Christmas and New Year – it’s a truly special time of year in London. London is renowned for pulling out all of the stops come Christmastime. This town was made for pleasure and it’s more than a match for the dying of the light in December. London thumbs its nose at the gloomy weather and short days. It makes merry, creates a merry atmosphere. From Christmas lights to strolling along the Thames at the Southbank Centre’s Christmas markets with a mulled wine (or hot chocolate!) in hand and going on some of Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland fairground rides. Come with us on a London walking tour to discover all the festive season secrets and stories London has to offer.
It’s 2022 and we are back! Back in full strength with an outstanding program of Christmas-themed winter walks and virtual tours through Central London for you to indulge in this winter. The cup runneth over, the stocking is full. Even the number is special Christmas Season walks is fitting. And impressive. There are twelve different Christmas Season London offerings, many of which run several times. Be sure to book tickets online to reserve your space. Shall we see what’s under the tree?
Timed to perfection. Happens on the day the sun pivots and starts heading back our way. And guided to perfection: you’ll be taken around – in the comfort of your favourite armchair at home – by the distinguished former Museum of London archaeologist and author Kevin Flude.
“Compliments of the season!” A goose and a hat are lost in a scuffle at a street corner. But where? Which street corner? A suspect spends time in a museum. But why? An investigation leads to a famous market. But how? We follow the crisscrossing paths of Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson as they solve their only original Christmas-time case, and Arthur Conan Doyle as he reaches a crisis in his professional life. Where did the detective acquire his famous Stradivarius violin?
Where was the ‘Alpha’ public house which briefly hosted a hidden jewel? Where did Holmes himself live before he moved to 221b? Throw in a film location which links a silent screen Holmes and modern-day Sherlock, a fine house where one of Conan Doyle’s greatest friends lived, a theatre where the sleuth made a triumphant return on stage in the 1920s, and you have the recipe for this affectionate festive offering from the glory days of the Great Detective. Guided by Richard IV, who “specialised in early detective fiction at university, played Dr Watson on stage, contributes to the Sherlock Holmes Journal, is the Audiobooks reader for the Dr John Watson series.”
The Sherlock Holmes Christmas Walk takes place at 2.30 pm on Thursday, December 22nd. And at 10.30 am on Wednesday, December 28th.
The meeting point is just outside the exit of Goodge Street Tube Station.
And the game’s really afoot for Holmes and Watson and Conan Doyle and the resident London Walks Holmes expert, Richard. Because he’s also treating you to an image-rich, very entertaining and informative and beautifully delivered – yes, it’s Richard, he of audiobook fame – Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle at Christmas Virtual Tour. It takes place at 7 pm on December 23rd. It’ll get you to London and in Holmes’ and Conan Doyle’s company at Christmas season wherever you are in the world. What’s not to like about that? And it’s two bites at the cherry because Richard will be repeating it at 7 pm on December 27th.
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol lies at the heart of the festive season. This tour explores the heart of this enduring story in its original setting, the old City of London in Victorian times. Here, where Dickens himself explored and studied every nook and corner, so too Ebenezer Scrooge walked from his counting house to his melancholy tavern and even more dismal lodgings. And as we make their acquaintance we’ll spice things with warming seasonal stories of turkeys and boars’ heads, Christmas puds, mince pies and pantomimes; cards, crackers, Christmas trees and mistletoe.
This walk will take place on various dates throughout December. The meeting point is outside Tower Hill Underground Station.
Yes, a Virtual Tour for those of you who aren’t in London. It’s the next best thing to being here. Runs on Christmas Eve (at 7 pm) and then again on December 31st (at 10 pm. Come to London at Christmas time – right in the comfort of your own home – hobnob with Dickens and Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim and, yes, Ebeneezer Scrooge. A fine way to bid a farewell to 2022. And, yes, this one’s guided by Richard of audiobook renown. Those great words, that velvety voice of Richard – perfection!
Yes, Ann, our Foodies London specialist, has whipped up a Christmas Foodies Tour. It’ll take place on five different dates in December (so you get several bites at the cherry). The meeting point is just outside exit 3 (by the Royal Exchange) of Bank Underground Station.
On the 23rd of December at 7.30 pm we’re off to Regency England, off to meet Jane Austen and her circle at Christmas time. We’ll see how they celebrated Christmas, what their Christmas traditions were, etc. And if some of it is pretty unfamiliar, well, never fear, we’re in good hands – the distinguished emeritus Museum of London archaeologist Kevin Flude is in charge of all the arrangements. Kevin will be taking us round, providing introductions, shedding lots of light, explaining all.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a Jane Austen devotee in possession of the good fortune of a couple of free hours must be in want of this virtual walk.”
Celebrate Christmas Eve Eve with a delightful Christmas Lights Pub Walk. This year’s Christmas Season Pub walk will take you through London at its most inviting time of the year. Bask the festivities through the lit up, twinkling lights and decorated streets of London, maybe with a hint of snow if we are lucky as we galivant through the pubs sharing a mulled wine or a hot cider or ale or sherry, whatever fancies your tickle.
This walk takes place at 7 pm on 23rd December 2022. The meeting point is Embankment Underground Station and is guided by Simon.
After 8 years of Christmas being banned during the interregnum, Christmas morning of 1660 must have been pretty special, wouldn’t you say? This is a Christmas Restoration walk in every sense of the word! And what better figure to accompany us on our rounds than that quintessential Londoner – let alone the greatest diarist of them all – Samuel Pepys himself. We’re following in his footsteps. Going calling on the Westminster that he knew. And immortalised in the diary. Lucky us. Because Pepys’ Diary, begun in 1660, is the most entertaining and joyful autobiographical record ever kept. Thanks to the quality of the writing, the little anecdotes (they’re like plums in a Christmas pudding), the illuminating profiles, the indiscretions, the insults and – tying it all together – the warmth of Pepys’ personality.
This walk takes place at 11 am on December 25. The meeting point is by the big Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square.
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me” – Charles Dickens.
Our afternoon walk is all about the man who some think invented Christmas – he didn’t! He re-invented it! Before Dickens and his stories came along Christmas was a rather small celebration on the Christian calendar. It was Dickens whose words plumped, fluffed and sprinkled Christmas all over the world making it the traditional Christmas we know today. So on Christmas afternoon we celebrate him, his words, his life, his London and his Christmas. A Christmas before Cola turned Father Christmas red. It’s a delightfully Dickensian and detailed look at – an exploration of – the alleyways and Victorian hideaways off the Strand and Covent Garden districts, places rich in Dickensian lore and associations.
The Charles Dickens Christmas Day walk starts at 2 pm. The meeting point is by the big Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. (How appropriate is that?)
See in the New Year – and see the fireworks – from the roof of London. This one works a treat. But go on, click on the link, read the blurb – you’ll see why this is the class act, why this is the way those who know do it.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Etc. Big etc. because Rick’s going to play a whole medley of Christmas hits in the pub at walk’s end.
Takes place at 6 pm on Monday, January 2nd. Click on the link for the meeting point and further details.
Looking for other activities to do in London? The Christmas events calendar is back to normal after last year, so here are a few London Walks curated suggestions:
Want to organise a fun team social and don’t know what your company Christmas Party is going to look like whilst social distancing? Why not book one of our Virtual Tours and we can organise the time and date to suit you. Bring your team or family together with one of our Christmas specials tour, just ring Fiona or Noel or Mary on 020 7624 3978 or email us at [email protected] and we’ll set it up and make it happen for you.