London is a great place to go in the run up to Christmas. As well as having all of the perfect places to find gifts for your loved ones, from Harrods through to the unique things on Camden Market, it is also a city that makes getting in the festive mood impossible to avoid! London takes Christmas very seriously, and if you are planning a Christmas visit, here are some things you should not miss!
The Christmas Lights on Oxford Street
Oxford Street is the UK’s flagship high street, with huge branches of favourite stores like Topshop and H&M, as well as the iconic Selfridges department store. It is the place where many Londoners do their Christmas shopping, but it is not just the shops that are a draw. Oxford Street’s Christmas lights are a yearly tradition designed to mark the start of the Christmas season, and they are always really interesting and beautiful. If you can, be there for the ceremony of the lights being switched on for the first time. This is always done by a celebrity, so you may even get to see one of your favourite stars close up! Many people travel from all over the UK to watch the Christmas lights being switched on, as it truly is a magical experience for young and old alike.
West End Shows
Musicals in the West End are generally designed to put you in a good mood, so seeing any show will make your trip to London special. At Christmas there are often special festive shows such as White Christmas that are put on for special pre-Christmas runs to help Christmas shoppers feel even more in tune with the season! And, you can book weekend trips that include one or more shows from theatrebreaks.com. These will give you plenty of time for taking in London’s other Christmas delights as well as seeing some amazing actors and singers live on stage. Even if you don’t specifically want to go and see a Christmas themed show, there are lots of theatre productions held during the festive season so you’re guaranteed to find something you like the sound of. Go for a few festive drinks beforehand, and you’ll really get yourself into the Christmas spirit.
Every year in the run up to Christmas, London creates a Christmas themed winter wonderland in Hyde Park. Featuring fairground rides (including the iconic Ferris wheel, which gives you panoramic views to rival the London Eye), a beautiful Christmas market where you can buy some unique and attractive Christmas decorations and gifts, and all of the Christmas food and drink you could want (like roast chestnuts, mulled wine and mince pies), you will feel like you are truly experiencing a proper London Christmas straight out of Dickens when you visit here. They also create a snowy wonderland that includes an ice rink and real (artificially created) snow, so for those who want a white Christmas regardless of the weather, this can be the perfect place to go! It usually opens around the start of December, and is as big a hit with adults as it is for kids. The Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is said to be one of the best Christmas fairs in the whole of the UK, and really is an amazing experience.
In London, there are hundreds of things you can do to get in the Christmas mood. You shouldn’t, however, miss out on checking out the Christmas lights, indulging in some feel good theatre, or experiencing the magic of the Hyde Park winter wonderland. If you are planning a Christmas visit to London, make sure you include all of these great things to see and do on your vacation itinerary! You’ll leave the city feeling even more excited about Christmas than you did when you arrived.