London at Christmas


Experience an unforgettable trip as we return to London at Christmas! Our 5-day itinerary includes iconic landmarks like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, and seasonal festive sights at Covent Garden Christmas Tree and Trafalgar Square. We indulged in gourmet meals at Dishoom and Hawksmoor Seven Dials, explored historic sites like the Charles Dickens Museum and Tower Bridge, and delighted in cultural gems like Matilda the Musical and the London Transport Museum. Read on to see how we experienced London at Christmas for a magical blend of sightseeing, culinary delights, and holiday cheer. Discover the charm and excitement of London at Christmas through our adventures in one of the world’s most vibrant cities.


Day 1: December 13 – Arrival in London

  • Flight: Cologne (CGN) to London (LHR).
  • Accommodation: Check into Assembly Covent Garden, London.
  • Activities:
    • Charles Dickens Museum: Manuscripts and personal items displayed in the author’s former home.
    • Covent Garden Christmas Tree: Visit the festive tree and nearby markets.
    • Trafalgar Square: Iconic square with Nelson’s Column and a Christmas tree from Oslo.
  • Meals:
    • Lunch: Dishoom Covent Garden for Indian street food.
    • Dinner: Mr. Fogg’s Tavern for English pub grub.

Day 2: December 14 – Exploring London

  • Activities:
    • Big Ben: 16-storey Gothic clocktower.
    • Westminster Abbey: Historic abbey with daily services.
    • Harrods: Iconic department store.
    • Peter Pan Statue: Bronze statue in Kensington Gardens.
    • Diana Memorial Playground: Playground in memory of Princess Diana.
  • Meals:
    • Breakfast: Regency Cafe for a full English breakfast.
    • Lunch: The Churchill Arms, Kensington for Thai noodles and curry.

Day 3: December 15 – London Landmarks

  • Activities:
    • Millennium Bridge: Suspension footbridge over the Thames.
    • Borough Market Food Tour: Market for British-reared meat and artisanal goods. Today we enjoyed a curated guided tour through Borough Market sampling some of the best food that the market has to offer.
    • Tower Bridge: Panoramic views and original lifting machinery.
    • St. Paul’s Cathedral: 17th-century cathedral with a high dome.
  • Meals:
    • Lunch: Borough Market.
    • Dinner: Hawksmoor Seven Dials for prime cuts of matured beef and seafood.

Day 4: December 16 – Covent Garden and Theatre

  • Activities:
    • Photography in Covent Garden: Meet Emily at Laduree.
    • London Transport Museum: Galleries of vintage trams, trains, and buses.
    • Matilda the Musical: Enjoy the famous musical.
  • Meals:
    • Breakfast: St. John’s Bakery.
    • Lunch: Poppies Fish & Chips, Soho.
    • Dinner: The Lamb & Flag, Covent Garden.

Day 5: December 17 – Departure

  • Accommodation: Check out from Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Terminals 2 and 3.
  • Flight: Depart from London (LHR).

Places to Visit and Activities


Covent Garden and the Covent Garden Christmas Tree

A festive highlight in Covent Garden, adorned with thousands of lights and decorations. The tree is surrounded by holiday markets, offering seasonal treats, handmade gifts, and live entertainment. The vibrant atmosphere makes it a perfect spot for holiday photos and a joyful experience for visitors of all ages.

Trafalgar Square

Home to Nelson’s Column, the square features statues of historic figures and large, LED-lit fountains. During Christmas, a towering tree gifted by Oslo is illuminated. The square is a hub for public gatherings and events, and offers a view of several nearby landmarks.

Charles Dickens Museum

Housed in the author’s former residence, this museum showcases manuscripts, personal belongings, and original furniture. Visitors can explore the rooms where Dickens wrote some of his famous works, including “Oliver Twist.” The museum provides insights into Dickens’ life and Victorian London.

Big Ben

A 16-storey Gothic clocktower at the north end of the Palace of Westminster. Big Ben is a quintessential symbol of London, known for its massive bell and accurate clock. The tower’s iconic chimes are recognized worldwide.

Westminster Abbey

A Gothic abbey church in the heart of London, known for its stunning architecture and historical significance. It has been the coronation site for British monarchs since 1066 and is the final resting place of many notable figures. The abbey offers guided tours and daily services.


An iconic luxury department store located in Knightsbridge. Harrods is known for its lavish interior, extensive selection of high-end goods, and elaborate window displays, especially during the holiday season. It is a destination for both shopping and sightseeing.

Peter Pan Statue

A bronze statue of Peter Pan located in Kensington Gardens. The statue features Peter surrounded by fairies, squirrels, rabbits, and mice. It was commissioned by J.M. Barrie, the author of “Peter Pan,” and has a unique “talking” feature activated by a nearby plaque.

Diana Memorial Playground

A playground in Kensington Gardens dedicated to Princess Diana. The centerpiece is a large wooden pirate ship surrounded by a beach, sensory trail, teepees, and sculptures. It’s a popular family attraction designed to inspire imaginative play.

Millennium Bridge

A steel suspension footbridge spanning the River Thames, connecting St. Paul’s Cathedral to Tate Modern. The bridge offers picturesque views of the city and is known for its sleek design and engineering.

Borough Market

One of London’s oldest and largest food markets, offering a variety of fresh produce, artisanal foods, and street food from around the world. Located under the railway lines in Southwark, it’s a vibrant spot for food lovers and offers a true taste of London’s culinary scene.

Tower Bridge

An iconic Victorian bridge with two towers connected by high-level walkways. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views from the walkways and explore the Tower Bridge Exhibition, which includes the original Victorian engine rooms and interactive displays about the bridge’s history and operation.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

A masterpiece of English Baroque architecture, designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The cathedral features a magnificent dome, intricate mosaics, and historic crypts. It offers guided tours, worship services, and access to the Whispering Gallery and Stone Gallery for stunning city views.

London Transport Museum

Located in Covent Garden, this museum explores the history of London’s transport system. It features historic buses, trams, and trains, along with interactive exhibits that detail the development of the city’s transportation network.

Neal’s Yard

A colorful courtyard in Covent Garden known for its independent cafes, bars, and shops. The vibrant atmosphere and unique storefronts make it a popular spot for visitors seeking a quaint and charming experience.

Matilda the Musical

A highly acclaimed musical based on Roald Dahl’s book, featuring a talented cast and catchy songs. The production tells the story of a young girl with extraordinary abilities and is performed in London’s West End.

Restaurants and Food Stops

Dishoom Covent Garden

A vibrant restaurant offering Indian street food in a setting inspired by the old Irani cafés of Bombay. With a vintage decor and an upscale touch, Dishoom serves a variety of flavorful dishes including the famous black daal, bacon naan roll, and house chai.

Dishoom has released a cookbook with recipes for many of the items on the menu. While I find the recipes to be very complicated, they are very good and execution has always been good.

Mr. Fogg’s Tavern

An old-style tavern themed around the fictional explorer Phileas Fogg, featuring wood-paneled interiors and serving traditional English pub grub. The atmosphere is lively, with an extensive menu of ales, pies, and classic British dishes.

Regency Cafe

A no-frills corner cafe known for its full English breakfasts and traditional British fare. The cafe’s tiled exterior and simple interior make it a popular spot for a hearty and affordable breakfast.

The Churchill Arms

A flower-bedecked pub filled with Churchill memorabilia, serving Thai noodles and curry. Located in Kensington, this unique pub combines the charm of a traditional British pub with the flavors of authentic Thai cuisine.

Hawksmoor Seven Dials

A renowned steakhouse serving prime cuts of matured beef, seafood, and other British classics in a stylish setting. Known for its impeccable service and quality ingredients, Hawksmoor offers a memorable dining experience.

The Lamb & Flag

A historic Georgian pub in Covent Garden, once a haunt of Charles Dickens. Known for its traditional atmosphere and hearty British menu, the Lamb & Flag offers a cozy setting for drinks and meals.

Poppies Fish & Chips Soho

A retro-style eatery serving classic British fish and chips. The restaurant is known for its fresh, sustainably sourced fish, crispy batter, and traditional sides like mushy peas and tartar sauce.

Borough Market Food Tour Highlights

For more detailed information on the Borough Market food tour, visit A Culinary Adventure at Borough Market.

The Ginger Pig

An artisan butcher shop offering premium meats, known for its decadent sausage rolls made with puff pastry. The Ginger Pig focuses on high-quality, sustainably sourced meat products.

Humble Crumble

A bakery specializing in crumbles with various flavors such as classic apple, mixed berries, and inventive combinations like rhubarb and ginger. The crumbles feature fruit fillings and buttery, crumbly toppings.


A seafood stall at Borough Market known for serving the finest fish and chips. The stall is popular for its fresh, high-quality seafood and traditional British preparation.

Neal’s Yard Dairy

Renowned for its selection of artisanal cheeses, Neal’s Yard Dairy sources from small-scale producers across the UK. The shop offers a diverse array of cheeses with distinct flavors and textures.


A shop in Borough Yards offering “finger donuts” with various fillings. While the concept is innovative, the execution received mixed reviews. Popular flavors include Sticky Toffee, Date and Pecan, and Lemon Meringue.

Bread Ahead

Famous for its Creme Brulee donuts, Bread Ahead offers indulgent, calorie-rich pastries. The Creme Brulee donut is a must-try, known for its creamy filling and caramelized sugar topping.