Thursday, 23 December 2021

Festive fun in London

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December time in London is a wonderful and magical experience. The bustling city is a festive delight at this time of year. With twinkling Christmas lights, stunning decorations and a wondrous array of Christmassy things to see and experience; London is a special place to visit for a staycation or festive holiday.


Here are just a few amazing things to do in London in December.

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Christmas Markets

A stroll around a Christmas market is a joyous, festive experience. Wonderfully London has a number of amazing Christmas markets to visit for a festive trip. Here are just a few Christmas markets in London:


Leicester Square Market - The yearly festive market at tourist hotspot Leicester Square offers numerous stalls selling festive food, mulled wine and gifts. They also have a vintage Spiegeltent that showcases a Christmas-themed show and Santa’s Grotto. To enjoy Christmas at Leicester Square take a look here. 


Greenwich Christmas Market - This all year round market is already amazing and a fantastically eclectic market. At Christmastime, Greenwich market is perfect for purchasing British-designed-and-made gifts to gift loved ones, plus you can also enjoy a glass of mulled wine as you shop. 


Southbank Center Winter Festival - The UK’s largest arts centre, the Southbank Centre runs a pop-up Winter Festival along the Southbank. The winter market sees Christmassy stalls lining up along the River Thames. Plus there is a fantastic arts and theatre programme with free art and light installations in the Southbank area along with musical performances and art exhibitions that you can get tickets for. 


Kingston Christmas Market - Located on the outskirts of London in the heart of the traditional market town of Kingston-upon-Thames, this is a European style markt in a traditional British setting. Enjoy the magic of Christmas finding gifts in the traditional wooden cabins, watching your children ride the vintage carousel, warming up next to the fire pit at the Alpine Village, feasting on hog roast rolls with a mug of mulled wine as you enjoy live entertainment in a festive setting. 

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Christmas Light Displays

At this time of year the city is a glow with beautifully decorated streets and stunning Christmas light displays. Stroll the city’s street and gaze upon the twinkling lights. You could also take a guided tour to get amazing views of the light displays from the top of an open top deck tour bus. Here are some of the locations where you can view Christmas lights in London.


Bond Street - the classy lights are gorgeous and the designer stores also have extravagant window displays. 


Regent Street - was the first to introduce Christmas lights to London’s West End back in 1954 and has a beautiful angel light display. 


Oxford street - these famous lights on the very long street are one of the biggest Christmas light displays in London as it offers over 1700 installations!


Carnaby Street - admire the Christmas lights as you enjoy a spot of Christmas shopping from one of the boutique shops that line the streets in Carnaby. 


Covent Garden Piazza - it displays the city’s biggest tree that is adorned with over 30,000 lights and the market building is beautifully decked out with Christmas cheer.

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Shop window storefront display

As you wander around the city enjoying the markets, lights and shopping take time to enjoy the stunning Christmas displays that adorned the storefront windows of shops, department stores and restaurants. Famous storefronts include but are not limited to Harrods, Hamleys, The Ivy Chelsea Garden, Liberty London, Selfridges, and Harvey Nichols.


Kew Gardens 

Every year, Kew Gardens gets festive with their Winter Trail of lights that showcases incredible light displays that are like works of art. Further evoking the Christmas spirit festive music is played in the background and toasting marshmallows, hot chocolate and mulled wine is on offer. 


Hogwarts in Snow Harry Potter experience at Warner Brothers Studios 

Harry Potter fans will love experiencing Christmas in the Wizarding World with this special tour to see Hogwarts at Christmas where they get to see how the filmmakers created all the special effects for the Christmas scenes in the movies as well as the rest of the set tours, props and costumes.


Carol Singing in London

Get into the Christmas spirit by enjoying or joining in with some carol singing. Here are a few places where you can experience this traditionally festive activity.


Trafalgar Square - Christmas Carol groups perform here live, signing festive carols as they collect donations for charitable causes. At Trafalgar Square you can also see the Christmas tree gifted by the Norwegians as part of the old tradition of giving recognition for Britain’s support during World War ll. 


St Paul’s Cathedral - has a Christmas Carol service and Christmas Eve Carol Service.

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Christmas Mass at Westminster Abbey

Participate in a special religious event and see the stunning interior of Westminster Abbey by attending Christmas services and carols at Westminster Abbey


Christmas theatre show

Enjoy an incredible winter or Christmas-themed show at one of the famous West End theatres. Shows include The Nutcracker, The Snowman, A Christmas Carol, Father Christmas and The Muppet Christmas Carol.


Christmas-themed afternoon tea

Afternoon teas and London go hand in hand, so at Christmas time enjoy a festive afternoon tea in the capital city. Here are a few places that offer winter/Christmas-themed afternoon teas:


The Dorchester Festive Afternoon Tea offers exquisite afternoon tea delights in a festive setting with a live school choir performing traditional carols and sparkling Christmas decorations. 


The Rubens at The Palace Winter Wonderland afternoon tea offers a traditional English afternoon tea with a festive twist and bottomless mulled wine as you enjoy views of the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace.


Shangri-La in the Shard Christmas afternoon tea offers amazing views of the city as customers enjoy a festive afternoon tea. This year’s delight is an Alpine Escape festive tea.


Ice Skating

Grab your skates and get gliding around some of London’s incredible ice skating rinks. You can skate at Queen’s House ice rink, Somerset House ice rink and for the last year before they transform the space into a hub for urban wildlife the Natural History Museum ice rink.

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Christmas Panto

Christmas is not Christmas in the UK without a Christmas pantomime. Oh yes, it is! Oh no, it isn’t! Pantomimes that you can enjoy in London include Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin, Cinderella, and Peter Pan to name but a few.


Santa’s Grotto 

Santa is busy all over London. A few of the places where children can have a chance to meet Santa include Winter Wonderland’s Santa Land, Leicester Square, Hamley’s Santas Grotto Workshop, The Magic of Christmas at London Zoo and Storytime with Santa at Selfridges.


Winter Wonderland 

Located in Hyde Park it is a wondrous winter wonderland. There are ice sculptures, a traditional Christmas market, Bavarian huts with festive food and drinks, fairground rides, ice skating rink, ice slide and a karaoke area. Free to enter this famous and popular wonderland gets very busy.

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With so many different experiences available in London during December such as festive afternoon teas, carol singing, Christmas markets, spectacular Christmas lights and decorations, pantomimes and shows, Winter Wonderland and so much more; a trip to London at this time of year is a magical experience. 


Experience the festive wonders of London in December with a trip to the city using The VIP Pass (visit https://getvippass.com to know more) to get fantastic deals on places to stay. As we live quite far from London we always stay for a few nights when visiting the big smoke, so being able to get a great deal on somewhere lovely to stay when visiting there is very helpful especially when visiting during December so we have more money to spend on Christmas themed experiences for a memorable stay.


Have you experienced London in December?

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