Living in New York for so many winters, I believed it was the most magical place to spend Christmas- until I moved to London.
Twinkling lights, gorgeous decor and wreaths at every turn, mulled wine and plenty of holiday activities have made London my top city in the world to celebrate this joyous season in.
Planning on putting together a guide to my ‘can’t miss’ holiday activities in the UK’s capital for next winter, but for now, sharing a few of my festive favorites and a bunch of holiday inspiration in photos.
The best holiday activities in London:
- Do a walking tour of the Christmas lights in Soho and Mayfair, key streets: Regent’s Street, Oxford Street, Seven Dials, Mount Street, New Bond Street, Piccadilly, Carnaby, Marylebone Lane and King’s Road (Chelsea)
- Visit Kew Gardens, where a sparkling trail of twinkling lights awaits. Bonus: There’s prosecco and mulled wine available throughout the trail!
- Wander the seasonal market pop-ups at Southbank, Winter Wonderland (so many rides and games!) and Winterville (less manic than Winter Wonderland)
- Spot the city’s spectacular trees
- Outdoor favs: Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square
- Indoor favs: Claridges and The Ritz
- Go ice skating at the Natural History museum, Tower of London or Somerset House
- Shop London’s iconic stores and take home a few British treats, like brandy butter, Christmas pudding, Christmas crackers, yule log, mini mince pies and Cadbury. Liberty, Selfridges, John Lewis, Harrods and Fortnum & Mason are all excellent options for shopping, and usually beautifully decorated
- Stroll through London’s markets- Borough Market, Maltby and Camden are a few of my favorites for seasonal treats and festive feels. Columbia Road is also beautiful this time of the year with holly, evergreen trees and metallic branches
- Enjoy a warm pint or mulled wine at the pub. I’ve loved pub culture since day one of living here, but with holiday decor all around (hi, Churchill Arms) and no shortage of warm drinks, cosying up at the pub on a Sunday afternoon is practically mandatory. Bonus points if there’s a roaring fire, like at The Blind Beggar
- Peruse London’s neighborhoods to see how residents decorate for the holidays, spoiler: no shortage of stunning wreaths. A few of my go-to areas:
- Chelsea – The side streets and squares off King’s Road
- Notting Hill
- Angel in Islington
If you’ve ever spent Christmas in the capital, what’d you enjoy the most about the season?