Things to do in London During the Holidays

The end of the year is coming closer, which means that cities around the world are dressed and decorated for the holiday season. So how does London celebrate the holidays? For our students living and learning English in this exciting city, there is never a shortage of festive things to do.

Everything starts at the beginning of fall, when the temperatures lower and the colorful leaves cover the ground. Summer time is over by the end of October, which means that the nights fall earlier every day. But it’s not all bad as this is the time of the year that the Christmas Lights illuminate the city, bringing with them a special festive atmosphere. Visiting London at any time of the year is always nice, but during this time it's even more special.

Our Covent Garden and Leicester Square schools are located in the heart of the city, which means it’s easy for our students to check all of these incredible attractions first hand. Take a look at our favorite things to do in London during the holiday season.


Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland is an amazing combination of a fun fair and a Christmas Market. The complex is built every year in Hyde Park by the end of November, and remains open every day until the first days of January. It’s a very fun and joyful place to go. You’ll be able to enjoy live music, a lot of action at the ice skating rink, fun fair attractions, traditional food and drinks, and nice handmade crafts. 


London Winter Wonderland
Enjoy live music, tasty holiday treats, and craft stalls at Winter Wonderland


Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is the amazing Botanical Garden of London that deserves a visit at any time of the year. During Christmas time the place gets a beautiful and festive redecoration with bright and colorful lights illuminating the gardens and creating a magical atmosphere. This year’s exhibit happens between November 23rd and January 2nd. Don’t miss it!



City lights

Some of the most famous and busy commercial streets in Central London also get special Christmas decorations. Be sure to walk by Oxford Street, Regent’s Street, and Bond Street. And get your camera (or smart phone) ready to take some amazing pictures.


London city lights
You'll feel like you've entered into a fabulous festive dream


Amazing shops and window displays

When you go to the commercial streets mentioned above, take the time to check some of the most beautiful and creative window showcases created especially for Christmas time. One of the most famous window decorations is done by Selfridges, and you can check it at Oxford Street. It’s also worth exploring the Christmas displays inside Liberty and Harrods.


London Christmas window displays
Shops can get quite creative with their holiday window displays


Ice skating rinks

During this time of year, the ice skating rinks take over London and people from all over come together for this winter activity. This can be a very fun thing to do with your friends. If you’ve never skated before, enjoy the challenge! Or you could always have fun just watching people either succeed or struggle on the ice. Special tip: The Somerset House Ice Rink and the Natural History Museum Ice Rink are among the nicest in the city.


London ice skating
There's something quite festive about ice skating


Tower Bridge

Wear a very warm and cozy coat and go for a walk by Thames River down by Tower Bridge. The bridge in itself is incredible! If that alone isn’t enough, every year there is a very nice Christmas Market (London Bridge Christmas Market) with handmade crafts and traditional food and drinks. Also, all the trees in the area are decorated with lights, a Christmas tree is built, and a there’s a festive bar with lots of holiday-themed drinks. It’s the perfect place to get in the Christmas spirit.


London Tower Bridge Christmas
There are tons of Christmas markets around the city, but this one is our favorite


Covent Garden

Covent Garden Market is another place in London you have to go during the holiday season. Besides the amazing Christmas decorations, there is live music almost every day and a beautiful Christmas tree. You can enjoy some nice shops and restaurants in this busy area as well.


London Covent Garden
A great attraction all-year-round, Covent Garden becomes extra festive during the holidays


Carnaby Street

Carnaby Street is one of the most charming streets in London. It’s tiny, it has colorful walls, and it has some of the nicest shops and bars in the city.  The festive decorations during Christmas time are always original and pretty.


Carnaby street London
Check out the stunning decorations on Carnaby Street


Whether you’re living in London or just visiting, there are always plenty of things to do all-year-round. If you are interested in improving your English, find out more about our schools in the UK. Or, if this amazing city appeals to you, consider studying at one of our Kaplan school in London.

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