Magical, special, unique – a truly unusual way to spend Christmas Day in London.
If you have never seen London almost empty, this is really the only opportunity to do so all year.
A really memorable tour for locals and visitors.
Christmas Day morning is the one time of the year when London is effectively closed, quiet and empty. Our route is designed to take in many of London’s most iconic sights at their most eerily deserted and finish with the streets a little busier but full of festive cheer.
We meet before dawn at 5.45am near the London Eye, setting off before Big Ben chimes 6am. We will walk through the West End, Mayfair and Soho and almost certainly be the only people in Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street and Regent Street.
As the sun comes up we will visit a cafe where we can all enjoy a coffee and breakfast. We’ll then set off for the City of London and the South Bank, stopping for lunch en route, before returning to the West End before the pubs start to close from around 4pm.
This epic 10-mile walk over 10 hours will take us through four London boroughs and the City of London. As well as the familiar sights, you will see and hear about plenty of things that aren’t in the guidebooks and wherever possible I’ll customise the walk to include the interests of everyone in the group.
There will be regular breaks and plenty of complimentary festive treats during the day. Everybody taking part will also receive a unique souvenir from the Christmas Day Grand Tour.
Breakfast and lunch are not included in the price of the tour but there will be lots of complimentary festive treats along the way. Whichever venues we select there will be a range of food and drink options at reasonable prices and there is always he option of bringing your own packed lunch or breakfast butty!
Who are your hosts?
Pete Berthoud, City of Westminster Guide and Lindsey Clarke, Managing Director of London’s most popular website, Londonist. Pete will be responsible for the guiding, Lindsey will make sure you’re never far away from a tot of something warming or a chocolate.
Last year was really lovely but you never can tell with Christmas Day. The walk will go ahead, rain, shine or snow, so please be prepared!
This tour is restricted to an absolute maximum of 25 people to encourage a convivial and chatty atmosphere. In previous years groups have included a mixture of visitors and locals; some people who have been visiting London for the very first time and some real London experts including writers, fellow guides and historians. The friendliness and sense of camaraderie generated by these groups has inspired this grand tour where everyone can enjoy even more of Christmas Day together.
Start & end points
The tour starts near the London Eye and will finish near Leicester Square. Full details will be give on booking.
Transport: There will be no public transport at all on the day so you will need to be able to walk to the start point, drive into London or be willing to catch a cab or two.
Children: This tour isn’t suitable for children under 16 on account of the distance we will cover and the pub stops involved.
This tour is wheelchair accessible but there are some sections where there are no dropped kerbs and some of the pavements are very narrow. Please contact me if you’d like to talk in detail about accessibility.
If you’d like to buy this tour as a gift for somebody, please email me and I can arrange to send you a printed gift card.
Before the Tour
Many businesses don’t decide whether they’ll be open or not until a week or two before Christmas. Every year some places that have told me on Christmas Eve that they would be closed, end up changing their minds and are open on the big day!
So it’s impossible to give a precise itinerary for the day in advance. I will, however, send you a list of pubs, restaurants, cafes and attractions that have told me they will be will be open and information on parking etc well in advance.
After the Tour
In the days after the tour I’ll send you a map showing the route we took. I’ll also send you links to things we have talked about during the day the day and photos of us as a group. If group members have posted photos on Flickr etc and are happy for me to share them I’ll include those links too.
If you need to cancel before 1 November I can offer a 75% refund less Eventbrite fees. If you need to cancel before 1 December I can offer a 50% refund less Eventbrite fees. After 1 December I can’t offer any refunds.
You can check reviews of previous year’s Christmas Day walks on Trip Advisor.