Fun, festive things to do in London

Fun, festive things to do in London

December 2021
London at Christmas is truly wonderful. The city comes alive with magical lights and glittering trees during the festive season. Along with markets, popups and shows, there’s an enormous array of activities guaranteed to make you feel festive.

If you’re planning a Christmas getaway in London, here are a few fabulous things to do:

1 - Soak in the Christmas atmosphere in colourful Camden Town.

Camden Market is one of the best of the many markets in the city. Located in a haven of counterculture, it has something unique and unusual for everyone, including street food from all over the world as well as arts, crafts and things “uniquely Camden”. It’s also a good time of year to see Camden’s wealth of street art lit by multicoloured Christmas lights. While you’re there, visit the Cob Gallery, a collaborative space that supports emerging artists and hosts edgy art exhibitions in the festive season.

2 - Go festively overboard with Christmas Carols at St Paul’s.

One of the most famous and most recognisable sights of London, St Paul’s has dominated the skyline for over 300 years. The legendary landmark hosts a series of free carol concerts each year. The organ-led carols are by renowned French composer Olivier Messiaen and there’s a traditional service on Christmas Eve with well-loved carols and seasonal music.

3 - Enjoy a menu of winter favourites in an extraordinary setting.

Located right next to London Bridge Station, foodie hub Vinegar Yard is an eclectic mix of drinks, food, flea markets, and art. In winter, the venue goes undercover with huge tents and outdoor heating, as well as two indoor bars. But the best fun is to be had in one of six heated igloos available throughout the festive season. Snuggle on a cosy sofa with a round of street food and mistletoe martinis, and gaze out on one of the best views in London.

4 - Stroll along the Thames under the sparkling lights at Southbank Centre Winter market.

This gorgeous festive market with its traditional Alpine-style chalets features everything from scrumptious street food to arty stocking fillers. Feast on traditional market grub, such as cheese toasties, fondue, bratwurst and mince pies, as well as winter warmers like hot toddies and mulled wine.

5 - Skate in the enchanted atmosphere of the Natural History Museum’s open-air ice rink.

Situated in front of the iconic South Kensington museum, the spectacular rink is surrounded by thousands of fairy lights and features a dazzling Christmas tree. Visit the museum’s alpine-style Café Bar for winter warmers and watch the skaters glide on the ice from the cafe’s balcony. 2021 will be the last time the museum hosts the ice rink, so don’t miss it.

6 - Watch a festive flick in a winter wonderland.

Backyard Cinema, known for its immersive events, is a themed cinema that brings people together for incredible pre-show experiences before the main feature. This year, Backyard Cinema is transforming three spaces around the capital into winter wonderlands. East London’s iconic art deco cinema Troxy and Capital Studios in Wandsworth have undergone a festive makeover, decked out in snow and comfy beanbags, to host all-singing, all-dancing classic film nights throughout December.

7 - Pick up Christmas food goodies and gifts from Borough Market.

One of London’s top year-round food markets, Borough Market has a festive makeover for December. Along with wreaths, tinsel and twinkly lights, you’ll be able to enjoy Christmas songs from choirs and buskers, as well as all kinds of delicious seasonal goodies from the market’s independent traders – including mulled wine, yule logs, puddings, turkeys, sprouts, cheese, Christmas cakes and gifts. Visit the Borough Cheese Company for the perfect Christmas Day cheese board, or Olivier’s Bakery for artisan bread.

To get in on the festive season action, all you have to do is pick a perfect spot to stay. Our stylish apartments in Hampstead and Camden are ideally situated for the holiday traveller and close to many of the capital’s amazing attractions.