Top tips for Christmas in London
There’s nothing quite like spending Christmas in London. Even if you aren’t already feeling festive, there’s bound to be something happening in London to melt even the coldest of Scrooge’s hearts. Frosty ice rinks, Christmas markets, the big light switch-on and a whole other host of seasonal surprises, make London the ideal destination to enjoy the best of what December has to offer. Even if you are planning with family, there are activities and events that will ensure your little ones have a truly magical experience this Christmas time. So, if you are looking for a day out that will make you truly merry and bright, then consider booking a trip to London – although snow isn’t always guaranteed.
Even if your ice skating skills are non-existent, or you can fly around the rink with ease, London’s ice rinks are enchanting – and can even be enjoyed after Christmas Day itself. Great for tiring out active little ones, there’s nothing better than spending an hour on the ice prior to rewarding yourself with a delicious hot chocolate or glass of mulled wine. Not to mention, London’s ice rinks are often open until late most nights if you even fancy hitting the ice after you leave the office, avoiding the crowds and kids. For the ultimate in festive back drops, check out Somerset House if you fancy skating in front of an 18th century courtyard, or the Natural History Museum, for the ideal combination of culture and festive fun. Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is a truly magical ice rink, right in the middle of a large Christmas market – but best avoided at weekends, as it can get very busy.
Forget big department stores and the high street, when it comes to doing your Christmas shopping this year. For an alternative way to buy your gifts and stocking fillers check out one of the capital’s Christmas markets. Open until late, this is the ideal way to have a more laid-back shopping experience that won’t break the bank. Not to mention you can pick up some great presents for foodies too, prior to rewarding yourself with a festive drink or two. For the ultimate Christmas market head to Leicester Square. Open for the second year running, this market is also home to Santa’s grotto and a range of stalls. The market along the Southbank is the ideal destination if you are looking to buy gifts for arty or creative family members. Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park provides the ultimate in Christmas markets, set in acres of winter parkland. You can enjoy browsing the stalls while walking along the banks of the frosty River Thames. Although a bit further out, Greenwich Wintertime Festival offers a truly unique experience, set against the stunning backdrop of the Old Royal Navy College.
Central London gets a full festive makeover this time of year, as the capital is adorned with thousands of twinkling lights. For the ultimate experience, make sure you visit London when the capital switches on for 2017. Carnaby Street is a truly unique, glittering experience – best visited without small children, as the crowds can be overwhelming. For a slighter sedater affair, don’t miss magical Covent Garden. Street arts and floral displays will wow and delight as the entire market place is lit up for the festive season. Slighter further out of central London, Eltham Palace has a magical winter fairy-trail for the entire family to explore. While Kew Garden also lights up for December and beyond, providing visitors with a magical and memorable visit to one of London’s much lover horticultural marvels.
Head to Theatre Land
Soho and theatre land are buzzing around Christmas time. If you fancy taking in a show, don’t miss the Royal Ballet’s festive schedule. From the Nut Cracker to a Christmas carol, it’s worth checking out matinee tickets, as these are often a fraction of the price of evening shows. Once you’ve left the theatre, why not enjoy the best of what Soho has to offer. As theatregoers spill out into the streets, you can make the most of light bites and mulled drinks at some of the many bars around Drury lane and Covent Garden. If you are looking to add some extra Christmas spice to your evening, Click Here for some festive fun. When the lights go down, these London neighbourhood hots up – so if you are planning a long weekend in the capital, make sure that Soho is at the top of your list.
An evening of carols is guaranteed to sprinkle some holiday spirit into your December. From grand events in St Pauls Cathedral or Westminster Abbey, to slighter lower key affairs, make sure that you attend at least one carol concert this Christmas time. Some venues are also implementing a ticketing system this year, so if you fancy attending then be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment. Don’t miss Street Child’s charity concert, set in the Tower of London. All proceeds from the event will go to a good cause, and you can enjoy an evening of carols prior to some mulled wine and mince pies. While the Piccadilly Christmas Concert will provide seasonal songs for the entire family to enjoy. A carol concert is a must-have in your seasonal schedule, ideal for older and younger members of your party, and can be enjoyed even if you aren’t a dedicated church attendee.
From Christmas markets to seasonal shows and the great Christmas light switch-on, there’s nothing quite like London at Christmas time. From walking along Oxford Street, to enjoying time along the Thames, London is a city that positively sparkles against the dark and gloomy nights. In fact, the entire capital warms up, as the weather outside gets a lot colder. Even though most of the above activities are outdoors, there’s no reason to let the elements get the best of you. So, wrap up warm and make sure that you are well prepared for a full day outdoors, and be sure to enjoy the best that London has to offer this festive season.