Christmas in London is a magical place; the joy, the carollers, and the smell of mulled wine and chestnuts from the street vendors along embankment bridge. Of course Christmas can also be a time of panic and crowded streets, however hopefully this guide will help you plan your festive activities with the best things to do in London during the festive season.
1. Winter Wonderland
This list could not ignore the ever popular Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. The huge festival, market, fun fair attraction opened on the 20th November and will go on until the 3rd January. Usually avid attendees to this popular occasion, such fun has been had with mulled wine in hand! Whether you just wish to peruse the market stalls with an aroma of roasted chestnuts, or partake in the fun fair rides (I may sit them out this year, much to Penelope’s disappointment I’m sure..), there is something for all and the best part is it’s FREE ENTRY.
2. Wander Around Harrods
The famous Harrods Christmas windows are already on display and it’s a sight not to be missed!! It gets better once you enter Harrods and start wandering through the array of boutiques, luxury goods, and my favourite department, TOY KINGDOM!!
However the main attraction here would be of course, the food court; Filled with sweet, savoury and exotic delicacies to feast upon – one could certainly spend many hours in this department and leave with an array of gifts for family and friends (and of course a few treats as a reward for surviving the crowds!)
3. Christmas Markets
One of our favourite activities during the festive season is to peruse the abundance of markets dotted around the city. Our top picks you should get lost in are:
- Borough Market – London Bridge Station
- Spittlefield Market – Liverpool Street Station
- Covent Garden Market – Covent Garden Underground
- The Barbican Christmas Market – Barbican Underground
- Southbank Market – Waterloo Station
- Tabacco Docs – Tower Hill Underground / Shadwell Overground
4. Hamley Toy Parade
Hamleys has to best London’s most famous toy shop, and the Christmas toy parade on the 28th November 2015 is something that should not be missed!! The parade will kick off from 10:30am till 16:30 and will go along the whole regents street.
5. Oxford Street Christmas Lights
Nothing is more magical than the Oxford Street Christmas lights display! The best viewing time would be from 16:30 onwards, preferably during the weekday to avoid the bulk of the tourist shoppers.
How about a wander around after the Hamleys Christmas Parade this upcoming weekend?
6. Ice Skating at The National History Museum
A crisp winters day, ice skating in front of an iconic building in the London landscape – tempted? I know we are.. The ice rink at the National History Museum is one of London’s largest ice rinks (..and one of the busiest), so be sure to book ahead of time, and head down nice and early.
7. Theatre at Christmas
Theatre and pantos all help to get you into that Christmas spirit and there’s nothing better than coming inside to watch a live performance on a chilly winter’s night. Here are our top picks for December 2015:
- Elf the Musical at Dominion Theatre.
- The Nutcracker on Ice at The Royal Albert Hall.
- A Christmas Carol at The Noel Coward Theatre.
- Cats at The London Palladium.
8. Caroling Around Town
Nothing welcomes in the festive joy more than a good ol’ Christmas carol, and luckily, we have found some of the best areas to catch some carollers. Southwark Cathedral and St. Martins-In-The-Fields church are our recommendations for finding carolling services, however the general Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden area will sure have many carollering performances.
Christmas shopping has to be one of the highlights during the festive season. The searching and pursuing, the wandering and the finding; the gift of giving is a wonderful thing and in London, there is a plethora of shopping locations to choose from – however it would Carnaby Street we would recommend. From its boutique shops, high end labels, the infamous Libertys, charming decorations and its atmosphere, all contributes to making it a very pleasurable shopping experience.
10. Christmas Films at Prince Charles Cinema
The Prince Charles cinema is just down the road from Leicester Square station and if you’ve never been, you’re in for a treat and be sure to bring your comfy clothes, because you won’t be leaving any time soon..
The 2016 screening list has just been posted with a range of films and activities to get involved in – Christmas pajama party, Elf quote-a-long, Mulled wine & Mince pie evening, there will be something to entertain you on a wintery evening in London.
Dear Readers, what are your favourite Christmas activities? Are you going to be staying in and watching Elf, or braving the cold to peruse the christmas markets with a cup of mulled wine (like us).
With Kindest Festive Regards,
Hex & Peps