Get us in your inbox


Which London borough has the best Christmas tree?

Josh Mcloughlin

In the spirit of festive cooperation and goodwill to all men, borough councils across the capital are fighting to outdo one another to see who’s got the biggest and best Christmas tree. 

Some, like Westminster, have gone for sheer size. Others, like Hackney, have gone tree mental, with loads of smaller trees all over the place.

Some are just naff.

Here’s our guide to the best and worst festive firs knocking about London’s town centres this Christmas.

Greenwich – Cutty Sark Gardens

Height: 30ft

Fenced in like a giant, beneedled baby in a white picket-pen, Greenwich's Christmas tree gets points for size, but falls short on lights. Cutty Sark is much brighter, and gold tips haven't been cool since *NSYNC.

Royal Borough of Greenwich


Hackney – Going for the carpet bomb approach, Hackney council has stuck up five trees in total across the borough, each spruced up by the borough's leading fashion designers, including:

Old Street – Designed by one of Kanye's fave menswear designers Kate Eary. Is it radical comment on big brother culture? Or perhaps it's a biting visualisation of Christmas as a traumatic spectacle? It might be thoughtful, but it's about as festive as a WH Smith gift card.

Lower Clapton – It's big, it's brash and it's colourful – a strong effort by Debenhams' golden boy Henry Holland.

London Borough of Hackney

Dalston – Designed by co-founder of arty pop-fashion platform OKGrl Louby Mcloughlin. Smashing subtlety over the head with a cast-iron candy cane, Mcloughlin has covered every inch of the tree in decorations. Why bother deciding between a star and an angel to top it off? Have your Christmas cake and eat it, with both.

London Borough of Hackney

Kingston, Clarence Street.

Height: 36 feet

Kingston's effort is tasteful, traditional, and elegant, the kind of tree your nan has in her front room, towering over thoughtful gifts neatly wrapped in brown paper and string. It's also damn tall, making it a strong contender for top tree.


Westminster, Trafalgar Square

Height: 72 feet high

At 106 years old and weighing in at four tonnes, Westminster's tree is one formidable fir. Wait a sec, doesn't it look exactly like a cucumber? Yes, yes it does. Oh dear Westminster. 


A photo posted by Lenita (@ltorning) on

Redbridge – Seven Kings Station.

Again with the cucumber thing? Compared to Trafalgar Square, this Redbridge tree is more of a furry gherkin, and the lights are too cold to give passers-by that festive feeling. Nil point.

London Borough of Redbridge

City of London, St Paul's

Excellent lighting coverage, a fine profile and one of the most striking locations of any of our Christmas contenders, the City of London's tree is imposing, reserved and quietly authoritative. If a city banker were a Christmas tree, this is exactly what they'd look like.

Kensington & Chelsea
, Sloane Square

In the end, there's just not enough baubles on Kenny & Chel's Sloane Square tree, and the result is a fir resembling a green, pimply teenager with a triangular head.


A photo posted by Klaidas Kazak (@klaidkazak) on


Waltham Forest, Walthamstow (William Morris Gallery)

Someone's learnt from Westminster and Redbridge's mistakes. Angling the lights ever so slightly (or putting them on skew-whiff) means Walthamstow's tree ends up more Christmas than cucumber. The cute star on top is a nice finish, and the overall result is an unfussy yet quietly confident spruce. Bravo.


A photo posted by carloshrh (@carloshrh) on

Check out London's best alternative Christmas trees

Popular on Time Out

    Latest news

      Read next