12 London Days of Christmas

Christmas lights
1. See London by Night – Christmas Lights!London Christmas lights

What better way to appreciate London’s spectacular Christmas lights than snuggled up on an open bus sightseeing tour – at night! Take in all the classic sights including Harrods, Piccadilly and the Tower of London – all dressed up in their Christmas best.

2. Christmas carols in Trafalgar Square

Throughout December 2011, FREE Christmas Carol services will take place in popular London sightseeing destination Trafalgar Square. Enjoy rousing seasonal tunes in the glow of the 20 metre Christmas tree, gifted each year since 1947 by the people of Norway. This time-honoured and historical gesture commemorates Britain’s support during World War II.

Did you know? In order to reach such lofty heights, the Norwegian Spruce has to reach the grand old age of 100?

3. Fortnum & Mason

Afternoon TeaBursting with sumptuous festive luxuries, Fortnum & Mason’s world-famous hampers have become an iconic symbol of Christmas in Britain. The Food Hall is a decadent showcase of festive indulgence where mouth-watering tastings and demonstrations will get you in the mood for Fortnum & Mason’s other tasty treat – the quintessential English Afternoon Tea.

4. Ice Skating

Christmas kicks off London’s season of outdoor ice rinks - read top 10 outdoor ice rinks on the VisitBritain Super Blog for more information.

Our pick: After a hard day of history at the Tower of London, why not unwind with a gentle skate on the ice rink just outside, in what was the Tower’s moat!

5. West End Shows perfect for Christmas

The Snowman*All-time Christmas classic The Snowman
*Family-fun with Roald Dahl’s Matilda: the Musical – new to the West End
*The Nutcracker – mesmerising ballet set in a glittering land of snow… ideal!

Have a look at our Theatre Deals page for all the latest offers

6. Nativity at Covent Garden

The historic market piazza hosts an innovative digital installation over the festive period. Taking the shape of a digital painting, the installation celebrates the tradition Christmas nativity. Alongside the 32 foot topiary reindeer and festive lights, visitors can watch the scenes shift throughout the day.

7. FREE Christmas Crafts at the Museum of Childhood

What better way to get into the spirit of Christmas than a visit to the V&A’s charming little-sister museum in Bethnal Green. Kids and adults can join Mrs Santa in her craft corner to make a Christmas crackers and pom-pom baubles.

8. Christmas Film Viewings

Boxing Day in Britain largely revolves around what’s showing on the TV. A festive film is a must, and if you fancied watching Christmas classics such as It's a wonderful life on a bigger screen then check out some of the screenings going on around the capital.

9. Hamleys

Hamleys ChristmasFilled with big kids and little ones, a stroll around London’s ultimate toy shop is a Christmas experience like no other! From traditional toys to modern masterpieces, (the inflatable sit-in Dr Who Dalek for instance) Hamleys encourages interaction, so be sure to have a go. Watch out for the ghost on the staircase though.

10. Harrods

With 12,000 light bulbs illuminating the world-famous department store, there’s something about Christmas every day of the year at Harrods, which makes a Christmas tree decoration a fitting festive memento.

11. Harry Potter Walking Tour

Leadenhall Market“Merry Christmas, merry Christmas
Ring the Hogwarts bell
Merry Christmas, merry Christmas
Cast a Christmas spell!”

Christmas at Hogwarts is a truly magical experience, so why not take a guided Harry Potter tour of London? Handily the tour will take you through Leadenhall Market – the location for numerous London scenes in the Potter films – where you could pick up a Christmas present or two.

12. One-stop Christmas experience: Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

There are rides; an ice rink; numerous opportunities to meet Santa; a traditional German Christmas market and even ‘Zippos Cirque Extreme’ – a Christmas circus with a difference! Entrance to the Wonderland is free, with the attractions charging various entrance fees. Tickets and more information can be found via the official website.