyard Cinema, famous for its giant beanbags, will turn its three venues into winter-time wonderlands. Namely, The Winter Night Garden and The Snow Kingdom will be located at Capital Studios. During December, they will be hosting many film nights. Moreover, there will be a new show featuring a live choir at Troxy. It is a great chance to see a Christmas classic that you haven’t seen before on the screen again.
8. #Shop: Christmas Markets
Good news for the shopping lovers! During Christmas, there will be a great variety of markets all around London. At Chelsea Physic Garden, which is at the edge of the Thames, there will be over 100 stands where you can find varying suppliers from children’s toys, ceramics, and jewelry and cheese. Southbank Centre Winter Market is especially recommended for food lovers. If you are looking for some thoughtful gifts to buy your beloved ones, the Greenwich Late Christmas Markets are full of sustainable gift products. Another option is the Zero Waste Christmas Market hosted at old Truman Brewery in East London. In this market, there will be 45 independent plastic-free traders to check out to buy attractive, thoughtful gifts! If you are more interested in artistic products, you should certainly have a look at the DIY Christmas Art Market at Truman’s Social Club, where you can also meet the artists themselves.
9. #See: Christmas Festive Lights Across the Streets
The brightest thing one might remember about Christmas in London would probably be the magical street lights. They have popped up around the city. Most of these places have already been illuminated in early November. Through Regent Street, you can admire the sparkling angels. In The Carnaby Street, you can feel yourself night-dreaming, looking above at the 3D and 2D neon butterflies. At the main market building at Covent Garden, there will be another special illumination. The more lighting displays you can find around Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, and Piccadilly Circus. To have a unique shot make sure to take a photo in front of the Christmas trees in London.
10. #Dine: Christmas Drinks
During Christmas, many restaurants and bars have unique campaigns and menus designed for Christmas. Opening at 5 PM, Pergola Paddington could be a great spot to enjoy dinner outdoors. With the advantage of having an outdoor space, you can take your warm mulled wine at a warm corner at their exceptional ‘Deck the Halls’ Christmas concept. Another open-air spot to enjoy your drink is Flat Iron Square. This venue is especially popular with its whisky-based cocktails. There are also cocktail-making workshops available if you are interested in enjoying and learning the tricks behind great recipes.
The activities and events I mentioned above could create a fully packed, fun day for you. After all craving for a real Christmas celebration, I hope these recommendations will help you celebrate Christmas in London to the fullest! Don’t miss to check out the entrance fees and booking conditions for the venues I shared.
ENJOY YOUR VISIT TO LONDON WITH ITINERARIES THAT MATCH YOUR NEEDS
Full-day trip plans designed by the locals of London are on your phone with one click!
Choose what you love doing and let HeyTripster algorithm match you with the most suitable trip plan.
I’m a detail hunter born and raised in the cosmopolitan nature of Istanbul, I love traveling and discovering the plurality of languages and cultures. For me, traveling is one of the best ways to awaken one’s third eye.