Today’s post is for our friends across the pond, or all of you who’ll be traveling to London during the holiday season (especially you honeymooners!), brought to you by the Holiday Inn UK.
The loom of Christmas is well and truly gathering as we near the end of November, and with just over a month to go until Christmas Day, retailers and customers alike are revving up for the busiest shopping time of the year.
However, contrary to what the supermarkets, bunting, never-ending lights and adverts would have you believe, Christmas is not in fact about spending money; it’s about enjoying time with your loved ones. Today we’re taking a look at some of the seasonal fun you can have on a weekend break in London this December.
Before heading up for a break you’ll want to find an easy and convenient place to stay – large mid-range hotel brands like Holiday Inn have London hotels across the capital, which could be very useful if you’re wanting to focus your activities on a particular area, or are visiting family in one area.
With accommodation out of the way, you can focus on the fun stuff. We’ve picked out a few suggestions from the absolute myriad of Christmas events filling up the capital – from free-to-wander Christmas markets to pantomimes, special concerts and shows.
For the Winter Wonderland experience
Families and those seeking an extremely amped-up festive experience will no doubt head to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland complex, which opens on November 23rdand keeps its log cabin-style parameters open until 6th January, until 10pm at night. Come here for rides and carousels, stalls, plenty of food and drink and lots of barrels of mulled wine, to be enjoyed under the fairy lights.
Or perhaps you want a little less sparkle but still plenty of sustenance – in which case one of the many Christmas markets that are now a fixture across London will be right up your street. The famed Southbank Centre Christmas Market is now open, dotted along and underneath the bridges which span from the Strand across the Royal Festival Hall and National Theatre.
Alternatively, those looking to pick up vintage, craft and fashion gifts can head to Camden’s Lock Market, which is free to enter and stays open at night until 20thDecember.
A little icy activity
Ice skating only comes out to play at the end of November, and the city’s usual favourite rinks are already up and glowing. For Somerset House and the Natural History Museum – two of the city’s largest and most popular skating palaces – you’ll want to book in advance, especially for a night skate slot.
Going out/staying in(side)
Christmas is also an excuse for plenty of new shows and exhibitions to keep individuals warm and indoors. Take a look at Time Out’s Silent Night, Unholy Night event, running every Saturday until December 15th at the Old Vic Tunnels. Or perhaps you’d prefer some festive fun for the family that involves the stage and some marvellous imagination.
In that case head to the National for 1927’s The Animals and Children Took to the Streets or try the much-loved Kneehigh’s Midnight’s Pumpkin, on at the BAC from December 8th.