7 London Christmas Lights Tours

This post will provide a breakdown of the most fun and interesting Christmas-themed tours available to you in London, including out pay-what-you-like holiday lights tour

 

 


HOLIDAY LIGHTS BUS TOURS

In this section, we will focus on all of the Christmas bus tours in 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.

 

 


Original London Sightseeing Tour

This popular hop-on-hop-off bus tour company offers a Christmas bus tour in London. You can choose between either a short (45-minute) or long (90 minute) bus tour. Each option includes a complimentary Santa hat and a glass of Mulled Wine from Planet Hollywood. As you travel around the city, you’ll see a variety of holiday lights on display at several notable locations.

45-Minute Christmas Bus Tour

  • Tickets: £17/Adults | £11/Children
  • Concession Tickets: £15/Students & Seniors
  • Family Ticket (2 Adults + 2 Children): £45
  • Dates: Nov 17th – Dec 29th
  • No service on Dec 24th – Dec 25th
  • No service on Jan 1st
  • Hours: 4:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:30 pm
  • Purchase tickets or learn more

90-Minute Christmas Bus Tour

  • Tickets: £25/Adults | £19/Children
  • Concession Tickets: £22.50/Students & Seniors
  • Family Ticket (2 Adults + 2 Children: £69
  • Dates: Nov 17th – Dec 29th
  • No service on Dec 24th – Dec 25th
  • No service on Jan 1st
  • Hours: 6:45 pm
  • Purchase tickets or learn more

Christmas Day Bus Tour (New Service)

  • Tickets: £40/Adults | £30/Children
  • Family Ticket (2 Adults + 2 Children): £100
  • Date: December 25th
  • Hours: Valid for 24 hours
  • Purchase tickets or learn more

Both tours will take you to sites such as Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Regent Street, and Trafalgar Square. The 90-minute tour includes additional stops at landmarks like Knightsbridge, Victoria Embankment, and even the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. Live commentary will be provided by a professional tour guide.

The new Christmas Day tour is a special opportunity to take a hop-on-hop-off bus tour on the quietest day of the year. There will be a special timetable running every 10-20 minutes from 8:30 am – 4 pm. This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to explore London during the holidays.


Golden Tours

Much like their 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: £21/Adults | £12/Children
  • Family Tickets (2 Adults + 2 Children): £58
  • Dates (Before Christmas): Nov 17th – Dec 23rd
  • Dates (After Christmas): Dec 27th – Dec 30th
  • Dates (After New Year’s Eve): Jan 1st – Jan 6th
  • Duration: 1 ½ – 2 hours
  • Hours: 7 pm, 8 pm
  • Purchase tickets or learn more

Christmas Eve Holiday Lights Tour

  • Tickets: £25/Adults | £16/Children
  • Family Tickets (2 Adults + 2 Children): £77
  • Hours: 5 pm, 6 pm, 7 pm, 8 pm
  • Duration: 1 ½ – 2 hours
  • Purchase tickets or learn more

Christmas Day Holiday Lights Tour

  • Tickets: £34/Adults | £17/Children
  • Family Tickets (2 Adults + 2 Children): £97
  • Duration: 1 ½ – 2 hours
  • Hours: 7 pm, 8 pm
  • Purchase tickets or learn more

Boxing Day Holiday Lights Tour

  • Tickets: £26/Adults | £15/Children
  • Family Tickets (2 Adults + 2 Children): £77
  • Hours: 5 pm, 6 pm, 7 pm, 8 pm
  • Duration: 1 ½ – 2 hours
  • Purchase tickets or learn more

New Year’s Day Holiday Lights Tour

The biggest difference between this company and their main competitor is that they offer London Christmas bus tours on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Tickets may cost a bit more on these days, but at least you’ll have the option to take the Christmas lights tour on the holiday of your choice. 


The Classic Tour

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.

A Christmas Lights Experience

  • Tickets: £23/Adults | £15/Children
  • Concession Tickets: £17/Students, Seniors
  • Family Tickets (2 Adults + 2 Children): £59
  • Children under 5 ride for free w/ guardian
  • Duration: 1 – 1 ½ hours
  • Dates: Nov 16th – Jan 1st
  • No service on Dec 24th, 25, 31st
  • Hours: 4:10 pm, 6:15 pm, 7:45 pm
  • Additional Hours: 4:45 pm, 7 pm, 8:30 pm
  • 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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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 at Oxford Circus, your guide will lead you underneath sparkling lights, hanging wreaths, past stunning Christmas trees and glorious ice-skating rinks.

 

 

You’ll learn some of Britains’ holiday traditions, as well as how and why they became so popular. 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, 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…

  • Oxford Street
  • Regent’s Street
  • Carnaby Street
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Leicester Square
  • Covent Garden
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Somerset House
Tour information

Reservations: Click here to reserve.

Where:  Tour begins at Oxford Circus. The exact location will be provided upon booking. 

Duration: 2 hours.

When: View our full tour calendar

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it’s done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for any budget.

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.

London Holiday Lights Tour

 

 


Original London Sightseeing Tour

In addition to their London Christmas bus tour, this company also offers a Christmas lights walking tour. While on your walk, a professional guide will take you to some of the most impressive lighting displays in the city. Each trip includes a complimentary glass of mulled wine to help put you in the holiday spirit.

Christmas Lights Winter Walk

  • Tickets: £15 per person
  • Dates: Nov 17th – Dec 29th
  • No service on Dec 24th – Dec 25th
  • Hours: 6 pm daily
  • Duration: 1 ½ hours
  • Purchase tickets or learn more

If you want to see all the best lighting displays, this really is one of the best ways to do it. A bus tour might be easier on the feet, but you won’t necessarily have the opportunity to hop off and get a good look at every location you visit. If you want to get up close and really experience the Christmas lights, consider taking this walking tour.


True London Tours

If you’re interested in seeing a lot of Christmas lighting displays and checking out some of the Christmas markets in London, this is an excellent tour. While on this outing, you’ll see sites such as the London Eye, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and more. Each tour includes a glass of mulled wine and a traditional mince pie to help you get in the spirit of the season.

Christmas Lights & Markets Tour

Although this tour doesn’t focus on A Christmas Carol, it does include some information about the London described by Charles Dickens. You’ll also learn how Queen Victoria shaped modern holiday traditions in the city. This tour may be focused on the lights and the Christmas markets, but your guides will also make sure that you learn something fun and festive during the walk.


London Walking Tours

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 company has created a 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.

The Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ Walk

  • Tickets: £10 per person
  • Duration: 1 ½ – 2 hours
  • Dates: Dec 15th – Dec 31st
  • No tours from Dec 17th – Dec 21st
  • No tours on Dec 25th – Dec 26th
  • Purchase tickets or learn more

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. Considering the subject of the tour, snowy weather is actually preferred, because it will be a lot easier to get in the Christmas spirit


London Walks

Much like their competitors, this company also provides a few tours based on the work of Charles Dickens. The first tour includes a look at some of the locations that likely served as an inspiration for A Christmas Carol in addition to details about some of the more popular holiday traditions in London. The second tour only takes place on Christmas day, and it focuses solely on the sites that may have inspired Dickens.

In addition to both of these tours, London Walks also provides a Christmas lights & seasonal cheer pub walk. While on this outing, you’ll see many beautiful lighting displays and enjoy some mulled wine along the way.

Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol & Seasonal Traditions

  • Tickets: £10/Adults | £8/Students, Seniors
  • Kids go free with parental guardian
  • Early Dates: Dec 1st, Dec 9th, Dec 15th, Dec 20th
  • Holiday Dates: Dec 22nd – Dec 24th, Dec 26th & Dec 29th
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Learn more here

Christmas Day Charles Dickens London Walk

  • Tickets: £10/Adults | £8/Students, Seniors
  • Kids go free with parental guardian
  • Date: Dec 25th at 2 pm
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Learn more here

Christmas Lights & Seasonal Cheer Pub Walk

  • Tickets: £10/Adults | £8/Students, Seniors
  • Date: Dec 22nd at 7:15 pm
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Learn more here

One of the nice things about this tour company is that you don’t actually have to pre-book any of their walking tours. All you have to do is show up and pay for your ticket. If you plan on taking your family with you on any of these outings, it’s also worth noting that they let kids go for free.

If you can’t make it out on the specified dates, their tour guides may also be available for private tours. Just keep in mind that this option will almost certainly cost more than their standard public tours.

 


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BIKE TOURS

The following section will provide information about each of the Christmas bike tours available in London. Both services focus on holiday lighting displays, but you can also expect to learn a lot about the most popular traditions in the city.

If you’re more interested in learning about the city, check our post about London bike tours at night.

 


The London Bicycle Tour Company

As the name implies, this company offers a lot of different bike tours. 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. Each rider will be given a bicycle and helmet to ensure their safety.

Christmas Lights Bike Tour

  • Tickets: £27.95/Adults | £22.95/Children
  • Dates: Nov 22nd – Jan 5th
  • No service on Christmas day
  • Hours: 3:30 pm 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.


Golden Tours

In addition to their London Christmas bus tour, Golden Tours also offers a holiday bike ride. This outing is a bit shorter than the service offered by their competitors, but it’s also much more affordable.

As you travel throughout the city and see all of the beautiful lights, a tour guide will describe some of the history behind how London celebrates the holidays. Each rider will be provided with a bike, helmet, high visibility jacket and a Santa hat.

London Christmas Lights Bike Tour

While on this trip, you will see several different landmarks including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus and more. If you’re short on time and cost is a factor, this could be an excellent option. As with the service offered by their competitors, you can expect to get much closer to some of the lighting displays than you would on a bus.

 


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PRIVATE TOURS

This section will feature a few private Christmas tours you can take in London. Although these services are a little more expensive, many people prefer the personal attention they receive from a local tour guide. If you want to enjoy a Christmas tour while spending some quality time with your family or loved ones, consider one of the following options.


CityUnscripted

This company has more than one private tour that you can take in London during the holiday season. You’ll find two great options listed here, but you can always check the CityUnscripted site for more as the season approaches.

Each tour below is tailored specifically to what you want to see, so you won’t necessarily have to follow a set path prepared for you by your tour guide. Instead, you will work with your local guide to plan a route that includes all the sites and attractions you want to visit. The main difference between these tours is how long they last and how many extras are included.

2-Hour Private Christmas Tour

3-Hour Private Christmas Tour

  • Tickets: £97/Adults | £10/Children
  • Kids up to 12 go free
  • Dates: Dec 1st – Jan 13th
  • Hours: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Free Cup of Hot Chocolate/Mulled Wine
  • Purchase tickets or learn more

As you can see, the 3-hour tour is longer and includes a free drink. That said, you can take the 2-hour tour from 8 pm – 10 pm and see all the best lighting displays well after the sun has gone down.

Another nice addition is that kids under 12 are welcome to join their parental guardians for free. If you’re looking for a private tour you can take with your family, that is definitely an important factor to keep in mind.


Urban Adventures UK

Unlike their competitors, this company does not offer a private tour that will allow you to plan out an itinerary. They already have a route planned out, but you will receive special attention from your local guide. In addition to the tour itself, each guest will also receive a complimentary drink and a fruit mince pie.

Christmas Lights & Markets Private Tour

  • Tickets: £45/Adults | £40/Children
  • Dates: Nov 23rd – Dec 23rd
  • Hours: 5 pm from Wed – Sun
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Free drink and mince pie included
  • Purchase tickets or learn more

As you can see, the ticket prices for adults are actually cheaper than some of the tours offered by their competitors. Unfortunately, this company does not offer free admission for children, so you may want to consider that if you’re planning to bring your family on the private Christmas tour. 
 


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OTHER CHRISTMAS TOURS

If you still haven’t found the right London Christmas tour, rest assured that there are quite a few options we haven’t discussed yet. Although we covered the main holiday tours above, you’ll find that there are many additional festive outings and day trips available in this city. Here are a few more opportunities you may want to consider:

Check this list of London Christmas tours for even more activities.

 


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