14 Nov HOW TO SPEND CHRISTMAS IN LONDON
It is already Christmas time and the city of London knows it well! Christmas lights are started to get lit, shops dressed with festive ornaments, and even you can start to smell a hint of mulled wine in the air. You know nothing bad can happen when pairing your favourite season of the year with your favourite city of the world. Believe me. London gets super festive and fun whilst the festive season, so I created a list of activities and incredible events for you to have the jolliest holiday in London! Merry Xmas, ho ho ho!🎅
WINTER WONDERLAND IN HYDE PARK
The big daddy of Christmas markets! Winter Wonderland is something of an institution, with locals and tourists flocking there year after year to get into the festive spirit. Entry is free, but you have to pay for each attraction you want to ride, so bring some cash cause card aren’t widely accepted. This issue aside, this gigantic Christmas Market is part amusement park, part food festival and part Christmas market, surrounded by ice sculptures, circus shows and even an ice skating rink. And I thoroughly recommend heading over there if you want to buy nothing and do nothing, but want to feel Christmassy!
SOUTHBANK CENTRE WINTER MARKET
Clustered along the riverbank, wooden chalets filled with festive food, drinks, gifts and treats, and with an incredible view over the Thames to the London Eye, Big Ben and beyond make The Southbank Winter Market a classic Christmas treat in the heart of London.
Although the two markets commented above are the most famous in the city, does not mean that are the only ones. You also can get into the festive spirit and have fun wandering over Belgravia Christmas Sunday Market, the one located just outside the Tate Modern and the one in Leicester Square. Covent Garden and Borough Market are open the year round, but in Christmas become more special.
ICE SKATING RINKS
Every November, many outdoor ice skating rinks pop up throughout the city. The selection varies from the classic ones established at London’s most iconic landmarks to the ones bordered by skyscrapers. Most of them open to mid-January and til late in the evening and offer special events all over the time!
In my opinion, the best places to get your skates on and do some laps imagining yourself to be dainty and professional (while actually your bum is more on the ground than are your skates, and apparently you look like a drunk duck, but it’s still funny because it’s Christmas ☺) include Eyeskate in front of the London Eye, Canary Wharf Ice Rink, Hampton Court Palace, Tower of London, Natural History Museum and Somerset House, my favourite one!
Every first Thursday of December the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree sent straight from Norway get lit. And since then until the 23rd, carols are sung beneath the Christmas Tree by more than 50 carol groups to raise funds for charitable organisations.
Performances use to take place between 4pm and 8pm on weekdays and between 2pm to 6pm on weekends.
With warming refreshments to be found nearby, all the ingredients are in place for the perfect countdown to Christmas.
CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL
Enjoy a feast of classical music performed by the Mozart Festival Orchestra and Chorus, staged in full 18th-century costumes, in the grandeur of the Royal Albert Hall. Tickets can be pretty expensive, however, there are also some cheaper seats, hurry up for these cause tend to be sold out fast! A truly experience you’ll never forget!
CHRISTMAS AT KEW GARDENS
A visit to the Kew Gardens is well worth all year round, so with more than 40,000plants claims to be the richest botanical garden in the world. But it is during the festive period that turns truly magical, with a mile-long illuminated path through a beautiful winter landscape, an incredible display of Christmas lights, sculptures and even a Christmas Village with Victorian-style fairground rides, festive food and drinks to enjoy a night out that families will remember for years to come.
VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS AT THE DICKENS MUSEUM
Take a step back in time with a visit to the enchanting Charles Dickens Museum. As the real house of Charles Dickens, the author of an all time festive favourite, A Christmas Carol. The Museum will be filled with festive greenery, authentic victorian fayre and the scent of citrus and spice. Let yourself be transported to a bygone era as you are entertained by innovative theatre, flickering candlelight, and lively readings of Dickens’s Christmas stories at the time you enjoy steaming mulled cider and traditional mince pies.
CHRISTMAS PUDDING RACE
The Covent Garden Christmas Pudding Race is an annual event which runs to raise money for cancer research. Participants dress up in fun and colourful costumes and run around a course littered with foam cannons, flour-filled balloons and other obstacles, carrying a tray with a Christmas pudding. It is fun to see how many people have their pudding left when they arrive at the finish line, as well as see how they often fail spectacularly. A fun day for all with a great cause behind it.
BE DAZZLED BY THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
I remember going in the car of my dad in search of Christmas lights in and around my town every single December until I get older… and used to be one of my favourites things during the festive period. And last year, when I saw the London’s ones I was pretty amazed, they are in a completely different league. It can be fun searching for the best ones, usually in the most transited streets, and take advantage of this and go a little on Christmas shopping! My favourites are the ones in Regent Street, Oxford Street, Carnaby Street, Bond Street, Sloane Square and Seven Dials.
What else would you recommend to make sure you have a magical Christmas in London?