Guide to Christmas in London
Oxford Street - You know Christmas is coming when Oxford Street is transformed by sparkly, glowing lights - 1,778 to be exact. This year, the white lights inspired by falling snowflakes will be accompanied by new purple baubles and the switch on is expected to attract over one million Christmas-lovers.
From November 6th
Carnaby Street – Ostentatious Christmas lights with its renowned famous shopping party with 20% off on over 80 brands as well as one-night-only offers, free on-street entertainment, and various in-store activities. This is an event you will not want to miss. This year, celebrate the ultimate Queen experience with thir world-first art installation in celebration of the 20th Century Fox film Bohemain Rhapsody. Then, head over to 3 Carnaby Street for the Queen pop-up store selling all types of memorabilia and souvenirs, plus see incredible costumes from the film.
From November 8th
Marylebone High Street - Every year Marylebone Village hosts a Christmas Lights event to celebrate the switch on of its Christmas decorations. A fantastic community event packed with crowds. Enjoy the stage performances, take part in the various activities, shop and eat! The event is a true village affair for Londoners.
From November 14th
Regent’s Street – All the way down the length of this grand shopping street you will find its regular Christmas makeover. Watch the spirit-like shapes spring into life at the 2018 switch-on.
From November 15th.
Here’s our pick of London’s best Christmas markets and fairs to help you check off your seasonal shopping list. Eat your heart out, Santa.
Winterville, Clapham Common
The trendy alternative to Winter Wonderland, is in South London’s Clapham. This Christmas market is expected to boast a spectacular street food line-up, film screenings from Backyard Cinema, crazy golf from PLONK and a lovely big Ferris wheel, plus ice skating and roller disco opportunities.
Nov 15 – Dec 23
Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park
This great big Christmas fun fair draws in Londoners, day-trippers and tourists. It plays host to the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, an ice bar, loads of festive food stalls, and rides.
Nov 22 – Jan 6
Christmas in Leicester Square
At the very heart of London’s tourist district, a sparkling Christmas market is set to return for the winter season. Along with beautiful food and gift stalls, there’ll also be a large Speigeltent where you’ll be able to watch hilarious and fabulous performances from the Briefs Boys, as well as a Burlesque Carol Concert and so much more (including plenty of child-friendly shows and events).
Nov 9 – Jan 6
Southbank Winter Festival
This riverside Christmas market, not far from the London Eye, is one of the first to pop-up in 2018. The perennial Southbank street food vendors will be adding festive fare to their menus and there’ll be gifts and trinkets to buy from little wooden huts. There’ll also be a list of shows and performances, including Circus 1903 and Rumpelstiltskin.
Nov 9 – Dec 27
Christmas at Kew
One of the big heavy hitters this year is Instagram favourite, Christmas at Kew. Follow the trail of a million lights, illuminated trees and show-stopping buildings for a glow-in-the-dark extravaganza. You can also toast marshmallows on an open fire surrounded on all sides by a spectacular light installation. What could be more Christmassy than that? Tickets start from £16 per adult and £10 for children.
Santa at Selfridges – Be one of Santa's special guests as he hosts a decadent festive breakfast for all the family. Meet the man himself and guests will receive a special personalised gift as you start the day with him. Tickets: £45 for kids; £55 for adults
Every Saturday and Sunday, from 1 – 16 December, plus Tuesday 18 & Thursday 20 December, 9AM–11AM
Skate at Somerset House - Get your skates on. Somerset House's grand 18th-century courtyard is the stunning setting for an ice rink again this winter. No matter how unimpressive your skating skills a trip to this 900-square-metre outdoor rink will be the very definition of festive fun. And if it's anything like last year, there'll be loads of tempting extras too: from champagne, mulled wine and winter dining, to live music, dj's and club night collaborations.
Nov 14 18-Jan 13 19
The Yonda Tour - All your illumination dreams can come true in less than two hours with a self-driven tour of the top twinkly spots in your very own Yonda Smart
Car – complete with heated seats. Cruise past the shimmering lights of Bond Street, the wonderfully decorated Harrods and the colours from the Southbank. With bespoke GPS-enabled technology, the easy-to-follow 90-minute tour is accompanied by a virtual guide who helps you navigate London’s most iconic sights and the hidden nooks and crannies. The experience costs £60 (£30pp) for a two-seater convertible and £95 (£23.75pp) for a four-seater with a clear panoramic roof. (Insurance is included).
St Katharine’s Dock
In the spirit of Christmas warmth and TV movies, you can watch your favourite festive film on a giant floating screen at the St Katharine Dock Floating Film festival . With all the merry greats, including Elf and Home Alone.
December 4th – 10th. Tickets start from £13.25 and booking is essential.
From festive favourites to Christmas treats for all the family, London is a melting pot of excellents from the West End hits to fringe theatre favourites to Christmas classics. Whether it's Dawn French in the annual London Palladium Snow White, to the English National Ballet’s Nutcracker, theatre in London is a must this Christmas.
Visit the best shopping hotspots all around The Mandeville, including Oxford Street, Bond Street, Regent Street, featuring high street, designers as well as Selfridges, Fenwicks and Liberty and kids’ favorite Hamley’s. Or head to Knightsbridge to catch Harvey Nichols and Harrods.
For some alternative favourites, you can enjoy Covent Garden and Seven Dials and Carnaby Street for the mix of designer labels, vintage stores and high-street brands.