It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
But, how do you truly embrace the spirit of the season and make the most of wintertime in London? Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten ways to truly experience winter in the big city.
1.ENJOY THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS
London is a huge city and one of the great things that go hand in hand with its size is the sheer amount of Christmas markets you can enjoy. Whether you want to spend the day milling around the markets with a warm glass of mulled wine or seek out that adrenaline rush on one of the famous fairground roller coasters, there’s something for everyone at the many markets dotted across the city.
The biggest of which is without a doubt WINTER WONDERLAND which is located in Hyde Park. This market gets bigger and bigger every year, consistently adding new and exciting attractions. This year, they claim it’s bigger than ever before. Most of the markets are free to enter and this is no exception. The thing that makes this particular market stand out is that you are able to book tickets for the attractions online.
Other worthwhile markets include:
- The Southbank Winter Festival
- Leicester Square Christmas Market
- Christmas at Camden Market
- Kingston Christmas Market
2. VISIT HOGWART’S WORLD OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY
If you’re a big fan of Harry Potter, you simply must visit Hogwarts in the Snow. It is slightly pricey and tickets must be booked well in advance, but it’s definitely worth it. The magic of the normal exhibition is still all around, but there’s a special touch of Christmas magic.
The entire Great Hall has been decorated to emulate the Yule Ball from the popular franchise. There are Christmas trees adorning the various sets really complimenting the many props that you can find from the movies.
3. ROAM THE STREETS AND CHECK THE LIGHTS
If you’re looking for something cheaper and less time consuming, you should really take the time to wander around London’s streets and really take in the stunning decorations around the town.
Particular highlights include Harrods spectacular display which takes pride of place in the busy Knightsbridge district. You can really take it all in if you walk, but another way to experience it to spend some time riding the buses around.
Regent and Oxford streets are also well worth a visit to enjoy the light displays.
4. CHECK OUT THE ICE RINKS
Even if you don’t like skating as such, it’s well worth going to the Natural History Museum to see the masses of people enjoying the ice rink. If you do enjoy skating, then it’s not too expensive and if you go at the right time, you’ll have a giant area of ice to enjoy without too many people. The rink itself is over 1000 square metres, making it one of the biggest not only in the city but also in Europe. The true beauty is in the 40-foot pine tree, which serves as the centre point of the attraction.
For any of you parents, grandparents or partners who don’t enjoy the prospect of falling over repeatedly onto a cold surface, there’s a strategically placed cafeteria just above with a great view of all those below.
That being said, we would definitely advise you to take a risk and go for it. The right atmosphere and embarrassing yourself can really make for a romantic day.
You can also enjoy these other ice rinks:
5. ESCAPE THE COLD WITH A GREAT WEST END MUSICAL
London is a real cultural hot spot, especially when it comes to musicals. This winter season there are a great variety of plays and musicals that could really hit the spot for everybody. It gets cold here and comedic entertainment is the best way to warm your heart.
Popular musicals at the moment include; The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, Hamilton, Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera. Make sure you check it out online, there are often cheaper tickets in less desirable parts of the theatre. You get to see a great musical and you don’t have to deal with the cold for two or three hours, win-win right?
6. VISIT THE HOUSE OF THE MAN WHO POPULARISED CHRISTMAS
“Boy, what day is it?”
“Why, it’s Christmas day, sir.”
If you’re not familiar with the works of Charles Dickens, then you should really read some of his classic works, such as Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and David Copperfield.
His most iconic work, and certainly one that is credited with the popularisation of capitalist Christmas, is without a doubt, A Christmas Carol.
Once you’ve got yourself a little acquainted with his work, allow yourself to visit the Charles Dickens museum, which during Christmas, performs epic readings of his various works.
7. NEW YEAR’S EVE FIREWORKS
Christmas celebrations really don’t stop until early January. When you get to December 31st, you should head on down to the centre. The main fireworks take place at the Coca Cola® London Eye, but it should be noted that they are no longer free to attend.
8. SHOP TIL YOU DROP
If you’re a true shopaholic, then keep your eyes peeled for the many sales that take place around the city after Christmas. Some stores go straight for it on boxing day, whilst others wait for New Year’s Day. It’s easy enough to know who’s doing what as the stores are very vocal on their social media feeds.
9. RIDE A SLEIGH PULLED BY HUSKY DOGS
Dog lovers rejoice! Thanks to the opening of London’s wetland centre, you can now treat yourself and the kids to a traditional sleigh ride pulled by a team of adorable huskies. The price is not too high and it’s a place of nature right on the doorstep of the most industrial cities in the world, so this is something that you definitely don’t want to miss.
10. VISIT A CHRISTMAS MUSEUM
What makes London so special is its wonderful and wacky nature that comes intrinsically from the melting pot society which makes up the city. You can find all sorts of museums, shops and exhibitions, including a free Shoreditch museum (The Geffrye Museum) which shows how Christmas has been celebrated over the past 400 years. You can see authentically decorated living rooms, learn about old traditions and pop into the shop to pick up something that helps you celebrate Christmas in your own style.
As well as this, you can also ask your friends on our language exchange about their tips for Christmas in London!
We hope that this list spoke to you and that we have generated some festive inspiration.
From all at studenz.com, we wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS!
If you feel like travelling at Christmas, why not check out this article.
written by: Jordan Charles Benyon, Staff Writer