There’s something truly special about winter in London; from the bustling Christmas markets with mulled wine permeating the air to warming roasts, festive theatre trips and a sensational fireworks display to top off a wonderful year. Here are a few must-see places to explore this holiday season.
Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park
Perhaps the biggest event on London’s festive calendar, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is a festival featuring thrilling rides, Christmas markets, circus and ice skating performances, and must-see attractions. Open until 1st January, this is definitely one to tick off the list this season.
Fill up on London’s Best Roast
No doubt, one of the best perks of the holiday season is the food. When it comes to roasts, the choice is endless with pubs serving up the all-time British classic on nearly every street in the capital. However, particular favourites include Hawksmoor – the steak specialists – which have restaurants based all around London, including Shoreditch and Knightsbridge, as well as The Jugged Hare – the City’s renowned gastropub – and The Gun in Poplar, previously dubbed the ‘best pub on the Isle of Dogs’.
Southbank Centre Winter Festival
For festive Thameside fun, Southbank is an unmissable destination this winter. Open until 4th January, visitors can enjoy outdoor pop-up attractions with a Nordic theme this year, with a variety of food and drink stalls, whilst the rooftop garden has been transformed into a Finnish Rooftop Sauna for those looking for a warming experience with a touch of culture during the festive season.
Ice Skating at Somerset House
Somerset House in Strand is home to a grand 18th century courtyard that, every year, is transformed into a 900 square metre outdoor ice rink. Until 14th January, enjoy the winter lover’s favourite pastime with club nights hosted by various well-known DJs, which have in the past including the Ministry of Sound, and indulge in sweet treats and champagne at the event’s exclusive Fortnum’s Lodge, hosted by Fortnum and Mason.
Shopping Spree in Harrods
‘Tis the season to be jolly – and shop! Where better to indulge in a little Christmas shopping than London’s most luxurious department store, Harrods in Knightsbridge. Kids can also meet Father Christmas at Harrods’ Christmas Grotto!
Stroll around London’s Royal Parks
There’s no doubt that the Royal Parks are beautiful every season, but there’s only one time of the year that you can admire London’s frosty landscapes whilst taking a stroll with a cup of cocoa in hand. Head to Primrose Hill at the north end of Regent’s Park for one of the best views of Central London or take a tour of Richmond Park in a horse-drawn carriage.
Festive Food at Borough Market
Borough Market is a real hotspot for foodies this time of year, with a number of specialties and all-time favourites available; perfect if you’re just passing by for a delicious treat or are getting ready to stock the cupboards at home for the festive season. Grab seasonal preserves, artisan chocolates, fresh breads and select cuts of meat to take home for the biggest day of the year.
See Hogwarts at Christmas
This is an absolute must for Harry Potter fans! Watch Hogwarts light up with Christmas magic with a visit to the Warner Bros. Studios where you can see the castle model glistening in the snow, or enjoy a grand meal in the Great Hall.
Soak up Views of Wintery London
With so many magnificent buildings and attractions lining the streets of Central London, there are so many places to soak up views from above this winter. Why not take to the Sky Garden, The Gherkin, The Shard or The London Eye this season for a view to remember.
Feel Inspired by London’s Art Scene
Kick-start the new year with a visit to one of London’s inspirational art galleries, such as the Tate Modern or the National Gallery. Many of London’s art galleries and exhibitions are free; perfect for those on a budget looking for a memorable day out.