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Top 10 free Christmas activities to do in London 2021

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Samuel Brent
Sam is a born and bred North Londoner. Growing up in Archway, attending primary school at Montem Juniors in Holloway, and secondary school at Acland Burghley in Tufnell Park. After success with his A-Levels at LA SWAP, he studied film at the London College of Printing (later the London College of Communication) in the Elephant and Castle and then Clerkenwell. This led to working with the Guardian in Farringdon, and a career in Journalism. After years of a miss-spent youth in Camden Town, Sam now lives in Belsize Park with his wife Marina and their two children, Esme and Primrose. Samuel enjoys Gardening and cycling, and is an avid Arsenal fan and works out of his office in Shoreditch.

The Christmas season is finally here and there are a lot of things going on in the city this month. But the cost to go to each event adds up fast, and before you know it, your holiday budget is blown.

You don’t have to spend a lot to have a wonderful Christmas in London; you just need to find the right way to spend Christmas in London for free and we’ve put together a list just for you guys.

Borealis at Guildhall Yard

Be amazed by the Borealis stunning light installation, inspired by the Northern Lights, as it illuminates Guildhall Yard in the City of London.

Dan Acher’s unique work takes over the historic space for 12 nights in Christmas 2021, having thrilled during London’s Greenwich and Docklands International Festival earlier in the year.

Immerse yourself in the event that is free to view as multi-coloured lights cloaks and mix with the space, copying the movement of the Aurora Borealis natural event.

Where: Guildhall Yard off Gresham Street, EC2V 5AE

When: 11th to 22nd December from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm

Winterfest at Wembley Park

Winterfest at Wembley Park is free to visit during the festival period, so you can get a taste of London’s light festivals at no cost.

Reunited in Light is the theme for this year’s tree lighting ceremony. The tree will be 25 ft tall and illuminated by 100,000 lights. There will also be special illuminations and a large outdoor photography exhibition on Olympic Way.

Where: Unit 5 Exhibition Way, Wembley, London, HA9 0FA

When: 23rd November 2021 – 9th January 2022

deer in Richmond park are a great free Christmas activities to do in London
A deer in snow covered Richmond Park

Visit the deer in Richmond Park

Richmond Park has vast fields and woodlands and has everything from a Victorian flower garden to a large hill where you can see across London from. It’s an excellent place to take a break and enjoy nature.

The park is home to fallow and red deer, brought here in 1625, and they live there still.

The park is the perfect place to go for a walk and look for deer on a beautiful winter day. You’ll feel like you’re in the city of Lapland on Christmas when you see Rudolph and his friends.

Where: Richmond, Richmond-upon-Thames, TW10 5HS

When: Throughout the Christmas period

Nine Elms Advent Calendar 2021

The Nine Elms area transforms into a huge advent calendar. Visit all the 24 venues that host art installations from collages to peace walls to a living forest, on foot. At your leisure, two routes have been mapped out so you can visit them on foot. Also, each art installation will be shown online each day if you can’t to the Nine Elms area.

Where: Venues around Nine Elms

When: 1st December 2021 – 5th January 2022

christmas on regents street london
Regents Street Christmas Lights

View the London Christmas lights

The city of London celebrates Christmas in early November with its many Christmas lights. Visit London in the dark to enjoy the city at its festive best in locations such as Covent Garden, Oxford Street, Regent Street and other areas.

Where: Oxford Street, Covent Garden, Regent Street, Carnaby, Soho, Seven Dials, Bond Street, Trafalgar Square,

When: Throughout the Christmas period

Carol concerts in London

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Don’t miss out on your local carol service. Not all the Christmas carol services are free but many are for charity. But if you wanted to, you could attend one every evening for the rest of December.

Where: Barbican, St. Pauls in Knightsbridge, St. Pauls Church in Covent Garden, Battersea Carols, St. Peter’s Church in Belgravia, St. Luke’s Church in Chelsea

When: Throughout the Christmas period

Christmas markets in London

Visit the Christmas markets

Christmas markets and fairs in London are the perfect places to find fun, festive gifts. They’re usually free to enter, but you will of course have to pay for anything that takes your fancy, and there’s plenty to choose from.

The London Christmas Markets are an excellent place to visit for Christmas shopping and a festive afternoon. There are numerous great Christmas Markets in London, from the Leicester Square festival to the Covent Garden special.

Where: Southbank Centre’s Winter Market, Christmas by the River (next to City Hall), Trafalgar Square Christmas Market, Craft Fox Christmas Market, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland (free off-peak)

When: Dates will vary depending on the location

Lego in Covent Garden

Some of the most unique Lego creations are appearing around Covent Garden this Christmas. A rocket race car, a firefighting dragon and a cactus Christmas tree are just a few of the stunning Lego installations. The Lego models make more sense if you’ve watched the Lego Christmas advert.

This Christmas exhibit made from the popular plastic bricks is free to visit. If you’re looking to spend your money, there’s a Lego shop just outside the display. Otherwise, distract the kids while you sneak past the shop.

Where: Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DD

When: 1st December – 3rd January

Ever After Garden in Grosvenor Square

At night, 25,000 roses light up Grosvenor Square in Mayfair. The Ever After Garden gives Londoners a place to remember their loved ones who have passed away. You can also dedicate a rose to someone for a minimum donation of £10 to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

It’s free to visit, but if you’re able to, why not donate a couple of pounds to the charity?

Where: Grosvenor Sq, London, W1K 6LD

When: 1st to 23rd December

Explore Christmas at South Bank

Have a walk along the river bank and smell the Christmassy scents of roasted nuts and mulled wine and see a reflection of sparkly Christmas lights across the Thames. Maybe even visit a few traditional pubs that are in the area.

There is also the added free attraction this year of the ‘Winter Light’ artwork! You’ll feel like you’re stepping into the set of a Hallmark Christmas movie as you stroll through the display of ‘Winter Light’.

Where: South Bank, London

When: Throughout the Christmas period

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