Christmas trees in London: Best displays from Trafalgar Square to Wembley Park
Your guide to what’s hot in London
Can you hear sleigh bells ringing? It might only be November, but London is already beginning its transformation into a winter wonderland.
In the run up to the big day on December 25, the capital will wrap itself in Christmas lights and begin setting up its festive markets as the city gets into the yuletide spirit.
Christmas trees will be hoisted all over town, from traditional Norwegian spruces to those made entirely of LEDs.
Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best, most famous trees in London. We’ll update our guide once more information is released, and as other trees pop up.
The Christmas tree is always a sight to behold at Covent Garden, but it’s the accompanying lights display that really makes this one worth the trip. This year, 40 mistletoe chandeliers will hang from the ceiling of the Market Building, each one sparkling with 700 decorative berries and complemented by the tens of thousands of pea lights adorning the building.
From November 12, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 8RF
St Pancras International station
Rushing through St Pancras to catch a train on a quick festive getaway? Be sure to make time to admire the Christmas tree that always takes pride of place on the station concourse. Some big names have been involved with decorating the trees in recent years, from Cirque Du Soleil to Tiffany and Co. This year’s collaborator is yet to be revealed, but expect something spectacular.
From November 12, Euston Road, N1C 4QP
Each year, the good people of Norway have been gifting a huge Christmas tree to Londoners in thanks for Britain’s assistance during the Second World War. It’s a tradition that started all the way back in 1947, making this display a particularly poignant one. The tree, usually a Norwegian spruce, is felled in the forests surrounding Oslo and proudly displayed in Trafalgar Square. Head down from December 9-24 and you can enjoy a spot of carol singing, too.
From December 5, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
Trust Claridge’s to have one of the fanciest trees in the city. The luxury hotel always enlists a famous friend from the world of fashion to design its tree, which is then homed in the lobby for guests to gaze at. Diane Von Furstenberg and Karl Lagerfeld have lent their creations in recent years (Lagerfeld’s upside down tree is pictured above), and this time around the responsibility falls to regular guest Christian Louboutin. Let’s see how the shoe fits.
From November 21, Claridge’s, Brook Street, W1K 4HR
Leadenhall Market will host its usual festive shindig this year, pairing its traditional Christmas tree with a switching-on ceremony. The Lord Mayor of London will be coming along to do the honours, with the tree itself being unveiled at 6pm on November 15. Elsewhere, there will be choirs, entertainment, competitions and more, with further details to be revealed soon.
From November 15, Leadenhall Market
The Royal Exchange
Fortnum and Mason are on decorating duty for this tree, which will stand in front of the grand old Royal Exchange. A special celebrity guest usually comes along to do the switching-on — last year it was Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman — and in recent years mince pies and mulled wine have been served, although details for 2019 are yet to be put in stone.
November 21, The Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LR
Wembley Park will be throwing its first ever “Winterfest” this year, described as an “immersive light festival”. It looks set to be one of the more unorthodox festive displays in the capital this year, with an array of light and sound installations dotted around the area for guests to explore. Its Christmas “tree” will eschew tradition entirely and be made up of 100,000 LEDs, standing 25m tall.
From November 20, Wembley Park, HA9
Londoners have been getting their skates on at Somerset House for the last 20 years, and this year the famous ice rink will return at the same time as it unveils its Christmas tree for 2019. The 40ft tree, which always looms over the revellers on the Edmond J Safra Foundation Court, will be just one of the festive attractions — expecting DJ sets, craft stalls, food, drink and more.
From November 13, Somerset House, Strand, WC2A 1LA
Natural History Museum
Another icy retreat can be found out in front of the Natural History Museum, which hosts its own rink every year. If you want to get a good look at the tree, you’ll need to risk the slips and slides as this one is placed right in the middle of the ice. It’s open from 10am until 10pm every day, so it’s great for families and as well as those who fancy a post-work glide.
From October 19, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD
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