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Christmas in London: A Guide to Festive Fun!

Updated: Apr 9, 2023

London's festive atmosphere during Christmas


London during Christmas is truly magical! With stunning light displays, festive markets, ice-skating rinks, and a whole host of seasonal events, the city is transformed into a winter wonderland. Whether you're a resident or a visitor, there's something for everyone to enjoy.


In this blog post, we'll take you on a journey through London's Christmas wonderland, exploring the best events and attractions that the city has to offer during the festive season. From dazzling light displays to traditional Christmas markets, we'll cover it all. So, get ready to experience the magic of Christmas in London!





Christmas Markets

London is home to some of the best Christmas markets in the world, each with their own unique atmosphere and offerings. These markets are not just great places to shop for unique gifts and decorations, but also to experience the festive spirit of London during the holiday season.


The top Christmas markets in London


Here are some of the top Christmas markets in London that you should definitely check out. At the Southbank Centre Christmas Market, you can browse through over 80 wooden chalets selling everything from handcrafted gifts to festive food and drink. The Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is another popular destination, featuring a giant observation wheel, ice skating rink, and countless stalls selling gifts and delicious treats. Other must-visit Christmas markets include the Christmas by the River market at London Bridge City, the Leicester Square Christmas market, and the Greenwich Market Christmas festivities.


The top Christmas markets in London
Southbank Christmas Market

Unique gifts and decorations


In addition to the festive atmosphere, these markets offer unique gifts and decorations that you won't find anywhere else. From handmade crafts to vintage decorations, there's something for everyone. And when it comes to food and drink, there are plenty of traditional festive treats to try, like mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, and mince pies. So, make sure to check out these markets to experience the best of Christmas in London.


Covent Garden Christmas Market
Covent Garden Christmas Decorations

Ice Skating


The best ice skating rinks in London


Ice skating is a quintessential winter activity, and there's no better place to do it than in London. With a variety of outdoor and indoor rinks available, there's something for everyone, from novice to expert skaters. Here are some of the best ice skating rinks to visit during the festive season:

  1. Somerset House Ice Rink: One of the most popular skating destinations in London, Somerset House Ice Rink is set against the stunning backdrop of the neoclassical building. In addition to skating, visitors can enjoy a range of activities, including Skate Lates, Club Nights, and Skate School.

  2. Glide at Battersea Power Station. London’s brand new and only riverside ice rink. Set against a backdrop of one of the capital’s most iconic buildings, the ice rink at Battersea Power Station is the most magnificent open-air ice rink in the city. From the team who brought you the Natural History Museum Ice Rink and Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, it is THE number one must-do activity this winter.

Glide at Battersea Power Station ice skating
Ice Skating at Battersea Power Station

No matter which rink you choose, there are plenty of special events and activities to enjoy, including live music, ice hockey matches, and Christmas markets. For first-time skaters, be sure to wear warm clothing and comfortable shoes, and don't forget to bring gloves and a hat. Many rinks also offer skating aids for children and beginners, as well as lessons with experienced instructors.

Glide at Battersea Power Station.  London’s only riverside ice rink
Glide at Battersea Power Station

London Christmas Lights


London is known for its beautiful Christmas light displays, and there are plenty of places to experience the magic.

Santa under Christmas Tree London Waterloo Place St James
Waterloo Place St James London Christmas Tree

The most impressive Christmas light displays in London


Here are some of the most impressive Christmas lights in London:

  1. Oxford Street: With over 750,000 LED lights, the display on Oxford Street is not to be missed. The theme changes each year, but it always features a stunning array of twinkling lights.

  2. Regent Street: Regent Street is another must-see for Christmas lights. The "Spirit of Christmas" theme brings a warm and festive glow to the street.

  3. Covent Garden: Covent Garden's giant mistletoe chandelier and glittering reindeer make it one of the most romantic spots to take in the Christmas lights.

  4. Carnaby Street: Carnaby Street's display is always unique, with a focus on sustainability and environmentally-friendly themes.

  5. Kew Gardens: Kew Gardens is transformed into a winter wonderland each year, with a trail of over one million lights.

Regent Street Christmas Decorations at night
Regent Street Christmas Lights

Suggestions for walking routes to take


When planning your Christmas light viewing, consider taking a walking route to see the displays. This is a great way to take in the festive atmosphere and see the lights up close. Some popular routes include Oxford Street to Regent Street, and Covent Garden to Leicester Square.

London Church at Christmas
Covent Garden Church Christmas Lights

Tips for photographing the displays


If you plan to take photos of the Christmas lights, be sure to bring a camera with low light capabilities. This will allow you to capture the details of the displays without sacrificing image quality. Additionally, try to arrive early or on a weeknight to avoid the crowds and get the best shots.


Experiencing the Christmas lights in London is a truly magical experience that should not be missed.

Tourists taking photos in Lonodn
Taking Festive photos of the Christmas lights

Festive Food and Drink:


One of the highlights of the Christmas season in London is the delicious food and drink on offer. From traditional British Christmas fare to international cuisine with a festive twist, there's something to satisfy every craving. Here are some suggestions for the best places to indulge in festive treats in London.

National Gallery London at Christmas
Trafalgar Square Christmas Market

Traditional British Christmas Foods and Drinks:


Roast turkey, pigs in blankets, mince pies, Christmas pudding, and mulled wine are just a few of the traditional British Christmas foods and drinks. You can find them at most pubs, restaurants, and cafes during the festive season. For a truly authentic experience, head to a local market or traditional pub.

Traditional London Pub lit up at night
The Chandos Pub London

Best Places to Sample Festive Foods and Drinks:


The Christmas markets in London are a great place to sample traditional British fare. The Southbank Centre Winter Market, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, and Leicester Square Christmas Market are just a few of the markets that offer festive food and drink stalls.

Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree
Sample Festive Foods in Trafalgar Square

If you're looking for a sit-down meal, many restaurants offer special Christmas menus. The Ivy, The Ritz, and Claridge's are just a few examples of high-end restaurants that serve traditional Christmas dishes with a modern twist.


For a more casual experience, head to a local pub. Many pubs have special Christmas menus and offer festive drinks such as mulled wine, hot toddies, and spiced cider. The Churchill Arms in Kensington is famous for its Christmas decorations and festive atmosphere.

Drinking a Pint of beer in the Chandos Pub London
Enjoying a Festive Beer in a London Pub

Special Menus and Events:


In addition to traditional Christmas dishes, many restaurants and pubs offer special menus and events during the festive season. From Christmas-themed afternoon tea to festive cocktails, there's something for everyone.

Christmas Nativity scene
Christmas at St Martins in the Fields Church Crypt

For a unique dining experience, try the Gingerbread City Afternoon Tea at the Corinthia Hotel. The tea features gingerbread structures created by some of the UK's top architects and designers.


If you're looking for a festive night out, head to the Elf Christmas Cocktail Bar. This pop-up bar features a menu of creative cocktails inspired by classic Christmas films, and the decor is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.


No matter where you go in London, you're sure to find delicious festive food and drink. Make sure to indulge in some traditional British Christmas fare and try some of the creative offerings at local restaurants and bars.

Cafe in the Crypt of St Martins in the field church
Christmas at St Martins in the Fields Church Crypt

Experience the Magic of Christmas in London: A Guide to Festive Fun!


London truly comes alive during the festive season, with a plethora of activities and attractions to enjoy. From Christmas markets to ice skating rinks, stunning light displays to delicious food and drink, there is something for everyone to get into the festive spirit.

As you plan your trip, be sure to book in advance and check for any COVID-19 restrictions that may be in place. And for an extra special experience, consider booking a festive tour with Roberts London to ensure you make the most of your time in the city.

So what are you waiting for? Come and experience the magic of Christmas in London for yourself!

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