Not sure how to spend your Christmas in London? We’ve got four cracking options for you

1. Sharehouse Style Christmas

Don’t let a lack of sunny skies and home comforts stop you from having a happy holiday. Here are some tips for a merry orphans’ Christmas in London.

Go traditional and roast a turkey

  • Check your oven is large enough or it may be turkey casserole on the menu
  • Order yours from a butcher and collect it on Christmas Eve – you’ll save space in your fridge, and won’t have to fight off harassed shoppers for what’s left on the supermarket shelves

Get everyone to make a dish from their home country

  • Bring and share is cheaper, and you’ll get to try new things or enjoy food you might be missing from home

Stock up on mince pies, chocolates and other festive treats

  • It’s going to be a long, cold weekend with no transport – the perfect excuse to hibernate with your favourite food.
  • London feels like it’s gone into hibernation on Christmas Day – there’s no Tube, trains or buses and hardly any black cabs. You might be able to get around in a mini-cab, but expect a wait and to pay for the privilege

Make mulled wine, crank up the carols and go tinsel crazy in your sharehouse.

  • Christmas trees sell out fast, so buy early unless you want a drooping stump.


2. Do some good

The festive season is the perfect time to do a spot of volunteering and brighten the Christmas of someone less fortunate. One of the best ways to lend a hand is at one of the drop-in centres run by the charity Crisis.

There are nine centres across London, providing food, support and a welcome for homeless people. No special skills or experience is required, and training is provided. Volunteers do two shifts on two different days from December 23-30.

Alternatively, log on to, which lists thousands of volunteering opportunities across London, which can be searched by category and by area.


3. Down at the Pub

Have a If you’re in of need a little extra festive cheer, you’ll be pleased to know that plenty of pubs in London are open over the Christmas period, even if it’s only for a few hours from about noon to mid-afternoon. Here are some good watering holes near you:


  • The One Tun, 58-60 Goodge St, W1T 4ND (nearest tube: Goodge Street)
  • The Cross Keys, 31 Endell St, WC2H 9EB (nearest tube: Covent Garden)
  • The Founders Arms, Bankside Lofts, 65 Hopton St, SE1 9JH (nearest tube: Southwark)


  • The Oxford Arms, 265 Camden High St, NW1 7BU (nearest tube: Camden Town)
  • The Draper’s Arms, 44 Barnsbury St, N1 1ER (nearest tube: Highbury & Islington)
  • The Landsdowne, 90 Gloucester Ave, NW1 8HX (nearest tube: Chalk Farm)


  • The Dolphin, 165 Mare St, E8 3RH Hackney Central
  • The Globe, 20 Morning Ln, E9 6NA Bethnal Green
  • The Three Compasses, 99 Dalston Ln, E8 1NH Dalston Kingsland


  • Windmill On The Common, Clapham Common, SW4 9DE Clapham South
  • The Duke’s Head, 8 Lower Richmond Rd, SW15 1JN Putney Bridge
  • The Crooked Billet, 14-15 Crooked Billet, SW19 4RQ Wimbledon


  • The White Horse, 1-3 Parsons Green, SW6 4UL Parsons Green
  • The Champion, 1 Wellington Tce, W2 4LW Notting Hill Gate
  • The Skiddaw, 46 Chippenham Rd, W9 2AF Westbourne Park


4. In front of the box

So you’ve got the tree up, presents wrapped and turkey in the oven. Sorted, right? Well, hang on, you might also want to consider what you are going to watch on the box.

TV viewing is as integral to the British Christmas experience as Brussels sprouts. This is because TV execs know they are guaranteed a captive audience – like, what else are you going to do? Play cricket in the drizzle?

So, said execs throw big bucks at the ‘Christmas Special’ and then stand back and see who can pull the biggest ratings. Which all adds up to some pretty great viewing, actually.

It wouldn’t be Christmas in the UK without an EastEnders’ shout-fest or a Doctor Who can-he-or-can’t-he-save-the-world cliffhanger while you slump on the couch. And then there’s the Christmas movie classics, such as Home Alone and The Snow Man, as well as the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day, which is a must-see not because it’s particularly interesting but so you can feel you’re ‘avin’ a right, proper Brit Crimbo – innit!