Soak up London's festive atmosphere in one day with our magical itinerary which includes Christmas shopping, ice-skating, twinkling lights and cosy pubs.
Christmas Shopping In London
Shop for Christmas gifts and decorations in London's fabulously festive West End. Exit the tube at upmarket Bond Street for top London department stores Selfridges and Liberty London, which both house dedicated Christmas shops. Selfridges is the go-to store for Union Jack baubles, while Liberty is known for its traditional wreaths and gorgeous crackers. Marvel at Oxford Street's magical Christmas window displays, as well as its glittering lights and decorations.
Ready for lunch? Refuel at hidden shopping and dining gems like St Christopher's Place, off Oxford Street, which boasts 20 restaurants and cafes, or Carnaby, off Regent Street, where you'll find independent restaurants offering more than 15 cuisines from around the world.
For a sumptuous treat, break up the day with a delicious afternoon tea at one of London's luxury restaurants or hotels; some of which offer special Christmas-themed teas with seasonal treats.
From the merry shopping hubs of Bond Street, Oxford Street and Mayfair, it's an easy walk, Tube or bus ride to Hyde Park's popular festive attraction Winter Wonderland, where you can browse wooden chalets for gifts, sip mulled wine, feast on German sausage and even enjoy a skate on the ice rink. Perfect for families, there are also several gentle rides for kids, the highlight of which is the observation wheel which affords sweeping views of the fair and beyond.
As darkness falls, hop on the Tube to picture-pretty Covent Garden, an area transformed into a winter haven come the holiday season. See the famous Piazza lit up and watch the lights sparkle from a Christmas tree. There are plenty of places to try for dinner; the Opera Quarter and St Martin's Courtyard are packed with a diverse mix of restaurants. Try Jamie's Italian, Indian cafe Dishoom or the Opera Tavern, which serves tapas-style dishes.
Stroll over to buzzing Trafalgar Square, where you can warm up with a hot drink while hearing recitals of classic carols during December and see the world-famous Christmas tree in place (an annual gift from Norway since 1947).
Alternatively, wrap up warm, get your skates on and soak up the festive atmosphere at one of London's gorgeous open-air ice rinks. Stand-out rinks include those at Somerset House, Tower of London, the Natural History Museum and the EDF Energy London Eye.