Your first Christmas in London – what will you do?

This may be your first time away from family and friends and it can be upsetting missing out on your regular Christmas celebrations. To ensure you don’t wake up alone in London now is the time to get planning. Here are my suggestions on how to spend your Christmas in London.

Spend your London Christmas at home with flatmates

The lead up to Christmas in London is very exciting. The street lights are turned on in the city and chestnuts are roasted on street corners. There might also be a sprinkling of snow while shoppers scurry from store to store purchasing gifts.

However, actual Christmas Day can be very quiet as many people leave the city to spend time with their family and friends. Most of the restaurants and shops close. Your family will probably be your flatmates so I suggest you could stay in London with your flatmates and create your own special Christmas. You could cook up a Christmas feast at home. You could purchase a little tree and exchange a gift before watching crappy TV shows!

Spend your London Christmas at a restaurant/pub/hotel

If you don’t want to cook at home then find out what establishments might be open Christmas Day and book yourself in for a feast. The larger hotels and restaurants are often open for Christmas lunch or dinner. Ensure you book in advance so you get a spot. You might also be interested in a Christmas luncheon-cruise along the Thames.

Spend your London Christmas as a Volunteer

If you will be on your own in London, you could volunteer at a charity for the day that is serving Christmas lunch to the needy. At least you will be around lots of people.

Spend Christmas getting to know London

There may not be many places open but you can still visit and have a look at the outside of buildings. You could walk through the parks and look in the shop windows and visit the major sights such as Buckingham Palace, etc.

Spend Christmas on a tour around the UK or in Europe

If you want to get out of London you could decide on going to any city or town in the UK. I would suggest if you are travelling on your own that you organise your Christmas Day by finding out what places might be open to ensure you will able to get a feed.

A popular place to head to is Scotland to experience Hogmanay. Although Hogmanay is a celebration to welcome in the New Year the Scots definitely know how to celebrate during the Christmas New Year Period. You could enjoy plenty of whisky by a warm fire! Possibly in a Scottish Ski resort. If you wanted to find a job in a Scottish Ski resort check out our blog.

You could book yourself on to a tour around the United Kingdom. I did this cause I didn’t want to be alone for my first Christmas away. The tour guide made it special, each person on the tour was given a name of another person on the tour and they had to buy them a small gift which was handed out on Christmas Day. A special Christmas lunch was also organised. I went with Contiki and would thoroughly recommend them. Check out the tours they have. If you don’t want to go around the UK then a white Christmas in Europe may be an option.



No matter where you will be for Christmas and New Year while on your London working holiday ensure you make it a good experience. And book it early so you don’t miss out.

  • About the Author

    Sharyn McCullum has travelled most of her life thanks to her dad who worked at Sydney Airport. When in her 20’s, she bid her family farewell and left Australia on her own for a working holiday in the UK. She stayed for 4 years and her time there inspired her travel guide Live Work and Play in London and the UK and this blog. She currently calls Melbourne home.


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