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Christmas events in London 2022 guide

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There are plenty of 2022 Christmas events in London this year to enjoy, from annual classics like Christmas lights on Oxford Street and Regent Street and the return of Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, to brand new, festive fun like illuminations at Kenwood House and Crystal Palace.

Whilst not all the festive favourites are happening this year in London, there is still much to see and do in London in the build-up to the most wonderful time of the year. We’ve been out and about photographing London’s Christmas lights and events so here is our guide to spending Christmas 2022 in London:

Leadenhall Market at Christmas

Christmas events in London 2022

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

18th November 2022 – 2nd January 2023

Likely London’s most popular annual Christmas event and easily the biggest Christmas market in London, the festive Winter Wonderland returns to Hyde Park in 2022 / 23. The main difference this year compared to previous years is that the event is now ticketed and only a handful of early, off-peak sessions are free.

Tickets for admission start from £5 although there are package deals online where you get free admission if you spend £25 on any attraction, ride or game in advance online.

Book your tickets to Winter Wonderland >

Ice skating – Skate at Somerset House

16 November 2022 – 15 January 2023

We hope we aren’t on thin ice by saying this, but in previous years, there have been waaaay too many ice skating venues in London, of varying quality, all charging top dollar. However, Skate at Somerset House is always one of the best and most picturesque skating rinks.

Skate at Somerset House ice skating in London at Christmas. Copyright CK Travels

Family friendly and set in the charming Christmas courtyard, this year’s skating sessions run until 15 January 2023 (adult tickets start from £10 plus booking fees).

If you aren’t into skating, Somerset House at Christmas is still worth a visit as the historic rooms that surround the courtyard are transformed into Christmas shops and stores with beautiful Christmas lights and traditional decorations.

There will also be a pop up chalet-themed restaurant run by Jimmy’s and Switzerland Tourism serving traditional Suisse Fondue and other winter favourites.

Book your Skate at Somerset House tickets >

Skate at Somerset House ice skating in London at Christmas. Copyright CK Travels

YOU MIGHT LIKE: The best Christmas ice skating rinks in London 2022 >

Covent Garden Christmas village, tree and lights 2022

Now until 3rd January 2023

Fact – Christmas in London isn’t Christmas without a visit to the Covent Garden Christmas tree, set in the middle of the pretty piazza. 

Covent Garden Christmas 2021

Covent Garden Market decorations also boast huge mirror balls and massive mistletoes hanging from the ceiling (presumably this is so you dance THEN kiss?!).

The Covent Garden Christmas tree in 2022 is will be switched on in November (a truly magical site) and lights up nightly. For the best views of the Covent Garden Christmas tree, grab a pint of beer (or glass of mulled wine) from the Punch and Judy pub and take a seat (and blanket) on the outdoor balcony (wrap up warm).

Covent Garden Christmas 2021 snowglobes
Ramsbury Forest dining domes 2021

Hopefully returning in 2022 will be the small Covent Garden Christmas Village Market (in front of Sushi Samba) with eight festive themed pop-up food stalls, an Instagrammable festive light tunnel and a Christmas bar. Last year there was also a Ramsbury Forest pop-up with luxury dining domes / igloos serving a festive menu paired with Ramsbury Single Estate Spirits.

Covent Garden Christmas 2021 market
Covent Garden Christmas Village market 2021

Oxford Street Christmas lights 2022

2nd November 2022 onwards

The grand-daddy of Christmas lights in London 2022 and possibly the best known anywhere in the world, Christmas continues on Oxford Street and the festive light displays are already up and in full force this year.

Oxford street Christmas lights 2021

Running the full length of Oxford Street, the 2022 Christmas lights are a return to form with a very classical Christmas display – white fairy lights and red stairs adorn London’s premier shopping street. This year, Oxford Street’s lights were switched on in unison with 20 other neighbouring streets making it the biggest Christmas light switch on in the world – nice!

BOOK IT: Tootbus Christmas Lights Tour >

YOU MIGHT LIKE: The best Christmas lights in London >

Regent Street Christmas lights 2022

2nd November 2022 onwards

Hark the herald angel sing! Regent Street’s Christmas lights in London this year again feature a gamut of glorious angels from upon high. To get the best views, take your photos from the central reservation by the pedestrian crossings (try not to get hit by a taxi) or jump on one of the numerous red London buses that run along Regent Street and try to bag a front row spot on the top deck.

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Regent Street Christmas lights taken November 2021

Crystal Palace Lightopia

17th November 2022 – 2nd January 2023

Brand new in 2021 after an attempt at Chiswick House was curtailed in 2020 due to Covid, South London’s newest illuminated Christmas festival, Lightopia at Crystal Palace is back for a second year in 2022.

We visited Lightopia in Crystal Palace on the opening night last year and were blown away by the immersive and illuminated installations – from giant musical walkways to enchanted forests with festive fish (really – our descriptions won’t do it justice), this is a magical and fun family night out. 

Best of all, for fans of the historic Crystal Palace dinosaurs, the organisers have also lit up the park area with around the lakes, but also created an area full of animatronic dinosaurs, meaning you could easily confuse Crystal Palace park for Jurassic park.

Open from17th November 2022 until January 2nd 2023, Lightopia is packed with lush lanterns, Christmas scenes and festive food stalls, plus a nice touch is a projected light show installation that brings back the historic Crystal Palace from the ruins, with a visit from Santa and his reindeer; ‘yule’ love it.

New for 2022 and for the first time ever, the Clangers will be paying a visit to Crystal Palace Park this year as part of Lightopia.

Lightopia will feature the classic Clangers family Mother, Major, Tiny, Small and Granny Clanger, plus their friends the Soup Dragon and Iron Chicken on a neon-lit Clangers planet!

Families will be able to see the iconic, kind-hearted characters, and their infamous friends at the spectacular, reimagined neon-lit Clangers planet and arch. 

Book your Lightopia ticket >

Watch our Lightopia Instagram reel >

Carnaby Street’s Christmas Lights 2022

From Thursday 8 November 2022

The first of London’s Christmas lights to switch on in 2022, the Carnaby Street colourful Christmas lights return as big and bold as ever. This year’s installation is called ‘Carnaby Celebrates’ and is a display of all the best decorations they’ve had over the past 25 years including floating planets, Rolling Stones tongues and a giant snowman!

Carnaby Street Christmas Lights are once again trying to raise money for good causes and this year, their Christmas lights are in collaboration with the Choose Love charity, raising funds for refugees (donations are always appreciated).

Carnaby Christmas Lights in London. Copyright CK Travels
2021’s display – new photo to come!

A special event is planned at Carnaby Street on 8 November from 5pm to 9pm and we think it is worth making a night of it by seeing the lights and then doing a bit of Christmas shopping (there are still heaps of good fashion and clothing stores in the area offering 20% off), before having a bite to eat or drink in Kingly Court (three floors of bars and restaurants with cuisines from all over the world, centred around a courtyard – you’re welcome).

Hogwarts in the Snow – Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour

12 November 2022 to 15 January 2023

Harry Potter is magical at the best of times (apparently) but even more so at Christmas with Hogwarts in the Snow this winter in 2022 at Warner Brothers Studio Tour.

The wizarding world becomes a wintery snow scene (think the ultimate snow globe) with a self-guided tour that ‘yule’ love. The Great Hall becomes the ultimate winter wonderland with Christmas trees covered in snow, ‘flaming’ Christmas puddings (we aren’t swearing – we mean they are on fire) and roaring log fires and a delightful Diagon Alley makeover.

Plus the gift shop will have an incredible array of Harry Potter gifts perfect for anyone’s Christmas stocking.

Book your Hogwarts in the Snow tickets online >

Liberty’s Christmas shop 2022

Central London’s best known luxury shopping destination has a beautiful, old black and white Tudor style exterior, which was founded in 1875. Liberty’s also has (in our humble opinion) the best Christmas shop in the whole of London.

The range of Christmas tree decorations is legendary (some nice, some tacky) but if you want a Black London Cab or Buckingham Palace bauble hanging on your Christmas tree in 2022, you know where to go.

Christmas events in London 2020 - liberty
Christmas events in London 2020 - liberty christmas decorations floor

Leicester Square Christmas Market 2022

9th November 2022 to 7th January 2023

Leicester Square as a London destination is often quite divisive (awful tourist trap vs the bustling heart of London’s theatreland) but we can all hopefully agree that the Leicester Square Christmas Market is a welcome addition (apart from the price of their mulled wine).

Leicester Square Christmas Market 2021
Leicester Square Christmas Market

Open from November 2022 until January 2023, expect live shows such as La Clique, gift stalls, German bratwurst, cider lodges and all manner of festivities.

You can also check out the Leicester Square Scenes from the Square film statues all year round including a Harry Potter statue and a cute Paddington Bear being the latest addition.

YOU MIGHT LIKE: Things to do in Leicester Square >

Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol

8 December 2022 –⁠ 8 January 2023

Forget Christmas Holly, this is Christmas Dolly in London this year. Celebrate all things wonderful and wintery at Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol, combining country songs with the traditional Charles Dickens’ tale.

Located on London’s South Bank at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, this extraordinary song and dance entertaining night out will give any Christmas pantomime a run for its money with Ebenezeer Scrooge relocated to the East Tennesse smoky mountains and featuring upbeat music and catchy lyrics written by Dolly, THE Queen of Country herself.

Book your tickets for Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol >

Trafalgar Square Christmas tree and Christmas market 2022

Every year since 1947, the good people of Norway have donated a tree-mendous festive fir tree to the people of London, as a thank you for our assistance in WWII. Lighting up in December 2022, the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is free to visit and is adorned with hundreds of lit bulbs (plus the occasional pigeon). It is also a prime spot to see London’s Christmas lights sparkle in the nearby side streets.

In 2022 Trafalgar Square also has a charming Christmas market that runs until January 2023.

Trafalgar Square Christmas market 2021
Trafalgar Square Christmas market 2021

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South Bank Christmas Market

3 November 2022 – 8 January 2023

The walk along the River Thames and South Bank is always one of London’s best free attractions with stunning views of the city and a variety of bars and restaurants to choose from. At Christmas, the area is bedecked with Christmas lights and Christmas wooden huts selling festive gifts and street food kiosks plus more hot alcoholic beverage stalls than is probably good for you – but hey, it is Christmas so wine not?

South Bank Christmas Market 2021. Copyright CK Travels
South Bank Christmas market 2021

A Christmas caveat – we visited Southbank Winter Market just after it opened and compared to previous years, it was more woeful than wonderful. Comprising of just a handful of stalls – 3 of which are gift stalls, and the rest are non-festive street food stalls. The area is dimly lit and stuck underneath Hungerford bridge with next to no decorations, save for one measly string of fairy lights. Southbank Winter Market 2022 is definitely not worth a special trip but worth visiting if you happen to be around the South Bank.

Check out our South Bank walk guide >

BOOK IT! London Christmas Market Tour >

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Christmas at Kenwood / Kenwood House Christmas lights

2nd December 2022 – 1st January 2023

Christmas at Kenwood, one of London’s premier visitor attractions, perched high on the hill in north London runs from 2nd December 2022 until 1st January 2023.

The grounds of the house become an illuminated and immersive winter wonderland, with light and sound installations all around. 2022 sees a new light trail on the edge of Hampstead Heath accompanied by a Christmas market and festive street food stalls.

Book your Christmas at Kenwood House ticket >

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – SSE Wembley Arena

Friday 9 and Saturday 10 December 2022

Although this sounds like an apt description for most of our family get togethers in December, this winter sees Wembley’s SSE Arena stage a special screening of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas with live singing, the BBC Concert Orchestra and Danny Elfman (the film’s original musical composer) orchestrating the whole caboodle. 

Film fact fans – did you know that as well as composing the soundtrack, Danny Elfman is also the original singing voice of the film’s main character, Jack Skellington? Taking place on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 December 2022, this is one nightmare that could actually turn into a dream.

Book tickets for Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas >

Christmas By The River, London Bridge

November 15 2022 to January 2 2023

Returning to London Bridge for 2022,  Christmas By The River was one of our favourite Christmas markets last year, with a series of seasonal stalls and alfresco alpine style food and drink outlets running along the Thames river (near to Tower Bridge and city hall / The Scoop).

Copyright Christmas by the River

In 2022, Christmas By The River will also feature free outdoor film screenings such as Home Alone, Elf (yes!) and The Muppet Christmas Carol plus Christmas choir pop-up performances.

With stunning ice-cool views of the London skyline including the Shard and the historic Tower of London, this one London Christmas Market you won’t want to miss.

Copyright Christmas by the River

Elf the Musical at The Dominion Theatre

14 November 2022 to 7 January 2023

Treat yourself this Christmas 2022 with tickets to see this special stage adaptation of Elf (in our opinion, one of the best 5 Christmas movies around). Running from 14 November 2022 to 7 January, 2023, join Buddy the Elf on his battle to save Christmas (and we only hope Narwhal the whale gets to join in the action). 

Book tickets for Elf the Musical >

London Christmas Beer Festival

Friday 16 – Saturday 17 December 2022

Christmas beers and cheers? We’re in! A festive extension of the London Craft Beer festival, start your Christmas early at this two day event in Tobacco Dock in Wapping (check out our ‘Things to do in Wapping’ guide for inspiration).

Tobacco Dock in Wapping

Over 50 UK breweries big and small will be attending the London Christmas Beer Festival including Brixton Beer, Anspach and Hobday and Partizan from the Bermondsey Beer Mile and Signature Brew from the Blackhorse Beer Mile. In addition, there will be live music, cider, wine and cocktails – maybe even Santa will pop-in for a pre-Christmas drink (apparently is quite tired of sherry).

Address: Tobacco Dock, Wapping, London E1W 2SF

Winter Igloos at Vinegar Yard

19 November to 23 December 2022

As featured in our London Bridge guide, Vinegar Yard is a great all year-round food and drink destination in central London although it usually gets a little nippy in the winter months.

This year, Vinegar Yard are promising a wonderful fun filled Christmas event in 2022 with their Winter Igloos to keep you warm this winter. Vinegar Yard will be converting their huge terrace into an après-ski alpine village, with winter igloos and warm drinks – we think they should sell Winter I-gloo-wein!

Winter Igloos need to be booked in advance here (up to 6 guests per igloo)

Palace of Light at Hampton Court Palace

7 December 2022 to 2 January 2023

A fun and festive night light experience at Hampton Court Palace, this year’s light trail promises to be bigger and better than ever, and double the length in 2022 compared to 2021.

This year’s theme for the Palace of Light is Royal Beasts, based in a collection of animal statues that Henry VIII once commissioned for Hampton Court; expect luminescent unicorns, glow in the dark greyhounds and much more. Street food is also on the menu this year at Palace of Light, with four food stalls curated by KERB street food.

Palace of Light trail only prices (excluding Hampton Court Palace admission) starts from £14.50 per adult and £9.50 per child. Click here to book your Palace of Light trail >

It’s A Wonderful Ally Pally Christmas

28 November 2022 to 15 January 2023

Swapping the North pole for North London this festive season, Alexandra Palace (or Ally Pally as it is affectionately known) hosts a whole season of Christmas crackers for all the family this year.

Santa will be setting up home in his grotto at Alexandra Palace or if live entertainment is more your thing, you can see Bugsy Malone the musical in their splendid Victorian theatre or Rapunzel on Ice, at the Ally Pally skating rink. Club De Fromage will host Christmas Ice Discos too – we wish you a cheesy Christmas!

Click here for more details about It’s A Wonderful Ally Pally Christmas >

Harrods Christmas window display

2022 dates to be confirmed

Stay classy, Kensington. No Christmas shopping trip to London is complete without a visit to Harrods department store, possibly the capital’s best known luxury shopping destination.

Each year, the opulent exterior of the Harrods building is bedecked with Christmas lights and the window displays are something to behold. They also have a dedicated Christmas department on the first floor which is always a joy to explore.

Harrods Christmas window display London

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Christmas at Kew Gardens

16th November 2022 to 8th January 2023

Kew Gardens Christmas lights and Christmas market return this year and they are thankfully not a casualty of Covid. Running daily from 4.20pm until 10pm until from the 16th November 2022 to 8th January 2023, old favourite light displays will be joined by new installations (who doesn’t love a Christmas light tunnel?) plus the Temperate House will be festooned with winter colours.

Book your Christmas at Kew Gardens ticket >

Credit: Hannah Robinson
Credit: Hannah Robinson

Jimmy’s Lodge, South Bank

4 November 2022 – 8 January 2023

Jimmy’s jovial snow globes, festive hot cocktails and street food pop-ups return for 2022, once again setting up shop along the banks of the River Thames on the South Bank. The snow globes are available for private hire for groups of 6 to 10 and booking in advance is highly recommended. 

Jimmy's Lodge, Christmas igloos on South Bank London. Copyright CK Travels

2022 highlights at Jimmy’s snow globes include shareable hot stone steak sizzlers (make sure you don’t burn your crackers!) and cheesy Swiss fondue fit for a King (or Queen). Note the minimum spend is £650 per globe so maybe one to add to your Christmas list for Santa?

Also new for 2022 are their cosy fire pits which you can book for £35pp and includes unlimited raclette and toast-your-own s’mores!

Make a day of it and follow our  ‘Walk along the South Bank‘ guide before joining Jimmy and his band of festive helpers.

Book your snow globe at Jimmy’s Lodge >

Fondue at Jimmy's Lodge, Christmas igloos on South Bank London. Copyright CK Travels

Neverland’s Winterland 2022

4 November 2022 onwards

A little bit of alpine awesomeness hidden away on the banks of the Thames between Fulham and Chelsea, London party stalwarts Neverland pack up their summer beach this Christmas and transform it into a snowy scene – with (jingle) bells on it. 

Visit the Alpine Lodge, feast on fondue cheese, indulge in mulled wine or prosecco, keep warm around a festive fire pit and basically try not to fall into the Thames. 

Book your Neverland Winterland ticket >

Christmas Pantomime at the London Palladium

10th December 2022 – 15th January 2023

Pantoland at the Palladium will be taking place at this historic London theatre this Christmas, from10th December 2022 – 15th January 2023. Jack and the Beanstalk will star Julian Clary, Dawn French, Alexandra Burke and Nigel Havers, and you can expect festive fun and games for all the family.

Book Pantoland at the Palladium >

Winter Garden at Flat Iron Square (cancelled for 2022)

2022 dates to be confirmed – we think this may be cancelled this year

This popular street food market in London Bridge is turning into a festive wonderland with a winter garden / aprés ski lodge set up that features pine trees, lights, ‘stable’ booths, a winter drinks menu and a series of Christmas eventsrunning from November to December 2022.

Check out their website for more details >

Winter Garden at Flat Iron Square

Wembley Park Festive Market(s)

3, 10 and 17 December  2022

If you are popping to Wembley Park for any Christmas shopping, try and combine your Yuletide retail therapy with one of their three Wembley Park Festive Markets, taking place most Saturdays in December.

With around 25 ‘artisan’ stalls selling all manner of unique gifts and crafts, there will also be live music and mulled wine galore plus four festive ‘selfie spots’ at Wembley Park in the run up to Christmas. Step into a ski-lift selfie (no clue, sorry), a seated star, a glowing gift box and a ‘sweet as’ cute candy cane winter wonderland.

Hamleys window display on Regent Street

2021’s Hamleys Christmas window display on Regent’s Street is this year based around several themes including one dedicated to Harry Potter, the wonderful wizard himself, plus another given over to Jurassic Park movie merchandise and games. 

Harry Potter Hamleys window display on Regent Street
2021 display

Whilst the window displays this year at Hamleys are so-so, inside you’ll discover one of London’s biggest toy collections spread over seven floors plus lots of instore displays with toy and magic trick demonstration so why not spend a few Quid(itch) on your Christmas gifts and toys inside. Combine this with a trip to see the angelic Regent Street Christmas lights.

Churchill Arms pub decorations, Kensington High Street

One of our favourite London pubs, the Churchill Arms, a Fuller’s pub near Notting Hill Gate and Kensington High Street goes the extra mile at Christmas and bedecks the outside of the pub with tens of Christmas trees (and they also serve beer inside – bonus!).

If you are planning to grab a Thai meal here (delicious), make sure you book in advance and try not to be one of those Instagrammers who almost gets knocked over by a bus as you stand in the centre of the road taking pictures of the pub…

Check out our guide to Churchill Arms pub >

Churchill Arms Christmas lights, Kensington High Street. Copyright cktravels

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  • Reply
    Kasey Vane
    September 9, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    Amazing info thank you’
    My family and I are travelling from Australia to London for Christmas.
    I want to book somewhere amazing for Christmas Day lunch.
    Would you have any suggestions ?
    Many thanks

    • Reply
      CK Travels
      September 11, 2022 at 10:17 am

      Hi Kasey, how exciting! Where abouts in London are you staying? Public transport won’t be running on xmas day so you will prob want to have lunch somewhere near your hotel.

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