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A History of Christmas Celebration

London is ablaze with light at Christmas – whilst we marvel at the stunning displays, discover how our mid-winter celebrations have changed from the Roman festival of Saturnalia to the arrival of Christianity and a mixing of religious and secular traditions! Tudor Whitehall Palace witnessed elaborate feasting and entertainments before and after Christmas was ‘cancelled’ during Oliver Cromwell’s rule.


The Victorians took Christmas celebrations to another level with a family focus including dozens beloved carols, decorated trees, cards and Santa! Explore Covent Garden; hear emotive stories behind Dicken’s timeless story ‘A Christmas Carol’ and discover the uplifting story of the Trafalgar Square tree.

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Meeting Point: Westminster Tube Station

End Point: Somerset House Courtyard

Duration: 2 hours (timing late afternoon to coincide with lighting up times).

Optional Extras: Visit Somerset House Ice Rink, café visit to get hot chocolates.

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