Our favourite time of the year to explore this enchanting city is during the festive period. To give you some ideas, here is our ultimate guide to spending an unforgettable Christmas in London.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there transport on Christmas Day in London?
Transport over the Christmas period in general is reduced and usually much busier than the rest of the year. We recommend planning any journeys you expect to take before travelling. You can check the Transport for London website for details about your travels.
Christmas Eve (24 December) – Public transport is still available on Christmas Eve but services will be reduced from the evening. There are no night bus services available.
Christmas Day (25 December) – There is no public transport available on Christmas Day. There may be some taxi services available, but expect to be charged more than the normal rate.
Boxing Day (26 December) – There is a reduced service that runs on Boxing Day with some stations closed. Check the Transport for London website before you travel for updates.
What to do on Christmas Day in London?
There are a number of hotel restaurants and pubs that offer Christmas Day afternoon teas and lunches. You can enjoy a walk in one of London’s Royal Parks. Or enjoy the rare quietness of London’s streets.
Where can you volunteer in London over Christmas?
If you want to offer a helping hand to those less fortunate over the festive period, here are some places where you can volunteer: Crisis at Christmas, Team London, Salvation Army, Whitechapel Mission, Community Christmas. There are also a number of homeless shelters that need volunteers and local charities that hold collections during the run-up to Christmas. Contact your local council and search for things going on in your area to find out how you can help.
When do the Christmas lights go on in London?
There are many places that you can go to in London to see spectacular Christmas lights. All the biggest shopping destinations (Oxford Street, Regent Street, Carnaby Street etc.) will have their own display as well as the big name department stores.The exact dates for all displays will vary and are TBC but you can expect to see lights turned on as early as the first week of November.
What is open on Christmas day in London?
Most London attractions will be closed on Christmas Day and others may have reduced opening times over the Christmas period. To avoid disappointment, make sure you check the schedules of any attractions you are interested in visiting. Read our Christmas Day selection for our full list of things to do.
When was the last white Christmas in london?
According to the Met Office, a white Christmas is defined as ‘one snowflake to be observed falling in the 24 hours of 25th December somewhere in the UK.’ Although this has happened on various occasions in a number of locations across the UK, London has not experienced a white Christmas since 1999.
London has not experienced widespread snow on Christmas day since 1895, where there was snow covering the ground on Christmas Morning.
Which London sweetmaker created the first Christmas cracker in 1847?
The Christmas cracker was invented by London sweetmaker Thomas J Smith in 1847. Thomas drew inspiration from fortune cookies to include a short message enclosed within the sweet wrapper. Legend has it that the crackle from his fireplace was what gave him the idea of adding a bang when opening the wrapper to his bon-bon sweets. To incorporate this, larger packaging was needed and thus the cracker was born.