5km Christmas in London Walk
One could easily spend a few hours at each of these sights, so feel free to choose along this linear route. Most of these spots are free but some require you to book tickets beforehand to enter or partake in the activities, see the websites for more. Grab your comfiest walking shoes, your camera, and “Jingle All the Way” through London’s Christmas festivities.
We start this route at Hyde Park
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland will run for 6 weeks from 17 November to 1 January 2024. From an indoor ice rink to rollercoasters and an ice kingdom! You will be spoiled for choice with a wide variety of food, activities, attractions, and entertainment. Tickets are available but it is worth noting that you have a two-hour slot to enter the park (you can stay as long as you like) and off-peak tickets are free.
Exit the park at Upper Brook Street until you reach Grosvenor Square.
From 16 November to 19 December, Ever After Garden will be open in Grosvenor Square. Over its five years since opening, Ever After Garden has raised over £ 250,000 for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Entry is free but a minimum of £10 donation is suggested if you wish to add a personalised dedication to a loved one on one of the 20 000 illuminated white silk roses.
Continue down Grosvenor Square Road to Brook Street to turn right into New Bond Street.
New Bond Street is best known for its jewellery stores including Cartier, De Beers, and Tiffany & Co. That’s why this year, the well-loved Peacock feather-inspired display is being packed away for a beautiful Tiara-like entrance. This display will also be more sustainable with an efficiency saving of 75%. Wander around and marvel at the glittery storefront displays, and perhaps do a bit of Christmas shopping if you’re in a pinch.
Head back the way you came, turn left then right into South Molton Street, Mayfair. Note this whole area including Grosvenor is part of Mayfair so have a wander down any of the streets that catch your attention.
Mayfair’s Switch On Party on 16 November is one you don’t want to miss. With 63,000 lights, warm drinks, a Nutcracker performance, carolling, and various stores offering complimentary drinks, food, and small gifts.
Oxford Street is quite a long road so you can join it from most of the streets like Bond Street, Davies Street, and Harewood Place.
Oxford Street is lined with twinkling stars with a “Feel the Magic” campaign and partnership with the Starlight charity there are lots of surprises and experiences for you and the family. You can ‘sponsor a star’ by donating to the Starlight charity helping children have a more playful festive season during their stay in the hospital.
At the large intersection by Oxford Circus Subway station turn into Regent Street.
Regent Street’s Christmas lights will be switched on from 9 November to 2 January. The world-famous ‘Spirit of Christmas’ display can still be seen with new additions along the side streets of St James, Glasshouse Street, Swallow Street, and Quadrant Arcade.
Find Foubert’s Place (between the Coach and H&M Home stores) and you’ll walk straight into Carnaby Street.
Carnaby Street’s Carnaby Universe will feature new installations of neon spheres of colour, an abstract take on traditional Christmas lights. Enjoy special events, pop-ups, Christmas shopping, and various offers throughout the festive season. Visit their website for updates on their events schedule.
Continue down Carnaby Street towards the Birkenstock Store turn left onto Beak Street and immediately right into Upper James Street which becomes Golden Square then Lower James Street.
Turn right into Sherwood Street passing Piccadilly Theatre on your left. Turn slightly right into Glasshouse Street. Cross the intersection to get onto Coventry Street towards Lillywhites. Continue all the way straight until you reach Swiss Court which leads into Leicester Square.
Leicester Square Christmas Market is running from 8 November to 7 January and entry is free. See Christmas lights, and taste some sweet seasonal treats, yummy foods, and hot drinks to put you in the Christmas spirit. Additionally, you can purchase tickets to see an award-winning variety show, La Clique.
Exit the square into St Martin’s Street to the right of the Theatre Tickets box. Continue straight passed The National Gallery towards Pall Mall into Trafalgar Square.
Trafalgar Square boasts their famous Christmas tree gifted by Norway every year since 1947 (as a thank you for assistance during World War 2) and over 20 stalls to browse through including hand-made goods, Christmas decorations, all things food, and much more. In the background of all the scenery, you will see The National Gallery, Nelson’s Column, and the Trafalgar Square fountains.
Exit the Square with The National Gallery on your left towards the St Martin-in-the-fields Church down Duncannon Street.
Turn left into Adelaide Street by the 449 Strand building.
At the intersection turn slightly right into Chandos Place, continue straight then turn left into Bedford Street then right into Henrietta Street. Continue until you see Covent Garden Market on your left.
Covent Garden Market is said to be bigger and better this year including a new installation inspired by golden bells. Enjoy some mulled wine, displays worthy of some Christmas selfies, and see the Covent Garden sleigh. Visit their website here for more information and updates on their upcoming events.
Walk straight through Apple Market to exit on the other side into Russel Street by the Royal Opera House Arcade. Turn right into Wellington Street after the Royal Opera House building. Continue straight passing the Lyceum Theatre and cross the intersection into Strand Street.
Turn right to go under the arches of the Courtauld Gallery (a few buildings before King’s College London) into Somerset House.
Our final destination on this route is Somerset House. Somerset House will once again open its doors to its 900m2 ice rink with a 40ft Christmas tree right in the middle to add to the ambience. This year will be Swiss-themed so keep a lookout for the specially-themed skate evenings. Skate Lates on the weekends will include sets by DJs from some of the best nightclubs in the city. You can buy your tickets here.
If you enjoyed this route, see our vegan foody walk around Soho and Covent Garden.
Not on this route but worth a visit:
Southbank Centre has lots to offer from its Winter Market, immersive experiences, dance experiences, and art exhibitions, to music and choirs. There’s a selection of free events as well as ticketed shows, visit their website and take your pick!
Skylight Tobacco Dock has Europe’s only rooftop skating rink with oh-so-cosy heated igloos and huts! Visit their website for prices and make sure you book in advance!
Horizon 22 is free to visit but tickets sell out fast. London’s highest free viewing platform at 254 metres