If you are or ever have lived in London, then you surely notice something come December 1: people here go crazy for Christmas.
But, as a festive girl myself, I can’t say I hate it. In fact, I embrace it. That being said, I have recently been traveling around the city and spending time at all the wonderful, Christmassy places I have heard so much about. They don’t disappoint. Now, it’s time to spread the love and pass on the knowledge of the spots you must go to in London during Christmas time.
Have a blast at Hyde Park Winterwonderland
It’s no secret around London that Hyde Park is the place to go during Christmas time. Come late November, the park lights up with carnival rides, a Bavarian Village (ever hear of a little thing called Oktoberfest?) and endless rows of Swiss-themed huts selling everything from candy to crafts to pulled pork sandwiches. All of this is happening to the beat of your favorite Christmas music that’s blasting through the park.
Stroll around with some hot chocolate at the Covent Garden Piazza
Besides, Hyde Park, Covent Garden Piazza also fights up with Christmas cheer. The tree in this piazza is, in my opinion, one of the best in London. Other festive decorations include a prancing reindeer and an adorable train made out of legos. Admire the beautiful decorations that grace the piazza while nibbling on a cookie from Ben’s Cookies, which is one of London’s favorite sweet shops.
Christmas shop at Fortnum & Mason
Trust me, I’ve been into all the major department stores in New York City and none of them compare to how Fortnum & Mason does Christmas. The namesake British department store truly comes to life during the holidays and decks itself out with multiple Christmas trees and streams of delicate lights that dangle from the ceiling. Not to mention, it dedicate its entire fourth floor to Christmas, calling it “The Christmas Shop.” Walking around this place (and collecting Christmas presents, of course) will definitely get you in the spirit.
Or at Liberty
The second namesake British department store, Liberty, is another great place to check out during the holiday season. Its window displays are absolutely beautiful, featuring ornate and show-stopping wrapping paper patterns and gifts that look too stunning to unwrap. Like Fortnum & Mason, Liberty also has a Christmas shop that is a great place to purchase gifts for the entire family.
Grab a bite to eat under the festive lights of Carnaby Street
Carnaby was hip back in the 1960s and it’s still hip today with its cool collection of shops ranging from Office to MAC Cosmetics. That being said, the popular street has one of the coolest light displays in London, featuring a big disco ball and magenta stars. Christmas shop under the festive decorations and become part of the “Carnaby Christmas Party.”
Other things to do:
1.) Ice Skate at Somerset House: After all Stylist magazine calls it “London’s ice-cool destination.” More information here: http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/ice-rink.
2.) Visit the Southbank Centre Christmas market: TimeOut London noted this Christmas market as the place to go in London. Given its location right on the River Thames and the nice selection of food and craft huts, it’s clear to see why (a carousel is also included).
3.) Attend Union Chapel’s holiday party: If you’re looking for a more traditional way to get in the spirit, then check out Union Chapel’s Christmas Fair on December 13. Minced pies, Christmas carols and holidays movies are included…how can you resist?