The perfect city to get into the festive spirit early? London, of course! The British capital makes a great destination for fans of the festive season as the bustling city is teeming with Christmas and New Year’s attractions and colorful sights. If you are a fan of the holidays, read on for a look at some London's top spots to get into the holiday spirit.
Christmas lights in 7 Dials, London
7 Dials is an area of London that links Covent Garden to Soho. It’s beautiful all year but puts on an especially dazzling show during the festive season. Stay at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street to be in the middle of it all and truly experience London's traditional Christmas lights. Looking for something a bit more unique? The area of Carnaby is famous for its quirky Christmas lights and bold displays. The pedestrian shopping street is transformed with a themed display featuring funky lights and unique vibes to mark the countdown to Christmas. Below, last year's theme and this year's, based around the Bohemian Rhapsody film. Catch them until January 4th.
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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Hyde Park
Winter Wonderland is one of Hyde Park's highlights and a must day out. From 23 November 6 January, the park is filled with festive attractions for all ages. Take a ride in a festive rollercoaster, skate on the UK's 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 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.
Then take a break for something to eat 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.
Psst! Traveling with the little ones? Check out out survival guide to flying stress free with kids at Christmas.
Christmas shopping at Harrods
Within easy walking distance of Hyde Park is London’s most famous shop, Harrods, which always celebrates Christmas in style. Admire the spectacular window displays which are different each year. Inside the illustrious store, you can see stunning Christmas decorations while you browse for extra special presents. The store also sells festive food, including luxury Christmas hampers, and beautiful festive decorations. There are lots of restaurants inside as well which offer food and drink.
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 11 years. In the grounds of the Duke of Northumberland’s London home a spectacular winter woodland awaits. A beautiful trail of color 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 barbecue at the Refectory in the Garden Centre. Syon Park's Enchanted Woodland is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from November 9 to 25, 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, ride a Victorian carousel, listen to Christmas carols and peruse a boutique Christmas market filled with gifts and treats from local designers.
Discover the UK's largest light festival
If you can't fit in a visit to London before Christmas, no worries, there's still time to get into the festive spirit! January promises to be just as magical with Lumiere London entering the capital for the third time. Lumiere London is a light festival running in January where international and local artists transform the city into a bright and colorful art exhibition. Oh, and the event is free to visit!
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Where to stay in London during the festive season
If you're flying in for a short break or plan on exploring the city during an extended business trip, the Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted Airport is a perfect base. The stylish and modern hotel offers parking for visitors with cars and easy access to direct trains to London's city center. And located at the centre of Oxford Street and a short distance from Bond Street, the Radisson Blu Edwardian Berkshire Hotel is really the perfect location for shopping. What's more, the Oxford Street Christmas lights are a must-see and feature over 1,178 decorations covering the famous shopping street.
With 11 hotels in the capital, Radisson Blu offers a wealth of options. Discover the London hotel that best suits your needs this festive season.