Enjoying Christmas in London
Winter has arrived and London refuses to let the colder weather and darker evenings squash the festive fun. From November through to January, an abundance of wintery activities arrive to make even the biggest Grinch get into the Christmas spirit.
Ice rinks are beginning to pop-up all around the capital, from outside Henry the VIII’s 16th century abode to the middle of Westfield shopping centre. Whether you have the grace of a figure skater,
or look more like Bambi-on-ice, ice skating is a great activity for all the family to enjoy.
The perfect way to brighten up the dark winter evenings. Taking a stroll around Oxford Street, Covent Garden or Bond Street (to name just a few!) will let you take in the impressive lights and marvel at the creative seasonal window displays. Plus – it’s free! Make sure you take a trip towards Knightsbridge to see Harvey Nichols disco-glam window display, which has 300,000 sequins, 15,000 gift boxes, and 620 mirror balls!
For unique gift ideas or to indulge your inner foodie, head down to one of the (many) Christmas markets. The Southbank Centre Christmas Market is a favourite, as it offers mulled wine and a variety of festive edibles and crafts alongside the beautiful views of London along the Thames. Head down to the Tate Modern Christmas market for artsy Christmas gifts and charity Christmas cards.
Hyde Park Winder Wonderland
The capitals biggest tribute to festive fun. You can skate, go on fairground rides, enjoy a circus performance and enjoy mulled wine on a carousel, all in the same place. It is free to get in, but if there is something you really want to do, it is probably best to book, as it can get a little crowded.
Cruise Down the Thames
Take the kids on a City Cruise and sail down the Thames with Santa Claus to enjoy the sights and lights from the river. They also offer Santa-free cruises for those who want it, with a bar fully stocked with mince pies, mulled wine, and champagne to sail in style.
Mix in some culture with your festive celebrations by visiting some museums, such as the Geffrye Museum in Shoreditch, which exhibits traditional Christmas interior designs in the form of model rooms. You could also take a picturesque walk through Kew Garden’s mile long after dark walk, or take the kids down to London Zoo to enjoy the animals, make arts and crafts, and meet Santa Claus!
Royal Albert Hall
Throughout December the Royal Albert Hall are hosting an array of Raymond Gubbay’s Christmas Carol performances, ranging from a Christmas Carol Singalong, the Kings College Choir, and Carol’s by Candlelight.
If you need to get your Christmas shopping, or just to take in the décor and merriment, you will certainly enjoy a trip to Fortnum and Mason or Harrods. You can pre-book tickets to visit Santa’s Grotto in Harrods or simply visit their iconic toy kingdom. Fortnum and Mason transform their entire store to an opulent winter wonderland, filled to burst with foodie treats such as specialist biscuits in Merry-go-Round tins and children’s hampers full of traditional sweets and crackers.