London is a special place to be at Christmas what with the many events and streets decorated head to toe .. and here are some of our highlights for the Christmas events happening this year!
Kew Gardens are beautiful at any time of the year, however, from 23rd November-2nd January you will be able to see Kew as you have never seen it before, with seasonal illuminations. With a new trail for 2016, one mile of the gardens is lit up with brightly coloured beams and light tunnels. There is also a traditional festive fare, vintage fare rides and special bearded guest in a red suit who will be surrounded by elves in North Pole Village. Gates for Christmas at Kew open every day from 5pm but be sure to book tickets ahead of time as it is extremely popular.
A little too hyped? Maybe. A little too expensive? Probably. However, if you are looking for a fun day out with friends, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is a great place to hang out and drink mulled wine. This year Winter Wonderland will be open from November 18th – January 2nd! If you are planning to visit, do try and go off-peak (during the day time during the week) and try and avoid weekends otherwise you will be queuing for a LONG time. This year Winter Wonderland is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary and they have exciting new festive activities to celebrate. Book tickets for the main events before you go otherwise you wont get to experience the most popular activities such as the ice skating rink or the ice bar.
We are originally from Birmingham, so no Christmas market is ever going to trump the Birmingham German Market in our eyes, but London’s closest alternative is Southbank’s Winter Market. Under the shadow of the London Eye, the riverbank is transformed into a stunning Christmas market thanks to the cute wooden chalets that are full of festive food, gifts and of course, the festive essential mulled wine! Wrap up warm and visit the chalets from November 20th, when the market opens!
Covent Garden Christmas Decorations
Some of our favourite Christmas decorations can be found at Covent Garden! Every year the area is illuminated with stunning displays like last year’s 20 foot reindeer and mistletoe in Apple Market. Covent Garden is also home to one of the biggest Christmas trees in London bar Trafalgar Square’s tree, gifted annually from Norway. Details of this year’s decorations have yet to be announced, but we can’t wait to see them!
If there is anything that encompasses the magic of Christmas, it is The Nutcracker. Not only does it follow the story of Ballerinas, Nutcrackers and the evil Rat King, but it is also set on Christmas Eve. Every year The English National Ballet celebrate this magical story around the festive season and will take the performance around the UK, including The London Coliseum. The Nutcracker really is an unforgettable Christmas treat and can be appreciated by everybody and anybody.
If, like us, you are a fan of singing along or busting your best moves to Christmas carols then you may be interested in the Royal Albert Hall’s Christmas Festival. From 13th-24th December The Royal Albert Hall will host some very festive singing events including carol sing-a-longs, carols by candle light and a special performance from the prestigeous King’s College Choir. To discover what is on offer throughout the festival, head to The Royal Albert Hall’s website.
Christmas in Leicester Square
Christmas in Leicester Square is the latest festive destination to be aded to London’s ever-growing list. Smack bang in the middle of one of London’s busiest areas, Leicester Square will be transformed into a magical extravaganza complete with a traditional market, a grotto and a vintage Spiegeltent! We can’t wait to check this one out… maybe not on a busy weekend though, could you imagine the crowds! Christmas in Leicester Square runs from 11th November – 8th January so you have plenty of time to feel festive. Entry will be free but tickets will be required for the grotto.
Go Ice Skating
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to an ice rink and whether you are the next Jane Torville or simply a Bambi on ice, gliding across the ice can be a great way to spend an afternoon. There are many different ice rinks dotted around London including the popular rinks at The National History Museum, Somerset House, Tower of London and Eyeskate. Be sure to book tickets before you go though to avoid long queues – nobody likes to be waiting around in the freezing cold.
What are everyone’s plans for Christmas?!