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December 4, 2023

Christmas Season in London & the English Countryside

Christmas in England

England is one of our favorite holiday season destinations. With sparkling lights, Christmas markets, over-the-top window displays, festive meals and treats and great shopping, the winter holiday season in England is enchanting.

Artisans of Leisure arranges private England tours that showcase the best of the country’s Christmas festivities and traditions in London and the English countryside.

From late November through the end of December, the country celebrates with beautiful decorations and a festive atmosphere. From sophisticated London with its vibrant array of holiday activities…

…to picturesque villages steeped in nostalgic charm and grand country houses decked out for the season, the country comes alive with holiday cheer.

Christmas in England

Our favorite luxury hotels in London overflow with wonderful decorations and seasonal celebrations.

Seeing the Claridge’s Christmas tree in the hotel lobby, designed by a different notable artist or fashion designer every year, is always a highlight.

London restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops all get into the festive spirit with over-the-top decorations and creative window displays.

Some of our favorite Christmas experiences in London we arrange include enjoying a Christmas-themed afternoon tea…

…browsing Christmas markets for local crafts and seasonal treats like mince pies and mulled wine…

…and in-depth cultural touring of London landmarks, museums and neighborhoods decked out for the holidays.

We also take our travelers to see the Christmas lights illuminating famous shopping streets like Regent Street, Bond Street and the King’s Road…

…and arrange for holiday shopping at renowned department stores like Liberty of London, Fortnum & Mason and Harrods…

…and specialty boutiques and heritage shops.

For interested travelers, we recommend having us arrange tickets for ice skating at annual pop-up rinks in front of spectacular London sites like Somerset House, the Museum of Natural History and Hampton Court Palace.

The holiday ice rinks are a quintessential winter experience in the capital, with festive music and seasonal food and drinks at available rink-side restaurants and cafes.

Favorite family activities we arrange in and around London include shopping in Hamleys, the iconic toy shop founded in 1760, VIP tickets to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter to experience Hogwarts in the Snow…

…and tickets to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, a Christmas extravaganza with rides, shows, ice skating, a Bavarian-style Christmas village, parades and appearances from Santa Claus.

Watching the pomp and ceremony of the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is always fun. During the colder months, the crowds are smaller, affording a better view of the guards and the grey coats they don in winter in place of the iconic red tunics.

Many of our travelers enjoy a private excursion to Kew Gardens for Christmas at Kew, an incredible Christmas light trail through acres of botanic gardens.

Outside London, the English countryside offers travelers picturesque villages transformed into Christmas-card winter wonderlands.

Historic towns like Oxford, Canterbury and York are decked out in lights and festive greenery and offer their own Christmas markets and holiday celebrations.

The UNESCO-listed city of Bath is one of our favorite spots in England at any time of year, but it is even more magical in the glow of Christmas lights and festive cheer.

We recommend privately touring the city’s renowned honey-colored Georgian architectural landmarks, exploring charming backstreets, perhaps enjoying a festive afternoon tea at the famous Pump Room, browsing the chalet stalls at the famous Bath Christmas Market for artisanal treats and local crafts…

…visiting magnificent Bath Abbey and touring the ancient Roman Baths, one of the best-preserved Roman building structures in the world.

Bath is a great private day excursion (or a longer stay) from London and combines well with Stonehenge and other favorite destinations in the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire.

During private touring in the English countryside, we love stopping in quintessential rural pubs with crackling fires, seeing buskers singing carols in rural villages…

…and touring heritage homes and gardens resplendent with decorations (and the occasional dusting of snow).

Some of our favorite heritage homes and royal residences to visit during Christmas include Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace, both just outside London…

…Blenheim Palace in the Cotswolds, Highclere Castle in Hampshire, Castle Howard in Yorkshire and Chatsworth House in the Peak District.

Many of the renowned English country houses like Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth House and Highclere Castle host special Christmas events during the season, including Christmas markets, Christmas light trails, Santa’s grottoes and after-hours experiences such as choral performances and readings of A Christmas Carol held in ornate rooms.

Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can also arrange dining reservations at top restaurants, private festive dinners and VIP tickets to a holiday performance or concert such as a carol service at Westminster Abbey or St. Paul’s Cathedral, Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall, a ballet performance of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House or the annual theater production of A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic.

Many of our travelers enjoy staying in England for New Year’s celebrations, including fireworks, celebratory dinners and black-tie balls, or venturing north to Scotland for Hogmanay celebrations in Scotland. The Christmas season in England also combines well with holiday festivities in Paris and Brussels.

Contact Artisans of Leisure to plan a special holiday tour that features the best of Christmas in England.

Destinations:  England, Europe, UK

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