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Spending Christmas In London

Christmas in London is nothing short of magical. Having spent my childhood there I have Christmas time memories that are beyond compare. Peering wide-eyed into the windows of stores like Harrods and Hamleys, gazing up at the lights on Carnaby and Regent Streets, the smell of Christmas treats wafting out of Covent Garden and Borough Market and ice skating at Somerset House are just a few of the memories that bring a smile to my face.

Now I’m an adult and I only get to visit London at Christmas time every few years but the magic is still very much alive. I still love the store windows and bright lights but I also get to enjoy the grown-up activities like sipping mulled wine in a cozy pub and Christmas shopping for my nieces.

I now also have to do my own planning, which is no easy task with all of the many Christmas sights and activities in London. It takes stamina, determination and a good solid itinerary to see even half of the festive options but with these tips it is possible:

Tips for Spending Christmas in London

Tip 1: Book your accommodations close to an underground station and get an Oyster Card.

Tip 2: Make sure to include layers and a raincoat when you pack for London for obvious reasons.

Tip 3: Use sites like Time Out London and Visit London to make a list of all the Christmas sights and events.

Tip 4: Prioritize the items on your list. Trust me when I say you won’t get to see everything so you’ll want to make sure you have your must-sees at the top.

Tip 5: Create a color coded Google map. Many of the sights are clustered in different areas so it’s best to plan a route that covers one area at a time.

What to See & Do in London at Christmas

Here are some of our favorite festive sights and activities, in no particular order:

Christmas Carolers at Borough Market

  • Walk along the Southbank and explore the Winter Market and festive stalls and events.

Southbank of London at Christmas

  • Walk along Regent Street, Oxford Street and Carnaby street and admire the beautiful light and window displays.

Regent Street London

Carnaby St Christmas in London

  • Stroll the streets of Soho and pick a pub for some Christmas cheer while watching all the fabulous Christmas costumes of party goers.

London Pub

Covent Garden Christmas

  • Visit the famous Hamleys toy store and maybe even go and see Father Christmas. This may be the number one Christmas thing to do in London with kids

Hamley's Toy Store

  • Christmas at Kew Gardens is beautiful place for a stroll anytime of year but at Christmas it’s extra special. 

Kew Gardens London

Christmas in London

Somerset House London

  • Sing carols around the Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square. The famous square will have carolers and a singalong every afternoon until Christmas.

Trafalgar Square London

  • Go to a traditional Pantomime. These comedic takes of fairy tale classics play at many theaters over the Christmas season and are a great way to experience a fun British tradition.

Richmond Theatre London

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