London at Christmas time is really beautiful. Everything is lighted and festively decorated; you can really feel the Christmas Spirit in the city. If you should think about travelling to London in december, here are my top 5 reasons to visit London at Christmas time.
1. Christmas lighting at Oxford Street
Oxford Street is perhaps one of the most popular streets in London and at this time of the year surely one of the most beautiful, too. Everything is festively decorated; the trees, the shops and the street itself. This year, it was decorated with 1178 lights which are supposed to make you think of snowballs. Oxford Street is also great for Christmas shopping as there are so many different shops. If you want to see the street or want to go shopping there you should nevertheless be aware of how many people are on the move, especially at Christmas time. If you don’t have a problem with such crows then you will definitely love Oxford Street.
2. Winter Wonderland im Hyde Park
Every year around Christmas time you can visit the Winter Wonderland, probably the most popular Christmas market in London, in the Hyde Park. I guess here everyone can get their money’s worth. There is an ice rink, a Ferris Wheel and many other rides, various shows (e.g. Nussknacker on Ice) and of course loads of stalls for food and drinks. Admisssion is free, rides and shows may cost money. For the shows it is advisable to buy ticketes beforehand.
As it goes with Christmas markets, this one is also very well attended. Especially in the evening and at weekends it is very crowded so you may have to queue at the entrance. If you want to avoid this, better visit the Winter Wonderland during the week or in the morning at weekends.
3. Christmas Carols
What belongs to Christmas beside the Christmas tree is definitely carols and those you can not only hear in the London stores. You can visit one of the many Christmas concerts (e.g. in the Royal Albert Hall or St. Paul’s Cathedral) or listen to the carol singers which you find e.g. at Trafalgar Square where they sing regularly for about an hour. You can watch the performances from 4 to 8 pm during the week and from 2 to 6 pm at the weekend. I also saw smaller groups of carol singers in the supermarket and the British Museum so if you’re lucky that’s were you can listen to some carols, too. 😀
4. Evening walk to the River Thamse
If you plan to visit London at Christmas time I can only recommend to go for an evening walk in the direction of the River Thames. You will become completeley infected by the Christmas flair when walking through all the beautifully lighted and decorated streets. Plus, in the evening the streets are not as crowded anymore, so you can really enjoy the festive atmosphere.
5. Warner Bros Studio Tour
Not directly in the center of London, but definitely a highlight for a Harry Potter fan like me, was the Warner Bros Studio Tour with the Christmas special Hogwarts in the Snow. It was just incredible to finally see all the sceneries that I’ve known from the movies since my childhood. You can also join in some interactive stations in the studios such as riding a broomstick. Of course, the photos and videos which are taken at those stations are pretty expensive (from 14 pounds for a photo), but you can also do all the things without buying anything. I guess there’s no need to mention the Harry Potter tour is really popular so better book your tickets early (I’d say at least 6 to 8 weeks in advance). I just loved the atmosphere in the studios, especially so close to Christmas and I think it’s an absolute MUST for every Harry Potter fan! 🙂