Even when the skies are grey and the temperature drops, London always looks beautiful at Christmas. Whether you’re heading down Oxford Street to see the lights or going to see a seasonal show, there’s so much to see and do that it’s almost impossible to do everything the city has to offer, but here are some of our favourite activities for all budgets, ages and interests.
Visit Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is a staple of the festive season in London, and a must-do for tourists and locals alike. There are roller coasters, fairground rides, funhouses, haunted houses and more, as well as ice skating, ice slides, a Christmas circus, and a traditional Christmas market full of gifts, decorations and food.
Browse all the Christmas markets
There are so many Christmas markets throughout London that we can’t pick just one to recommend. Wherever you are in the city, there’ll be one close by, offering all kinds of delicious food and hot drinks, and handmade crafts, decorations and gifts. Some of the ones we love include the Borough Market, Covent Garden, Southbank and Greenwich.
See the Christmas display at Harrods
Harrods is an impressive department store to visit any time of the year, with its beautiful Edwardian architecture taking up 5 acres and over 1 million square feet, but at Christmas, it becomes even more spectacular! This year’s display is one of the biggest and brightest yet. Giant gingerbread-style decorations and lights cover the front of the building as part of the ‘Fabulous World of Dior’ installation, and the gingerbread theme continues in the window displays as well.
And while you’re visiting, why not enjoy a delicious cream tea for two at Harrods Terrace, to warm up with a pot of tea after a day of Christmas shopping?
See the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree
Every year since 1947, Trafalgar Square has been lit up by a giant Christmas tree gifted to the city by Norway. This year’s tree, the 75th of its kind, has been felled and is now on its way to Trafalgar Square for the tree lighting ceremony on December 1st, where it will be adorned with traditional Nordic lights.
This one-of-a-kind Christmas tradition is a must-see in London during the festive season, and you might get to hear some carol singers while you’re there too!
Go Ice Skating at Somerset House
There are many different places to go ice skating in London, including Westfield Shopping Centre, Canary Wharf, and even Hampton Court Palace, but Somerset House is one of our favourites. The courtyard location, with its 40ft Christmas tree, is stunning both day and night, plus there’s cheese fondue, Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate and glasses of Moët & Chandon to indulge in once the skating is over.
Take an evening ride on The London Eye
The LastMinute.com London Eye is one of the best attractions for seeing London from above, and in December it’s the perfect place to see all of the city’s Christmas lights. But from December 14th to December 25th, the London Eye itself will be part of London’s festive skyline as it lights up for 12 Days of Christmas.
Book your London Eye tickets for 4pm onwards and marvel at the brightly coloured lights, with themes such as Santa Claus, Starry Nights and Snowscapes!
Count the 12 Days of Christmas at the Tower of London
The grounds of this iconic and historic London attraction have been transformed with festive displays that combine the 12 Days of Christmas with a distinct Tower of London flair. See if you can spot all six of Henry VIII’s wives in sparkling Christmas tree form, or three lions supporting England in the World Cup. Make sure you pick up a trail map, after seeing the Crown Jewels and Line of Kings of course, to find all the decorations around the fortress.
The festive season has well and truly begun, so make sure you book your tickets for all of our London attractions as soon as possible to get the best price and availability!