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Quintessential London Christmas activities

From iconic light displays and grottos to volunteering with Crisis, these are the most festive London activities

Isabelle Aron
Written by
Isabelle Aron
Claire Wong

There’s nothing quite like Christmas in London. From the twinkling lights on Oxford Street to sipping mulled wine at the city’s most festive pub (it’s literally covered in Christmas trees), there are so many quintessential London activities to get you in the festive spirit. Whether you fancy doing some good and volunteering or feel like a bit of wreath-making, London’s got you covered.

Read our full guide to Christmas in London right here.

Being homeless in London is tough at any time of year, but it’s particularly difficult at Christmas. Do your bit for those less fortunate than you by volunteering with Crisis at Christmas. The charity now works all over the UK but it all started in London with an ‘open Christmas’ in 1971 which was run by 20 volunteers in a derelict church. Whether you want to roll your sleeves up in the kitchen, you’re a healthcare professional who can provide check-ups or you fancy running a workshop, there are loads of ways to help. The charity particularly needs night shift volunteers. Sign up to make someone else’s Christmas special.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Pubs
  • Kensington

Thought you’d gone a bit OTT with your Christmas decorations this year? Your jazzy tinsel collection is nothing compared to The Churchill Arms’ festive display, where the owners deck the halls (okay, the pub’s exterior) with around 90 Christmas trees and thousands of twinkling fairy lights. Every year there’s an official switch-on party so you can sip a glass of mulled wine and watch the pub light up. Just be glad you’re not paying the electricity bill.

  • Things to do

Even the most Christmas-averse individual cracks a blissed-out smile at the sight of a magical festive light display. And London is never in short supply of some thoroughly excellent ones. A trip to one of these truly spectacular illuminations lighting up our city will fill anyone’s heart with a surfeit of cheer. From the centre of town, out to some of London’s lesser-known displays, we’ll be adding them all to this handy list as soon as they’re announced. 

Gawp at amazing shop windows
  • Shopping
  • Home decor
  • Soho

Get ready to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ at Liberty’s annual Christmas window display. When you’re done with window shopping, treat yourself to a porcelain Liberty bauble (the store creates a new, limited-edition decoration every year) to hang from your festive fir.

After more festive fun?

 Christmas in London

Feeling festive? With our guide to Christmas events, activities, winter markets and cosy pop-ups in London, you’ll have a holiday so jolly it’ll make Santa jealous

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