With Christmas events in London getting more and more every year, it just seems there’s not enough time to do everything. However, if you just plan it well, you’d be surprised at how many Christmas activities you can fit into even one single day. Here’s our guide with our top picks for one very Christmassy day in London.
Starting point: London Bridge at 10am. The More London London Bridge City Christmas Market (November 30th – January 3rd) will not only give you a great early morning selection of festive gifts and yummy treats but also stunning views of the river and Tower Bridge in the background. Use the morning sunlight to take pictures with your friends for your social media posts without having to worry about lighting.
Walk down the Southbank to the Southbank Christmas market. This should take you about 30 minutes (aim to be there by 11.30) and afterwards you can rest with a warm cup of mulled cider at the Rekorderlig Cider Lodge. You will see even more festive treats at the market stalls and you can grab some lunch from one of the food vendors at the vicinity.
Walk across the bridge towards Covent Garden and Leicester Square. Both of them will be decorated and full of Christmas shopping opportunities. This year there is also a Christmas Market at Leicester Square which you can look around in less than 15 minutes, but still offers some unique treats like chocolate shaped like shoes, cogs and planes etc and some very delicious and unusual burgers. Plus, the new Lego store that has opened behind it is the world’s largest Lego store.
Once you are done shopping around, head over to the London Coliseum for the 2.30pm Nutcracker ballet show. It is a Christmas classic and one of those must see ballet shows that you need to check off your list (along with Swan Lake but let’s leave that for another time). The show lasts for 2 hours and 15 minutes, after which it should already be dark outside.
Head over to the nearest tube towards Kew Gardens (get there by 6pm) to watch the magnificent Christmas At Kew light displays. Wander beneath unique tree canopies drenched in seasonal colour, stop at the scented Fire Garden inspired by Five Gold Rings from The Twelve Days of Christmas and the Tunnel of Lights, this year animated by over 60,000 lights making patterns and pictures to a festive soundtrack. Aim to spend at least a couple of hours there.
Depending on how tired you are, you can either stay at the gardens until closing and have a few more cups of mulled wine, or if you still have energy left and it is a weeknight you can take a 30 minute train to Vauxhall for a drink at the newest Christmas popup, the Vauxhall Winter Village (closed at weekends), which is right by the station. Keep in mind that it closes at 10pm, so aim to be there by 9pm so you can get a couple of drinks in.
This should give you 12 hours packed with festive cheer and seven fun things to do in London to get your Christmas on!
So whether you can only spare one day because you are busy, or you have friends visiting and you want to make the most of their visit in London, following this guide will help you see all the best parts of Christmas in London and definitely make it worth your while.
Alternatively, if you live in London and have a lot of free evenings this holiday season, you can do one thing per day and spread the activities across December. And, if you want to find some people to join you, there are plenty of socials for these activities and more on citysocializer, so you can just join in one of the other groups going to them.
Just remember to have fun and a happy holiday season!