Get into the Christmas spirit by strolling along the glistening streets of London and visiting festive attractions within the capital. Whether you're a visitor or a London local, you can be sure to find a range of activities this Christmas time whatever the budget. 

From exploring the city’s Christmas lights to taking a trip to the theatre, take a look at our favourites below to find inspiration for your rail trip to London this Christmas.
 

Christmas Lights

Most of the main Christmas lights are switched on in November so you can feel festive throughout the run up to the big day. 
 

1. Carnaby Street - 8th November 2023

The official switch on for 2023 is taking place on Wednesday 8th November. It was due to be the week prior but was postponed due to the severe weather. This year, the theme is Carnaby Universe and it promises to light up Carnaby Street with neon sphere's of colour and light waves. It is a destination not to be missed and there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to explore this Christmas. Its central location makes it easy to include a trip to Carnaby Street on your next trip to London. 

2. Regent Street - 9th November 2023

Regent Street’s famous angel display will return for 2023 on 9th November. Last year, Regent Street was dressed with 300,000 glistening lights making it one of the biggest displays in London. A tradition that began back in 1954, this display has continued to impress over the years. The Spirit of Christmas will bring the return of the famous angels soaring above Regent Street, inspired by the original 1954 display. There will be 45 sparkling angels in total, making any trip to Regent Street a festive one. 
London Christmas lights on Regent Street

3. Oxford Street - 2nd November 2023

Stroll down Oxford Street at dusk where you will find their fantastic lights and decorations. The display for 2023 is more sustainable than ever before with 300,000 LED lightbulbs made from recucled polymer, 75% more efficient than standard lightbulbs. It is the perfect opportunity to get your Christmas shopping sorted at the same time as admiring the festive display.

4. Covent Garden - 7th November 2023

Home to one of the biggest Christmas trees in London at 60 feet, this hand-picked tree is an impressive sight draped with 30,000 lights and set in the 19th Century streets of Covent Garden. Expect to see new decorations for 2023 including 40 giant bells with bows, 12 giant baubles and 8 mirror balls hung in the Market Building! You'll find plenty of festive acitivites going on in Covent Garden this year, including a Sleigh photo opportunity, the Winter Warmer Festival with plenty of mulled wine and Festive Thursdays - find out more here.
 

5. Marylebone Village - 9th November 2023

9th November is the official switch on date for 2023! For 2022, Merry Marylebone in Marylebone Village was home to all things festive including snow machines, a Santa's grotto and a range of food and refreshment stalls. Shops, restaurants and bars around the area will take part offering special discounts and offers throughout the festive period. 

6. Mayfair - 16th November 2023

The famous blue arches plus 63,000 lights will be switched on in November this year! Expect live entertainment, food, drink and celebrations to commence from 5pm. The Connaught Hotel will also unveil their iconic Christmas tree. Get all the details here.
 Mayfair Christmas lights in London

Festive Attractions

A great addition to any festive London itinerary, a Christmas attraction can be fun for all the family. London is home to some of the best and most popular attractions and even more so at Christmas time. 
 

1. Hogwarts in the Snow – 11th November 2023 – 14th January 2024

Leavesden, Watford WD25 7LR
A short journey outside of London and you’ll be transported behind the scenes of the Harry Potter films, with original props that many of us will recognise. This already remarkable attraction will undergo its annual festive transformation into Hogwarts in the Snow, making it even more magical than ever. See sets such as the Great Hall and the Gryffindor Common Room with a Christmas makeover as they were decorated for the films. Tickets must be purchased in advance - book here.

Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour Hull Trains Blog

2. Christmas at Kew - 15th November 2023 to 7th January 2024

Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB
Christmas at Kew is a beautiful way to spend an evening in London. Winding through Kew Gardens after-dark, this attraction will showcase enchanting light and music installations including a tunnel of light. You’ll find something for all the family along this twinkling trail of lights. Along the trail, enjoy food and drink from independent street food vendors offering festive treats. Tickets must be purchased in advance – please find further details on the Kew Gardens website
  

3. Theatres - Throughout November 2023 to January 2024

An ultimate Christmas tradition is taking the family on a trip to the theatre. London is home to plenty of pantomimes and live shows that are certain to be a fantastic addition to any visit to the capital this Christmas. Whether you enjoy classic favourites, festive ballets or the latest West End productions, you have it all to choose from. Don't miss these brilliant shows this Christmas:

A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic from 11th November to 6th January 2024
Elf The Musical at the Dominion Theatre from 15th November to 6th January 2024
Cinderella at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre from 18th November to 6th January 2024
The Gruffalo's Child at The Garrick Theatre from 1st December to 7th January 2024
Hansel and Gretel at Shakespeare's Globe from 8th December to 7th January 2024
Nutcracker at the London Coliseum from 14th December to 7th January 2024
Peter Pan Goes Wrong at The Lyric Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue from 23rd November to 14th January 2024
Frozen The Musical at Theatre Royal Drury Lane until March 2024

Looking for even more festive inspiration? Check out a selection of shopping locations and Christmas markets here or or find out what’s on this Christmas in Hull, Beverley and London here!

Advance tickets are available on the Hull Trains website and app throughout December 2023 and into 2024. Book your Christmas trip now to get the best fares!
 
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