A few festive hours in London at Christmas

In Christmas, Cities, London, Mini Breaks, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, UK Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

A hop, skip & a jump from the Thames

London is a huge city at the best of times, but in the festive season there are glistening lights and twinkling trees tempting you everywhere.
So, which way do you turn?.......if you only have few hours you’ll be amazed at what you can see.

Where the magic happens…

Inside Leadenhall Market, London at Christmas, UK

The 14th century Leadenhall Market is a striking sanctuary in the City of London for 11 months of the year, but at Christmas time Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley is magical.

With Christmas trees peering down on all the boutiques and bars.

The centre of Leadenhall Market, London at Christmas, UK

Off to the Tower you go!

Heading southeast you reach one of London’s iconic landmarks the Tower of London. If you peer over the wall into the moat, where in 2014 a sea of poppies flowed through, you are now greeted by a sea of ice, with one amazing backdrop.

Skating on ice in front of the Tower of London, London at Christmas, UK

Remember to book your one hour slot.

The Tower of London at night, London at Christmas, UK

Down by the river

Your eyes are automatically drawn to another London icon, Tower Bridge. For me this bridge means London like no other landmark. Every commuting day for 27 years I travelled past it and never became bored of its presence.

Tower Bridge, London at Christmas, UK

A helpful guide

If you've yet to discover London and its ancient history, then let's start planning. I find these DK Eyewitness Travel Guides invaluable. They're extremely informative, easy to follow, and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more of those fascinating sites.

You can now grab a recently revised copy of this guidebook, so you won't miss a thing.

St Katherine’s Dock

Before you rush south across the bridge take a few steps back to the hidden oasis of St Katherine Docks.

The 45ft Christmas tree here is wonderful, set on a central pontoon floating in the middle of the dock. On the hour, the 14,000 twinkling lights and the 5ft star come alive.

The Christmas tree in St Katherine's dock, London at Christmas, UK

Have a wander as you’ll see some of the yachts have had a little festive splash on them as well.

The twinkling marina at St Katherine's dock, London at Christmas, UK

Now I’ll let you cross Tower bridge

A Christmas tree in front of Tower Bridge, London at Christmas,

From the south of the Thames, Tower Bridge and the City of London look amazing, and Christmas time is no exception.

Tower Bridge at night, London at Christmas, UK

As you stroll past City Hall you meander into the ‘London Bridge City Christmas Market’.

The tree at city hall, London at Christmas, UK
Walking along the London Bridge City Christmas Market, London at Christmas, UK

There are over 100 German style cabins here, tempting you with delicacies and gifts from near and far.

Kisses for a pound at the market, London at Christmas, UK

Hays Galleria

Sandwiching this market is Hays Galleria. This elegant Grade II listed building was once a working wharf in the Pool of London, for ships to bring in tea & other produce.

The Navigators Sculpture in Hays Galleria, London at Christmas,

My Dad worked on the Thames as a Lighterman for many years, so this part of London always brings back happy memories to me.

Today the impressive glass vaulted ceiling gives you cover to shop and dine in stylish surroundings.

The Christmas tree in Hays Galleria, London at Christmas, UK
The London Bridge City Pier, London at Christmas, UK

Want to discover more than about London?

We've a little book on our shelves that we sometimes delve into when we're about to hit an area of London.

Packed full of historical facts, and broken down into the different regions of London, it's a great resource to help you see what's hidden in plain sight.

Available in Kindle & Hardback editions, it's an excellent addition to anyone's collection who loves London.

The Shard

This impressive glass structure piercing through the sky comes alive of an evening. With a wonderful light and beam display illuminating the London skyline until 2am.

The Shard and the ruins of the Winchester Palace, London at Chri
The Shard light display, London at Christmas, UK
This Global Block does not have any content.

Keeping south

Up and over London Bridge keeping south, you drop down into Borough.

Southwark bridge, London at Christmas, UK

As you continue hugging the backs of the Thames, you pass some fine pubs if you fancy a pit stop.

The Mudlark pub, London at Christmas, UK
The Anchor Pub, London at Christmas, UK

Then into sight comes the historic Globe Theatre.

The Globe theatre, London at Christmas, UK

Off to the Gallery

The Christmas Market at Tate Modern on Bankside, returns for a 3rd year.

This lovely traditional style Christmas market is full of tempting goodies from candles, wooden toys, decorations, baubles and many other handmade items.

Traditional gifts, London at Christmas, UK

That’s before you even start on the festive food and drink, it wouldn’t be the same without a bratwurst and gluhwein.

Mulled cider, London at Christmas, UK
Something to eat, London at Christmas, UK

Then if you are brave enough there is the Victorian carousel for the young and old. There’s even a traditional Christmas wooden pyramid.

The pyramid at the Tate Modern Christmas Market, London at Christmas, UK
The carousel at the Christmas Market at the Tate Modern, London at Christmas, UK

St Paul’s Cathedral

Strolling over the Millennium bridge heading north across the Thames, you are greeted with another iconic landmark.

The amazing St Paul’s Cathedral, in all its wonderful glory.

St Paul's Cathedral from One New Change, London at Christmas, UK
A Christmas tree in front of St Paul's Cathedral, London at Christmas, UK

Another sight you could never get tired of.

Lights over Bow Lane, St Paui's Catherdral in the distance, London at Christmas, UK
St Mary-le-Bow, London at Christmas, UK
The lights over Bow Lane, London at Christmas, UK

Short and sweet…just how I like my glühwein

Although this is a very short glimpse of London at Christmas, it takes you through some extremely historical areas of this glorious city.

Do You?

Love London at Christmas? We do. Have you visited, do you live in London, or work here? What's your favourite spot in London at Christmas?

Inspired to visit London at Christmas?

And why not?  think Love Actually. This post is a tiny snippet of what you can see in London at Christmas.

Why not check out the deals on Booking.Com?

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About the Author


Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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