A London Christmas

I love Christmas. I love London. Most of all, I love a London Christmas. The streets are busier than ever, but full of laughter, jingles and twinkling lights. The infamously cold and dour Londoners manage to turn frowns into smiles, and it is entirely possible that you will witness that rarest of events – a conversation spontaneously break out on the Underground. This is often known as ‘Festive Cheer’ and whilst it is highly contagious, fear not, it will pass. The cure to this seasonal disorder is commonly referred to as January. So make the most of a happy London while it lasts!

I jest, of course. London is a great place to visit at any time of the year, and the locals are much friendlier and more helpful that their international reputation would suggest. Except on the Underground. It really is bad form to attempt to chat to the person next to you! But I digress. Christmas is an excellent time to visit London.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s an expensive city at the best of times. At Christmas, it must be completely unaffordable. There’s no getting away from it. London is a very expensive city to live in. But to visit? It is almost certainly a lot more affordable than you think. Traditionally, one of the most expensive aspects of London is accommodation. But times have changed and a combination of an increasing number of hotel rooms, greater competitiveness and some very intelligent online booking sites means that prices have never been more affordable. Venere is an excellent example of a hotel search website that provides market leading rates across a wide range of hotels for every budget.

Once you’ve arranged a place to lay your head, what else is there to do in London? So, so much. If you fancy putting on some skates and hitting the ice, you’re spoiled for choice. Do you choose the glamour of Somerset House? Or how about skating in the shadow of the gothic wonder that is the Natural History Museum? There are also rinks at the Tower of London an Canary Wharf. But the finest place to skate in my opinion is at the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. Which is far more than just an ice rink.

You should also go for a walk along the South Bank, starting from the London Eye Ferris wheel. There’s a whole Christmas Market going on there, with roasted chestnuts and mulled wine being served at multiple huts along the way. There are other markets well worth visiting of course.

There’s all the shopping too of course. Oxford Street is reputedly the world’s busiest shopping street. I can believe it. Pop into Selfridges for some serious glamour. Or, if you are just window shopping, stay outside and marvel at their legendary window displays. Fortnum and Mason isn’t too far away just off Piccadilly Circus. Then there’s the uber famous Harrods, which is a veritable institution in shopping. Last, but not least, pop along to Covent Garden which has been rejuvenated in recent years and houses saome fabulousb boutique shops, and undercover market and a huge selection of places to sit down to eat, drink and get merry.

Finally, just like any other day of the year, except for Christmas Day itself, there are some of the finest museums, castles, palaces, cathedrals and galleries in the world for you to explore. The British Museum, the Natural History Museum, Hampton Court Palace, St Paul’s, the Tower of London, the National Gallery, the various Tates, the Victoria and Albert…the list goes on and on. So what are you waiting for?

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8 Comments

  • London is fabulous any time of year, though it seems I have only visited in fall and winter. Some day I’ll have to come in the Spring to see all the flowers.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we are dreading the oncoming winter.

    • Spring? I still recommend summer over any other season. But spring is sure a step up from winter. We look very much forward to your long overdue visit to these islands.

      Gary
      UK
      Where one is trying hard not to be facetious and point out that you visited in autumn, not fall.

  • Your description makes me want to be there… although I prefer to be in warmer climes during the winter.
    I was there for 2 weeks this past summer visiting cousins, and I had a wonderful time. I found a nice, modern hotel for under $100 US per night. Granted, it was far out in the suburbs, about a 25 minute train ride from the city center. But it worked out very well since I was just a short distance from my cousins’ home.
    I visited many of the places you mention in your last paragraph… except for some of the museums. I was saving those for rainy day activities, but I lucked out and had nice weather for most of my stay!
    I will surely return someday. Who knows? Maybe you and I can meet up in the future.
    Saludos,
    Bill

    • I too prefer warmer climes in winer. And in summer, spring and autumn too, quite frankly. As a rule, one doesn’t choose to live in the UK for the weather. Except for Steve Cotton, who is ever the exception to rules!

      It would be great to meet up next time you are in town Bill. Just let me know where and when!

  • When I lived in England, Christmas in London was one of my favorite experiences. Of course, there were some nasty bombings, as well. But everyone kept the myth going. I miss it. Christmas in London, not the bombings, that is.

  • London seems wonderful at this time of the year. Your pitch makes me want to go there and see all of the wonderful sights! Thanks for posting,

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