When it comes to the build-up to Christmas, you might be forgiven for thinking you know exactly what to expect when you head to London; Winter Wonderland, Oxford Street Christmas lights, ice skating and a plethora of cafés, bars and restaurants looking to entice you in with their festive menus and drinks offers.

Much like we consider it our aim to provide you with the finest walking tours in the East End of London that don’t shy away from the nitty-gritty of London’s past, we’re also here to help you find the very best ways to get involved this Christmas if you are looking for something a little different to the norm.

Without further ado, here are some of our favourite alternative Christmas activities to get you ready for the festive season ahead…

Vauxhall Winter Village

The Vauxhall Street Food Garden team are presenting their Winter Village for the second year in a row. What can you expect? Food, drink and fondue, a winter sports bar with bespoke cocktails, alpine cabins and a cable-car photo opportunity for anyone into winter chic. You can leave your skis at home, but this one is for those looking for something a little different.

Christmas Light Bike Tour

If you’re a big fan of Christmas lights but less keen on the slow-walking masses, then why not try a tour of London with a difference – you’re on two wheels! Take in the festive sights, Christmas markets and a spot of tourist action to satiate your exploration needs, this tour is not for the faint-hearted. With roughly three hours on the bike, you get to see the best of London’s Christmas lights (at your leisure) and see London in a whole new light. Cameras at the ready!

Panto with a Difference

From the heart of the East End to central London, this adult-only pantomime is a laugh a minute and based on the infamous Queens Head pub. Why not make a weekend of it and follow up with our pub tour to really get a feel for life in the East End?

Anti-Christmas Market

There are people that dislike just how mainstream the whole Christmas season is, so this will be right up their street. The Anti-Christmas flea market at Bethnal Green promises an eclectic mix of gifts, arts, crafts and much more besides – without a Father Christmas in sight!

Food and Drink

Although food and drink is a huge part of Christmas, when it comes to the East End of London, there are a range of unique and quirky markets that offer outstanding food and drink that will blow your mind. There may well be some festive treats thrown in for good measure, too! From Brick Lane and Hoxton Street Market through to the Old Spitalfields Market and Hackney Flea Market, there’s plenty to keep you satiated.

If you look hard enough, there really is something for everyone in London – which is part of why we love it so much. So why not visit and get in the spirit of Christmas without hitting all the usual spots while you still can!