Five of the Best Things to Do in London at Christmas

With less than a month to go till the big day, we’ve turned our attentions to a few of the best things to do in London at Christmas to get your festive fix...


Lanvin Christmas Tree

There’s nothing like a little bit of old-fashioned glamour in London to really get you in the mood for a stylish Christmas. And where better to begin than the exquisite Claridge's? Each year its legendary black-and-white-chequered entrance hall becomes home to an ever more fabulous Christmas tree. This year is the turn of Lanvin and Alber Elbaz. Adorned with hundreds of twinkling lights and glittery baubles, the theme is a perfect family Christmas, with hand-made Lanvin puppets lounging around with presents (and none other than an Alber puppet as the fairy). After marvelling at the tree, it only seems polite to stop in at the elegant Art Deco-style Claridge’s Bar for a glass of champagne or a spot of afternoon tea.


Address: 49 Brook Street, London, W1K 4HR; Tel: 0207 629 8860

Read our full review of Claridge's.

Ice Skating at Somerset House

Ice skating has obviously become one of the most popular things to do in London at Christmas in recent years. And with so many ice rinks in London sprouting up, it’s been tricky to decide on our favourite. This year, though, team ELLEuk will mostly be found wrapping up warm at Somerset House, who've upped the stakes in terms of glamour again with their gorgeous 40-foot Christmas tree and their Tiffany & Co sponsorship allowing you to pick up some bespoke chocolates sold in a giant version of the little blue box. Which means while it’s great for an afternoon with friends or a romantic evening, it’s also the perfect place for ogling other skater’s chic sartorial choices.


Address: South Building, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA; Tel: 0207 845 4600

Columbia Road Late Night Shopping Events

If battling the high street (with a million others) to do your Christmas shopping leaves you recoiling in fear, then there are some great alternatives in the city that can make the experience, dare we say it... enjoyable? For the sixth year in a row, the independent shop owners of East London’s gorgeous cobbled street of Columbia Road will be opening their doors late, every Wednesday in the run-up to Christmas. Over 50 stores will be taking part to help kit out your home, tree and sort your entire present list, in a lovely, Dickensian sort of atmosphere.

Address: Columbia Road, London, E2 7RG

Circus 11

On the fifth day of Christmas... came the wonderful Circus 11 to solve your Christmas shopping dilemmas (not to mention your Christmas party outfit dilemmas) in one fell swoop. Another great alternative to the high street, from the 14th-18th December the Tramshed in Shoreditch will host an enviable selection of London’s hottest emerging designers. The theatrically decorated disused power station will be filled with everything from clothes and jewellery to ceramics and even... taxidermy. With generous helpings of mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and a special Christmas bakery from Lily Vanelli, we can’t really think of a better place to spend a wintry afternoon in the capital.

Address: The Tramshed, 32 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3LX

Underground Film Club

For those of you who've been feeling a little lost since the rooftop cinema club season finished, don’t worry - to stave off the bite of the winter air, it’s gone underground. Now hosted in the Dorfman Hub at one of London’s best venues, the Roundhouse, December will see a new film being shown every day. With a giant sceen, wireless headphones and exceptionally comfy sofas, it’s the perfect place to start the festive period off nicely - with a viewing of the classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life' on Sunday 18th December. After all, if there’s ever a time to turn your Blackberry off, relax, and watch as many films as you please, it’s Christmas.

Address: Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH Tel: 0207 998 7717

Like our pick of the best things to do in London at Christmas but looking for more shopping inspiration? Check out our Christmas gift guide.

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