Christmas is coming to London's neighbourhoods
As the end of the year draws near, Christmas is in full swing in the Primera business improvement districts.
From crazy Christmas trees in the Eastern City to carols for good causes in the Culture Mile, there is festive cheer to be had by all.
Read on for a summary of activity:
Aldgate Connect (City of London)
What: A popular community festival, Aldgate in Winter returns this year for its seventh edition. The programme will include a Christmas tree light switch-on, live acts and performances from the community, including Bollywood dance workshops and performances, a lantern parade, creative workshops and a “community feast” offering free hot meals.
Where: Aldgate Square
When: 8th December, 12-7pm
Cheapside Business Alliance (City of London)
What: The Lord and Lady Mayoress will head to Cheapside for an evening of festive songs, choir performances and snow as they switch on the Christmas lights at St Mary Le Bow and Bow Lane.
Where: St Mary Le Bow, Bow Lane, surrounding streets
When: 15th November
Culture Mile BID (City of London)
What: After an enforced break due to the pandemic, London's Guildhall will once again be transformed into the ultimate shopping experience. Shop a variety of stalls selling luxury handmade, unique and exclusive gifts. The event raises vital funds for the work of the British Red Cross. Sponsored by the Culture Mile BID.
Where: Guildhall Yard
When: 27th and 28th November
What: Now in its 9th year, the Hands Up Foundation’s Singing for Syrians Carol Concert will take place at St Bartholomew the Great, London’s oldest surviving church, in support of Syrian communities who have endured 12 years of conflict and, more recently, February’s earthquakes. Sponsored by the Culture Mile BID.
Where: St Bartholomew The Great
When: 28th November
What: Join us under the snow machine for Christmas carols followed by free mulled wine and mince pies, and bring along hygiene products to donate in support of The City Hygiene Bank.
Where: Holy Sepulchre Church
When: 5th December, 5-7pm
What: Join us for free mulled wine and mince pies in the snow with music and festive storytelling.
Where: Bartholomew Close Square
When: 7th December, 5-7pm
Eastern City BID (City of London)
What: Launch of the MOSAIC – a unique fitting designed by the world-famous artist Arnaud Lapierre, which reinvents the traditional Christmas tree in a sustainable and modern vision. The tree is fitted mirrored cubes arranged in a manner which evokes the natural geometry of a pine cone. A partnership between EC BID, Pan Pacific London and MTArt Agency.
Where: One Bishopsgate Plaza outside Pan Pacific London
When: 16th November
What: Working with the Trees for Cities charity, Aviva, and the inspirational artist Jasper Toeli, ‘Be the Tree’ invites the public to connect with a city tree on both a public and personal scale. Simply place your face up to the O2 bottle and in just a few moments the sculpture lights your face in real time onto a 20 foot high tree, embellished by installation artist Ella Schofield Lake, through the magical technique of video projection mapping. There will then be a link to access your image so you can make a unique digital, Christmas card.
Where: Aviva Piazza
When: 30th November to 22nd December
What: Lights switch-on at the church’s 18-foot Christmas tree.
Where: St Helen’s Church, Bishopsgate
When: 30th November
What: In partnership with the Leadenhall Market, the EC BID will be installing a light activation to showcase the side road of the market. In addition, carol singers will be performing at peak times in the market.
Where: Leadenhall market
When: 16th November
What: An immersive inflatable Winter Wonderland snow globe will allow visitors to create that unique insta-worthy moment. The surrounding space will be designed to create a truly festive feeling for visitors and workers alike.
Where: Fenchurch Street station
When: 5th-8th December
What: The EC BID will run a series of festive workshops including wreath-making, felting, stocking filler designs, winter candle making and gingerbread house decorating. Each workshop will open for up to 20 people and run until mid-December.
Where: EC BID footprint
When: November, December
Fleet Street Quarter (City of London)
What: Discover 12 sculptures of The Snowman™ throughout the Quarter, each individually painted and designed by UK-based artists and inspired by the carol ‘ The Twelve Days of Christmas’, paying homage to the animation and the original picture book by the late Raymond Briggs.
Where: Across Fleet Street Quarter
When: 21st November – 5th January
What: Join us as we illuminate Ludgate Circus with a shimmering spectacle of festive lights! London Contemporary Voices choir will also be performing, helping us to get into the festive spirit! Mulled wine, mince pies and hot chocolate will also be served from 5pm with the countdown to the switch on beginning around 5:15pm!
Where: Ludgate Circus
When: 21st November – 5th January
What: Kick off the festive cheer with a dazzling Christmas lights illumination on the famous Chancery Lane, with a performance from the London Contemporary Voices choir. Join us for mulled wine, mince pies and hot chocolate from 5pm with the countdown to the switch on beginning around 5:15pm!
Where: Chancery Lane
When: 28th November, 5pm
What: The Festive Fleet Street Quarter Makers’ Market will return to New Street Square on 5, 6 and 7 December to house an array of exceptional gifts from independent homeware, fashion, beauty and arts-and-crafts traders provided by the talented Crafty Fox Market.
Where: New Street Square
When: 5th-7th December, 11.30am-6pm
London Heritage Quarter (Westminster)
What: The Northbank BID is collaborating with St Martin-in-the-Fields to bring a sensory ‘Secret Winter Garden’ to the Strand. Prepare your senses for the upcoming festive period with chai lattes and cosy seats in the garden’s dreamy cabanas. The space will also host sensory-themed workshops for businesses to enjoy during their lunch hour.
Where: St Martin-in-the-Field’ Courtyard
When: 13th-19th November, 11am-7pm
What: The Northbank BID's annual Christmas lights along the Strand will be switched on from 16th November.
When: 16th November
What: The Victoria BID’s annual Christmas lights and tree will be returning to Victoria Street, as well as a tree in Christchurch Gardens. New this year will also be Victoria Tower Gardens lights.
Where: Victoria Street, Christchurch Garden, Victoria Tower Gardens
When: 22nd November
What: The Northbank BID are bringing a giant festive mural to the area with its Festive Colour by Numbers. Passers-by will be invited to pick up a pen and colour in sections numbered with a designated colour. Over the 4 days the artwork will come to life.
Where: Charing Cross Station
When: 8am – 7pm 13-15th December, 10am – 6pm 16th December
Central District Alliance (Camden and Islington)
What: Step back in time at our Dickensian Christmas market, where the enchanting spirit of the Victorian era comes to life, nestled amongst the hustle and bustle of the 21st century.
Honouring the great Charles Dickens, many of whose writings were inspired by the Bloomsbury, Holborn & Farringdon areas, the market will bring the Dickensian era to life, alongside a charming array of market stalls and warming food.
Dickensian characters and carolers will entertain you, whilst you browse the handcrafted gifts and trinkets, or warm up with a mulled wine or hot chocolate.
Where: St Giles Square, by Tottenham Court Road station
When: 29th and 30th November, 12-7.30pm
Hatton Garden BID (Camden)
What: The sparkling diamond of your festive calendar: join the community for food, drink and song at the Hatton Garden Christmas Market on Wednesday 22nd November 2023 from 11:30-19:00.
Look out for the stunning 30ft Christmas tree at the junction of Leather Lane and High Holborn. Enjoy a free cup of mulled wine and a mince pie and your favourite carols from our festive choir while you browse unique gifts and local wares.
Where: Junction of Leather Lane and High Holborn
When: 22nd November, 11.30am-7pm
Harley Street BID (Westminster)
What: The Harley Street BID’s “Miracles in Marylebone” campaign will see the BID collect gifts from businesses across the footprint, which will be donated to charities that support children living in property.
Where: Harley Street footprint
When: 11th November – 1st January
Notes to editors
Primera is a London-based consultancy specialising in placemaking through public/private partnerships. Operating a dozen business improvement districts in some of the most high-profile neighbourhoods of the capital, such as Westminster, Harley Street and the City of London, Primera represents more than 3,000 London businesses, from major tourist attractions and global companies to SMEs and charities, as well as over 1m employees. Each BID has its own dedicated team in charge of delivering the business plan which member businesses voted on, with priorities often including safety, cleanliness, ESG, B2C and B2B destination marketing and public affairs representation.