London makes a great destination for fans of the festive season, as the busy city is teeming with Christmas activities and attractions.
If you are a fan of the holidays, read on for a look at some festive London highlights to get you in the Christmas mood.
It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas
Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland is a must stop day out for a festive visit to London. From 22 November 2013 to 05 January 2014, the park is filled with festive attractions for all ages. Take a ride in a festive rollercoaster, skate on the UKs largest ice rink, see the sights around Hyde Park in a giant observation wheel, or browse through unique gifts and decorations in the pretty chalets that house the Christmas Markets.
There are lots of activities at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland, too. The whole family will enjoy watching the fun packed Zippo’s Christmas Circus of jugglers, aerialists and clowns, or the daredevil antics at the Circus Berserk show.
Young children will love the special festive rides and activities in Santa Land, and a trip to Santa's grotto. Santa’s elves have been busy making the dazzling Magical Ice Kingdom with over 200 tonnes of ice and snow. Find your way through ice carvings like a medieval village, ice trolls and knights in a giant forest, and an incredible ice castle.
Take a break with some food and drink in Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland at the famous Bavarian village with its festive great hall, enjoy mulled wine around a fire pit, cosy up in the Nordic bar, or warm yourselves by a log fire in the House of St Nicholas.
Within easy walking distance of Hyde Park is London’s most famous shop, Harrods, which always celebrates Christmas in style. Admire the spectacular Christmas window displays at Harrods, which are this year inspired by the golden age of steam trains and feature thousands of twinkling lights and lavish sets of designer fashion.
Inside the illustrious store, you can see stunning Christmas decorations while you browse for extra special presents. There's a new famous Harrods Christmas bear in town, Sebastian, just one of the many unique Christmas toys available in store. The store also sells festive food, including luxury Christmas hampers, and beautiful festive decorations. There are lots of restaurants inside Harrods which offer food and drink, including a special Disney café which will especially appeal to younger visitors. You can also book a place for your child to meet Santa and get a special gift at the popular Harrods Christmas Grotto.
Walking in a Winter Wonderland
Wrap up warm and head to Syon Park's Enchanted Woodland for an evening event that has been captivating visitors for 8 years. In the grounds of the Duke of Northumberland’s London home a spectacular winter woodland awaits. A beautiful trail of colour and light guides visitors through garden paths, around a sparkling lake, past trees and to a Great Conservatory. After your magical stroll, enjoy mulled wine and a BBQ at the Refectory in the Garden Centre. Syon Park's Enchanted Woodland is open from 5pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 22 November to 08 December, with last entry at 8pm, and the estate offers free parking.
The nearby Kew Gardens also celebrate the festive season with their new Christmas After Dark events. Take a walk around the landmarks of the Royal Botanic Gardens by night on an illuminated trail. Visit the Christmas village to meet Santa at his grotto, ride a Victorian carousel, listen to Christmas carols and peruse a boutique Christmas market filled with gifts and treats from local designers. The Kew Gardens Christmas Trail is open from 4.30pm Thursdays to Sundays from 28 November 2013 to 04 January 2014.
Where to stay
A perfect base for a trip to festive London is the stylish Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted Airport. Our modern hotel offers parking for visitors with cars and easy access to direct trains to London.
If you could carve anything in ice, what would it be?