I visited London 10 years ago in December and January, as it was the beginning and end destination of my Contiki tour. This year, I spent time in the city in both October and December. Although my goal is to one day visit London in summer, it is definitely one of the best places in the world to be during the holidays. There are decorations, events and markets EVERYWHERE. Even with three full days in the city, I only scratched the sparkly surface.
It’s hard not to feel festive when you wander around London at Christmas. If you are a Christmas fan like myself, here’s a little bit of magic from London. I highly recommend adding “visit London at Christmas” to your bucket list immediately.
Look, Oxford Street is packed no matter when you visit. But it is a good place for both Christmas shopping and decorations. Stop into Selfridges to check out their decorations too.
How fun are these tropical Christmas decorations along Carnaby Street! I had heard of the street before, so I am happy I finally got to experience it for myself. I recommend popping into We Built This City, because it has so many unique souvenir and gift ideas that are predominantly created by local designers.
This was my first time visiting Covent Garden as well, and it was totally not what I was expecting. It was more upmarket than I realised. But the decorations surrounding the neighbourhood were undoubtedly some of the best in London. Definitely wander around and see just what surprises you can found. I also recommend walking to Leicester Square and checking out its small Christmas market too.
There’s a lot happening at Wintertime at Southbank Centre. The event runs from mid-November to January as well, which means there’s plenty of time to soak up the sights. I recommend visiting on an empty stomach, as there was a lot of food options. You can also enjoy a meal inside a clear dome that resembles an igloo!
Harrods is such an amazing department store. I visited in 2007 and bought myself a pencil case (one of the only things I could afford). But it has kept going for 10 years, so I allowed myself to buy a replacement this trip. I highly recommend going for a wander through Harrods’ gift shop, whether it’s Christmas or not. But next door they do have an amazing Christmas shop. The staff at Harrods are also some of the nicest I’ve met. I walked from Harrods to the next stop, and captured a couple of other festive photos along the way.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Um, so Hyde Park Winter Wonderland was a lot bigger than I anticipated. There was a Bavarian Village, Christmas market stalls, rides galore, an ice skating rink, and too many food stalls. I bought myself a snack and wandered around to all the different sections. It’s a great place I think everyone would enjoy. I also visited during the day, so it was a lot less busy than the weekend.
I was in London following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement announcement, so I had to stop by Kensington Palace. I also walked past Churchill Arms on the way, which was looking very festive. Look at all of those trees!
I have Instagram to thank for this discovery. I had never heard of Somerset House before, but I saw a couple of people had posted festive photos from there in the week leading up to my visit. So I stopped by, and although I didn’t do any skating, I did enjoy this view.
I walked from Southbank Centre to Tower Bridge (I did a lot of steps that day) and had to stop to take a snap at Shakespeare’s Globe. It might not be the prettiest, but I just love the building.
Some other places I didn’t visit (or just didn’t photograph) were the Christmas markets at London Bridge, Regent Street (definitely looks better at night) and the Natural History Museum. But I think I did pretty well with only three days.