We love spending the holiday season in a great European city. And, if you're lucky enough to spend Christmas in London, you will be richly rewarded. The city absolutely bursts with festivities. Ice rinks, markets, and lights at every turn. In Trafalgar Square, at the London Eye, in Hyde Park and Wembley Park.
Not only festive, Christmas in London is also a busy season! Concerts, dinners, and special events fill up quickly, so we recommend you book your Xmas events as early as possible. And the magic continues beyond the city gates. There are many wonderful experiences on day trips from the city. How about a dazzling day in Paris or a sojourn in the English countryside?
|The Most Popular Activities||Day Trips from London||Grand Food Events|
|Christmas Festivals||Seasonal Skating Rinks||Christmas Markets & Lights|
It doesn't get much better than this! Sip Pommery Brut Royal Champagne as you take in the views of London lights from your pod. Of course, your flight includes skip-the-tickets and priority boarding. See the dazzling Christmas lights of London spread out below you while you drink the stars. Open Christmas Eve & Boxing Day (Dec 26).
An icon of British history, the Tower goes back a long time… to 1066 to be exact. In December, you can skate on the outdoor rink, then see the White Tower, Traitors Gate, Tower Green and of course, the Crown Jewels. You will skip the line and you will be escorted by a Beefeater. You also have the chance to upgrade for access to other London palaces: Hampton Court & Kensington Palace.
This tour is all about luxury. London cab drivers must pass a rigorous exam and their knowledge of the city is unparalleled. During December, your driver will take you to the best Christmas lights in London — Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London, Whitehall, and Buckingham Palace. This tour, which is even available on Christmas Eve, will sell out as the season approaches.
The English countryside dazzles in December. Travel to Windsor Castle, home to the royal family for the past 900 years. Next is the ancient rock formations of Stonehenge. Your journey continues to Bath to see the classic Georgian architecture and Roman Baths. Includes hotel pickup and luxury coach.
What better way to celebrate the season than a champagne lunch on the Eiffel Tower. The day starts at St Pancras station where you meet your guide and board the Eurostar for a relaxing two-hour ride. In Paris, hop aboard a luxury coach and see the dazzling lights of Champs Elysées. A classic French lunch is served at 58 Tour Eiffel as you admire the city beneath you. Available Christmas Eve & New Year's Eve.
We often call this activity "England in One Day" because you see so much. Not only do you travel to Stonehenge and Windsor Castle and Bath, you also stop for a pub lunch in the the charming English village of Lacock. Travel through the English countryside to prehistoric Stonehenge to experience this site on one of the shortest days of the year. In Bath see Britain's only Roman mineral baths.
Choose between traditional afternoon tea served in the library or Anna's Champagne Afternoon Tea, which includes, you guessed it, a glass of bubbly. We know which one we'd choose! Whichever you decide upon, the classic tea service includes English tea, dainty sandwiches, pastries, and scones with clotted cream, fruit preserves, and special Christmas treats. Open most days in December.
During the Christmas season, London Bridge is home to a lively seasonal market. As you walk the festive streets, you'll soak up the atmosphere and sample your way through Borough Market's 100 stalls to find Lincolnshire sausages, British cheeses, fish & chips, chutneys, fig cakes, and seasonal specialties. Wash it all down is London beers, ales & ciders.
Considered the heart of Christmas in London, Trafalgar Square is decorated with a 65-foot (20-metre) tall Norwegian spruce selected from the forests outside of Oslo. Norwegian foresters describe it as "the queen of the forest".
In November, the Lord Mayor of Westminster travels to Oslo to welcome the tree with a ceremony including the British ambassador and the Mayor of Oslo. The special tree is then shipped to London by sea and is decorated in traditional Norwegian Christmas fashion. The countdown to Christmas starts with the lighting of the Trafalgar tree in early December and it stays until the eve of Twelfth Night (January 5, 2017).
It's an old-fashioned Christmas with skating around the Victorian bandstand. Visit the Magical Ice Kingdom with a veritable ice forest of sculptures & a magical frozen castle. Take a ride on the observation wheel high above London for spectacular views.
• Hyde Park
• Mid November to early January
While children are unwrapping their gifts on Christmas morning, the Serpentine Swimming Club are preparing to swim the traditional 100-yard (91-metre) race. Since 1864, brave swimmers have gathered to compete in this chilly competition.
• Hyde Park
Londoners are wild for wintertime ice skating and there are seasonal rinks throughout the city. ;
It's a wonderful experience for the Christmastime visitor to London to lace up some skates and glide around next to some of the most iconic landmarks in this remarkable city. You're in for some real treats For instance, at the Tower of London you'll be skating alongside of those handsome beefeaters! Here are our top suggestions —
This is a great idea and works so well in a city as flat as London. Cruise to the best Christmas lights displays in the city, starting with the London Eye, Big Ben, and fairy-like Sloane Square with it's luxury boutiques. Of course you can't leave out Harrod's and Hyde Park and the fantastic London Christmas markets! With your expert guide you'll know exactly where to go to see the best stuff.
During the holiday season the boroughs, merchants, and people of London go all out to celebrate with lights, trees, and Christmas Markets.
There are literally hundreds of places in Greater London to view warm and inviting Christmas lights, but we think visitors will be most excited about our top ten picks that focus on historic squares and city neighbourhoods.
Fabulous seasonal food, glamorous pieces, and handmade gifts await you at the Christmas markets of London.
These generally kick off at the beginning of December and carry on right through the holiday season (though some a bit earlier and for a shorter period). Many of them are open every day. They are all full of a sense of festival, celebration, and seasonal delights. Here are the markets you don't want to miss —