Oxford Street lights
Oxford Street lights

Christmas things to do in London  

 

The most wonderful time of the year is here once again. Don't let the cold and rain bring you down - London is still an enchanting place to explore in December. The entire city lights up with the most beautiful displays. It's the perfect time to soak up the atmosphere, explore the Christmas markets, check out the light displays, go ice skating and drink plenty of mulled wine. We've gathered some of our favourite Christmassy things to do in London that will put you in the ultimate holiday spirit. 

 

 

Best Christmas Lights in London

     

Kew Gardens Christmas Display

Kew gardens

Kew Gardens Christmas Display

Kew Gardens take their Christmas lights seriously. Very seriously. The twinkling tunnels, shining trees, and colourful trails all make it a wonderful place to visit. After a stroll through the fairy tale-like scenes, stop by the inviting food stalls. Kew partners with many vendors that allow you to enjoy delicious cuisine as you spend the afternoon exploring the gardens. 

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

Oxford street

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

Oxford Street Christmas lights are simply magical (and somewhat unavoidable if you find yourself in the city centre). Each year, the lights make the entire shopping street an unmissable spectacle. In 2021, Oxford Street turned on its lights along with 20 other London streets, which made it the biggest switch-on in the world. It’s one of the most beloved displays in London, attracting millions of people every single year.

Carnaby Christmas Lights

Carnaby Street

Carnaby Christmas Lights

Each year, Carnaby Street Christmas lights have a new theme, typically focused on raising awareness of important social causes. They light up the entire street with various decorations that enchant visitors from around the world. Have your phones and cameras ready – we promise you’ll want to document every moment (and perhaps you might notice a celebrity or two doing their Christmas shopping).

Mayfair and Belgravia Christmas Lights

Mayfair Christmas lights

Mayfair and Belgravia Christmas Lights

Mayfair is without a doubt one of the most luxurious shopping areas in the city. And when it comes to Christmas, the area definitely knows how to put on a festive spectacle. Bond Street and South Molton Street both have charming decorations that are well worth your visit. They tend to be slightly less busy compared to Oxford Street, which might make it easier for those who wish to avoid large crowds.

London Christmas Attractions & Events

   

Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City

Gingerbread house

Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City

Yup, you heard that right. The fascinating Gingerbread City display features the work of over 100 architects, engineers, and landscape artists, all focused on creating the final result — a city made of gingerbread and icing. If you’re thinking about eating it, we have to disappoint. This work of art isn’t edible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it in all its glory.

Skylight Festive Cinema

Clipper board with Santa hat

Skylight Festive Cinema

Are you even doing Christmas right if you don’t watch at least one Christmas movie? During the winter holidays (and until the end of January), Skylight puts on a festive cinema, featuring all your favourite films such as “Elf,” “The Holiday,” “Love, Actually” and many more. The venue also includes an ice skating rink, and plenty of food choices, to be enjoyed in a fancy igloo-shaped rooftop cocoon.

Christmas by Candlelight at the Freemason's Hall

Women carol singing

Christmas by Candlelight at the Freemason's Hall

Winter holidays wouldn’t be complete without Christmas carols. Freemasons Hall in Covent Garden puts on four Christmas concerts in December, complete with festive candlelight. You can expect to hear (and sing) all your favourite carolling tunes being sung all the way until the week before Christmas day. It’s a heart-warming experience, guaranteed to put you in the festive spirit.

Bonus for the Grinches: Satanic Flea market

Someone picking crystals

Bonus for the Grinches: Satanic Flea market

Satanic Flea Market is a fantastic alternative for those that want to enjoy the holidays in very minimal doses. This market features tarot cards, spell books, and other occult products for the wiccan in your life. Don’t forget to stop by the Electrowerkz bar and restaurant for a yummy roast dinner without the Bublé soundtrack. A perfect way to slowly ease into the Christmas mood (or avoid it entirely).

London Christmas Markets with the best Mulled Wine

   

Selfridges Christmas Market

Selfridges at Christmas

Selfridges Christmas Market

Selfridges department store tends to go all out for Christmas with its shopping display, but many forget about its outdoor market. It’s a true paradise for Christmas foodies, featuring plenty of stalls with delicious cuisine. Of course, you shouldn’t miss out on the mulled wine to keep you warm. In the meantime, your children and those who are kids at heart can enjoy a few colourful fairground rides.

Southbank Centre Winter Market

Southbank market

Southbank Centre Winter Market

The Southbank Centre Market, located just a short walk from the London Eye, offers an incredible Christmassy experience with warm drinks, good food, and the background of the Thames. Food varies from gourmet to street, with plenty of selections you’ve most likely never had a chance to try before. Mulled wine is available [EK7] at almost every vendor -- there’s absolutely no worry about missing out on a drink or two!

Belgravia Eccleston Yards Market

Choosing Christmas plants

Belgravia Eccleston Yards Market

Belgravia has its own stunning lights display along with a wonderful market, perfect for anyone who doesn’t enjoy big crowds and prefers a cosy Christmas market experience. Eccleston Yards Market is full of various homemade products as well as live holiday-themed music playing until 4pm. Ahh, we simply can’t wait to go!

Best Christmas Dinners in London

   

The Bull & Gate

Christmas dinner

The Bull & Gate

Located in Kentish Town, The Bull & Gate offers a cosy and traditional Christmas dinner. You can choose from several menu options, with the Christmas Feast menu coming at just £33 per person for a three-course meal. Yummy!

Marsha

Christmas dinner and cracker

Marsha

Restaurant Marsha is based in Southbank, making it an ideal choice for those who are spending the day exploring the Southbank Christmas Market. Offering views across the Thames, Marsha features a three-course Christmas dinner for just £39.50 per person. Yes, please.

The Old Ship Inn

Christmas dinner with all the trimmings

The Old Ship Inn

Combining a 4-star hotel experience with an old-school British pub atmosphere, The Old Ship Inn offers an unforgettable Christmas dinner experience with a three-course meal for just £28 per person. Perfect for those who wish their Christmas adventure would never end.

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