6 Lovely Christmas Activities In London That Don’t Cost A Penny

One of the best things about being a Londoner at Christmas is the wonderful atmosphere and merriment to be found at every corner. Plus, there are endless Christmassy activities to enjoy that won’t cost you a penny! Keep reading for inspo on how to tap into free, festive fun in the capital…

Wrap up warm for a wintery walk

On those crisp, clear (but still very cold) days that British weather is sometimes partial to, there’s only one thing for it. Layer up, fill a flask with hot choc and get some fresh air in one of London’s lovely parks. The city is full of gorgeous scenic spaces to explore. But if you’re looking for a proper trail, Hampstead Heath and Greenwich Park are great options. Or head to Richmond Park and you’re bound to spot one of Rudolph’s long lost cousins!

free festive activities
Photo credit: Jason Alden

Admire shop window displays

In the same way that Christmas adverts can cause child-like excitement, over-the-top window displays are the ultimate signifier that holidays are really coming. And let’s face it – any department store worth its salt pulls out all the stops at Christmas. Simply wander down a central London thoroughfare and you’re sure to catch a glimpse. From Harrods and Harvey Nichols to the sparkling jewels of Tiffany & Co. – these decorative displays just get better every year.

free festive activities

Scoop up some free samples in Borough Market

Borough Market is a wonderful place to visit any time of year. But at Christmas this food and drink emporium is really a sight to behold. Plus there are tons of free tasters to snaffle (who doesn’t love a free taster?). However, the delicious aromas and jovial hustle and bustle alone are more than enough to warm your cockles.

London’s Christmas lights are Wes and Sandy’s festive pick

South Western Railway’s winged friends, Sandy and Wes are always on hand to provide their top London recommendations. And for this festive edition, they’re pointing you in the direction of London’s shimmering Christmas lights. Whether admiring them from the skies or with two taloned feet firmly on the ground, London’s light displays are truly something to behold. From the Spirit of Christmas (London’s largest), in Regent Street and St James’s and Mayfair’s blue lit archways to the royalty-inspired displays of Bond Street – there are so many to discover! Find more of London’s Christmas lights here.

Spread Christmas cheer at a carol service

Whether you’re singing loud for all to hear or just enjoying the gleeful sounds, it’s nigh on impossible not to feel Christmassy as hell at a carol service. And there are tonnes of free services to enjoy all over London. Whether you go big and bold at the likes of St Paul’s Cathedral or opt for a more intimate local gathering, it’s sure to be the most heart warming event of the season.

free festive activities

Soak up the atmosphere at Southbank winter festival

Watching the Thames twinkle by moonlight can feel pretty Christmassy in itself. But until January 8, Southbank will be positively brimming with festive spirit. Aside from strolling along the river and taking in the atmosphere or admiring the market stalls, there will also be lots of free events on offer. From mesmerising dance performances and DJ sets to a cosy community lounge and a kid-friendly New Years Eve count down – there is something for everyone. Southbank even has its very own free, multimedia outdoor light installation, Winter Light. Browse the full list of free events here.

You can also enjoy plenty of fantastic discounted activities in London with the SWR rewards scheme.