7 London Christmas Lights Tours

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!

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’ 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 but Thursdays @19:00 (7 pm) from November 23rd until December 31st. 

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 of 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 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. 

 


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CHRISTMAS LIGHTS BUS TOURS

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.

 

 


Original London Sightseeing Tour

This popular hop-on-hop-off bus tour company offers a special Christmas Lights tour.

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 15 – Dec 29, 2019 (except Dec 24 + 25) 
  • Hours: Times vary by date, with the earliest tour at 16:00 and the latest at 19:30)
  • Tickets: Adults £17 | Children £11 | Family Ticket (2 Adults + 2 Children) £45
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Golden Tours

Much like its competitors, this company also offers a London Christmas bus tour. If you’re looking for a longer tour, this is an excellent option.

At almost 2 hours in length, this trip will take you to sites such as Piccadilly Circus, the London Eye, the Marble Arch, the Tower Bridge and more.

A professional tour guide will provide useful and interesting information about each of the historic locations you will visit along the way.

Christmas Lights London by Night Tour 

  • Tickets: Adults £21 | Children £12 | Family (2 Adults + 2 Children): £58
  • Note that ticket prices are slightly higher on Dec. 24, 25 and 26
  • Dates: Nov. 16, 2019 – Jan. 14, 2020 (except Dec. 31)
  • Hours: Every day at 19:00 & 20:00; select dates have additional tours at 17:00 & 18:00
  • Duration: 1 ½ – 2 hours
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

 


Classic Tours

If you want to hop on a more traditional open-top bus to get a good look at the holiday lights, this company provides a great London Christmas bus tour.

This outing is a bit shorter than some of the others, but it includes a lot of the most popular sites in the city.

While on this trip, you can expect to see the Christmas lights at locations like Oxford Street and the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.

Holiday Lights Vintage Bus Open Top

  • Tickets: £23 Adults | £15 Children (under 5 free) | £17 Concession (Students, Seniors)
  • Dates: Nov 15, 2019 – Jan 5, 2020   (no service on Dec 24, 25, 31)
  • Hours: Vary by date, earliest 16:10 & latest 20:30
  • Duration: 1 – 1 ½ hours
  • Purchase tickets or learn more

While this service isn’t available on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve, you can take this tour on New Year’s Day.

It’s also worth noting that parents with young children won’t have to pay anything for their tickets.

At roughly 75 minutes in length, this isn’t the most extensive London Christmas bus tour out there. That said, they do offer more tours per day than any of their competitors.

 


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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: £27.95 Adults | £22.95 Children
  • Dates: Dec. 22, 2019 – Jan 4, 2020 (except Dec. 25)
  • Hours: 15:30 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

An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 15 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.