London is absolutely bursting with all kinds of festive fun so here’s a brief handy guide to the top sights that you definitely can’t miss!
The first Christmas market that springs to mind is probably the best known, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. There’s good reason for its reputation and popularity, with rides, lights and a whole hosts of stalls selling everything from crafts and German sausages there’s something for everyone. The scent of mulled wine is ever present and you can’t say you’ve had the full experience until you’ve visited the carousel bar. My advice would to be to arrive early afternoon, any later and you will be caught in the very long queues. Considering it starts getting dark by 3pm you’ll still be able to see the lights in all their glory.
Another market worth mentioning is South Bank. Wooden huts line the River Thames and are filled with handmade gifts and a selection of edible goodies. Smaller pop up stalls also appear across London, such as the Bailey’s pop up in Covent Garden, all of which sell a multitude of festive gifts.
Come November every street you walk down is adorned with Christmas lights however the ones down Oxford and Regents Street have to be some of the best. Angels illuminate the road on one side whilst a series of rainbow strobes and white and purple balls light up the other side. And you have to see Harrods’s lit up, infact you can’t miss the building twinkling away. The lights are best seen on foot but if you prefer there are specific bus tours to enable you to see the most impressive lights of the city.
Many ice rinks are present throughout the city with the chance to skate both indoors and outdoors, however two main ones spring to mind- the Tower of London and the Natural History Museum rinks. I would highly recommend a visit to both as a fun wintry activity. Both rinks have lockers to store belongings; however the Tower is slightly cheaper. And skating alongside the castle makes for some rather dramatic Instagram photos!
From the impressive food halls at Harrods, perfect for acquiring Christmas dinner treats and the brands of Selfridges to the high street shops of Oxford Street, everything you need to source for the festive celebrations can be found within London. And if you have children to buy gifts for Hamley’s is an absolute must at Christmas time.
There are also many other festive treats tucked away throughout the city. The huge Christmas tree that towers above Trafalgar Square as a gift from Norway is always impressively decorated. And continuing the plant theme Kew Gardens offers a different kind of trip with hundreds of fairy lights strung up. A trip to theatre is also worthwhile, showcasing everything from events on ice to pantomimes and ballets.
So don’t be a Scrooge, get stuck in and make the most of your December visit to London!