Christmas in London 2019: Best events and experiences to gift yourself
Spending Christmas in London? We’ve rounded up the best events and experiences so you can make the most of every moment — and have memories for a lifetime.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in London, from the famed lights of Regents Street to the sounds of mechanical merriment at Winter Wonderland 2019. While there isn’t any snow, there are plenty of shows — and tonnes of other great things to do, too.
Wondering, “Is Christmas a good time to visit London?” Of course it is! In fact, it’s one of the best times to come for a ho-ho-holiday here or just to get out of the house if you’re local.
If festive fun is exactly what you wanted this year, we’ve got what you’re looking for below. Keep reading for things to do if you’re spending Christmas in London.
Where should I go in London for Christmas?
Christmas lights in London
Nothing brightens up the festive season quite like the Christmas lights in London. The Big Smoke is known for its huge displays of bulbed brilliance, with the most shining examples being the Regents Street and Oxford Street Christmas Lights, the Carnaby Street Christmas Lights, Covent Garden, the Seven Dials Christmas Lights and Christmas at Kew Gardens (more on that below). The Instagram stories alone will be the gifts that keep on giving.
London Christmas markets
If you haven’t wrapped up your holiday shopping yet, Christmas markets in London are the perfect way to discover unique gift ideas as well as some delicious food and bevvies. Cheers with some mulled wine around the Capital, from the Leicester Square Christmas Market in central to the Southbank Winter Festival and Christmas by the River along the Thames. Plus, Greenwich Market and Camden Market also get into the seasonal spirit and should definitely be on your Christmas in London checklist.
Christmas shows in London
From classics like the English National Ballet’s Nutcracker at the London Coliseum to beloved annual pantos like Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the London Palladium, there is sure to be a Christmas show on your list playing in London. This year’s top seasonal stage productions include The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre, A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic, Nativity! The Musical at the Eventim Apollo and Disney on Ice.
Hogwarts in the Snow
Where should you go in London for Christmas? Hogwarts! Though technically in Watford, the trip to Warner Bros Studio takes just 20 minutes on the train from Euston followed by a short bus ride. It’s definitely worth it to see the props, costumes and models from the Harry Potter films given festive decorations — Hogwarts in the Snow is sure to be a magical experience!
Christmas at Kew
While London may not have the postcard-perfect snow-covered pine forests of Northern Europe and North America, Christmas at Kew Gardens is definitely a brilliantly British alternative that’s nothing short of lit. It features glittering light installations and laser projections, and the iconic Temperate House is illuminated for the season. Plus, you can wander with the kids or your date through the singing Holly Bushes or the Treetop Walkway with a steaming cup of spiced cider, hot chocolate or mulled wine.
Winter Wonderland 2019
When it comes to Christmas in London, Winter Wonderland 2019 really has it all. This epic event in situated right in Hyde Park and is a full-on festive festival including markets, fairground rides, ice skating, Santa’s grotto, warm street food and mulled wine galore. Winter Wonderland 2019 truly is proof Christmas is a good time to visit London.
Christmas concerts in London
The Capital is an events hub and plenty of major artists are touring through the town. If you want concerts to be part of your Christmas in London experience, there is none bigger than Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball 2019 — with this year’s lineup including Harry Styles, Stormzy, Taylor Swift, Sam Smith and more. Feeling especially festive? Nothing sets the tune of Christmas quite like Michael Bublé, who will be in London early in December.
Ice skating in London
Christmas in London would not be complete without a spot of ice skating. The Capital boasts a number of magnificent outdoor rinks near major attractions so you can squeeze two activities into one day. Among the London ice skating destinations are Winter Wonderland 2019, the Tower of London, the Natural History Museum, Somerset House, Hampton Court Palace and Skylight London, the latter of which offers stunning views of the city.
Christmas afternoon teas in London
Is there anything more London than afternoon tea? (The correct answer, if you don’t want to get on the naughty list, is no.) Put your pinkies up and get down with Christmas afternoon tea in London at spots like The Landmark in Marylebone if you fancy something fancy, TĪNG in The Shard for stunning views that not even Father Christmas could deliver and Brigit’s Bakery if you’ve set your sights —and stomach— on vegan options.