Living so close to London, it’s sometimes nice to head in to the capital and do something interesting for the day. As this is a travel blog I do want to include some element of actually leaving my house and travelling, so London will do for all things Christmassy! There are loads of Christmas type things to do in London, and it can be really cute when the Christmas lights are up but a lot of these are relevant to a lot of town centres so feel free to apply these to your local town to help get you into the Christmas spirit.
Go to a Christmas market! London has so many and most town centres have their own version, (not as amazing as the Christmas markets in Prague though!). In London you have the choice of – Christmas in Leicester Square, this is a new one for me but I’m really interested as Leicester Square is always so busy so I’m kind of interested just to see how this even works. You also have the market as part of Wintertime at Southbank centre (it includes a sauna overlooking the Thames!) and London Bridge Christmas Market which has over 68 stalls.
Go iceskating! I’m quite lucky in that Brighton has it’s own amazing ice rink that pops up every Christmas at the Royal Pavilion. London has plenty to choose from with some stunning sites that will keep you looking around whilst you glide away. You can head to any of the following and I’ve linked them all as you can often buy tickets online before you go, I’ve also put the price of an adult ticket next to each link so you get an idea of prices as it can add up quite quickly! You have a choice of the Natural History Museum (£13), Somerset House (£20), Canary Wharf (£17), Skylight (£10), Tower of London (£14.50), Hampton Court Palace (£14), Ally Pally (£10). If I had a spare £100 I would love to skate them all and review them for you but I’m definitely going to try and ice skate at least once this season!
Attend a Winter festival, kind of goes without saying but spending the day at a winter festival will put you in the perfect mood for Christmas, the most obvious one has to be Winter Wonderland which I have been too before and I loved it and I am planning on returning again this winter, there are Christmas markets, ice skating, an ice sculpture museum and it was all amazing! There are other ones in London too which are at Greenwich Wintertime Festival which has a similar sort of thing with ice skating and Christmas food and stalls and also films and live performances which look really fun. The other winter / Christmas festival that has caught my attention is the Winterville at Clapham Common, it’s being marketed as “the alternative festival experience” and includes a roller disco, ice rink, the Spiegeltent, mini golf, a fairground as well as a Christmas market so if I can get myself down there at some point I will because who doesn’t love a Christmas roller disco?
Find the most over the top Christmas lights you can- Stop by Oxford Street, Carnaby Street, Bond Street, The Enchanted Woodland, Regent Street, Kew Gardens, Covent Garden, The Shard and pretty much anywhere else in London where you get a lot of people and you can find some pretty lights.
Go to a carol concert – Don’t miss the carols in Trafalgar square around the Christmas tree from 2-6pm from the 11th December, The Royal Albert Hall also has a lot of Christmas concerts on and carols and all sorts so head over to their website for a look at what’s happening there. A carol concert that lasts hours isn’t really my thing and I won’t watch them on TV but being outside or in a cathedral where everyone around you is really into it, it is very hard not to feel in the Christmas mood.
Watch a show – There are so many around London, whether it’s Christmas themed or not I still find that any “feel-good” piece of theatre creates a homely atmosphere where you leave on a high. You can get last minute tickets to shows here and they’re not always crazy expensive either.
Create your own Christmas decorations, I’m not the most artistic person but making your own decorations or even Christmas cards just gives that extra personal touch and there are places you can go to get a bit crafty this Christmas, in London I know there are loads of individual places that have their own pottery classes, or card making classes, the National Trust also do classes in nice big houses in Hampstead and there are loads of classes in Morden so have a look at those if that’s something you’re interested in.
Watch a Christmas film! I know the ODEON often shows Christmas films in December for a cheaper price but there is also companies like Backyard Cinema who do things a little different but also are like mini winter holidays so keep an eye out for those here.
I know Christmas is still a long way away but if like me you work in customer service or retail, you know how quickly it comes about if you work a lot during the month of December! Take some time, have a day off and get in the Christmas mood! What do you like to do to get yourself in the Christmas mood? Are you spending Christmas in London?
I post once a week covering topics such as solo travel, working and living abroad and also creating Gabriella’s Guides to places I have been. I cover topics under the following categories such as Planning and Packing, The Travel Diary, Travel Inspiration, Photo Diaries, Gabriella’s Guides and Working Abroad.