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7 London Christmas Lights Tours

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This post provides you with a listing of the best Christmas-themed tours in London, including our pay-what-you-like Holiday Lights tour, Christmas bus tours, and even a Christmas bike tour!

This post is updated for 2021 but schedules can change and tours could be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Be sure to also check out our other London X-mas related posts:


WALKING TOURS

This section will cover the more popular London Christmas walking tours you can take.

While some of these tours focus on holiday lighting displays, others are designed to take you back to the days of Charles Dickens's London in celebration of his classic tale A Christmas Carol.


Free Tours By Foot

Welcome to London’s first pay-what-you-like Christmas Tour!

This tour will take you down some of the cities’ most iconic streets to see world-famous Christmas lights and holiday displays.

Beginning in Covent Garden, your guide will lead you underneath sparkling lights, hanging wreaths, past stunning Christmas trees, and glorious ice-skating rinks.

London Holiday Lights Tour

You’ll learn some of Britains’ holiday traditions.

Find out what a Pantomime is, how Freddie Mercury helped decorate Carnaby Street this year, what Norway has to do with Trafalgar Squares’ Christmas tree.

Or learn why Shakespeare hated Christmas and why we have Prince Albert to thank for our obsession with holiday lights!

Join us as we walk through Bavarian Christmas markets, tread the cobbled streets of the beautifully decorated Covent Garden, and travel centuries back in time to uncover all of London’s Christmas season secrets.

Take in all that our city has to offer this Christmas with Free Tours By Foot!


Locations Visited

  • Regent’s Street
  • Carnaby Street
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Leicester Square
  • Covent Garden

Tour information

Reservations: Click here to reserve.

Where:  Tour begins in Covent Garden. The exact location will be provided upon booking. 

Duration: 2 hours.

When: Our tour runs every day from the 26th November to 31st December 2021 with the following exceptions: December 1st, 8th, 15th, and 25th.

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it's done. 

If you’re more interested in learning about the history of street art in this city, make sure to check our list of pay-what-you-wish London Walking Tours.


The Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ Walk

For many people, the holiday season can’t really begin without enjoying at least one version of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol.

This tour is specifically for this audience which provides a lot of interesting information about both the author and the times in which his novel was written.

As you walk through London, a professional guide in full Victorian-era attire will describe what the city once looked like during the time period when the characters of this story would have been alive.

While walking through some of the more historic areas of this city, you’ll see locations that may have inspired Dickens.

Tickets

This tour company recommends booking your tour ahead of time if you want to avoid missing out.

There are limited tours and spots, so don’t wait too long to purchase your tickets. 


CHRISTMAS LIGHTS BUS TOURS LONDON

There are a few different companies to consider, and they each give you the opportunity to see some of the most impressive lighting displays and decorations in the entire city.

If you’re interested in learning about the area as well, make sure to check out our post about London bus tours.


Tootbus Tour

This popular hop-on-hop-off bus tour company offers a special Christmas lights tour. They used to go under the name The Original London Sightseeing Tour, but they are now known as Tootbus London.

Also, on Christmas Day, their hop-on-hop-off tour will be running. This is an activity worth considering since London will be very quiet on Christmas Day!

On both tours, you’ll see a variety of holiday lights on display at several notable locations such as Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Regent Street, and Trafalgar Square.

45-Minute Christmas Bus Tour

  • Dates: Nov 18th, 2021 - Jan 2nd, 2022 (except Dec 24 + 25) 
  • Hours: Times vary by date, with the earliest tour at 16:00 and the latest at 19:30
  • Tickets: Adults £20 | Children £12 
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Big Bus Tours

In addition to their hop-on hop-off bus tours, this company also offers a special holiday tour which focuses on the areas of London which are lit up for Christmas.

While you're enjoying all the fabulous lighting displays on their open-top bus, you'll also have the opportunity to listen to festive holiday music.

Since this tour takes place after dark, it's a lot like their night bus tour, which means you won't be able to hop on and off whenever you wish. If you want that experience, consider a 24-hour ticket instead.


Premium Tours

This company offers a somewhat unique Christmas lights bus tour in London. While other companies are using more modern buses, Premium Tours has vintage double-decker buses.

If you're feeling nostalgic for the types of buses they used to have in London, this is a great opportunity to relive past experiences while enjoying festive holiday displays throughout the city.

In addition to the trip down memory lane, this tour will also include live commentary from a tour guide providing information about the sights you'll see along the way.

  • Dates: Dec 8th - 23rd, 2021
  • Hours: 4 pm and 7 pm
  • Duration: 100 minutes
  • Tickets: £22/Adults | £16/Children
  • Free for children under 3
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

BIKE TOURS

The London Bicycle Tour Company

At 3 hours in length, their Christmas lights tour is actually one of the longer holiday outings in the entire city.

During this trip, you will see notable landmarks such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and the London Eye. 

Christmas Lights Bike Tour

  • Tickets: £34.95 Adults | £28.95 Children
  • Dates: Nov 26th, 2021 - Jan 3rd, 2022 (except Dec. 25)
  • Hours: 15:45 daily
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

In addition to visiting several historic sites, this London bike tour will also roll by several holiday markets such as the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park and Southbank Christmas Market.

Since you will be riding a bike, you’ll have the opportunity to get pretty close to most of the lighting displays featured on this outing. 


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About The Author

Margaret

An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries.
Updated: December 9th, 2021
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