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Christmas In London 2019: a guide to Christmas markets, festive events, ice rinks and more!

Written by Mariana Jaureguilorda Beltran
Published date 03 September 2019

Is it too soon to start thinking about Christmas? We don’t think so!

Between eating, drinking and being merry, there are lots of activities to do in London and get your festive mode on. Take a short course with us this Christmas and spend our favourite time of the year in the capital!

Here are our top favourite things to do in London this Christmas!

Christmas Lights

November comes and London will be decked-out in Christmas lights. The exacts dates in which lights will be switched on are usually revealed a few weeks before. We'll be updating this article in the run-up to Christmas, so keep checking back closer to the season as more details will be announced!

Christmas Street lights

Hundreds of people flock to Oxford Circus for the switching-on of the lights’ event, as they are usually the first one to be switched on! On the night, there’s in-store gigs, pop-up performances and shopping and dining offers!

But if you can’t make it, just tour around the pedestrianized streets, from Oxford Circus to Covent Garden and let yourself be dazzled by the iconic lights up close! Make sure to hit these famous destinations: Regent Street, Oxford Circus, Carnaby Street, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and Seven dials!

Christmas at Kew Gardens

On the 20th of November 2019, Kew Gardens will light up for Christmas. Step into a fantasy world, follow the light trail through the majestic gardens. The light display will be on until the 5th of January 2020.

Winter Wonderland rides

Christmas Events

Make the most of these pop-up Christmas things to do only during the festive season!

Winter wonderland

Nothing says Christmas in London like a visit to Winter Wonderland, nestled in Hyde Park and home to the biggest ice-skating rink in the UK! Complete with fun fairground rides and Christmas markets, wander around Londoner’s favourite Christmas festival. Open from the 22nd of November till the 6th of January.

Ice-skating rinks

There are lots of pop-up ice-skating rinks you can hit this Christmas season. Our favourites being Somerset House, The Natural History Museum, Tower of London and Winterville. Put your ice-skating skills to test and warm up with a hot chocolate after!

Hogwarts in the snow

Want to see Hogwarts in the snow? Each Christmas, the Warner Bros Studio transforms Harry potter’s sets into a winter wonderland. Plenty of photo opportunities and guaranteed delicious butterbeer! Hogwarts in the Snow runs from Saturday 16th of November 2019 to Sunday 26th of January 2020. Tickets must be pre-booked and all extra features are included in the ticket price.

South-bank centre Christmas Market

Whether you are looking for festive food, classic decorations, crafts or last-minute gifts, you can find what you want at the South-bank centre Christmas Market!

Winter Wonderland

Food and Drink

Marvel your taste-buds with traditional seasonal meals and treats. Indulge in dinner, afternoon tea or tasty festive treats!

Christmas dinner

If you want to try what a traditional English Christmas dinner is like, there are lots of restaurants offering Christmas dinners throughout November and December. Here are our favourites:

  • Coral Pearl - Complex British comfort food in the heart of Covent Garden.
  • London Shell Co - aboard The Prince Regent serves the finest British seafood whilst guests take a journey along the beautiful and historic canals of North West London.
  • The Wellington - Traditional British Pub food.
  • Holborn Dining Room - Brasserie set in the heart of London.

Christmas Afternoon Tea

Might be the season for giving but treating yourself is just as important! Head out for a Christmas afternoon tea, here are our top picks:

Christmas Shows

Winter weather can be tough in London and if your priority is to stay warm and cosy, then stay indoors and enjoy some traditional British theatre or wander around an art gallery.

Shows

Whether you like ballet, pantomime or just Christmas carols, here are some options:

Exhibitions

If art, history and culture are your things, then London is your city. If we had to list every museum and exhibition happening, we’d be here all day. So, here are our top picks:

  • Tate Modern is London’s free national museum of modern art and contemporary art. We recommend visiting Olafur Eliasson’s exhibition, a must-see!
  • The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design. Housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects spanning over 5,000 years of human creativity. Worth a visit!
  • Welcome Collection is a free museum and library aiming to challenge how we think and feel about health. Through exhibitions, collections and publishing it creates opportunities for people to think deeply about the connections between science, life and art

Christmas light on Regents' Street

Christmas Shopping

Shopping in London can be an adventure and for it to be a successful one, hit the high streets in off-peak hours and make sure to have time to break for delicious food and drinks!

Oxford Street

You will find your favourite high street stores, where you can either splurge as much as you want or window shop. Make sure to look up to see the Christmas lights! Make your way to John Lewis’ Christmas rooftop garden to get you in the festive spirit.

Lavish department stores

Whether you are out to do some shopping or not, visiting London’s most famous department stores is totally worth it. Slip-on some comfy shoes and swing by John Lewis, Debenhams, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.

Covent Garden

A trip to Covent Garden is all you need to get in the Christmas spirit. Hit the high street stores and independent boutiques to find the perfect outfit for a Christmas party. Don’t forget to stop and admire the pretty lights and huge Christmas tree nestled in Covent Garden’s cobbled piazza.

Regardless of what you end up doing, you certainly won’t be twiddling your thumbs this Christmas!

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