If you’re looking for festive yet sustainable activities in London, here are our top picks:
From winter walks in the fresh air, to fairy-tale moments and tasty treats. Instead of going to the usual plastic filled pop-up this Christmas, why don’t you head to one of the events below that won’t impact the Earth?
Nights at the National Trust
There is always lots to do over the Christmas period at National Trust locations. From exploring wreath making workshops to illuminated gardens, there are plenty of opportunities for festive fun. This year, one of Hackney’s oldest houses, Sutton House, has been decked out with 500 years of Christmas traditions. Make sure you treat yourself to a spiced orange pomander ball before meeting Father Christmas. The best thing is, all proceeds raised go towards helping take care of Sutton House.
Sutton House, 2 & 4 Homerton High St, London E9 6JQ
Take a Trip to the Kings Cross Canopy Market
Visit your local Christmas market and soak up the festive atmosphere is to visit your local Christmas market. One of the wonderful things about The Kings Cross Canopy Market is that it is covered, meaning no risk of getting rained on! The market features an array of handmade gifts including art from UAL graduates alongside artisan Real Food stalls.
1 Wharf Road, Granary Square, London, N1C 4BZ
Zero Waste Christmas Market
A day of festive workshops, talks and stands – the second annual zero waste Christmas market is being held in the Oval Space in East London on Saturday 7th December. Workshops include wreath making, making natural and plastic free soaps and a terrarium making class; all designed to inspire a festive season without plastic. Be sure to take your reusable cups and containers so you don’t miss out on the mulled wine and festive treats on offer!
Festive Light Displays
Christmas time is when the city sparkles the most. With lights popping up across the capital, this is the perfect time to embrace the outdoors and take a winter walk through various parts of London. Make sure you head to Regent Street where you can see ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ lights. Launched in 1954, these were the very first Christmas lights in central London and are still used every year to this day. Or, if you are looking to spend more time in nature, visit Kew Gardens for their winter trail of glittering trees and laser shows, all with a cup of spiced cider or mulled wine.
Regent Street, London, W1B 4EA
Image by Jeff Moore.
Try a ‘Christmas Bowl’ at Farmacy
One of our favourite plant-based restaurants Farmacy launches its Christmas menu in December. With waste, food and plastic kept to an absolute minimum, this Notting Hill hotspot is the perfect location for a twist on the traditional Christmas dinner. Their ‘Christmas Bowl’ is filled with whipped squash, winter spiced activated seeds, buckwheat and charred brussels sprouts. Christmas is a time for treating yourself, so make sure you try their Chocolate lava cake with salted caramel ‘nice cream’ – it’s dairy, refined sugar and additive free.
74 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 5SH
Sing in the Square
Head to Trafalgar Square where you’ll find this year’s Christmas tree, donated each year to the people of Britain by the city of Oslo. On weekday evening and weekend afternoons in December, you can see some of the 40 musical groups get involved in carol singing beneath the tree, making it a very festive place to be.
Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
Have a Christmas Singalong
Celebrate Christmas with a carol concert with a cause at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. For two nights only, drink mulled wine and eat mince pies in the company of some of the charity’s most beloved dogs. To ensure the dog’s wellbeing and comfort, Battersea do ask that guests don’t bring their own dogs to the event.
A Festive Vegan Afternoon Tea
An afternoon filled with warming cups of tea and a festive themed cake stand is the perfect way to get in the Christmas mood. Visit St Martins Lane hotel for a feast in the cosy setting of their ‘den’; eating spiced apple tarts, mulled wine panna cotta and cinnamon spiced creams; or if you’re opting for a plant-based Christmas, the hotel offers a vegan option – meaning nobody has to miss out!
Image: St Martins Lane Hotel