Guide to Christmas in London

Christmas in London is a magical experience. Londoners and visitors alike find the city lights up from within with festive warmth and the sheer amount of things to do will keep you busy for the weeks leading up to Christmas day. From fun family pantomimes to drinks in hidden holiday hot spots, there is something for everyone to do. We have compiled the ultimate guide to Christmas in London for you to follow this year to make the most out of the city.

Christmas Shows In London

London Coliseum

This theatre is hosting beautifully performed Christmas shows, from the English National Ballet’s Nutcracker to A Christmas Carol. A fun Christmas night in away from the winter chill. Both shows are available to book now on the London Coliseum site.

The London Palladium 

For more family orientated shows, The London Palladium has you sorted. Catering to children in their Christmas shows as in previous years they have had big shows of Goldilocks and The Three Bears to keep the family entertained.

Peacock theatre

The theatre stands on Portugal street hosts a variety of Christmas shows. You can book tickets to their big Christmas show The Snowman here, the show will be running from November 21 to January 3 2021.

Christmas by the river
Image from Secretldn

Christmas Markets In London

Christmas By The River At London Bridge City

If you are looking for handmade trinkets, delicate crafts or a large variety of festive treats, the market by the river has it all. This market goes from London Bridge City Pier to The Scoop at More. You can see the city’s skyline as you walk through the market.

Greenwich market

For those of you who love vintage items, Greenwich market is a must go for you. Full of antiques and delicate jewellery pieces this Christmas market is perfect for finding unique little gifts.

Westfield London

In the heart of the city’s luxury shopping area, you can find a market full of independent retailers from the city. So as well as checking out some of the decorations about, you can also help smaller businesses from the area in Westfields Winter Village.

Westfield Winter Village
Image from Secretldn

Christmas in Leicester square

Fun for all the family, you’ll find live shows and fun stalls throughout the square and even a grotto to visit Santa in.

Things To Do In London During Christmas

See the lights around the city

Hop on one of London’s iconic buses and just travel around, seeing the city light up. Enjoying what all the different areas look like in the dark, illuminated by Christmas lights.

Visit the Charles Dickens Museum

From watching A Christmas Carol on the stage to Visiting The Charles Dickens Museum. There’s a lot for classic Christmas literature fans to do. Get taken back to Dickensian times with a trip to the museum and witness a historical Christmas home.

Before heading there you can pre-book tickets here. For the time being the museum is taking admissions through their online booking system.

Charles Dickens Museum
Image from the Charles Dickens Museum

Carolling at St Paul’s Cathedral

Whilst enjoying the city’s landmarks, the Cathedrals are some of the must-visit places. St Pauls is a beautiful cathedral and carolling in it could make a great activity on a day out in London.

Ice Bar

Situated in Mayfair a high-class winter night out could be visiting the famous ice bar. Everything in the bar is carved out of ice, making it a chilly night out but a spectacular experience.

You can make bookings on the ICEBAR London site when they reopen.

Coppa Club

The Coppa Club on Tower Bridge is famous for its igloos. So what better for a wintery day out than to have a festive drink in one of their igloos, overlooking the city.

You can book an igloo for the Tower Bridge location on the Coppa Club site.

Coppa Club igloos
Image by Allan Stone

Fun Places To Visit Around London At Christmas

Kew Gardens

Christmas at the Kew is a must when going around London this Christmas. The Kew Gardens get lit up beautifully. A beautiful display of nature and lights, working in harmony to create a serene atmosphere for all who visit.

When visiting you need to pre-book tickets, which can be done online here.

Christmas at the Kew
Image by Jeff Eden

Warner Bros Studio Tour

The Warner Bros Studio Tour is magical all year round but during Christmas, you can experience Hogwarts in the snow. Just like Harry Potter did in his first year at Hogwarts.

To see more about this experience, see our post on Hogwarts in the snow You can pre-book tickets to Hogwarts in the snow here, as they are usually hard to get hold of due to high demand.

Harrods, Fortnum and Mason and Selfridges

Whether or not you need to pick up a few more gifts, walking past these stores is a must. Not only are their lights spectacular but their window displays are immaculate. Finding the stores will take you around London as Harrods is in Knightbridge, Fortnum and Mason is in Picadilly and Selfridges is on Oxford Street. So, you will be able to tour the city a bit when visiting.

Fortnum and Mason Christmas window
Image from Fortnum and Mason

Hidden Winter Cinema

If you want to get cosy watching Christmas movies with a hot chocolate on your day out, the Hidden winter cinema near Southbank’s centre is the place for you. The cinema shows a variety of films throughout the day, so if you go earlier in the day you will find something a little more family-friendly and then in the evening there’ll be something for those of us older than 16.

Ice Skating Around London

Somerset House

The court of Somerset House is transformed from its iconic water display which you may see during summer to being an ice rink for everyone to enjoy. Illuminated with fairy lights you can skate around with no care in the world and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere.

Skate at Somerset House
Image by James Bryant_0

Natural History Museum

Outside of London’s Natural History Museum, a large rink is set up with a gorgeous tree decorated in the centre of the rink. Its perfectly positioned, so that if you want to take a trip to see the interior of the museum you can come out into a winter dream.

Skylight London

Have you ever imagined yourself skating with the view of London around you? Atop a warehouse at the tobacco dock in London, is a rooftop skating rink during the Christmas season.

Whilst on the rooftop skating rink you can book igloos to sit in and enjoy drinks. Bookings can be made through the Tobacco Dock site.

Skylight rooftop bar London skate rink
Image from Tobacco Dock London

Winter wonderland

And last but not least, Winter Wonderland. Hyde Parks annual Winter Wonderland gives visitors a host of activities to do whilst in the city, from ice skating to enjoying rides in the park to experiencing London’s biggest Christmas market. A day trip to Winter Wonderland will have all of the family satisfied or can make for an amazing Christmas date.

Although this year has been a rocky one, all of these experiences happen annually. So you will be able to enjoy the ultimate London Christmas experience this year. Exact details on openings will be updated closer to November as some of these events would start mid-November and continue until the new year.

Christmas in london