10 Best Christmas Trees to Visit in London
From the traditional Norwegian spruce in Trafalgar Square to Claridge’s dazzling designer display, fill your Instagram feed with some of the best Christmas trees in London over the festive season.
There’s something magical about Christmas decorations. Lights, window displays and trees can make a huge difference to the appearance of a city. London in that aspect is the queen of the party as the amount of effort everybody puts into designing the most wonderful displays is out of this world. Some of the most iconic venues – Trafalgar Square, the main shopping streets and royal palaces – thoroughly decorate their premises. However, markets, hotels and even museums, make an impressive effort to celebrate Christmas.
If you enjoy the festive season and its decorations, but Christmas trees above all (ah that elegance and fresh smell), you’ll delight visiting these displays of holiday charm. Some of them are themed, others sponsored and some, like the stunning one at Claridge’s Hotel, employs a well-known designer each year to design the full tree concept.
I’ve compiled a list of locations and dates so you can organise a couple of fun outings in the search of Christmas trees. Please note that this list of venues is arranged by date and that some of these are inside private properties so familiarising yourself with them is best not to get disappointed. All that said, most of them won’t mind if you have a quick look.
Without further ado, let’s check the best Christmas trees across the British capital: From stunning interiors to amazing exteriors, here are London’s best trees happening this winter.
This year, Liberty London has built an incredible floating velvet bonsai inside the store for Christmas. Known as The Tree of Liberty, it’s made from blue velvet branches and real reindeer moss (it’s even more impressive than the pictures). Baubles, gifts and exotic animals are perched across the elaborate tree, which was inspired by a poem by Gabrielle Djanogly, telling the story of an All-Seeing Owl and the vision he had for a magical tree.
Liberty was founded in 1874 by Arthur Lasenby Liberty as a department store and nowadays it’s one of the ‘big four’. The building, a most curious Tudor revival structure, was completed in 1924 due to the steady growth of his business. By the way, not many people know that the store was constructed from the timbers of two ships: HMS Impregnable (formerly HMS Howe) and HMS Hindustan.
When: 6 November
Where: Regent St, Soho, W1B 5AH (Google)
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus
Covent Garden’s Christmas Display will also boast London’s biggest hand-picked Christmas tree, an iconic 55-foot British grown handpicked tree, decorated with over 30,000 lights. It will transform the neighbourhood into a winter wonderland glittering with 115,000 lights across the historic piazza and its adjoining streets.
Covent Garden is also home to many stores, restaurants and an ice rink. This year, Covent Garden is opening a festive ice rink in collaboration with jewelry brand Tiffany & Co. The New York-inspired rink takes over the East Piazza of Covent Garden from the end of November, centering around a 4ft-tall bottle of Tiffany & Co. perfume inside a snow globe.
When: 12 November, 5.30pm
Where: The Market Bldg, WC2E 8RF (Google)
Nearest Tube: Covent Garden
Somerset House Christmas Tree – Image sourced from TwitterSomerset House goes big over Christmas and the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court is transformed into a winter oasis with its huge ice rink (which by the way turns 20 this year) and a stunning 40ft Christmas tree, sponsored by Fortnum & Mason.
Somerset House, offers an entire cultural program of its own. Don’t miss its current exhibition and – my favourite – the Nelson staircase. Set in a rotunda, the flowing staircase connects the basement with the Navy Board Rooms. Thought it was constructed in the late eighteen century, it had to be rebuilt in the 50’s as it had suffered terrible bomb damage in 1940.
When: 13 November to 12 January
Where: London WC2R 1LA (Google)
Nearest Tube: Temple
4. Leadenhall Market
Thousands of lights and a central Christmas tree are switched on in Leadenhall Market by the Lord Mayor of London. The festivities on the 15th kick start the Market’s festive campaign, which will see an online ‘12 Days of Christmas’ promotion running in December, a Christmas Music Festival and a special Harry Potter festive day on Saturday 21st December (Harry Potter fans rejoice!). It will even ‘snow’ in the Market this year to make it feel especially festive.
Don’t miss the nearby Royal Exchange which also celebrates the Christmas season in style.
When: 15 November at 6pm
Where: Gracechurch St, EC3V 1LT (Google)
Nearest Tube: Bank / Monument
The Royal Exchange highly celebrates the switching on the Christmas tree lights, also sponsored by Fortnum & Mason. This event also involves caroling, mince pies, mulled wine and hot chocolate. In 2019, Downton Abbey actress Joanne Froggatt had the honour of switching on the Christmas tree lights making the ceremony even lovelier (any other Downton Abbey fans over here?).
Located in the City, make sure you also visit Leadenhall Market and its beautiful Christmas lights and trees.
When: 20 November at 5.30pm
Where: Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LR (Google)
Nearest Tube: Bank / Monument
Annabel’s, one of the UK’s most exclusive members’ clubs, has installed a stunning 42ft faux Christmas tree in front of its elegant Berkeley Square façade. Like last year, the Mayfair hotspot has opted for a truly giant tree outside the front door. However, instead of opting for the more traditional green, red, and gold they surprised everyone with a more extravagant version of it. The ‘snow’-covered tree is decorated in enormous gold baubles. Which one do you prefer, the traditional or the new one? I might prefer the old one.
When: 20 November
Where: 46 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London W1J 5AT (Google)
Nearest Tube: Green Park
Each year Claridge’s asks one of its fashionable friends to design an epic Christmas display. The annual collaboration began in 2009 with John Galliano for Dior, and since then everyone from Christopher Bailey for Burberry and Alber Elbaz for Lanvin has been let loose on the iconic lobby. Visit the luxurious Mayfair hotel to see the iconic Claridge’s London Christmas tree installation – this year’s tree is set to be created by world-famous designer Christian Louboutin.
If you’re in for a treat, don’t miss Claridge’s afternoon tea, the Christmas version.
When: 21 November
Where: Brook St, W1K 4HR (Google)
Nearest Tube: Bond Street
8. Wembley Park
Wembley Park, where the 1924 British Empire Exhibition was held, has been reinventing itself over the years. And this year, for the first time, it’s home to Winterfest, an after-dark festive wonderland of interactive installations that combine art and sound to magical effect.
Besides its stunning light installation of the complex, the Christmas tree is one of a kind. London’s tallest-ever LED one is here, sparkling with more than 100,000 tiny lights. The best? You can walk through it. And what’s not to love about ‘StarBox’, a giant sequinned present box that makes the perfect Insta backdrop?
When: 21 November to 3 January
Where: Wembley Park (Google)
Nearest Train Station: Wembley Stadium
Nestled in the magnificent St George’s Hall, the stunning 20-foot-high Nordmann Fir tree – taken from Windsor Great Park – is dressed with hundreds of iridescent glass and mirrored ornaments. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 2019, the Octagon Dining Room will feature a special display of gifts exchanged between the royal couple during the many Christmases they spent together at Windsor Castle.
Thinking of having a nice day trip to Windsor, don’t miss these 6 Best Day Trip Adventures from London.
When: 30 November to 5 January
Where: Windsor, SL4 1NJ (Google)
Nearest Train Station: Windsor and Eton Central
10. Trafalgar Square
The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is felled in November during a ceremony in which the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the British ambassador to Norway and the Mayor of Oslo participate. It is brought to the UK by sea, then completes its journey by lorry. And with all this pomp, it has become the world’s most famous Christmas tree.
Don’t miss the lighting ceremony – the last of the events – which takes place at Trafalgar Square on 5 December. The 25-metre high tree is a gift from the people of Norway to London, in thanks to Britain’s support during World War II.
When: From 5 December, at 6pm to 5 January
Where: Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN (Google)
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross
I hope you enjoyed this list and are able to visit some of these wonderful Christmas trees across London. Make sure you check other Christmas plans, shows and activities in London: