If you are looking for a complete Christmas in London Guide, 2019, well you are definitely in the right place. Let me take you through all the magic things you can do and see during Christmas Time in London! Christmas 2019 in London. All the info you need!
The biggest Christmas tree will be located in Trafalgar Square. It comes from Oslo each year, donated to Britain and you will be able to view it from early December. As in any other Country, London Christmas Tree decorations can’t really please everyone, but in the end, the vibes you get by just walking through Trafalgar Sq. are so overwhelming that we can, for one minute, forget whether we like the decorations or not. It is possible to listen to carol singing groups performing near the tree in the afternoon (weekend) or in the evening (weekdays). The lights get switched on, usually, the first Thursday in December, this means that this year we should be able to admire this magic tree all lit up on 5 December 2019 at 6 pm. Tube Station Trafalgar Square.
It is not just Oxford Street that will have a big celebration for the Christmas Light Switch, a few more street will celebrate the event, each in their own style.
The lights in Oxford Street are usually the first ones to be switched on, this year it will happen on November 14th, during the event it will be possible to celebrate with VIP’s, music and different pop-up performances. We still don’t know who this year celebrity will be switching the lights on.
The lights will also be switched on in Carnaby Street and they definitely know how to celebrate! You can watch this video I filmed in 2017 when the event was Carnival themed. Thursday, November 7 2019.
Amazingly stylish and elegant Christmas lights can be admired also in BondStreet, let’s wait and see what this posh street will surprise us with this year, they have put up feather-shaped decorations in the past, and it all looked to fashionable! Tube Station: Bond Street.
Covent Garden is one of the most magical places to visit during the Christmas Holidays. They truly put so much effort into decorating the area and the market in such a festive and heart-warming way! And if this was not enough, they too have an amazing Christmas Tree in the main square, tall, kind of chubby (yes, a tree can be chubby too!) and super Christmasy. A must-see in London. A celebrity will switch the lights on here too but usually they don’t give the name away till the very last day. Shops in the area usually have special prices and tasters. Lights here will be switched on in November, 12th. Tube Station: Covent Garden.
Leicester Square has been recently renovated and redesigned, urban-design speaking, and now we can also enjoy a very nice Christmas Market with a Santa’s Grotto! Also, food and drink stalls can be found also in Southbank, another location in London where Magic happens! It is called Southbank Winter Festival and it takes place from the first week in November till the first week in January. Family workshops, food, drinks, gift ideas, magical lights, and so much fun and entertainment. The nearest tube station to the Southbank Centre is Waterloo. A very similar market will be located near London Bridge, with stalls, music, lights and the breath-taking view of London that you can experience from London Bridge. Tube station: London Bridge. 8 November 2019 – 5 January 2020
The tube station for Leicester Square is actually Leicester Square Tube Station, but also Piccadilly Circus. Covent Garden nearest tube station is Covent garden tube station itself, but you can walk from Leicester Square to get here, it is just a 10-minute walk.
On November 15th the lights will be switched on in St. Christopher’s place. It is a very small neighborhood in central London, just off Oxford Street. There are lots of restaurants, cafes, and shops. To be honest this area is pretty nice all-year-round, so at Christmas it becomes even prettier!
Let’s talk about Kew Gardens. They don’t just switch the lights on, they are the lights! Over a million lights decorated Kew Garden last year and surely they won’t disappoint us in 2019, their lights are always stunning: dynamic laser projections will illuminate the iconic Temperate House. You will be able to walk thought lit arches and stunning treas. Please note this is not a free event. You can get more related info here.
Leadenhall Market is maybe less popular but so beautiful. Very well known to all Harry Potter’s fan, this market is pretty small but has stunning interiors and structure. On Nov. 15th at 6pm lights will be switched on by Sadiq khan, London Mayor. The whole of December music events will be held here so I would add it to your itinerary!
I was about to say last but not least, but to be honest it is not even the last one really, because there are so many other little streets that will enchant us all with their Christmas lights, but anyhow, the last one I will mention is Regent Street. Regent Street is actually where it all started: it is here where the first Christmas lights have been switched on in 1954. This year magic will happen on November 14th, and since Regent Street also celebrate its 200 years, we can expect something spectacular!
Maybe the Christmas Event you are already planning to go to. It will be open from 22nd November – 5th January 2020. Please note that it is closed on Christmas Day! Located in Hyde Park, south side, it is a huge fun fair, with ice rink, games, food and drinks stalls and the market. Entry is free, but you must pay for the attractions.
It is not all about the Lights!
Ice Skating in London is very popular, the most famous ice rink is the one at the Natural History Museum, then we also have the one in Canary Wharf and Somerset House, and of course the one at Hampton Court Palace. They usually open in October till the end of January. Natural History Museum is the most beautiful location, surrounded by frosted trees, food and mulled wine at the Café Bar. You can book your ice-skating slot in advance to enjoy your experience at its best.
You will find more than one: in Leicester Square, inside the Department Store and other locations throughout London during Christmas Time. And nope, it is not just for kids because it is always a nice thing for adults and kids.
- Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – Nov. 21st – Jan 5th
- Hamleys – Nov. 24 – Dec. 24th – Bookings only, £39.99
- Westfield Santas Grotto – Different dates – For more info visit Westfields website here.
Santa can be found in his Grosso at Leicester Sq. from 8th November from 12pm – 8pm during the week and 10am-8pm at the weekend. And remember that there are food stalls and shows in the square that you can enjoy too.
Food, Festivals & More !
Winter Igloos. Eat & Drink in an igloo. Sort of. There are several places where you can find these igloos but the well-known one is definitely Coppa Club, next to the Thames.
Hot Chocolate & Pub Crawl. Nope, they are not related but definitely a thing to do over Christmas Time. Have a fun relaxing time by meeting your friends in different cafes & bakeries in London and enjoy yummy hot chocolates with whipped cream. Or go for a pub crawl with your mates, there is also a 12 days of Christmas Pub Crawl in London, and since I am such a good girl, this is a shortlist of places where you can find a nice Hot chocolate! London’s best hot chocolates!
The Christmas season in London is the best time of year to enjoy hearty dinners and Christmas desserts. Afternoon tea or a tasty mince pie is a must in London over Christmas. Enjoy a Christmas dinner in London in a traditional English pub. One of my favorites is the Coin Laundry in lovely Exmouth Market. Not a touristic pub, so it is even better! Punch Tavern offers a slap up Christmas dinner perfect for office feasting. A very nice location close to London Bridge, Heeltap is the place for a delicious dinner. The Regent, lovely gastropub in Balham. Head down to find delightful quaint dining tables and festive interiors.
Afternoon tea is such a British thing and during Christmas, it becomes even nicer, what’s better than spending time in a lovely Café eating nice and cute little desserts while sipping a cup of hot tea? My suggestion? BEA of BLOOMSBURY but also Browns Mayfair, which is very good for lunch too.
Want to try something very Christmasy and very British? Let’s try Mince Pie then. You can’t beat a flaky Mince Pie at Christmas. Head to GAILS BAKERY to try their mince pies over the festive period because their Mince Pies are considered the best ones! Also, you can try Pret A Manger’s, their Mince Pies are super good too! These are real festive treats that you can’t miss! Did you know? Mince Pies were originally filled with meat, rather than the dried fruits and spices mix used today. Originally they had a oval shape to represent the manger that Jesus slept in as a baby, with the top representing a blanket.
Christmas Day in London.
Christmas in London is magical, but you might already know that this town kind of falls asleep on Christmas Day. So, what can you do? Around lunchtime, you might find a lot of people out and about actually, although it is true: shops are closed, some pubs are open though. You’d better check if your favorite one will be open before you go there. No tubes, buses or trams will be running but if you can get into town by walking, or with a taxi, there a few things that you can do. Since Black Cabs can be very expensive on Christmas Day, you can download UBER and get a car for a lower price, if you use my code when you register, you will ge a discount! Code is 3qwttu
There is no public transport, so the tube is closed on Christmas day. If you are planning to have your Christmas dinner in London you might want to find a Hotel that has that or check these suggestions: Designmynight.com .Remember that if you want to book a table you’d better do that well in advance.
It’d be also a great opportunity to have a long nice walk around London because you won’t be able to see this city being so quiet has it is on Christmas Day any other day!
Make sure you are wearing something warm and comfy because temperatures can drop below 5°C and standing in a queue when it’s cold it is not a fun thing to do!
Christmas Shopping in London
Let’s be honest, maybe only New York can compete with Christmas in London, and no other place can. So take advantage of this and enjoy your Christmas Shopping in London!
Covent Garden is a magical place over Christmas, and you will definitely find the perfect gift for friends and family. (I have filmed a video in Covent Garden, please click HERE to watch it! Enjoy!).
An amazing shopping experience for the latest toys and classic ones, Hamleys is perfect for kids and adults too and is one of the most Christmassy places to visit in London at Christmas. The store is open every day and is located on Regent Street.
Oxford Street might not be the prettiest street but at Christmas it becomes fascinating! Get into one of its Department Stores and enjoy a nice hot chocolate while shopping, visit their Christmas Shop and look for the best bargain! Remember that Sales usually start on Boxing day! Window displays in Selfridges are always, every single year, something amazing to see.
What’s better than a Christmas Market?! There are so many, and the following ones are my favorite ones. Wander between nice log cabins, enjoy the food and admire the lights. You can also often find artisanal gifts, which is always the best gift!
Very Christmassy atmosphere at Westfield London. It is a massive shopping center but it also hosts a Christmas Market. British retailers, outdoor stalls and a great Christmas tree! Santas Grosso is from Nov. 21st till Dec 24th ! Greenwich Christmas market . 150 stalls,selling any kind of gift and artwork. And on selected Wednesdays the market stays open till late with music and fun! Christmas at London Bridge can’t be missed! Amazing views of Tower Bridge and Tower of London, typical huts packed with gift ideas and yummy snacks.
Southbank is possibly my favorite place at Christmas. The riverside gets transformed into a magical place with fairy lights and decorations, food from all over the place and artisan gifts. Also, check my video to see how lovely Southbank is! Click HERE to watch the video!
Christmassy info at random!
Check Santas Instagram account to see when he is coming into town !
The Shard. Its lights display are the smartest ever! In fact, the light colors will reflect (every 30 minutes) the changing colors of the sky, this means we can admire great warm colour for the sunset and cool pastel lights at sunrise.
Christmas Decoration in August. Yes, true fact! Where? At Selfridges! Its Decoration department opens in August!
I strongly advise you to use the app Citymapper to help you to use public transportation in London. I have a video and an article where you can get more info about it!
This is definitely not everything that you can do and enjoy in London over the Christmas months, so please feel free leave me a comment below with your very own suggestions!