If you are in Central America, and looking for a chillier climate experience, a fun way to tackle the Christmas shopping, or simply looking for something festive do with friends, a trip to London might be perfect. The British capital is great at this time of year, since it offers so much to get you into the spirit of the season.
Top picks of things to do while you’re in London:
Photo By: –Filippo–
Essentials – shopping
Love it or hate it, Christmas shopping is something you just can’t get out of. Going to London to do your shopping may seem crazy on one hand (yes, all the stores will be incredibly busy), but it actually makes a lot of sense – especially when you consider the fact that, even if you live in a really quiet town, all the shops there will be packed too.
For me, the best thing about coming to London to get the seasonal shopping done is that it really does get you into the festive spirit. Places like Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street go all-out when it comes to decorations, making visiting in the late afternoon and evening particularly magical. Plus, department stores like Selfridges have some fantastic festive displays that are virtually attractions in their own right, so make sure you don’t miss those.
The high street stores might be shopping staples for most of us, but it is worth checking out a Christmas market or two while you’re here. These are especially good for picking up unique gifts.
Situated right next to the busy shops of Oxford Street, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is an amazing place to look for presents. It houses loads of attractions (which I’ll talk more about below), and Angels Christmas Market – in this place, there are more than 150 stalls to go through.
Top tip: most of us find Christmas a tricky time of year cash-wise, so it’s worth giving yourself more to spend on presents by saving money on your accommodation. You can find decent low-cost options here.
Attractions – Outdoor Fun
If you’ve done all your shopping already, you can spend your time in the capital checking out the great seasonal attractions instead. My personal favorite is the aforementioned Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.
As well as being home to a Christmas market, it is also a great place to stroll around, sipping mulled wine and tucking into tasty German sausages. I recommend riding the Giant Observation Wheel, which has lights that make it look just like a huge snowflake.
Another great attraction here is the ice rink. For this one you need to book tickets for this in advance, so be prepared to do a little forward planning! Speaking of ice rinks, there are several others that are worth checking out – particularly the one at Somerset House.
Attractions – Pantomimes
I have to admit, pantomimes aren’t really my thing – though I usually love a bit of theatre. But, I know that they’re an absolute must for a lot of people at Christmastime, so I thought I’d let you know some of the top ones to go to!
There are loads to choose from in the capital (as you’d expect), including Dick Whittington and His Cat, being performed at the Hackney Empire from December 1st to January 6th, and Aladdin: A Wish Come True. The latter is being staged in the forecourt of The O2 arena, in a specially-created theatre, and is set to star Lily Savage.
There are also plenty of family-friendly productions to choose from. Cinderella is an ever-popular classic, and you can see it performed at St James Theatre from December 12th to January 26th.