christmas in london

What To Do On Christmas Eve in London

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The presents are wrapped, the turkey's ready to cook – time to celebrate

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, and the reason ‘not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse’ was probably because they were all out celebrating. The run-up to Christmas can be a tiring race, and if you’re hosting on Christmas day, you may be in for a long day of cooking and looking after guests. If this sounds like you, believe us, Christmas Eve is the perfect time for you to blow off some steam and really celebrate the festive season. There are many ways to celebrate across the capital; here are our recommendations of the best ways to spend the night before Christmas.

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What to do on Christmas Eve in London

Sip on Christmas Cocktails


If you’re planning on being in town on Christmas Eve doing some very last-minute present buying, take a load off and toast to good health and a happy new year at Cahoots in Soho. The 1940’s themed cocktail bar is the perfect place to enjoy a cosy tipple.

The Best Christmas Cocktail Recipes

Enjoy a Wintry Walk

RHS Hyde Hall in Essex

The RHS Hyde Hall in Essex will be open on Christmas Eve for those who fancy a brisk walk amongst beautiful nature. Hyde Hall’s winter garden is a sight for sore eyes with beds of flowers in riotous colours, eye-catching berries and stunning leaves.

The Best Dog Walks in London

Attend a Carol Concert

st pauls carol service

Is there anything more festive than singing carols by candlelight? These special services are sure to make you feel warm and festive: head to the Royal Albert Hall, Westminster Abbey or Midnight Mass at St Paul’s.

Carol Concerts in London To Get You Feeling Festive

Indulge in a Festive Supper

Cadogan Arms, Christmas Menu

The Cadogan Arms‘ Christmas Eve dinner must be booked by those preparing to serve others on Christmas Day. Let the impeccable staff look after you whilst you enjoy sumptuous smoked salmon and rye bread to begin, followed by Beef Wellington with all the trimmings – duck-fat roasties, honey glazed parsnips and pigs in blankets – ahead of a classic Christmas pudding with brandy butter sauce. Or, if you’re after something a bit different, why not head to 28-50 By Night? Tuck into delectable dishes in this softly lit New York style basement bar, while enjoying live jazz reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald. We’d recommend the Graxlax to start and the Fillet Steak for main.

Delight in Champagne Afternoon Tea

Corinthia Christmas Afternoon Tea

One of London’s most iconic hotels, The Savoy knows how to do afternoon tea. Its festive offering begins with a mix of traditional finger and open sandwiches, with fillings including smoked scallop and oyster leaf, and Burford Brown eggs with truffle. Sweet treats, meanwhile, include the ‘Snowflake’: white chocolate ganache with spiced cherry compote, traditional Christmas cake and freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam. Pair with the one of the hotel’s selection of 30 Jing teas or treat yourself to a glass of champagne while soaking up the elegant surroundings of Thames Foyer. From £75pp or £90 with a glass of Champagne.

London’s Best Christmas Afternoon Teas

Complete your Christmas Shopping

harrods exterior 2

From Fortnums to Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols, there are plenty of luxury department stores in London to find the perfect last-minute gift for a loved one this Christmas Eve. If you’d prefer to find something a little more niche, head to one of the capital’s Christmas markets for all the festive feels, or check out our ‘insider’s guide’ to Christmas shopping in London to find something beautiful and bespoke.

Go Ice Skating

Natural History Museum

Whether it’s with a group of friends or a family trip out, ice skating on Christmas Eve has got to be one of the jolliest festive activities. It’s the Natural History Museum‘s final year of its outdoor ice rink, so head there for a final farewell.

Lace Up For London’s Outdoor Ice Rinks

Head to the Theatre



A trip to the theatre is always special, particularly around Christmas Eve. There’s the family favourite The Play That Goes Wrong, the festive murder mystery classic The Mousetrap, the new critically acclaimed Life of Pi, the immersive edition of The Great Gatsby, and, of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a pantomime: try Pantoland at The Palladium.

Featured Image: Getty Images


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