It’s official: autumn is over and winter is here. December is the best time to visit London for Christmas markets, shopping, and comfort food. One of the best things to do in London in winter is visit the Christmas markets and marvel at the sparkling light installations. Bookmark these spectacles while staying at hotels in Central London this December.
Christmas lights in London
London is aglow with lights but these are where they shine the brightest.
Oxford Street is the quintessential tourist attraction in London for shopping and nightlife. This year’s display sees thousands of stars suspended over the street. To be more efficient, these are powered by 300,000 LED light bulbs made from recycled polymer.
Sprinting across Oxford Street, Regent Street is illuminated with its usual Spirit of Christmas installation. This sees whimsical angels hovering above the street and wishing good tidings to travellers and residents alike.
This shopping enclave in the West End goes all out over Christmas. The Market Building is adorned with giant bells and baubles while the tallest tree in the capital stands in the piazza. Stroll through the Winter Warmer Festival where you can pick up hot wine and pose with photo ops. Plan a long weekend at our hotels in Central London and shop at Covent Garden on a Thursday for exclusive deals.
Best Christmas markets in London for 2023
These are the best markets in Central London for merry shopping and seasonal tipples.
If you are staying at hotels in Central London with teenagers and children, treat them to an evening at Winter Wonderland. This annual festival takes place in Hyde Park and contains a German market, amusement rides, food stalls, ice skating, ice slides, and shows for all ages. The Magical Ice Kingdom is a sculpture park depicting Norse mythology and shouldn’t be missed. Advance booking is required.
Southbank Centre Winter Festival
Wooden chalets and dining igloos are the signature of the Southbank Christmas market. It’s free to wander the stalls and a wonderful spot for picking up souvenirs and gifts while sipping a hot toddy. Located on the riverbank, this is the best Christmas market in London for atmosphere and views.
Kings Cross Christmas Market
If you’re concerned about catching a cold at the Christmas markets, make Kings Cross Christmas Market your priority. This is an umbrella event with numerous pop-ups and special events. Christmas Under the Canopy is a covered shopping market with select late-night shopping on Thursdays. Crafty Fox is a market devoted to handmade gifts and emerging designers. Curling activities are also available.
Christmas at Leadenhall Market
The inspiration behind Diagonal Alley in the Harry Potter book series, Leadenhall Market is always a visual treat. The Victorian shopping arcade is now drenched in festival lights and wreaths to enhance the magic. Guided walks are available throughout December that shine a light on the local history around the market. Meanwhile, shops have stocked up on festive gifts while menus have undergone a yuletide revamp with cosy food and drink.
Call Central Park Collection on +44 (0)20 7229 2424