If you’re looking to take a city break during the festive period, then London has a great many Christmas-related activities to offer. From the eye-popping Christmas lights hanging over the major shopping districts, to the temporary ice rinks that pop up in the parks and estates, there’s something for everyone.
Visiting London for the Festive Season
Every year, millions of tourists flock to the capital. But the crowds are especially thick during winter, and thus, it’s worth doing a little bit of planning in advance. Cheap trains to London can cut down on the cost of travel, especially if you’re booking well in advance. The same applies to your accommodation; the later you leave it, the less likely you are to find a room in a hotel.
Festive Activities to Try
A few activities stand out as especially worth investigating.
If you’re looking for an ice rink, then you’ll find plenty of options. But Somerset House, and its Swiss-inspired experience, takes a lot of beating. You can expect to enjoy modern music, as well as some tantalising food and drink at the side of the rink.
If you’d like a more rounded theme-park experience, then the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park is sure to appeal. There are circuses, Ferris wheels, rollercoasters, another Ice Rink, ice-sculpting workshops, and plenty more.
We should also mention the retail therapy on offer in the capital. All of the major department stores, from Harrods to Selfridges to Fortnum and Mason, compete with one another every year to put on the most spectacular window display. Check them out while you’re in the area.
Where to See the Best Christmas Lights in London
As we’ve mentioned, the spectacle of Christmas lights is not to be missed. If you time your visit right, then you might even be able to see the turning-on events.
Regent Street is overlooked by a procession of angels, all lit up by thousands of tiny bulbs. On Oxford Street, the ‘Sky Full of Stars’ display is already active; it comprises thousands of tiny white stars, each of which can be sponsored by a member of the public, in order to make a child’s stay in hospital that little bit more pleasant.
Carnaby Street’s lights are a little more out there; this year, they pay tribute to the entire universe. We can expect a varied selection of neon-style lights, which continue the area’s tradition for amazing and unusual displays.
Arguably, the centre of London’s Christmas decorations is the Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square. This is an annual gift from Oslo to London, and takes the form of a Norwegian Spruce. The tradition was established in 1948, to thank Britain for its harbouring of the then King of Norway, Haakon VII, during the Second World War.