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5 things to do in London this Christmas

Christmas can be a lovely time, but hard on the wallet so I’ll make 3 suggestions of free things to do in London over the holiday season and 2 options you might want to consider shelling out for. I’ve added definitions for the phrases in bold at the bottom of the page if you need them.

1. Do a Christmas lights tour

The centre of London is always decked out with Christmas lights, so next time you’re in town, why not wait until it gets dark (you won’t have to wait long) and check out the decorations. Oxford Street is a good place to start and from there you should take in Regent Street and Carnaby Street. All these places are great for shopping too so you could kill two birds with one stone!

2. Listen to Christmas carols at St Paul’s

No British Christmas is complete without listening to carols, especially if you’re sick to the back teeth of hearing Mariah Carey. Throughout December St Paul’s Cathedral hosts free, unticketed carol concerts. This London landmark would be a spectacular setting to hear some beautiful singing. Check out next week’s blog Best Christmas carols to practice your English and you might even want to sing along!

3. Check out some free exhibitions

As always, many of London’s great museums are free to enter. Take advantage of the schools still being in to see some amazing exhibitions before they get too busy. If you do nothing else, go to the Natural History Museum to see their animatronic T-Rex squeezed into a rather fetching Christmas jumper.

4. Catch a pantomime

This form of theatre is as British as roast beef and would be a great thing to take your family to at Christmas. Expect colourful characters, songs and lots of audience participation using phrases like “Boo!” “Oh no he didn’t” and “She’s behind you!”. There are loads of different types of pantomimes, including ones just for adults. Tickets are always cheaper if you book in advance, and matinees are usually more affordable than evening performances.

5. Follow a light trail

What could be better than wrapping up warm and sipping from a cup of hot mulled wine as you see some amazing light installations? Me and my family go to Christmas at Kenwood every year but the one at Kew Gardens is supposed to be spectacular and there’s one near the Southbank Centre which is worth a look as well. Some of these light trails are free but expect to pay for the longer ones at Kew and Kenwood House.


  • hard on the wallet – expensive

  • shell out for – spend money

  • decked out – full of

  • kill two birds with one stone – do two tasks at the same time

  • sick to the back teeth – annoyed at something

  • fetching – attractive

  • Boo!” “Oh no he didn’t” and “She’s behind you!” – common phrases heard and said at a pantomime

  • mulled wine – hot wine or cider spiced with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg

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