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22 reasons why Londoners love Christmas

We asked a band of bloggers and London experts to share their favourite things to do during the festive season

Written by
Matilda Egere-Cooper
Ice skating at Somerset House

1. Ice skating at Somerset House

Christmas in London is the best time of year, so after I head to Oxford Street to check out the Christmas lights, I then head over to Somerset House. I’ll have a skate and look up at the awesome Christmas tree while listening to some Christmas classics.’

Sasha Abraham, @Sosh_uk
Window shopping at Fortnum & Mason

2. Window shopping at Fortnum & Mason

‘I like browsing Fortnum & Mason to pretend I’m getting gifts for others, while all the gifts are actually for me!’

Duygu Cook, @eatnlondon

Moseying around Borough Market

3. Moseying around Borough Market

‘I love the mulled wine and festive food in Borough Market at this time of year. It has the beautiful backdrop of Southwark Cathedral nearby –  and with The Globe theatre a short walk away and St Paul’s Cathedral across the river, it’s great to walk down the Thames afterwards.’

Angel Dee, @angeldeefitness
Walking along the South Bank

4. Walking along the South Bank

‘We love walking along the South Bank, which we do throughout the year, but it’s especially great at Christmas time. Stalls are decked out in their festive best, the air is crisp and chilly, hot toddies are aplenty and you’re right in the heart of the city – there’s nothing better!’ 

Patrick & Russell,

Appreciating the Christmas lights at Seven Dials

5. Appreciating the Christmas lights at Seven Dials

‘While Oxford Street and Regent Street are impressive, I prefer to walk about the more intimate Seven Dials which, in my opinion, consistently has the best lights display in the city!’

Daniel Pharaoh,

Eyeing up the window display at Selfridges
Matt Writtle

6. Eyeing up the window display at Selfridges

‘You have to wait until late evening, when the crowds have gone home and then take a walk down Oxford Street just to walk past Selfridges’ window display. They normally put a magical, perfectly detailed spin on Christmassy tales, which never fails to transport me into a wide-eyed state. It’s like a silent, still movie.’

Sanchia Legister,
Visiting Trafalgar Square on Christmas Eve
Elias Gayle / Flickr

7. Visiting Trafalgar Square on Christmas Eve

‘I go to sit at the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square on Christmas Eve with a takeaway meal for dinner. When London is empty like this, it’s only us who’s left, and we can lap it up.’

Nic Crilly-Hargrave,
Letting your hair down at a Christmas party

8. Letting your hair down at a Christmas party

‘This year will see me sporting my Santa and Rudolph dress after numerous Christmas cocktails and taking a dunk in the ball pit at Baillie Ballerson. Who says Christmas is just for kids?’ 

Nadia Ismail,

Going on a festive pub crawl

9. Going on a festive pub crawl

‘Londoners treat pubs as an extension of their own living room, so I find it impossible to feel Grinch-like when I’m sipping mulled wine, whiskey or dark beer by an open fire surrounded by fellow rosy-cheeked drinkers. For a festive pub crawl that’ll fill you with charitable cheer, head somewhere scenic like Blackheath or Richmond, but my shout would be to start in the gorgeous Dickens Inn in St Katherine Docks.’ 

Chris Sharpe,
Scoping the fancy houses decorated in festive lights
Kenny's Army / Flickr

10. Scoping the fancy houses decorated in festive lights

‘I live east so for me there’s nothing nicer around Christmas than going west and seeing the gorgeous grand houses all dressed up in lavish festive glory. On my side of town though, I love Redchurch Street in the run-up to Christmas. There are many people scurrying around buying quirky last-minute gifts.’ 

Alice Tate,

Find more Christmas fun in the capital

Have the jolliest holiday with our complete guide to festive events, activities, parties and shows in the capital this Christmas

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