With many families spending Christmas tucked away in their homes and shops shuttered up as celebrations get underway, you may think Christmas Day needs to be spent within the confines of your hotel. But that doesn’t need to be the case. Be a part of these special Christmas Day tours, from a festive feast on the River Thames to carol singing in Canterbury Cathedral, and create memories you know you’ll be talking about for many years to come.

What to do on Christmas Day

Christmas Day Tours
Take a Christmas day cruise along the wintery River Thames © iStock / shanneong

Lunch on the Thames

December 25th is a peaceful time across London when, without public transport operating and the subsequent throng of commuters, the streets can seem almost deserted. Enjoy this rare view of London as you walk or take a taxi to Westminster Pier. It’s from here that our Christmas Day cruise will embark, enabling passengers to soak up the sights of London from the River Thames. Sail past Big Ben and the London Eye while tucking into an indulgent three-course Christmas lunch, accompanied by festive music and carol singing.

Christmas Day Tours
Look across the English Channel from the White Cliffs of Dover © Lisa Valder / iStock

Rochester, Canterbury & Dover

For a Christmas unlike any other, travel between the top sightseeing spots in Kent, on a Rochester, Canterbury and Dover Tour. See the ancient walls of Rochester Castle and hear about the monument’s 880-year history, before wandering along the historic town’s Victorian high street, which was famously frequented by Charles Dickens. As many of the shops will be closed, you’ll have the rare opportunity to pose for your Christmas snaps in a quintessentially British setting, without the usual crowds to contend with.

Perhaps the highlight of this tour is the visit to Canterbury Cathedral. Closed to all other visitors on this day, you’ll be present for the cathedral’s Christmas service – held by the Archbishop of Canterbury – one of the most prestigious sermons year-round. But no Christmas Day would be complete without a traditional Christmas meal, so lunch will be served in the cosy Lodge at Canterbury Cathedral.

The final stop on this tour is the iconic White Cliffs of Dover, where you’ll be met with impressive views across the English Channel. Keep your fingers crossed for a sprinkling of snow for an unforgettable end to the day.

Christmas Day Tours
Visit the idyllic countryside of The Cotswolds © iStock / JENIFOTO

Oxford, Stratford and the Cotswolds

This Christmas Day tour takes in some of the most popular sights in Britain: The Cotswolds, Oxford and Stratford upon Avon. Begin the day with a walking tour of Oxford; led by one of our expert guides, this tour will delve into the history of the world’s oldest University and the medieval city it calls home. Having built up an appetite, you’ll be treated to a classic Christmas lunch in the birthplace of Britain’s greatest playwright, William Shakespeare, in the market town of Stratford upon Avon, before putting your feet up as we take a scenic drive through the rolling Cotswolds countryside.

What to do on Boxing Day

Christmas Day Tours
Spend the day visiting Stonehenge © krzych34 / iStock

Stonehenge

What better way to beat off the post-Christmas blues than with an afternoon spent at the UK’s most enigmatic landmark? On this express trip to Stonehenge, you’ll gain an insight into the prehistoric site, and if you join the full day package, Christmas lunch and a tour of Bath will be included, along with a walking tour of Windsor to see the royal residence, Windsor Castle.

Christmas Day Tours
Take in the splendour of Leeds Castle © The Leeds Castle Foundation

Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral & Dover

Leeds Castle sits on a tiny island in the River Len, making it the ideal subject for panoramic shots, before you venture on inside. Take in the castle’s resplendent grandeur, before continuing on your journey to the equally impressive Canterbury Cathedral. For lunch, indulge in the great British tradition of fish and chips. Then feeling revived, set out for the monumental White Cliffs of Dover.

Header image: The Cotswolds is just one of the places you can visit on a Christmas tour © iStock / Andy Roland 

Author

Evan Evans provides unforgettable journeys and experiences to Britain’s most iconic locations. Journey deep into the heart of Britain’s incredible history, culture and legends on a guided tour with London’s longest-running tour operator.

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