London can be a magical place to visit in the winter; ice-skating rinks, shimmering fairy lights, traditional Christmas markets, mulled wine and some of the best shopping experiences in the world can be found in England‘s capital during the festive period. Below are just a few ideas how to make the most of the special events and experiences to be had.
Christmas Lights At Oxford Circus
Neon blue arches, pink blow-up reindeers, blankets of stars strung across the skies are what make the Christmas lights of London so exciting to see every year. Bond Street, Regent’s Street, Marylebone Street and Carnaby Street all feature displays, which makes the viewing all the more worthwhile, as each area is creatively adorned with new strands of colorful lights. The lights get switched on every year by famous names such as Jim Carey, the Spice Girls, Richard Branson and Leona Lewis.
Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park
A large outdoor event that takes place in Hyde Park during the festive season, Winter Wonderland boasts the largest ice rink in the city, a Santa’s grotto, Christmas markets, and all the festive fare of the season. One of the best things about this event is the giant observation wheel, as well as addition of Zippos Circus, in which you can choose to enjoy a show in a heated tent. Entry is free to this event, however tickets much be purchased for the observation wheel, skating and the circus.
Ice Skating At Somerset House
One of the best ways to enjoy the city and to get into the festive spirit, is to go ice-skating outdoors. London has a number of beautiful settings in which you can choose to have a backdrop. Somerset House is one of the most famous outdoor ice-rinks and year upon year, it fails to disappoint. Tickets can be bought in advance and cost £10.50 for adults for an hour. Other ice-rinks that have popped up over the years following Somerset House’s popularity are the Natural History Museum, Hampton Court, Canary Wharf and Tower of London.
The Best Christmas Window Displays
During the festive season, London’s bright lights and busy streets can be overwhelming for many trying to battle through the crowds to get their shopping done. However each major department store showcases highly creative and alluring window displays to help capture the magic of season, each with their own distinct style and experience. For the most elaborate, head to Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, and Liberty’s. These department stores offer the best in Christmas spirit and occasion. Santa’s grottoes, giant baubles and festive cheer.
Traditional Christmas Markets In Hyde Park
London also plays host to a traditional German Christmas market, which returns as part of the Winter Wonderland event held in Hyde Park. Handmade wares, wooden chalets and pretty lights will all be on display here, alongside stalls selling mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and baked gingerbread goods.
Carol Singing In Trafalgar Square
Every year, the famous square boasts a gigantic Christmas tree donated by Norway in a historic annual event. The tree remains in the square throughout Christmas and the New Year. Christmas carol services are also held in the square, featuring different choirs across London and the Home Counties. Songs are performed from Monday 7th December to Monday 21st December in one hour slots. In addition, the nearby church of St Martin in the Fields, is holding a candlelit concert for VSO, the development charity. The money raised will go towards supports the charity’s education programmes around the world.
Theatre And Pantomine Shows
Catching a show in the West End can be one of the best ways to enjoy the capital and a traditional famous tradition is to see a pantomine. Classic fairy tales are given a humorous twist with songs. Perfect for entertaining young children during a visit.