“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” – Samuel Johnson
This is especially true at Christmas with London catering for every preference and every wallet with almost every structure being adorned with Christmas lights and tinsel and London becoming a winter wonderland.
What to do at Christmas in London
Christmas marks its arrival in London with the switching on of the Oxford Street Christmas Lights. Marvel at the sparkle, the glitz and glamour as every retailer and building on the UK’s favourite high street is transformed and illuminated by over 200,000 sparking lights.
Another way to see all of London’s Christmas lights is to take a bus tour. Take in the displays at Regent Street, Trafalgar Square and Oxford Street from the comfort of a tour bus; avoid the crowds and benefit from the free wifi as you upload your images to Instagram. At around £17 per person, this guided tour is ideal for those with limited time in London.
Not to be outdone by other cities, London has a feast of Christmas Markets across the city with the King’s Cross’ food and crafts market being one of our favourites. In addition to street food, Yuletide crafts, bespoke art and design pieces, you can enjoy wreath making, and even cheese board arranging.
Ice rinks can be found all over London at Christmas, but one rink that stands out is the Fortnum and Mason rink at Somerset House. Apres-skate enjoy sumptuous mince pies and mulled wine while the Fortnum and Mason fondue is divine.
A Christmas rendition of The Nutcracker is not unique to New York with the English National Ballet’s 100 strong performance at the lavishly decorated London Coliseum delivering a wondrous experience that you will not forget.
With a resident carol singing choir and Edwardian themed Christmas decorations, Afternoon Tea at The Ritz is a must for anyone wanting to indulge.
Assault your senses with the visual delights, sounds and tantalising smells found on and off Carnaby Street where, this year, they have teamed up with Project Zero to deliver a sustainable Christmas display composed of recycled and reusable materials and lights that are 100% renewably sourced.
While in Carnaby Street, head to nearby Pastaio or Dishoom (be prepared to queue at both as neither accept reservations) for respectively some authentic Italian delights and some tantalisingly tasty Bombay inspired dishes. The Dishoom Bhel is light on the stomach while almost every dish at Pastio is light on the wallet.
Where to stay in London
Below are our top picked properties for the stay in London this Christmas. Prices correct as of 13th December, 2019
4* Citadines Trafalgar Square London
Booking.com: $193 (7.8% saving with Travala.com)
5* The Savoy
Superior Room with Queen Bed
Hotels.com: $566 (14.5% saving with Travala.com)
4* Thistle Piccadilly
Standard Double Room
Hotels.com: $218 (9.6% saving with Travala.com)
5* Dukes London
Superior Room Double Bed
Hotelss.com: $574 (15% saving with Travala.com)
5* St. James Hotel and Club Mayfair
Booking.com: $470 (22.8% saving with Travala.com)